The Radio Times logo

Mary Beard loves BBC comedy W1A so much she will cameo in it

The presenter and classicist has been given a small turn in the new series alongside BBC creative director Alan Yentob, can reveal

Published: Tuesday, 7th April 2015 at 11:42 am

W1A, the BBC satire about the BBC, has featured some memorable cameos in the last series – from Clare Balding and Carol Vorderman locking horns to BBC creative director Alan Yentob arm-wrestling the novelist Salman Rushdie – but when the BBC2 comedy returns later this spring, there will be less walk-on parts for well-known faces, according to sources on the show.


That said, there are a few familiar TV presenters to look out for... As previously revealed, The One Show pairing Alex Jones and Matt Baker actually asked to appear and will be shown in at least one scene.

And another to make the cut is presenter and Cambridge University classics professor Mary Beard who will enjoy a small two-minute spot in one of the new episodes, presenting an award alongside Yentob.

“Yes I did a little cameo piece,” Beard tells “Truth is that W1A counted as one of my favourite TV programmes. So when I got asked to do a couple of minutes I couldn't resist – a bit like getting a walk on part in your favourite film.

“I don't think I'll ever make it in TV comedy, though.”

Starring Hugh Bonneville as BBC head of values Ian Fletcher with Jessica Hynes as his PR guru Siobhan Sharpe, episode one of W1A will feature a storyline revolving around Jeremy Clarkson.


Written long before the presenter was told he was no longer welcome back on Top Gear after punching producer Oisin Tymon, the episode was edited following the real-life events last month.


Sponsored content