Radio 4 Extra Newsletter - Friday 20th July
New Programmes Coming Up
Crime and Thrillers
Fact and Fiction
The 4 O'Clock Show
It’s funny women to the fore this Saturday: Pauline McLynn talks to Ed Doolan at 8am, June Whitfield looks back over her radio career at 9am and there’s late night stand-up from New York with Whoopi Goldberg at 10pm. More details below.
Two weeks ago, Barry Cryer’s Comedy Greats looked at the role of the BBC Transcription Service in adapting shows for audiences overseas. So we were delighted to hear from Gary Critcher, who began his first job with this department back in 1976 - moving on to look after the Tape Library from 1979-1983. Gary explained: "I was in charge of releasing and wiping tapes - only after a producer had put pen to paper to authorize it though". Lists were periodically agreed in order to create shelf space - and to save the BBC money by re-using the tape stock. Dealing with both radio and TV archive, Gary prides himself on saving the 1964 'Top Of The Pops' TV master tapes - a pilot sent out to overseas broadcasters to see if they would be interested in a weekly version. And just what did those two 10 inch reels contain? A mere three 'live' Beatles tracks and two interviews with the Fab Four. Happily all 3 tracks were later released on a 'Beatles at the Beeb' album.
Gary also recalls the very hefty sounding 16 inch 78 rpm Transcription shellac discs from the days of Hancock’s Half Hour - which reminds me to alert you to listen out next weekend for our exciting re-discovery. Courtesy of the late Bob Monkhouse’s very own archive - we’re playing a sketch starring the usual Hancock team that - as far as we're aware - has not been heard in over 50 years.More details in our next newsletter, which after nearly 10 years, will have a fresh new design.
Starting next week - in line with the rest of the BBC - our newsletter will look like our webpages, with better links to our programme highlights and better images. You’ll automatically receive the new look newsletter - so you don’t have to do anything.
More of our listener Tweets to close, but on now to our highlights for the week ahead:
New Programmes Coming Up
The Diary of Samuel Pepys : Omnibus - Saturday
I Should Say So - Sunday
Mel's Mix: The Best Of The 4 O’Clock Show - Sunday
Book At Beachtime: SJ Watson - Before I Go To Sleep (with Stella Gonet, pictured) - Monday to Friday
The 4 O'Clock Show - Monday to Friday
I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue - Monday
Brian Gulliver's Travels - Monday
Loose Ends - Monday
Sketchorama - Monday
Graceless – Monday to Friday
Ambridge Extra -Tuesday and Thursday
On The Ceiling - Wednesday
My Teenage Diary - Wednesday
The Guessing Game - Thursday
Bleak Expectations - Thursday
Come Away, Come Away - Thursday and Friday
The Navy Lark - Friday
The Write Stuff - Friday
You can find a link to this week's schedule here
Take It from June
Comedy legend June Whitfield talks to radio drama director Enyd Williams about her amazing career in BBC radio - spanning over 60 years. You can hear this selection of memorable programmes featuring June:Take it From Here (April 1957);Crowther's Crowd (December 1963);The Frankie Howerd Show (August 1966):Punch Line (May1980);The News Huddlines,(October 2000);Murder At The Vicarage December 1993).
Saturday at 9am and 7pm
Roald Dahl’s classic story of a 5 year old genius is narrated by Lenny Henry and stars Lauren Mote, Claire Rushbrook, Nichola McAuliffe and Lizzy Watts. Dramatised by Charlotte Jones, and directed by Claire Grove it was first broadcast in 2009.
Sunday at 9am, 4.30pm and 5am
1/6 Honeytrap Hotel
The Beagle team are surveillance operatives who will do anything in the name of national security. Harry Venning and Neil Brand’s comedy stars Richard Lumsden, Nina Conti, Kevin Eldon and Daniel Kaluuya. Directed by Katie Tyrrell, it was first broadcast in 2009.
