Press Office

Thursday 27 Nov 2014

Press Packs

BBC Arts, Music and Culture 2009 – literature A-M

The Afternoon Play – Radio 4

Broadcast on weekdays, The Afternoon Play produces original dramas which regularly attract the nation's leading actors and writers. Radio 4 commissions nearly 200 writers a year and The Afternoon Play is a showcase for fresh talent with 40 plays a year by writers new to radio.

Afternoon Readings – Radio 4

A short story or an abridged book, often by writers who are new to radio, is broadcast three afternoons a week.

Barack Obama...And The Lost Art Of Oratory – BBC Two

The remarkable ascent of Barack Obama to the presidency of the United States has been propelled as much by his exceptional skill as an orator and the emotive power of his words, as by any other factor. On the podium, on television, on radio and the internet, his speeches have inspired millions of Americans and captured the imagination of the world. Alan Yentob joins the crowds at the inauguration in Washington, in thrall to Obama's words, and traces the awesome power of speech from Aristotle and Cicero to Lincoln and Kennedy, Churchill and Hitler to George W. Bush and Sarah Palin... from the silver-tongued to the tongue-tied, from the sublime to the ridiculous. There will be an online presence and other programming across the BBC.

BBC Radio 7

BBC Radio 7 gives listeners another chance to hear some of the best of radio's huge archive of dramas and readings. Highlights include a reading by Sam West of E.M. Forster's classic novel A Passage To India and a dramatisation of Dickens's David Copperfield, starring Sheila Hancock, Timothy Spall and Miriam Margolyes.

Book At Bedtime – Radio 4

Modern classics, new works by leading writers and literature from around the world are broadcast on weekday evenings.

Bookclub – Radio 4

On the first Sunday in the month, James Naughtie and a group of readers talk to leading authors about their novels.

Book Of The Week – Radio 4

Radio 4 presents a selection of non-fiction, biography, autobiography, travel, diaries, essays, humour and history.

The Classic Serial – Radio 4

Every Sunday, The Classic Serial presents works that have reached classic status, or are on their way to achieving it. From medieval history to 19th-century novels to modern classics, via poetry and non-fiction, the cream of British acting talent perform in dramatisations by leading writers. As part of The Classic Serial, "Neglected Classics" also gives the audience a chance to hear more than 20 lesser-known works of classic fiction every year.

The Complete George Smiley – Radio 4

In spring 2009, Radio 4 presents a complete dramatisation of John le Carré's eight Smiley novels. Bespectacled, tubby, eternally middle-aged, deceptively ordinary, constantly cuckolded, morally perplexed and steel-trap-minded George Smiley is a man said to possess "the cunning of Satan and the conscience of a virgin". Smiley, to be played by a leading actor, is one of the most brilliantly realised characters in British fiction and one of the very few to have an iconic status comparable to Sherlock Holmes. Gripping and sophisticated thrillers, the eight novels are also profound studies of the British governing class and its institutions during the long years of the Cold War.

Days Like This – Radio Scotland

Irvine Welsh, Hardeep Singh Kohli, Roddy Woomble, Jamie Andrew, Evelyn Glennie and Siobhan Redmond introduce a new BBC Radio Scotland series presenting listeners' stories of a significant and special day in their lives.

Drama On 3 – Radio 3

On Sunday evenings, Radio 3 features new, full-length productions of classical stage plays as well as new plays and adaptations. Forthcoming highlights include an adaptation of Dostoevsky's The Gambler, Shakespeare's Henry VIII, Marlowe's Edward II and a new drama by Dusty Hughes, My Brother, Mrs Besant And The Ban Yan Tree.

Dr Johnson – Radio 4

Marking the third centenary of the birth of Dr Johnson, Radio 4 presents a dramatisation of Boswell's Life Of Samuel Johnson and a 21st-century take on his Tour To The Hebrides with Robbie Coltrane and John Sessions.

Enid Blyton – BBC Four

Perhaps the most famous children's storyteller of all, Enid Blyton captured youthful imaginations by the thousand. This dramatisation tells the story of the shaping of Enid's own imagination and explores how the reassuring order of her fictional worlds increasingly contrasted with her complex personal life.

Friday Play – Radio 4

Cutting edge, contemporary, hard-hitting drama is broadcast on Friday evenings.

From Hay To Timbuktu – BBC Two Wales

Worlds apart in culture but sharing the same line of longitude, four students travel from second-hand books capital Hay-on-Wye to its municipal twin Timbuktu, the home of some of Africa's oldest manuscripts. How will their African experience enhance the students' literary abilities?

The Inconstant Moon – Radio 4

Marking the 40th anniversary of man's first steps on the Moon, writer Jeanette Winterson celebrates lunar myths throughout the centuries.

I Was... – Radio 4

Four cultural icons – Dudley Moore, Ernest Hemingway, Douglas Adams and David Lean – are profiled from the point of view of people who worked for them.

Kick Into Reading – BBC Two Wales

A group of football coaches and players from Cardiff City FC join forces with local school children to develop storytelling skills as part of the National Literacy Trust's Kick Into Reading programme.

Mr Ripley Novels – Radio 4

In Spring 2009, BBC Radio 4 dramatises all of Patricia Highsmith's Mr Ripley novels – The Talented Mr Ripley, Ripley Under Ground, Ripley's Game, The Boy Who Followed Ripley and Ripley Under Water.

My Story – BBC One

My Story searches for amazing true stories in Britain, which will become five presenter-led programmes and turned into books. BBC Learning will manage a UK-wide campaign to encourage the writing and submission of stories.


BBC Drama has a rich history of producing much-loved and critically-acclaimed adaptations for television. It attracts the best acting, writing and production talent, creating a diverse spectrum of work, loved by viewers around the world, including Cranford; Lark Rise To Candleford; Tess Of The D'Urbervilles as well as the forthcoming Small Island and Emma.

Emma – BBC One

Jane Austen's masterpiece is adapted by Sandy Welch into a fresh, funny and perceptive, four-hour serial for Autumn 2009. Sandy Welch previously adapted Jane Eyre and North And South, and won a Bafta prize for Our Mutual Friend.

Cranford – BBC One

Dame Judi Dench, Imelda Staunton, Francesca Annis, Julia McKenzie and Jim Carter return in the popular, award-winning drama about the people of Cranford, in a two-part BBC One special for Christmas 2009, written by Heidi Thomas and based on original material and novellas by Elizabeth Gaskell.

The Day Of The Triffids – BBC One

A modern, gripping adaptation of John Wyndham's best-selling post-apocalyptic novel, The Day Of The Triffids is an unmissable television event, fast-paced, futuristic and electrifying.

Small Island – BBC One

From the multi-award winning bestseller by Andrea Levy, Small Island is a landmark BBC One drama by Paula Milne and Sarah Williams. A powerful love story, it is set against the epic backdrop of the Second World War and Caribbean immigration in the Forties.

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