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The final four series of this BBC Radio comedy drama about sisterhood and sibling rivalry In these final four series, Anna is trying to remain calm and centred in the midst of the familial chaos that surrounds her. Her sisters Victoria and Charlotte are more combative than ever, and when a row blows up between them, Anna is stuck in the middle. Having graduated from university, her niece Emily is preparing for marriage and motherhood. But her wedding plans cause ructions, as Victoria and Charlotte make her celebrations all about them. The baby's birth sends Victoria into competitive granny mode - while Anna receives a heart-warming surprise. Having dallied with a string of lovers, Charlotte finally gets engaged - but there are more twists to come in her complicated love life. Her professional life is in turmoil too: with daughter Gisele starring in a TV series, will Charlotte keep chasing her own big break as an actress, or try and make it as a model instead? As the sisters look forward to new beginnings, one thing is certain - they'll always have each other... Scripted by Simon Brett, this hugely popular comedy stars Rosemary Leach as Anna, with Angela Thorne as Victoria, Celia Imrie and Felicity Montagu as Charlotte and Lisa Coleman as Emily. Written and produced by Simon Brett Music composed by Elizabeth Parker, BBC Radiophonic Workshop Cast Anna - Rosemary Leach Victoria - Angela Thorne Charlotte - Celia Imrie/Felicity Montagu Roger - Bill Nighy/Jonathan Coy Eddie - James Greene Emily - Lisa Coleman Nick - Kieran Hill George - Bruce Alexander With Sheila Mitchell, Richard Syms, James Vaughan, Bridget McConnell, Rowland Davies, Richenda Carey, Bruce Alexander, Judy Flynn, Marianne Borgo, Stephen Thorne, Bill Wallis, Colin Starkey, Susan Jameson, Jon Glover, Chris Emmett, Joanna Monro, Michael Simkins First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 28 January-3 March 2004 (Series 10), 19 January-23 February 2005 (Series 11), 26 April-31 May 2006 (Series 12), 11 April-16 May 2007 (Series 13)Show more
Series 6-9 of the BBC Radio comedy drama following the fortunes of three forty-something sisters Sisters Anna, Victoria and Charlotte are back for four more series, in which relationships are forged, hearts are broken and family ties are strained - but not severed. Older sister Anna continues to live her life on her own terms, despite her sisters' insistence on being there for her. But when she suffers a couple of knocks to her confidence and needs a shoulder to cry on, they are too self-absorbed to be any use. Fortunately, niece Emily provides moral support, and Anna reciprocates with some down-to-earth advice about Emily's love life. With their daughter away at university, Emily's parents find themselves reassessing their marriage. Roger is tempted to stray, while Victoria become even more insecure - and a death in the family sends shock waves rippling in unexpected directions. Meanwhile, Charlotte's star rises and falls, as she makes her soap opera debut and finally acquires celebrity status, only to have her bubble cruelly burst. With her acting career seemingly on the decline, she embarks on a quest to find herself - and makes some surprising discoveries... Written by Simon Brett, this much-loved sitcom stars Rosemary Leach as Anna, with Angela Thorne as Victoria, Celia Imrie and Felicity Montagu as Charlotte, Lisa Coleman as Emily and Bill Nighy as Roger. Produced by Maria Esposito (Series 6-8) and Simon Brett (Series 9) Music composed by Elizabeth Parker, BBC Radiophonic Workshop Cast Anna - Rosemary Leach Victoria - Angela Thorne Charlotte - Celia Imrie/Felicity Montagu Roger - Bill Nighy Eddie - James Greene Emily - Lisa Coleman With Edward de Souza, Christian Rodska, Joanna Monro, Will Ing, Jane Gibson, Alan Cowan, Alison Skilbeck, Simon Brett, Tracy-Ann Obermann, Bruce Alexander, James Vaughan, Colin Starkey, Kenny Blythe, Natalie Casey, Jason Done, Michael Jayston First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 14 July-18 August 1999 (Series 6), 31 January-7 March 2001 (Series 7), 2 January-6 February 2002 (Series 8), 1 January-5 February 2003 (Series 9)Show more