Tuesday at 9.30am, and 2.30am
Boogie Up The River
Ser 1 1/6 I’ll See You On Tower Pier at 11
Timothy Spall (pictured) is Mark Wallington, who, together with his faithful companion Boogie, sets out to discover the source of the Thames. Also starring Ronald Herdman, Jon Glover and Gary Parker. Written by Mark Wallington, directed by Caroline Leddy and first broadcast in 1992.
Wednesday at 9am, and 2am
The Wordsmiths At Gorsemere
Ser 2 1/6 21 st July 1799
Sue Limb’s historical comedy set in the Lake District. Dorothy worries about William’s impending marriage and Samuel Tailor Cholericke falls from grace. Starring Denise Coffey Geoffrey Whitehead, Simon Callow, Miriam Margolyes and Chris Emmett. Directed by Jonathan James Moore and first broadcast in 1987.
Thursday at 9am and 2am
Four Jonses and a Jenkins
1/6 September: Watch The Birdie
This everyday story of sheep, sin and scholarship under the shadow of the Long Mynd, stars Rebecca Front, Geoffrey Whitehead, Michael Fenton Stevens and Nickolas Grace. Written by Sue Limb and directed by Jonathan James Moore, it was first broadcast in 2000.
Thursday at 5pm and 5am
The American comedienne and actress displays her wicked and very adult humour to a New York audience, in a show recorded in 2006.
Saturday at 10pm
On The Town with The League of Gentlemen
1/6 A Guest At The Dentons
Mark Gatiss, Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton all wrote and star in this dark comedy, which reveals the exploits of the resident misfits of ‘Spent’. It later transferred to TV and a new town - Royston Vasey. Directed by Sarah Smith and first broadcast in 1997.
Sunday at 11pm
John Shuttleworth’s Open Mind
Being sensible and pragmatic, the singer/songwriter is just the person to investigate unsolved phenomena. Aided of course by his agent, Ken, and this week’s guest, Patrick Mower. Stars Graham Fellows and first broadcast in 2006.
Sunday at 11.30pm
Rudy’s Rare Records
Ser 1/4 Take Me Home, Country Roads
When his Dad is taken ill, a reluctant Adam is forced to help out in his record shop. Written by Danny Robins and Dan Tetsell, starring Lenny Henry, Larrington Walker and Joe Jacobs, directed by Lucy Armitage and first broadcast in 2008.
Thursday at 11.30pm
Big Town All Stars
Ser 1 1/4 If You Scratch My Back
Kenny is desperate to give up teaching Geography, and decides the only thing to do is to join a band. Starring Stephen Tompkinson, Nicola Walker, Adrian Scarborough, Doon MacKichan and Meera Syal. Written byBill Dare, directed by Gareth Edwards and first broadcast in 2000.
Friday at 11pm
Operation Lightening Pegasus
What really happened at the Fall of Troy? Was the episode of the Wooden Horse as heroic as Homer would have it? Or was his Iliad a cover-up, for what was in fact a military fiasco? Alick Rowe’s comedy stars Timothy West, Joy Harrison, Neil Stacey, Christian Rodska and Henry Stamper. Directed by Shaun MacLaughlan and first broadcast in 1981.
Saturday at 6am, 4pm and 4 am
The Diary of Samuel Pepys Omnibus
It's 1664 and Sam's thoughts turn increasingly towards the ladies in his life. His wife, Elizabeth, meanwhile, is puzzled by the attention she's receiving from Sam's Uncle Wight.Starring Kris Marshall, Katherine Jakeways, John Biddle, Gareth Pierce, Manon Edwards and Ewan Bailey and directed by Kate McAll.
Saturday at 12midday and 2am
Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic tale of the high seas. When young Jim Hawkins discovers a treasure map in a pirate's chest in his parents' inn, he is drawn into a world of danger and adventure.Starring Ben Rodska, Peter Jeffrey, Hugh Paddick, Glyn Houston and Geoffrey Whitehead. Dramatised by John Scotney, directed by Martin Jenkins and first broadcast in 1987.
Sunday at 1.30pm & 3.30am
When Jamaican Hortense Roberts emigrates to London, she encounters prejudice, war and Love. Andrea Levy’s gripping novel is dramatised by Pat Cumper and stars Nadine Marshall, Lyndsey Marshal, Don Gilet and Stephen Tompkinson Directed by Sally Avens, it was first broadcast in 2006.
