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Pam Ayres; Stephen Merchant's stand-up

Poet and writer Pam Ayres; the verdict on Stephen Merchant's stand-up show; Downton Abbey and The Body Farm reviewed; DW Wilson, shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award.

With Mark Lawson.

Pam Ayres won Opportunity Knocks in 1975 and has been working as a writer, broadcaster and entertainer ever since. Best known for her comic poems about everyday life, Pam discusses life before and after fame, as she publishes a memoir.

Stephen Merchant, the co-creator with Ricky Gervais of The Office and Extras, has just embarked on his first ever stand-up comedy tour. Detached from his better-known partner and live on stage, how will Merchant fare? Stephen Armstrong saw the show last night and gives his verdict.

The Go-Between, L P Hartley's classic novel of a boy caught up in a web of deception, has been set to music in a new adaptation which receives its world premiere at the West Yorkshire Playhouse. Novelist Jane Rogers reviews.

Canadian author D W Wilson talks about his short story The Dead Roads, in which two old school friends compete for the affection of a free-spirited girl, whilst on a road-trip. The story is one of five shortlisted for this year's BBC National Short Story Award. The winning author, to be announced live on Front Row on Monday 26 September, receives £15,000.

Producer: Serena Field.

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30 minutes

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