The first five series of the BBC Radio comedy drama about the lives and squabbles of three very different sisters After years of looking her after elderly parents, Anna finds herself able, for the first time, to live her own life. She's enjoying simply being herself, with no responsibilities and no obligations. But her two younger sisters, Victoria and Charlotte, are concerned about her. Surely poor, unfulfilled Anna can't be happy without a partner or a family around? Determined to make an effort, they decide to draw her into their lives - and Anna's peaceful, commitment-free lifestyle soon disappears. Throughout these five series, she becomes embroiled in their various dramas and crises, as actress Charlotte suffers a series of career and romantic disappointments and housewife Victoria grows increasingly discontented with her husband Roger. And as Victoria's daughter Emily grows from sulky teen to young woman, she, too, starts to confide in her aunt Anna. With all her relatives involving her in their affairs, will Anna still be able to forge her own path - and maybe even find romance? Created by award-winning author Simon Brett, whose radio sitcom credits include After Henry and Smelling of Roses, this classic comedy about sisterly dissension stars Rosemary Leach as Anna, with Nicola Pagett as Victoria and Celia Imrie and Josie Lawrence as Charlotte. Produced by Paul Schlesinger (Series 1 & 2), Ann Jobson (Series 3 & 4) and Maria Esposito (Series 5) Music composed by Elizabeth Parker, BBC Radiophonic Workshop Cast Anna - Rosemary Leach Victoria - Nicola Pagett Charlotte - Celia Imrie/Josie Lawrence Delia - Maxine Audley Roger - Stephen Moore/Roger Llloyd Pack/Jonathan Coy/Bill Nighy Eddie - James Greene Emily - Lisa Coleman/Natalie Walter With Andrew Wincott, Benjamin Whitrow, Ronald Herdman, Mark Straker, Theresa Streatfeild, Robert Bathurst, Peter Penry-Jones, Nicholas Murchie, David Swift, Neil Roberts, Teresa Gallagher, Dominic Letts, Jillie Meers, William Osborne, Philip Anthony, Simon Treves, David Thorpe, John Baddeley, David Antrobus, Michael Tudor-Barnes, Rachel Atkins, Jonathan Keeble, Derek Waring, Ian Masters, Kim Wall, Kelda Holmes, Geoffrey Whitehead, Joshua Towb, Jon Glover, Edward de Souza First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 9 January-13 February 1992 (Series 1), 29 July-2 September 1993 (Series 2), 24 November-29 December 1994 (Series 3), 24 July-28 August 1996 (Series 4), 9 July-13 August 1998 (Series 5)Show more
All four series of the BBC radio comedy drama about a couple experiencing love for the second time – plus special festive episode The Fight Before Christmas Bill and Faith are both divorcees, late in love but new to each other. As they battle to forge a relationship together, they discover that the course of true love doesn’t always run smoothly. In these 31 episodes, they move in together, plan a wedding and deal with the challenges of married life – all the while trying to balance the demands of Gavin’s ex-wife, Liza, and her teenage children, Hannah and Joe. From bickering about the kids to worrying about money, trying to find time for romance and dealing with feelings of jealousy, the duo’s relationship comes under fire from all sides. Can they make love work the second time around? Inspired by the real lives of its writers, husband and wife Jan Etherington and Gavin Petrie, this funny, bittersweet sitcom was adapted for ITV where it ran for five seasons and was followed by an equally successful sequel, Faith in the Future. It stars Lynda Bellingham as Faith and James Bolam as Bill. Written by Jan Etherington and Gavin Petrie Produced by Pete Atkin (Series 