Radio Drama Company: Familiar faces from the 1970s
Digital Content Producer, About The BBC Blog
The BBC's Radio Drama Company has been home to many a familiar face (as well as voice) over the years. As part of an occasional blog series we look back at actors who have been part of the company, decade by decade.
This installment features actors from the 1970s:
Clive Swift started out in the Radio Drama Company in the 1970s and went on to star in many TV shows including playing long-suffering Richard Bucket to Patricia Routledge's Hyacinth in BBC comedy Keeping Up Appearances.
Known to millions as Gail in Coronation Street, Helen Worth started out with the Radio Drama Company when she was 21. Here she is pictured in A Handful of Thieves a BBC One drama from 1969.
Anthony Daniels was a recipient of the Carleton Hobbs Bursary. After his time in the RDC, his voice became familiar to viewers as the robot C3PO in Star Wars (C3PO is pictured here with R2D2 for Children in Need in 2015).
Anthony Daniels discusses the BBC's Radio Drama Carleton Hobbs Bursary
Anthony Daniels really valued his time as a member of the Radio Drama Company. In the audio clip above (from 2003) he describes the importance of the Carleton Hobbs Bursary on his career:
"I've always thought the training I had at drama school and the BBC helped me find the voice for this wonderful golden character... When I left (the RDC) although I'd got another job I was very very sad, I felt very at home there and what a good basic training..."
Peter Woodthorpe also started out in the RDC. He played Gollum in the 1981 Radio 4 13-hour dramatisation of Lord of the Rings, reprising a role he'd first created in Ralph Bakshi's 1978 animated film of the book. Here he is pictured as Reg Trotter in Only Fools and Horses from 1983.
Pauline Letts, another RDC veteran from the 1970s, went on to play Don Brennan's mother in Coronation Street. Here she is in On The Up in 1991.
Michael Cochrane, who currently plays Oliver Sterling in Radio 4 drama The Archers, is also an alumnus of the Radio Drama Company from this period. He can currently be seen in The Crown and is pictured here with Sara Coward who is also an RDC alumnus and former Carleton Hobbs bursary recipient.
Selina Cadell is another familiar face from television who started out in the RDC, here she is pictured in The Lady Vanishes from the 2012 BBC One remake of the Hitchcock film.
His voice is known to millions as David Archer in Radio 4's The Archers, and Tim Bentinck also made his first forays into radio as part of the RDC after being selected through what is now the Carleton Hobbs Bursary Award.
Pictured here in BBC One's Pie in the Sky Richard Griffiths needs little introduction. His screen credits include Withnail and I, The History Boys and Harry Potter. But before the big screen came knocking he also cut his teeth as part of the BBC's Radio Drama Company in the 1970s, again after being selected for the Carleton Hobbs Bursary Award.