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Page last updated at 14:19 GMT, Thursday, 7 August 2008 15:19 UK

On Closer Inspection

Mandy Baker and Marcus Brigstocke
Mandy Baker and Marcus Brigstocke on their tour

Mandy Baker takes the comedian Marcus Brigstocke round Westminster to help him re-assesses his cynicism towards politicians.

Through his encounters with some of the leading figures in British politics, including the Prime Minister and David Cameron, Marcus begins to wonder if he needs to find new satirical targets.

Make 'Em Laugh

Humour is the great leveller - that's something many politicians certainly believe given how often they try to engage with the public by resorting to comedy and wit. But it's risky as anyone who makes a living from comedy will testify. In Make 'Em Laugh,' Mandy Baker talks to comedian Marcus Brigstocke about how politicians try to use humour in their speeches. They start with a few examples.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Despatch Box

How many Members of Parliament does it take to tell a good joke?

Another chance to hear political reporter Mandy Baker enlisting the help of the stand-up comedian Marcus Brigstocke to explore what happens when politicians try to be funny.

In A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Despatch Box, they find that while some stand-up politicians might just about survive the Comedy Store, others are just plain laughable. And Marcus also lets us into a few of the secrets of comedy.

Here are the names behind the voices in the opening montage: Vera Baird, Stephen Pound, Michael Heseltine, Tony Banks, Denis Healey, William Hague, Gyles Brandreth, Gerald Kaufman and John Smith. You'll recognise the woman heckler at the end...

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Part one of On Closer Inspection

Part two of On Closer Inspection

Make 'Em Laugh

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Despatch Box

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