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Alan Bennett, Terry Pratchett, The Duck House, The Great Train Robbery

Duration:
30 minutes
First broadcast:
Wednesday 11 December 2013

With Mark Lawson

Alan Bennett gives his reaction as his drama The History Boys is named the nation's favourite play by the English Touring Theatre's 21st Anniversary poll.

A forthcoming two-part television drama, starring Jim Broadbent and Luke Evans, is going to show both sides of the 1963 Great Train Robbery. Firstly from the point of view of the criminals and then of the police who tracked them down afterwards. Written by Chris Chibnall, creator of the hit TV series Broadchurch, the two dramas are timed for the 50th anniversary of the crime - a raid on a Royal Mail train that netted the then-record haul of £2.6m. Crime writer NJ Cooper reviews.

Terry Pratchett's 40th Discworld novel brings the wonders of steam-power to Ankh-Morpork when enterprising young Dick Simnel builds a steam engine. It's 30 years since Terry Pratchett began writing about Discworld, and he talks to Mark about how the ideas for stories appear, what he does with these ideas if they aren't quite ready to be put into a book, and how he and his assistant Rob Wilkins have been teaching Terry's voice-activated software to recognise some of Discworld's more unlikely names.

The Duck House is a new political satire focusing on the 2009 Expenses Scandal. Labour MP Robert Houston, played by Ben Miller, is planning to escape defeat in the next election by defecting to the Tory party when the scandal breaks. Houston must try to persuade the Tories he is squeaky-clean while trying to hide the duck house he put on expenses. Political journalist Andrew Rawnsley reviews.

Produced by Ella-mai Robey.

  • The Great Train Robbery

    The-great-train-robbery

    The Great Train Robbery is on 18th and 19th December at 8pm on BBC1. It will also be available on DVD from 6th January 2014. 


  • Terry Pratchett

    Terry Pratchet

    Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett is available now in hardback now.


  • The Duck House

    The Duck House

    The Duck House is at the Vaudeville Theatre in London until 29th March 2014


    Image: Simon Shepherd, Ben Miller and Debbie Chazen in The Duck House. Photo by Tristram Kenton

Credits

Presenter
Mark Lawson
Interviewed Guest
Alan Bennett
Interviewed Guest
NJ Cooper
Interviewed Guest
Terry Pratchett
Interviewed Guest
Andrew Rawnsley
Producer
Ella-mai Robey

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