No catches, no fine print just unconditional book loving for your children with their favourites saved to their own digital bookshelf.
New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop plus lots lots more...Find out more
Browse audiobooks narrated by Roger Allam, listen to samples and when you're ready head over to Audiobooks.com where you can get 3 FREE audiobooks on us
A collection of acclaimed radio retellings of Greek and Roman myths Andrew Rissik's powerful, uncompromising reimagining's of classic tales from Roman and Greek history were hailed as masterpieces when they first aired on BBC radio. Told in contemporary speech, they revitalised the ancient myths, making them fresh, relevant and accessible to a modern-day audience. This collection brings them together on audio for the first time, with stellar casts including Michael Sheen, Paul Scofield, Lindsay Duncan, David Harewood, Eleanor Bron, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Diana Rigg, Roger Allam, Toby Stephens, Anton Lesser and Robert Hardy. The Troy Trilogy - Praised by one critic as 'the greatest radio drama [anyone] could ever hear', this three-play sequence tells the tragic, timeless tale of the events leading up to and following the fall of Troy. In King Priam and His Sons, a child is born to Priam and his wife Hekabe, but the gods foretell disaster if he is allowed to live... The Death of Achilles resumes the story in the final year of the war, as Achilles quarrels with his supreme commander, Agamemnon. And in Helen at Ephesus, Troy has fallen, and as Agamemnon returns to face the judgement of his wronged wife Klytemnestra, Menelaos and Helen must begin the long spiritual journey towards forgiveness and self-knowledge. Dionysos - Based on Euripides' The Bacchae, this dark, provocative drama is the first of three plays examining the conflict between religion and state. Charismatic cult leader Dionysos arrives in Thebes preaching a gospel of wine and ecstasy. Threatened by his popularity, King Pentheus orders his arrest... The Art of Love - The second of the three-play cycle sees Roman poet Ovid sent into exile when his subversive ideas about love and freedom challenge the authority of the ageing Emperor Augustus. Resurrection - In the final play of the trilogy, the Roman governor of Judea, Pontius Pilate, clashes with troublesome, itinerant preacher Yeshua Ben Youssef. Cast and credits Written by Andrew Rissik Directed by Jeremy Mortimer The Troy Trilogy Toby Stephens, James Hayes, Oliver Cotton, Ian Hogg, Emma Fielding, Cassandra Sperry, Deborah Findlay, Michael Maloney, Geraldine Somerville, Paul Scofield, Lindsay Duncan, James Laurenson, Geoffrey Whitehead, Abigail Docherty, Jean-Marc Perret, Michael Sheen, Saeed Jaffrey, David Harewood, Julian Glover, Eleanor Bron Music by Nick Russell Pavier and David Chilton. Singer: Mia Soteriou. First broadcast BBC Radio 3: 28 November 1998 (King Priam and His Sons), 29 November 1998 (The Death of Achilles, Helen at Ephesus) Dionysos Chiwetel Ejiofor, Toby Stephens, Paul Scofield, Diana Rigg, Roger Allam, Pip Donaghy, Bruce Purchase, Jeffery Kissoon, Trevor Martin, Anna Carteret, Mali Harries, Yolanda Vazquez & Mia Soteriou Music by Mia Soteriou. First broadcast BBC Radio 3, 20 April 2003 The Art of Love/Resurrection Stephen Dillane, Juliet Aubrey, Penny Downie, Robert Hardy, Peter Eyre, Ian McNeice, James Laurenson, Ioan Meredith, Damian Lynch, Anton Lesser, David Calder, Julia Ford, Sam Dastor, Raad Rawi, John Rowe, Mia Soteriou, Chris Moran, James Hayes, Jon Glover and Danny Sapani Music by Mia Soteriou. Musicians: Mia Soteriou, Steve Bentley Kline, Merlin Shepherd, William Lyons First broadcast BBC Radio 3, 11 April 2004 ©2021 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd (P)2021 BBC Studios Distribution LtdShow more
