Watch out for space hacks

Bucks Free Press: Hacks: Stuart Sumner, left and Ian Simons Hacks: Stuart Sumner, left and Ian Simons

TWO writers from Marlow have penned their way onto the airwaves as writers of BBC Radio 7's first original sitcom.

Comedy writing duo Stuart Sumner and Ian Simons met as pupils of Sir William Borlase's Grammar School in West Street.

Stuart grew up in New Road, Marlow Bottom, while Ian lived in Chapel Road and later Highfield Road in Flackwell Heath.

Their four-part sitcom, Space Hacks, will begin tomorrow night introducing listeners to intergalactic reporters Charlie Palmer and Moog Johnson.

The hacks' work for IGN, an intergalactic news corporation reporting on alien life under the strict governance of their boss, Korg, which operates from a space ship disguised as a hedge on Clapham Common. Their hideaway comes complete with a computer, Mother, whose baking programme has gone into overdrive.

Success at the BBC hasn't come easy for Stuart, 32 and Ian, 31, who have been writing comedy sketches since their teens.

Stuart said: "It's fantastic because it's been in the pipeline for so long, waiting three years to see if it would get produced."

The pair have had mixed success thus far. They've written many sketches for The Milk Run comedy show on BBC Radio 1, but a previous series Pop Tarts about manufactured bands was never commissioned.

Ian said: "We started writing stuff for TV and sending it to the BBC but they always wrote back telling us to sod off, so we started writing for radio instead."

However times have changed for the better as Space Hacks has been commissioned for a second series next year, even before the first episode has been aired.

In their constant battle for one-upmanship, the friends vied for parts in the recording studios, with Stuart finally managing to get a one-line role.

Stuart and Ian now live in Clapham, but said they can be found at Marlow's Chequers Pub every Christmas and at bi-annual Borlase reunions.

Space Hacks is on Saturday night at 6.30pm on BBC Radio 7.

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