The new network's sparkly take on the Desert Island Discs principle: each week's guest was invited to select the eight (or so) records, TV programmes or presenters he or she hated the most, not to take to a desert island, but to have consigned in perpetuity to the Orwellian Room 101 - the home of everyone’s worst nightmares. The guests on the radio series seem to have been chosen not so much for their celebrity value, but more for their ability as funny people. The humour lay sometimes in the deliberately disproportionate heaping of abuse on manifestly innocuous entities ('most hated place' and 'most hated thing' were discussed alongside the music), and sometimes in the deeply satisfying nailing of talentless, excruciating acts. Hosted by Nick Hancock, a presenter and comedian from the network, whose job was to sympathise or remonstrate with the guests, and ultimately decide whether Room 101 was the appropriate place for the choice. Usually this was at his whim, but it was cheerfully admitted that exactly four selections went in every week because "that's the number of doors the producer can be bothered to do" - and in this case the "doors" were sound clips representing the wailing souls (usually annoying celebrities) that could be heard from within Room 101 as the portals opened. The series transferred to BBC2 later on, and although Hancock remained in the chair to start with, the format changed to allow anything into Room 101, and the celebrity status of the guests increased. Later in the series, Paul Merton took over as chair and remains in the role as I write. I woudl still like to know who was the 'missing' guest int he final series and obtain copies of these, so if you have the information or the shows, please drop me a line. To my knowledge all the shows exist in the BBC archive, but the catalogue details I have do not indicate all the guests, and some are held on DAT cassette as log tapes of a day's recording, making it more difficult to catalogue and find. The final series appears to be shorter than the others because the network changed to rolling news and sport on 27.3.94 becoming Five Live.
Guest Tx. Date PAUL MERTON 9.1.92 JENNY ECLAIR 16.1.92 DANNY BAKER 23.1.92 ARTHUR SMITH 30.1.92 STEVE PUNT 2.2.92 ANNIE NIGHTINGALE 13.2.92
Later this year (22.12.92) there was a Christmas Special where the roles were reversed and Nick Hancock was the guest and the presenter was Danny Baker.
Guest Tx. Date IAN HISLOP 14.8.92 JO BRAND 21.8.92 TONY SLATTERY 28.8.92 JOHN WALTERS 4.9.92 HELEN LEDERER 11.9.92 DAVID BADDIEL 18.9.92 STEPHEN FROST 25.9.92 DONNA McPHAIL 2.10.92
Guest Tx. Date FRANK SKINNER 27.8.93 TREV NEAL & SIMON HICKSON 3.9.93 CAROLINE QUENTIN 10.9.93 TONY HAWKS 17.9.93 RORY MCGRATH 8.10.93 KEVIN DAY 15.10.93 MARIA MCERLANE 22.10.93 MARK LAMARR 29.10.93
Guest Tx. Date NICK REVELL 27.2.94 6.3.94 SIMON DEALNEY 13.3.94 ANDY HAMILTON 25.3.94