The Cambridge Geek

It's A Fair Cop

A great delight, this one. Alfie Moore is an ex-copper, who has turned his (probably a bit difficult) career into a new line in stand-up. His show (now in its fourth season on the BBC, so you can tell they like it) is a combination of stand-up and audience participation, in which Moore walks the audience through one of his policing challenges, and finds out what they would have done in his shoes (steel toes and all).

These are mostly low-key events, such as in the first episode of this new series, where Moore is called in to chase down a couple of bag-snatchers, who have made their getaway on a yellow moped. Moore's in the dog wagon, which admittedly isn't brilliant for hunting down scooters, but luckily one of them gets off and runs for it on foot. Which leaves him with a handily pedestrian criminal and umpteen kilos of angry attack dog ready to be unleashed.

At various points throughout the story, Moore pauses to see whether or not the audience would like to phone a friend (call SCO19), go 50:50 (chase one criminal or the other), or ask the audience (engage vigilante justice). The audience, as expected for the refined world of Radio 4, tend to favour brutal force and immediate locking up without any chance of parole (and preferably chopping off their goolies).

The stories are bracketed by occasional interjections for the audience's personal law and order problems related to the crime of the episode, which has involved sexual offences, neighbourly disputes and more. These often provide some of the funniest moments, usually being both unexpected and impressively ridiculous. Imagine that bit at the end of The Now Show, but with even more passive aggressiveness

Moore would likely make a good compere, having an excellent manner with the crowd. He's a jolly chap, and brings them along with him on the journey in a remarkably powerful manner. He's got a good ear for a story, but it's also pleasing to see how well he skirts the edge of the stereotype of the cheeky copper while still maintaining the rigorous moral standards you actually want in a police force. It's a fine line to walk between ethics and fun, and he's very good at it. Give it a listen. And if you find yourself tempted to hunt down the previous seasons, they're available here.

Score 4

Tagged: Radio Comedy Monologue Stand-up Crime and punishment