Giles Wemmbley-Hogg Goes Off

Giles Wemmbley-Hogg Goes Off is a British radio comedy from BBC Radio 4, written by Marcus Brigstocke, Jeremy Salsby and Graeme Garden.

Giles Wemmbley-Hogg Goes Off
Other namesGiles Wemmbley-Hogg Geht zum Fussballweltmeisterschaft weg!
GenreComedy travelogue
Running time30 minutes
Country of origin United Kingdom
Home stationBBC Radio 4
StarringMarcus Brigstocke
Written byMarcus Brigstocke
Jeremy Salsby
Graeme Garden
Produced byDavid Tyler
Original release16 July 2002 – 19 December 2011
No. of series7
No. of episodes30
Audio formatStereophonic sound

Format and history

The show follows the travel adventures of title character Giles Wemmbley-Hogg ("Two Ms, two Gs", full name: Giles Peter St John David Habakkuk St John Wemmbley-Hogg), a nice but somewhat dim upper class former public school boy (Charterhouse) played by co-writer Brigstocke. Giles is on a gap year before university, and he records his (mis)adventures with his portable digital recorder, in places such as Bolivia, India, and Egypt. Throughout the series he does somehow graduate, albeit with a 2:2 in Canadian Studies. Later episodes have followed Giles in his search for a job and his engagement to the fearsome Arabella (fondly known as Belly-Bells).

Themes in this comedy are Giles's naïveté, and small-mindedness, with his frequent (and usually inappropriate) comparisons with life back in his native Budleigh Salterton. In Giles' first broadcast incarnation, as a recurring character performed by Brigstocke on satirical radio show The Now Show, he is offensively boorish and unlikeable. However, in Giles Wemmbley-Hogg Goes Off he is a sympathetic fool and clearly does not mean any harm. Broadly similar characters are Harry Enfield's Tim Nice-But-Dim, and P. G. Wodehouse's Bertie Wooster. On 9 April 2006, Brigstocke appeared in BBC Radio 4's Classic Serial adaptation of The Code of the Woosters as Bertie Wooster with Andrew Sachs as Jeeves.

The show is sometimes available online in the 'Comedy and Quizzes' section of the BBC radio on demand website. The series is often repeated on BBC Radio 4 Extra.

In July 2007 Giles appeared on BBC Four television in Giles Wemmbley-Hogg Goes to Glastonbury, which contained a mixture of material from throughout the history of the radio show and from the similarly titled Radio 4 episode which had been broadcast only the week previously.

Series 4 was first broadcast on Radio 4 starting on Monday 14 December 2009 at 11:30am.

One of the special features on Brigstocke's 2007 standup DVD Planet Corduroy is a one-man lecture given in character by Giles Wemmbley-Hogg.

After an eight-year gap Giles Wemmbley-Hogg returned for a special Brexit episode broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on 28 March 2019, the day before the United Kingdom was originally due to leave the European Union.[1]

Episode list

SeriesEpisodeDestinationFirst broadcastDescription
11The Sudan16 July 2002Giles' first trip sees him going off to Sudan for some fishing.
2Beijing23 July 2002For his Duke of Edinburgh Award, Giles decides to rebuild the Great Wall of China.
3Bolivia30 July 2002Giles goes on a jungle trek in search of a rare bird species.
4The Arctic6 August 2002Giles gets stuck on the ice cap and has to stay in a research station.
5Moscow13 August 2002With the Budleigh Salterton Donkey Sanctuary in mind, Giles plans to ride from England to Russia on a racing tandem, but his friend Toby pulls out...
6Thailand20 August 2002On a spiritual journey, Giles goes to Thailand to find himself... and his rucksack.
21Tanzania15 October 2003Now at university doing Canadian studies, Giles decides to go to Africa to 'Save the Giraffe'........... in a 14-foot giraffe costume.
2Germany22 October 2003After his sister pulls a sickie, Giles decides to step in and go on a German exchange.
3Cuba29 October 2003As a part of Socialist Soc., Giles goes to Cuba to find inspiration.
4Egypt5 November 2003In a bid to twin Cairo with his native Budleigh Salterton, Giles visits the Egyptian capital to see if it is up to standard.
5India12 November 2003Giles has made the Durham University cricket team, and subsequently goes on tour with them to the home of "Native Americans".
6New Zealand19 November 2003To stop the love of his life from marrying someone else, Giles goes all the way to New Zealand in an attempt to stop the wedding.
31Scotland25 January 2005After gaining his degree in Canadian Studies, Giles looks for work, firstly on an oil rig.
2Tokyo1 February 2005The next step in Giles' career sees him go to Tokyo and work in the stock market.
3The Alps8 February 2005Giles becomes a chalet girl in a French skiing resort.
4Russia15 February 2005Giles becomes fourth cultural attaché to Vienna, and accompanies a Geordie "dancing prodigy" across Europe.
5Haiti22 February 2005Giles helps build a home for CHAVS.
6Ireland1 March 2005In an attempt to become a journalist, Giles becomes a nanny, and takes the children to Ireland.
1Germany15 June 2006Giles Wemmbley-Hogg Geht zum Fussballweltmeisterschaft weg! - Giles returns to Germany for some peace and quiet, only to find that the World Cup is being held there.
222 June 2006
329 June 2006
1Glastonbury26 June 2007Giles goes to the Glastonbury Festival and attempts to sell pasties from around the world.
41Greece14 December 2009Giles goes to Greece to rescue a group of philosophy students.
2Lapland21 December 2009Giles visits Lapland and has a mishap Involving his-mother in-law.
3Orient Express28 December 2009Giles takes four cross ladies on a septuagenarian trans-Balkan hen party.
4Las Vegas4 January 2010It's Viva Las Vegas as Giles accidentally gets three wives in a row and loses the jackpot.
51Local Hero28 November 2011When a mogul tries to buy up every last pebble in Budleigh, Giles decides to run for Mayor.
2Iron Man5 December 2011Giles enters an Iron Man triathlon in Spain with only Neil Diamond and a donkey to help.
3Festival Of Yumsk12 December 2011When Giles tries to put Budleigh Salterton on the gastronomic map, he inadvertently serves up a full-scale biohazard lockdown instead.
4Rocket Man19 December 2011Giles gets himself into another spot of bother - a rocket-powered one.
1Article 5028 March 2019Giles returns for a one off Brexit special.


Four episodes from the 1st Series (not the episodes 'Moscow' and 'Beijing') and the entire 2nd Series are available on CD, and series 1-5 are available at the iTunes Store.


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