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Rumpole and the Old Boy Net

4 Extra Debut. Rumpole's new pupil, Phillida Trant, causes trouble in a sordid little case of blackmail. Stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Jasmine Hyde and Nigel Anthony.

We rejoin Rumpole and Hilda in 1964. Hilda is worried about the choice of school for their son, Nicholas. Hilda wants Rumpole to become a Q.C. in order to afford a decent education for Nicholas. Claude Erskine-Brown is also trying to take silk but he's distracted by the arrival in chambers of Rumpole's new pupil, Miss Phillida Trant.

Phillida assists Rumpole in the defence of Mr Napier Lee, who's charged with running a disorderly house near Victoria Station, and with the more serious accusation of blackmail. Mr Lee admits his customers all went to public school. And the alleged victim of the blackmail was at Lawnhurst College with Mr Lee, which is why Lee won't break the unwritten law and sneak on his old school chum.

Erskine-Brown is prosecuting at the Old Bailey, where Phillida recognises a familiar face in the press box. Isobel Vincent was at Bennenden with Phillida, and now works for the Evening Standard. With help from Phillida, Isobel publishes the name of the alleged victim. This public identification leads to Rumpole's successful defence on the charge of blackmail, but also puts Phillida in danger of prosecution for contempt of court.

Phillida works hard to get out of trouble with the law but, instead, finds herself drawn towards Rumpole - and into trouble of a more personal kind.

Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Rumpole in a story written by John Mortimer and adapted by Richard Stoneman.

Directed by Marilyn Imrie.
A Catherine Bailey production for BBC Radio 4.

44 minutes

Last on

Thu 4 Jun 2020 14:15


Role Contributor
Rumpole Benedict Cumberbatch
Hilda Jasmine Hyde
Erskine-Brown Nigel Anthony
Sir Cuthbert Ewan Bailey
Mr Lee Ewan Bailey
Phillida Trant Cathy Sara
Judge Bullingham Stephen Critchlow
Stephen Lucas Stephen Critchlow
Director Marilyn Imrie
Adaptor Richard Stoneman
Author John Mortimer


  • Thu 20 Mar 2014 14:15
  • Thu 21 Sep 2017 11:15
  • Thu 21 Sep 2017 21:15
  • Thu 4 Jun 2020 14:15