The complete second series of the BBC radio comedy drama about a couple who have been married 'for ever', but are keeping the passion alive 'Sublimely funny, touching series... a work of supreme craftsmanship' Radio Times Joanna Lumley and Roger Allam return as the married couple who met in the Summer of Love and are still passionate about music, life - and each other. Once again, we listen in on their warm, witty 'conversations', which dance around topics big and small: from health scares and jealousy to disagreements about TV viewing and sourdough bread. There's laughter, bickering, banter - and some loving one-upmanship from both parties, as Roger gives Joanna a masterclass in dishwasher stacking, while Joanna instructs him on how to wave goodbye to departing guests. Approaching the end of a particularly turbulent year, Joanna makes a list of New Year's Resolutions - for Roger - and suggests their marriage needs a re-boot. 'Out the door?' is his response: but there's plenty of life left in this long, loving relationship, and many more discussions, questions and confessions yet to come... Created by award-winning writer and journalist Jan Etherington, and based on her own long marriage to Gavin Petrie (with whom she wrote the hit radio and TV series Second Thoughts and Faith in the Future), this sparkling comedy two-hander will resonate with anyone who's ever been in a couple. Starring Joanna Lumley and Roger Allam Produced and directed by Claire Jones A BBC Studios productionShow more
BBC radio productions of Dostoevsky's masterpieces, plus selected shorter fiction and bonus programmes exploring his life and work One of the most important and influential Russian writers of the 19th Century, Fyodor Dostoevsky is admired worldwide for his great realist novels, exploring questions of morality, philosophy and the nature of existence. This compilation contains the BBC radio productions of his four most famous novels - as well as three lesser-known works and two bonus documentaries - collected together for the first time. Crime and Punishment - When he tests out a horrific theory, young Raskolnikov finds himself pursued by the cunning investigator Porfiry Petrovich. This thrilling tale of guilt and redemption stars Barnaby Kay and Jim Norton. The Idiot - Arriving back in Russia after years spent abroad treating his epilepsy, Prince Mishkin learns the story of the woman who will dominate his life - the spoilt but captivating Nastasya... Dostoevsky's most personal novel stars Paul Rhys, Roger Allam and Lia Williams. Devils - Idealism curdles into murderous anarchy in this fresh, contemporary 3-part adaptation of Dostoevsky's terrifying masterpiece, starring Gary Lilburn, Jane Whittenshaw, Joseph Arkley and Jonathan Forbes. The Brothers Karamazov- The Karamazov family reunite for a meeting with their father to discuss Dmitry's inheritance. But the unpredictable Fyodor seems unwilling to play the game.... Stars Roy Marsden, Paul Hilton and Nicholas Boulton. The Friend of the Family - Russia, 1859, and the Manor of Stephanchikovo is thrown into chaos when a former sergeant sets himself up as an arbiter of morals and taste. David Suchet and Clive Merrison star in this farcical comedy. Bobok - Loitering in the cemetery after a funeral, a drunken writer overhears the conversations of the recently deceased corpses... This blackly comic short story is performed by Boris Isarov. Dream of a Ridiculous Man - A study in music and words of Dostoevsky's vision of an idyllic, prelapsarian world. Read by Ronald Pickup. Dostoevsky and Dangerous Ideas - John Gray reflects on the lessons Dostoevsky's novels teach us about the perils of misguided idealism. Dr Rowan Williams on Dostoevsky - The onetime Archbishop of Canterbury joins Susan Hitch to consider conflicting ideas about spiritual regeneration and existentialism, as embodied in Dostoevsky's characters. First published 1859 (The Friend of the Family), 1866 (Crime and Punishment), 1869 (The Idiot), 1872 (Demons), 1873 ('Bobok'), 1877 ('The Dream of a Ridiculous Man'), 1880 (The Brothers Karamazov)Show more