1), Sioned Wiliam (Series 2) and Paul Schlesinger (Series 3 and 4 and The Fight Before Christmas) First broadcast BBC Radio 4: 3 November-22 December 1988 (Series 1), 31 October-19 December 1989 (Series 2), 9 April-28 May 1991 (Series 3), 18 June-23 July 1992 (Series 4), 25 December 1992 (The Fight Before Christmas) Cast Faith……………………Lynda Bellingham Bill……………………James Bolam Hilary……………………Celia Imrie/Geraldine Fitzgerald Liza……………………Belinda Lang Hannah……………………Kelda Holmes/Emma Gregory/Julia Sawalha Joe……………………Mark Denham Grace/Jill……………………Moir Leslie Alex……………………John Samson/Mark Straker Ray……………………Nicholas Courtney/Ian Lindsay Ted/Mr Burrows……………………Norman Bird Treadwell……………………Richard Tate Christian/Gideon/Waiter……………………Ian Targett Richard……………………John Moffatt/Christopher Good/Geoffrey Whitehead Steve……………………Guy Brougham Rachel……………………Rebecca Front Police Officer……………………Deborah Rowbottom Dennis……………………Brian Bowles Mr Roper……………………Danny Schiller Marjorie……………………Jo Kendall Registrar……………………John Baddeley Video Man……………………Richard Tate Cabbie……………………Ben Onwukwe Gina……………………Danielle Allen Kevin……………………Mark Straker/David Learner Karel Cerny……………………Nigel Carrington Clayton……………………David Learner Chris……………………Peter Gunn Louise……………………Melanie Hudson Course Leader/Duncan……………………Nick MurchieShow more
Ready with his black bag, Dr Finlay sets out to remedy all manner of ailments suffered by his patients in the Scottish Highland town of Levenford. In this complete BBC Radio collection, we meet the surprising Dr Finlay as he is welcomed to the practise with a black eye. Over the course of these series the early years of Dr Finlay are explored, as he gets to grips with the locals in the Scottish Highland town of Levenford. His patients range from the stingiest and most cunning widow in Scotland to a pantomime actress, and from a hen-pecked husband who disappears to the wife of a football hero. Then there are the Scobie sisters, who have managed to live together for fifteen years without speaking. Finlay tackles them all with compassion and his trademark Scottish humour. Starring John Gordon Sinclair as Scotland's most celebrated doctor, along with Brian Pettifer, Celia Imrie, David Tennant and Stella Gonet. Produced by Jeremy Howe and Vic BeebyShow more
Seven BBC radio full-cast productions of Noël Coward's classic plays - plus bonus material including a profile of Coward and extracts from his diaries Renowned for his wit, style and sophistication, Noël Coward was one of the greatest playwrights of the twentieth century. His plays, set in the glittering world of high society in which he lived, are much admired and have remained in the popular theatre repertoire to this day. This collection brings together the very best radio adaptations of Coward's works, encompassing sparkling comedies of manners Private Livesand Hay Fever, farcical ghost story Blithe Spirit, and daring ménage à trois drama Design for Living. Here, too, is his controversial first hit The Vortex; the poignant Still Life (the inspiration for the film Brief Encounter); and the semi-autobiographical Present Laughter. Among the star-studded cast are Helena Bonham-Carter, Bill Nighy, Judi Dench, Celia Imrie, Roger Allam, Harriet Walter, Paul Rhys, Stephanie Cole and Paul Scofield. Also included is a BBC World Service profile of Noël Coward, comprising interviews, musical extracts and archive clips; and the BBC Radio 4 programme 'From His Diaries', featuring a selection of passages from Coward's journal read by Simon Cadell. Track listing: 1-2: Private Lives 3-4: Hay Fever 5-6: Blithe Spirit 7-10: Design for Living 11-12: The Vortex 13: Still Life 14-16: Present Laughter 17: Meridian: Noël Coward profile 18-20: Noël Coward - From His Diaries Private Lives Amanda...Helena Bonham-Carter Elyot...Bill Nighy Sibyl...Andrea Riseborough Victor...Paul Ritter Louise...AnnaRose Cattanach Directed by Sally Avens Hay Fever Judith Bliss...Judi Dench David