Monday to Friday at 2pm
Ivan and the Dogs
Hattie Naylor’s intriguing play of a young Russian boy who left his home at the age of 4, and spent 2 years living on the street with a pack of wild dogs. Starring Tom Glenister, directed by Paul Dodgson and first broadcast in 2009.
Tuesday at 11.15am, 9.15pm and 4.15am
On The Ceiling
High up on the wooden scaffolding tower of the Sistine Chapel, two fresco plasterers get on with the day’s work, preparing the ceiling for their boss Michelangelo, who has not bothered to turn up again. As they do so, they bemoan the uselessness of the great master. Nigel Planer’s light hearted drama stars Phil Daniels, Bryan Dick, Gary Waldhorn and Roger Lloyd Pack. Directed by Mary Peate it was first broadcast in 2009.
Wednesday at 10am, 3pm and 3am
The Devil’s Music
Rehearsing for the Brecon Jazz Festival, Megan keeps playing a certain melody but where does it come from? Her musical detective trail leads to the 1880s and the visit to Swansea of a choir of emancipated slaves. Alan Plater’s drama stars Rake Ayaola, Margaret John, Helen Griffin, Rhodri Hugh and Don Warrington. It was directed by Alison Hindell and first broadcast in 2001.
Wednesday to Friday at 11.15am, 9.15pm and 4.15 am
Lew Wallace’s epic tale of the broken friendship of a Roman and a Jew is dramatised by Catherine Czerkawska, stars Jamie Glover, Samuel West, Phyllis Calvert and Michael Gambon. It was directed by Glyn Dearman and first broadcast in 1995.
Thursday and Friday (Monday and Tuesday) at 10am, 3pm and 3am
When fate puts a small band of rebels in control of the most powerful spaceship in the known galaxy their enigmatic leader Roj Blake must weld this disparate group into a unified fighting force if they are to topple the corrupt Federation and restore liberty and justice to Earth. Written by Ben Aarronovitch, based on Terry Nation’s creation, and starring Derek Riddell, Colin Salmon, India Fisher, Frances Barber, Craig Kelly, Dean Harris and Daniela Nardini.
Sunday at 6pm and 12 midnight
Abby and her sister Zara are not real people. They were made, created by pan-dimensional beings - the Grace - to help save space and time. Given special powers, they're still learning what they can do. Having completed their mission they are left to fend for themselves. Starring Ciara Janson, Laura Doddington, Fraser James and Colin Spaull.
Monday to Friday at 6pm and 12 midnight
Crime and Thrillers
Murder in Mesopotamia
An army nurse arrives on an archaeological dig to care for the wife of a celebrated archaeologist. Soon Hercule Poirot’s little grey cells are put the test when a murder occurs. Starring John Moffatt, Dorothy Tutin, Becky Hindley, William Franklyn, John Hartley and Norman Rodway. Dramatised by Michael Bakewell, directed by Enyd Williams and first broadcast in 1994.
Monday to Friday at 6am, 1pm, 8pm and 1am
Dead on Read
An inexperienced young jockey is employed by a well respected trainer, but jealousy and murder soon follow. This Dick Francis thriller is read by John Lloyd-Fillingham and produced by Joanna Reardon.
Tuesday and Wednesday at 6.30am, 1.30pm, 8.30pm and 1.30am
Who Killed Zebedee
In Wilkie Collin’s murder mystery, a dying man makes a confession to a Roman Catholic priest. Read by Ronald Pickup and produced by Joanna Reardon
Thursday and Friday at 630am, 1.30pm, 8.30pm and 1.30am
Fact and Fiction
Ed Doolan Interviews Pauline McLynn
Actress and author Pauline McLynn chats to the West Midlands radio DJ and chooses her favourite tunes.
Saturday at 8am, 4pm and 2am
I Like Spike
Roy Hudd (pictured) entertains an appreciative audience with a selection of readings from the pen of the unique Spike Milligan, who also makes an appearance. Produced by John Browell and first heard in 1979.