One of the greatest English authors of the 19th Century, George Eliot is renowned for her realistic storytelling and insight into the human psyche. This BBC Radio collection presents dramatisations of her five most famous novels, as well as an exploration of her life through her fictional characters. Adam Bede Summer, 1799, and in the Staffordshire village of Hayslope, one of Lisbeth Bede's sons has marriage on his mind... Eliot's haunting story of love betrayed and rewarded stars Thomas Arnold and Victoria Liddelle. The Mill on the Floss Free-spirited country girl Maggie Tulliver must look outside the love of her own family to find the fulfilment she craves. This classic tale of rejection and reconciliation stars Deborah Findlay, Jasmine Hyde, Tom Goodman-Hill and David Tennant. Silas Marner Reclusive, embittered miser Silas Marner finds salvation when he fosters a little foundling girl - but his life with Eppie is threatened when her biological father makes a claim on her... Starring George Costigan and Rebecca Callard. Middlemarch In 1830s England, passionate idealist Dorothea Brooke yearns to right society's wrongs. Starring Caroline Martin, Robert Glenister and Roger Allam. Daniel Deronda From the moment their eyes meet across a packed gaming room, Gwendolen Harleth and Daniel Deronda are irresistibly drawn to one another - and their fates become eternally and tragically entwined. Starring Anna Chancellor and Michael Perceval-Maxwell. In George Eliot: A Life in Five Characters, presenter Kathryn Hughes paints a portrait of the author through her key characters, as she talks to Eliot's biographer Philip Davis and authors Tessa Hadley, Sarah Moss, Sathnam Sangera, David Constantine and Kathy O'Shaughnessy. First published 1859 (Adam Bede), 1860 (The Mill on the Floss), 1861 (Silas Marner), 1871-72 (Middlemarch), 1876 (Daniel Deronda)Show more
All six episodes of the BBC radio comedy drama about a couple who have been married for over 40 years but are still passionate about life, love and each other Joanna Lumley and Roger Allam play a married couple who met in the Summer of Love and have stayed together ever since. Children of the Sixties, they are still free spirits, drawn together by their love for music and one another. We follow their conversations from the café to the kitchen table, taking in everyday chores, dealing with problems with long-held friendships and tackling their frustrations with each other. With warmth, wit and honesty, they talk about the indignities of ageing (he has a dodgy knee and is on statins, she resents her new, tri-focal glasses), their desire to still be seen as attractive and their fears and vulnerabilities around growing older. There’s jealousy and talk of affairs, confessions are made and long-held secrets are unearthed – but underlying it all is their enduring love for each other and their desire to keep the passion alive. Written by award-winning comedy writer and journalist Jan Etherington, and based on her own 35-year marriage, this gentle comedy will ring a bell with couples of all ages.Show more
Psychotherapist Martha is reasonably compassionate, but deep down she's losing patience. It seems all her clients want to be something they are not, and it's driving them (and her) out of their minds. There's Richard Fallon MP, who's convinced that promotion to the front bench is being denied him because of his obese son and a wife who lost all patience with him 20 years ago. Caroline, who is worried that instead of following the path of celebrity like her, her daughter may go on to study mere physics - thereby consigning her (and more importantly Caroline) to a life of unbearable ordinariness. Philip, who insists he isn't facing a crisis since his demotion from Good Morning Norfolk to a shopping channel, but whose new girlfriend is 30 years his junior and clearly on the make. Howard, a chef whose 33-year-old son Aaron is still trying to get a band off the ground, whilst looming resentfully over his parents' lives from the back bedroom. And Tony, Howard's boss at the restaurant whose wife thinks he needs therapy. He has no idea why. Mostly he wants to talk about why women are so weird and why he has absolutely no need of a therapist. However he would like Martha to give him a certificate proving his sanity, if possible. Across a series of 15-minute comedy vignettes, How Does that Make You Feel? offers a fly-on-the-wall view of Martha's sessions, each one shedding more light on the lives of her entertaining clients. Starring Frances Tomelty, Roger Allam, Marcella Riordan, Tim McInnerny, Cathy Belton and Rebecca Saire. Produced and directed by Eoin O'Callaghan.Show 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