Bliss...Michael Williams Richard Greatham...Geoffrey Palmer Marya Arundel...Celia Imrie Jackie Coryton...Patricia Brake Sandy Tyrell...Christopher Blake Simon Bliss...Patrick Pearson Sorel Bliss...Alison Reid Qara...Patricia Hayes Directed by Leslie Lawton Blithe Spirit Charles...Roger Allam Madame Arcati...Maggie Steed Elvira...Zoe Waites Ruth...Hermione Gulliford Dr Bradman...David Killick Mrs Bradman...Tilly Tremayne Edith...Natalie Cassidy Directed by Philip Franks Design for Living Gilda...Cheryl Campbell Otto...Alex Jennings Leo...Michael Kitchen Ernest Friedman...James Laurenson Mr Birbeck...Alan Barker Henry Carver...Bradley Lavell Miss Hodge/Helen...Joanna Myers Grace Torrence...Linda Marlowe Directed by Ned Chaillet The Vortex Florence Lancaster...Harriet Walter Nicky...Paul Rhys Helen...Frances Jeater Pawnie...John Rye Clara Hibbert...Jenny Funnell Tom Veryan...Robert Portal David Lancaster...Peter Blythe Bunty Mainwaring...Federay Holmes Bruce Fairlight...Keith Drinkel Preston...Pamela Grace Directed by John Tydeman Still Life Laura Lesson...Amanda Root Dr Alec Harvey...John Duttine Myrtle Bagott...Stephanie Cole Albert Godby...Trevor Peacock Beryl Waters/Lady on Train...Sunny Ormonde Stanley...Brian Parr Dolly Messiter...Josephine Tewson Bill...Richard Curnow Johnny/Guard...Malcolm McKee Directed by Sue Wilson Present Laughter Gary Essendine...Paul Scofield Liz Essendine...Joy Parker Monica Reed...Patricia Routledge Joanna Lyppiatt...Fenella Fielding Henry Lyppiatt...Alan Rowe Morris Dixon...Bernard Joyner Daphne Stillington...Miriam Margolyes Lady Saltburn...Betty Huntley-Wright Fred...Timothy Bateson Miss Erikson...Diana Olsson Roland Maule...David Timson Produced by Ian CotterellShow more
The complete collected series 1-5 of the gloriously daft Victorian Romp, Bleak Expectations.Gasp at the evil Mr Gently Benevolent, played by Mr Anthony Head! Weep at the trials of our young hero Pip Bin, played by Master Tom Allen! Be moved to joy and sorrow by the remarkable narration of Mr Richard Johnson! Swoon at the fragile beauty of Pip’s poor Mama, played by Miss Celia Imrie! Wonder at the thespian prowess of Mr Geoffrey Whitehead as six different siblings! Follow the remarkable adventures of young Pip Bin as he struggles to rescue himself and his sisters from the schemes of his evil and badly-named guardian Mr Gently Benevolent, and the blood-curdling Hardthrasher family. Immerse yourself in a timeless epic featuring terrifying schools, even worse prisons, opium dens, disguises, court-cases, shipwrecks, underwater squirrels and swash-buckling long-lost aunts. Revel in the many fine quips, characters and scenarios written by Mr. Mark Evans and produced by Mr. Gareth Edwards, previously renowned for their craftsmanship on the works of Messrs. Mitchell and Webb. Series 1: Televised as 'The Bleak Old Shop of Stuff' on the BBC. Episodes: A Childhood Cruelly Kippered, An Adolescence Utterly Trashed, A Youth Utterly Crocked, A Young Adult Bitterly Dismantled, A Young Love Mercilessly Dismembered, A Life Sadly Smashed then happily restored A Bit. Series 2: A Happy Life Cruelly Re-Kippered, A Re-kippered Life Smashed Some More, A Recovery Made Miserable, A Restoration Re-Ruined Only Even Worse, An Already Bed Life Made Worse But Sort of on Purpose, A Happy Life Broken and then Mended A Bit. Series 3: A Lovely Life Re-Kippered Again Once More, A Now Grim Life Yet More Grimmified, A Sort of Fine Life De-niced Completely, A Horrible Life Un-ruined and then Re-ruined Again, An Evil Life Sort of Explined, Lives Lost, Ruined Wrecked and Redeemed.Series 4: A Tolerable Life De-Happified, A New-Spoiled Life Smashed Some More, A Wretched Life Made Much Much Sadder, A Painful Life Re-Miserablised, A Now Tricky Life Woefully Miseried Up, A Life Destroyed then Repaired and Re-Happied. Series 5: A Pleasant Yet Dull Life Re-Evilled, A Re-Excited Life Made Distinctly Dangerous, An Alrightish Life Savagely Frozen to Bits, A Writerly Life Made Dreadfully Different, A Terrifying Life Made Even Scarier a Bit Some More, A Loved-Up Life Potentially Totally Annihilated.Show more
