As a songwriter Richie is best known for having written the music for all 60+ songs in the mulitpleBAFTA/British Comedy Award winning Horrible Histories – the majority of these with lyricist Dave Cohen. The songs – in just about every genre you can think of - have been an extraordinary success; so much so that the BBC based the 2011 Family Prom on them at The Royal Albert Hall. With several million hits on youtube, and countless broadcasts on CBBC the songs have become playground favourites across the nation; sneakily introducing the genres of 80’s hair metal and Chas and Dave to seven year olds into the bargain.
Along with co-lyricists Dave Cohen and David Quantick, Richie has also written 48 (and counting) 15 Minute Musicals for BBC Radio 4. That’s getting on for 300 songs. The show won the 2009 Writers’ Guild Award for Best Radio Comedy and the 8th series was broadcast at Christmas 2013.
Richie has hundreds of songwriting credits for CBBC/Cbeebies – from the current pop pastiches of All Over The Place to the catchy earworms of Mr Bloom’s Nursery - and with other voluminous hummable tunes for radio and TV Richie’s song count is nearing 1000. And that’s with only the chords of C, F and the recently mastered G7 at his disposal.
Theme and Incidental
With long-time musical sidekick and audio production tsar Matt Katz, Richie has written and scored hours of television. From a secret bunker in rural Warwickshire (well, a light industrial unit on the outskirts of Leamington Spa) the pair have produced countless theme tunes for radio and television over the past twenty years – recent credits include Strange Hill High, Fit and Gory Games for CBBC and scoring 52 eps of the award-winning Baby Jake for Cbeebies. The ability to write/arrange/record in any genre means there’s not much they haven’t done; although they were both in a failed pop band at school together. Which you won't be hearing here. Oh no.
From MD-ing vocal recording sessions to arranging - Richie has always found the musical solution. And it's surprisingly often in C major.
Richie has great experience of running vocal sessions - and is able to get cracking performances from cast members whether using studios in London, Manchester and Glasgow or at his base at Noisegate Studios. For even shinier results he more often than not brings the audio back to sunny Warwick to be polished to within an inch of its life for broadcast by audio guru Matt Katz.
From arranging Thus Spake Zarathustra for solo trombone to location recording Ex-Libertine Carl Barat and The London Gay Men's Chorus in a freezing disused hospital in East London, Richie and Matt have got it covered.
Richie is an established radio comedy writer/performer with his Writers’ Guild award-winning show 15 Minute Musical – written with Dave Cohen and David Quantick – a mainstay of the Radio 4 schedule. He also wrote, produced and performed three series of the late night comedy The Music Teacher, and currently stars in Dave Lamb's audience sitcom, Hobby Bobbies.
Over the years he has written and performed in The Cheese Shop, Look Away Now and The Bigger Issues for Radio 4 and nine series of Parsons and Naylor’s Pull Out Sections for BBC Radio 2.
Richie has written and performed extensively for children’s television since he was virtually a child himself; starting with two years performing live comedy every Saturday on Live and Kicking, and pretty much finishing with an ill-judged cameo in The Chuckle Brothers.
As a founder member of Top Dog Productions the latest string to Richie's comedy bow is producing new comedy for Radio 4.
As well as three series of his self-penned sitcom The Music Teacher, Richie has produced Dave Lamb's audience sitcom Dave Against The Machine and two series of Mission Improbable, written by and starring The Boom Jennies (right)
After years of flogging his own brand of dead horse at the Edinburgh Fringe in the mid nineties he now finds himself regularly witnessing others as he scouts for new talent to pitch at Radio 4. So if you've got a show he absolutely has to see - then let him know. And providing he can drag himself away from the hot dog stand in the Pleasance Courtyard he might well pop along...
Top Dog Productions
Richie is a founding director of Top Dog Productions – an independent production company making comedy and drama for BBC Radio 4.
Formed with Matt Katz, Dave Lamb, Nick Walker and Jim North the company has its own shiny website right here