THERE IS MAGIC BEYOND THE REALWORLD . . . EFFIE TRUELOVE has learned to travel through magical books to the Otherworld. MAXIMILIAN UNDERWOOD, Effie's classmate, is more interested in the dark and forbidden Underworld. When Effie and Maximilian both mysteriously vanish, their friends Raven, Lexy and Wolf don't know where to turn for help. Raven is a witch and her horse, Echo, has revealed that Effie is in deep danger and time is running out. To make things worse, Raven's mother, the author Laurel Wilde, is caught up in a plot with the ruthless billionaire Albion Freake, who will stop at nothing to become invincible . . . Where are Effie and Maximilian? Are their disappearances connected? And can Albion Freake's deadly plan be stopped?Show more
AFTER THE WORLDQUAKE, MAGIC IS SEEPING INTO OUR WORLD Effie Truelove has made a promise to keep her grandfather's magical books safe from danger. Whatever it takes. But it's not always easy when you're a pupil at the Tusitala School for the Gifted, Troubled and Strange. Together with her new school-friends, Maximilian, Wolf, Lexy and Raven, Effie must travel to the mysterious Otherworld and brave the terrifying Diberi, a secret organisation with plans that could destroy the entire universe.Show more
Meet Alfie and Annie Rose, Mum and Dad, Chessie the cat, the MacNallys down the road, and many many more, in this wonderful collection of 10 best-loved Alfie stories by Shirley Hughes. Read by Roger Allam and Roy Mcmillan. Includes: Alfie Gets in First, Alfie's Feet, An Evening at Alfie's, Alfie Gives a Hand, Alfie and the Big Boys, Alfie Wins a Prize, All About Alfie, Alfie's Christmas, Alfie Outdoors and Alfie and the Birthday Surprise.Show more
Joss Ackland, Roger Allam and Leslie Phillips star in this BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation of Victor Hugo’s classic novel.When poverty drives Jean Valjean to steal a loaf of bread from a baker’s window, it is an action that will haunt him for the rest of his life. A citizen of post-revolutionary France, he is sentenced to nineteen years’ hard labour. On his release, his fortunes change and he becomes a respectable businessman and member of society - and yet his past continues to dog him in the form of the sadistic Inspector Javert, who seems determined to pursue Valjean to the grave. A student uprising is gaining momentum in Paris, and barricades are being built around the city. Valjean’s adopted daughter, Cosette, has fallen in love with the young revolutionary Marius, and the lives of all three are in peril unless they can flee to safety. Some of the most significant moments in 19th Century history form the backdrop for Victor Hugo’s powerful story, in which love and heroism march in the face of poverty and social injustice.Show more
Cabin Pressure is set in the wing and a prayer world of a tiny, one-plane charter airline; staffed by two pilots, one on his way down, and one who was never up to start with. Whether it's dealing with a stuffed sheep, an angry princess or a rogue fruit tray, no job is too small, but many, many jobs are too difficult. Carolyn Knapp-Shappey, MJN Air's formidable boss, has employed two of the very cheapest pilots money can buy: Captain Martin Crieff, who's always wanted to fly and won't let a little thing like lack of ability stop him, and First Officer Douglas Richardson, smooth-voiced old sky god and eternal schemer. Passenger service is provided by the relentlessly cheery Arthur, proud inventor of both Surprising Rice and his own hat. Written by John Finnemore (John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme, The Now Show), Cabin Pressure stars Stephanie Cole as Carolyn, Benedict Cumberbatch as Martin, Roger Allam as Douglas and John Finnemore as Arthur. 'The more I listen to John Finnemore's Cabin Pressure, the more I think what a stonking masterpiece it is. Perfect in every department.' - Philip Pullman 'Unexpectedly brilliant' - Time Out 'An inspired new sitcom' - ObserverShow more
Check out the latest activities in our KidsZone.