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Last on

Sun 27 Sep 2009 13:30 BBC Radio 4

30 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 06 August 2009

As a tribute to the late Keith Waterhouse, writer Blake Morrison goes in search of the world evoked by his best-loved novel, Billy Liar: the north of England on the cusp of the 1960s. The story of a frustrated young man in a northern town who escapes from reality into vivid fantasies of power and glory, Billy Liar captured the public imagination. It became a play, a film, a musical and even a TV series.

Blake travels to Leeds to explore the way in which Waterhouse's life there overlaps with Billy's story, and talks to long-term residents and local historians about how the city, and the society depicted in the novel, has changed. The programme also features contributions from Barbara Taylor Bradford, Barry Cryer and Sir Gerald Kaufman MP.


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