The BBC Asks – What If Alan Moore Or John Wagner Wrote Fred Basset?

Fred Basset is a long-standing newspaper cartoon strip, told from the point of view and inner monologue of a basset hound called Fred and his owner. And yes, it predates Garfield. The strip was created by Scottish cartoonist Alex Graham and published first in the Daily Mail on 8 July 1963. Graham died in 1991, after drawing 9000 strips, but the strip has continued since. After the 18 months of unpublished cartoons he left had seen publication, the strip has been continued in Graham’s style with artwork by Michael Martin and written with Graham’s daughter, Arran Caith.

Well, BBC Radio 4 are running a new series of the show, Before They Were Famous, with a fictitious examination of famous author’s early works.  And they began with asking what would have happened if, early in his career, Alan Moore had been invited by Graham to write Fred Basset. And, when that (spoilers) doesn’t work out, what if Judge Dredd-co-creator John Wagner was invited to replace him?

You have four days left to listen on the BBC Radio iPlayer, available globally, if you wish. Each episode is only 15 minutes long.

BEFORE THEY WERE FAMOUS – Series 3, Episode 6.

Ian Leslie presents the show which brings to light the often surprising first literary attempts of the world’s best known writers.

In this episode we’re first treated to graphic novelist Alan Moore’s earlydrafts for the popular Fred Bassett cartoon strip.

We then turn to crime writer Patricia Cornwell and her perhaps excessively gory descriptions of fast food menu items, written as an early commission by a high street restaurateur when work was scarce.

Finally we hear from great poet Byron as he first plied his trade for a quick paycheque, penning headstone verses for beloved deceased pets.

To end the show, the first of our disturbingly unseasonal Christmas cracker jokes by Henrik Ibsen.

Producer: Claire Broughton
A Hat Trick production for BBC Radio 4.

About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.

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