Off to the fringe

It’s 0652 and 4amcab is killing time in Pret at Kings Cross, waiting for the 0930 train to Edinburgh Waverley. Derek’s in a mood, Squish the seal has had an altercation with a luggage trolley and Mairead is talking about the time she went to Edinburgh with her ex-husband, Martin, and discovered he was having a torrid affair with someone called Jenny.

This trip is not looking promising.

But we’re a comedy podcast and stoked to be going up to the craziest comedy festival in the universe. It may be the tail end, it may only be for two days, but 4amcab is on the road and we’re super excited.

I hate to think what Lee’s reaction to the expenses claim will be.

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Send us your stuff!

We’re half way through Series 2 now, so we thought it’s the perfect time to re-open our inbox and ask if you’ve got anything to send us for the show.  We are not going to set a deadline but we record the next two episodes on Monday 15th July, so you’ve got less than two weeks to make it into the next two shows.  The final episode of the series will be recorded in September, so don’t worry if you’ve got nothing right now.

So what do we want?  The current run has taken on a pattern and what we want is the following:

4 x story scenes (set at 4am)
2 x adverts
2 x stand alone character sketches

If you’ve not listened to the show before, then it’s vital that you do.  We get a lot of stuff we can’t use which is too dark/offensive/sexually explicit/too long/not funny, so try to write something that would easily fit into a previous episode. You can listen to a lot of our sketches on

Have a look at our writer’s guidelines to give you more information about writing for the show.  Send your scripts to us at the following email address:

We credit everyone who writes for us and it’s a great opportunity to have your work professionally produced, so do get in touch.  Ask us a question on twitter too, if you like.

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Making 4am Cab – Part 1: Writing

We thought it would be interesting to give you an insight into how 4amcab gets made, so this is the first part of a three part blog post doing just that.  Rachel shares her writing process.

Part 1: Writing

I jot down ideas as they come to me, to be written up later. When I get stuck, I put it away for a bit, and come back to it. If that fails, the method described by John Cleese here is very useful for getting a creative solution to a seemingly impossible problem. When writing sketches for radio (or, podcast), this excellent blog post by Dan Tetsell is pretty much the definitive guide in terms of formatting etiquette.

This book by Sally Holloway can show you how to get comedy out of nothing by brute force, effectively.

So Lee and I write up as many sketches as we can think of, put them in a drawer for a week, go to work, put the kids to bed, look again at the drawer, wince, sleep, get up, look at th- you get the picture. Then, finally, we make a really strong cup of #tea, open the drawer, read everything we’ve written, and hone it down to make it ‘better.’

Lee is in charge of the final script. He decides on the final order, and might include sketches that have been submitted to the show by other writers. Then we read it half a dozen times, make tweaks and usually decide that everything needs completely re-writing.

Luckily, we have a solid deadline in the form of the recording date, so there is absolutely no choice but to get it finished by, in series 2 episode 2’s case, 7pm tonight.


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Series 2 announcement

So we had the big swivelly chair meeting and we’re delighted to announce that work has officially begun on 4amcab, series 2. The door will remain open to new writers, but we’re going to approach things a little differently this time.

Swivelly Chair

Rather than having a deadline for each episode, we propose to do a big trawl for scripts at the beginning, and then request additional material as and when we need it as the series progresses. We’ll be releasing some guidelines for potential writers very soon.
We’ll be doing another six episodes this year, bringing back some old favourite characters from series 1, and developing some new ones.
So keep ’em peeled, and we’ll be in touch soon.
Rachel and Lee
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4amcab goes 2D

A little while ago we asked if anyone fancied animating one of our sketches. We were blown away when the brilliant Mike Kelley of kelleytoons sent us an email to say he’d only gone and flippin’ created this gorgeous cartoon for our ‘Phone virus’ sketch (from Ep 5) Thank you Mike!

And if that weren’t exciting enough, Episode 6 is out now!

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Calling all animators!

Are you a frustrated animator with an itchy pencil finger but nothing to draw? Fancy casting Derek, Mairead, or the ALL NEW Fat Pipe into glorious 2D (or even 3D) reality?

If so, please get in touch. We hope it would be mutually beneficial. A portfolio piece for the animator, and a thing of beauty for our sleep-deprived listeners to cast their eyes over whilst allowing one of our sketches to penetrate the lateral cortex.

So do get in touch, and if you know a talented animator, please send this on, we’d love to hear from them.

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5,000 downloads and counting

Jesus fed a great multitude of 5,000 with only five loaves and a couple of fish. Here at 4amcab we have made ear food for 5,000 of you with only a microphone, half a tree’s worth of paper and the blood, sweat and tears of Lee Wilson. There the horrendous and somewhat blasphemous analogy happily ends.

Yes, we have now had our 5,000th download, and we’re excited that episode 5 is now in production. It has a medical theme, several new characters and a new writer we’ve not worked with before, so lots to look forward to.

If you’ve enjoyed the epsiodes you’ve heard so far, please tell all your friends about 4amcab. We need new subscribers all the time, so please go round your mates’ house and ask them if they’ve heard 4amcab yet (or just give us a RT, follow us on twitter here.)

More news on episode 5 soon, stay tuned.

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Scribble us something

Episode 4 has now been recorded and dispatched to the edit dungeon for a final polish. Up in the glittering writers’ tower, we’re sharpening our biros ready to start on episode 5. We hope to record towards the end of September. If you’re a comedy writer we’d love to read a script inspired by a 4am moment.

Have a listen to episodes 1, 2 and 3 before you start writing. 4amcab has clear themes and a unique style, so write something just for us, keep it short and keep it funny. Our writer’s guide is here. The deadline for submissions is 4am on Friday 14th September. All right, all right, noon on Friday 14th September.

Happy scribbling.

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4amcab goes multi-media

Just a quick one to say we have just posted our first video over on YouTube. It’s a clip from episode 3. I expect we’ll be posting more video as we go along, so please check it out, like it and leave us a comment!

Recording episode 4 tonight, we’re more excited than the Twitter newsdesk* when they got that call from Vegas.

* there is no Twitter newsdesk**

** or is there?***

*** no, there isn’t.

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