Sunday at 5.30pm and
Book at Beachtime
Before I Go To Sleep
Each morning Christine relearns her personal history, as she forgets it all when she sleeps. This compelling debut thriller by SJ Watson is read by Stella Gonet and produced by Lucy Collingwood.
Monday to Friday at 2.30pm
Three stories of desire and yearning, set in the dark days of the second world war. Written by Frances Wyndham and produced by Duncan Minshull.
The Facts of Life. A teacher learns a lesson when he gives a talk to a boy leaving at the end of term. Read by Bill Nighy.
Dear Derek. Can a young man bring some excitement into the life of a bored middle-class lady? Read by Emily Woof.
The Matchlight. A lonely young woman meets an injured soldier. Read by Amanda Root.
Tuesday to Thursday at 11am, 9pm and 4am
The 4 O'Clock Show
The 4 O'Clock Show
Mel Giedroyc presents the weekday family show, with a mix of conversation, entertainment and stories.
Let's hear from Elizabeth Clark, Senior Content Producer on The 4 O'Clock Show:
We’re celebrating the Olympic Games this week with a brand new 4 O’clock Show story. Camp Gold is written by the gold-medal winning athlete Christine Ohuruogu. It tells the story of what a talented group of children get up to when they attend a summer sports camp. We’ll hear from the author on Monday’s programme when she talks to Colin Murray about her preparations for London 2012. The story has been read for us by Blue Peter’s sportiest presenter Helen Skelton and all week, Helen will be recalling some of her biggest triumphs such as her record-breaking solo kayak along the Amazon, her ultra-marathon through the Namibian Desert and her tight rope walk between the towers of the Battersea Power Station.
If you’re not following the Olympics, there’s still plenty to look forward in the days ahead. Monday finds Mel eating a slice of the incredible ‘Herman the German Friendship Cake’, and on Tuesday we’ll celebrate the birthday of Harry Potter author JK Rowling. DJ Mike Read reveals a passion for creating art from confectionary on Wednesday’s show while on Thursday, Mark Stephen goes beach combing along the sands of Filorth near Fraserburgh in the north of Scotland. On Friday’s programme, we hear from Jeff Kinney, author of the hugely successful Diary of a Wimpy Kid series of books. Next weekend sees the UK release of the latest movie version of the books - Dog Days.
And finally, if like to guess the destinations of our daily Magical Mystery Tour, here’s a little clue for you. All of this week’s locations are to be found in the Olympic city of London. Go Team GB!
Mel's Mix: The Best of the 4 O'Clock Show
Mel Giedroyc picks the best bits of The 4 O'Clock Show. Caravanning with actor Patrick Duffy aka Bobby Ewing, singing Gaelic songs and jumping out of an aeroplane.
Sunday at 4pm
A last word on the BBC Transcription Service. According to our office boffin Mik Wilkojc - some early programmes were transferred to vinyl for flights overseas, because of the fear that going over the North Pole would erase early tapes! Honestly, every pub quiz team needs a Mik.
Many thanks again for another cracking set of Tweets this week. We read them all - so please keep them coming via Twitter to @BBCradio4extra:
Couldn't resist any longer; had to dig out another adapter to replace my broken one so I can listen to @BBCRadio4extra.
"I didn't recognise you." "Why not?" "I've never seen you before." The Goon Show @BBCRadio4extra . You don't get that on the Today Program.
Will be timing my lunch hour to listen to Agatha Raisin and Hammond Innes - wonderful @BBCRadio4extra !
Classic drama on R4 Extra ‘Lorna Doomed.’
Come up to bed! Listening to the Comedy Club on @BBCRadio4extra :-) Happy Monday evening all & #nosda if you're off to sleep x
Y'know why I love listening to @BBCRadio4extra? It is impossible for the end credits to be squashed so small you cannot read them.
And my quick thanks for a smashing email and a special hello to huge 4 Extra fan, June Bowden and her guide dog Rosa.
I’ll leave you with next week's schedule here.
BBC Radio 4 Extra
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