Celia Imrie and Toby Jones star in this BBC Radio 4 dramatisation of Gerald Durrell's much-loved comic gem. My Family and Other Animals is the classic tale of naturalist Gerald Durrell's magical 1930s childhood on pre-war Corfu. His descriptions of his eccentric family and his encounters with the local creatures are full of humour and charm, and the book has delighted readers of all ages for sixty years. Ten-year-old Gerry is the youngest member of the Durrell family, which also consists of Mother, pompous eldest son Larry, gun-mad second son Leslie, acne-ridden sister Margo, and Roger the dog. When they arrive in Corfu, Gerry is thrilled to find a paradise of exotic wildlife to be explored. Soon he is embarking on natural history expeditions, swimming in the clearblue sea and befriending the island's inhabitants.Gerry's relatives are less impressed with his exploits, especially when his burgeoning animal collection sparks chaos at the family's Christmas party... With a specially created soundtrack, this vivid adaptation takes the story out of the studio and into the Greek wilderness that enthralled Durrell the young naturalist. Duration: 2 hours approx.Show more
Winner of the Writers Guild Award for Best Radio Comedy and the Comedy.co.uk awards for Best Radio Sketch Show! Celia Imrie, Alison Steadman, John Bird and Rebecca Front are among the cast of these BBC Radio 4 comedy dramas from the writer and producers of Cabin Pressure. These six self-contained duologues, each one brimming with humour and charm, come from the pen of John Finnemore, author and star of the award-winning John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme. A Flock of Tigers 1934. Edmund and Dolorosa are sharing a train carriage and embarking on an unexpected adventure. Starring Charles Edwards and Celia Imrie. Wysinnwyg In the Sales Support Department of Willard & Son, new girl Kerry meets Adele. Starring Alison Steadman and Isy Suttie. Red-Handed Arriving home early, Joel is surprised by an unexpected visitor named Henry. Starring John Bird and Lawry Lewin. The Goliath Window It is 1820, and Mark and Luke have arranged an appointment in the vestry of St Anne's Church, Mayton Chennett. Starring Simon Kane and John Finnemore. English for Pony-Lovers In a German guest house, Elke is waiting to receive an English lesson from Lorna. Starring Rebecca Front and Beth Mullen. Hot Desk A receptionist and a security guard meet every day at 7am and 7pm to hand over a desk. Starring Matthew Baynton and Jenny Bede. With a star cast, memorable characters, witty dialogue and beautifully crafted plots, these heartwarming plays are an utter joy. Duration: 3 hours approxShow more
From the bestselling author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry comes an exquisite love story about Queenie Hennessy, the remarkable friend who inspired Harold 's cross-country journey. A runaway international bestseller, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry followed its unassuming hero on an incredible journey as he traveled the length of England on foot a journey spurred by a simple letter from his old friend Queenie Hennessy, writing from a hospice to say goodbye. Harold believed that as long as he kept walking, Queenie would live. What he didn 't know was that his decision to walk had caused her both alarm and fear. How could she wait? What would she say? Forced to confront the past, Queenie realizes she must write again. In this poignant parallel story to Harold 's saga, acclaimed author Rachel Joyce brings Queenie Hennessy 's voice into sharp focus. Setting pen to paper, Queenie makes a journey of her own, a journey that is even bigger than Harold 's; one word after another, she promises to confess long-buried truths about her modest childhood, her studies at Oxford, the heartbreak that brought her to Kingsbridge and to loving Harold, her friendship with his son, the solace she has found in a garden by the sea. And, finally, the devastating secret she has kept from Harold for all these years. A wise, tender, layered novel that gathers tremendous emotional force, The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy underscores the resilience of the human spirit, beautifully illuminating the small yet pivotal moments that can change a person 's life. Praise for The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy 'In the end, this lovely book is full of joy. Much more than the story of a woman 's enduring love for an ordinary, flawed man, it 's an ode to messy, imperfect, glorious, unsung humanity. . . . [Queenie 's] love song is for us. Thank you, Rachel Joyce.' The Washington Post 'Destined to change your world. One can 't help but see life, and the end of it, differently after experiencing this novel. Full of wisdom and heart, it will overwhelm its readers with a deep sensitivity.' Bookreporter '[A] beguiling follow-up . . . In telling Queenie 's side of the story, Joyce accomplishes the rare feat of endowing her continuing narrative with as much pathos and warmth, wisdom and poignancy as her debut. Harold was beloved by millions; Queenie will be, too.' Booklist (starred review) 'Delightful and dark . . . But Joyce is so deft that when the book is over and you close the cover, the darkness fades. What sticks with you is the light of Queenie 's unwavering love.' Minneapolis Star Tribune '[A] deeply affecting novel . . . Culminating in a shattering revelation, [Queenie 's] tale is funny, sad, hopeful: She 's bound for death, but full of life.' People 'Joyce 's writing at moments has a simplicity that sings. She captures hope best of all.' The Guardian 'Joyce has a wonderfully evocative turn of phrase and like her other books this is a delightful read. . . . Uplifting and moving.' Daily Express 'Joyce nicely calls the book a companion rather than a sequel. But The Love Song is bolder than a retread of the same material from another angle. . . . After two such involving novels, readers are bound to wish for a third.' The Telegraph '[Joyce] manages to both add depth to an already strong work and build something new and beautiful upon it.' The A.V. Club From the Hardcover edition.Show more
When Queenie Hennessy discovers that Harold Fry is walking the length of England to save her, and all she has to do is wait, she is shocked. Her note had explained she was dying. How can she wait? A new volunteer at the hospice suggests that Queenie should write again; only this time she must tell Harold everything. In confessing to secrets she has hidden for twenty years, she will find atonement for the past. As the volunteer points out, 'Even though you've done your travelling, you're starting a new journey too.' Queenie thought her first letter would be the end of the story. She was wrong. It was the beginning. Told in simple, emotionally-honest prose, with a mischievous bite, this is a novel about the journey we all must take to learn who we are; it is about loving and letting go. And most of all it is about finding joy in unexpected places and at times we least expect.Show more
Things like crowns had a troublesome effect on clever folks; it was best to leave all the reigning to the kind of people whose eyebrows met in the middle. Three witches gathered on a lonely heath. A king cruelly murdered, his throne usurped by his ambitious cousin. A child heir and the crown of the kingdom, both missing. The omens are not auspicious for the new incumbent, for whom ascending this tainted throne is a more complicated affair than you might imagine, particularly when the blood on your hands just won't wash off and you're facing a future with knives in it...Show more
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