Nigel Anthony Radio Plays

In September 2016 I was contacted by Clive Lever, concerning the well-known actor Nigel Anthony. He wrote as follows:

........I see from next week’s cast listings, that the judge in the much trailed trial of Helen Titchener is to be called Judge Loomis, and to be played by Nigel Anthony, the first time I’ve heard him in radio drama for a while. Looking on the internet, I discover that information about his contribution to radio drama is, to say the least, scant, and doesn’t do him justice, especially as he’s appeared in radio productions spanning almost sixty years.

The earliest appearance I know about is the original fifties production of Giles Cooper’s Unman Wittering Zygo – he was also in the remake for radio 4 in, I think the seventies. May I suggest he gets a page of his own?

Productions I remember him appearing in would include: Unman, Wittering and Zigo, first time as one of the boys, and the second time in the lead role of the young teacher; The Music Lovers (Fear On Four); Nicholas Nickleby; John Fowles’ The Collector; Waggoners Walk (1972 I believe).

    Clive adds.....
    I’ve just checked, and the original production of Unman, Wittering and Zigo went out in 1958, when Anthony was just seventeen. This means that with his upcoming appearance as Judge Loomis in the Archers’ Tithchener trial, his radio acting career will have spanned fifty-eight years – more if he featured in any radio productions prior to 1958 which I don’t know about. Is this a record? If so, perhaps it should be celebrated with a three-hour Nigel Anthony special in the R4 Extra Saturday Morning slot.

3 Sep 2016

Prompted by Clive's message, I asked for help in compiling a page. I found that Nigel Anthony has starred in hundreds of radio plays, with his first appearance on 11 November 1956, in a Children's Hour drama. He followed this with appearances in the 'Jennings' stories; firstly as Darbishire in early 1957, and subsequently as Venables. He is still involved in radio drama in 2016, sixty years later...

Barry Hodge and Alistair Wyper contacted me, and they have spent time listing an enormous number of plays and other programmes in which Nigel has been involved. Alistair tackled Radio 4 and the Home Service using BBC Genome; Barry investigated the various incarnations of Radio 3 and Radio 2 (formerly the Light Programme) and Clive Lever collated a large amount of other material from this site.

Here's Nigel's first radio credit in Children's Hour, located by Alistair:

For Older Children: ' Men of Letters '
11 Nov 56. A series of six plays written by Howard Jones. Ep. 2. "Captain Marryat". Captain Marryat served for many years in the Royal Navy and his experience provided him with authentic details for his stories of life at sea in the early nineteenth century. Alec Clunes as Captain Marryat. Other parts played by Nigel Anthony, Robert Bernal, Glyn Dearman, Richard George, John Glyn-Jones , Malcolm Graeme. Production by Eve Burgess.

I spoke to John Tydeman about Nigel (aka 'Nick') and his radio work and we agreed that there's a difficulty in choosing favourite productions because he's appeared in such a large number, invariably doing the job so well that you often don't notice he's there. Nevertheless John mentioned his own production of the Victor Pemberton trilogy "Our Family" as a particular favourite where Nigel plays Oliver and Nerys Hughes plays Letty, characters based on Victor's parents, in a story about a long and happy marriage which was eventually made into a book. The first play "The Trains Don't Stop Here Any More" begins at the time of WW1 and goes up to the 1930s. Play 2, "Don't talk to me about Kids" covers family life along with the horrors of another war; the concluding play sees the couple ending their days in a bungalow by the sea. And as the years pass Nigel goes from young to old so effectively; a wonderfully skilful performance in a touching family story.
(........Many thanks, John...- ND)

Gordon House adds:
.....Nigel is indeed a radio actor who deserves to be celebrated. I've worked with him many many times on World Service Drama productions - three of my favourite NA performances were as Rosencrantz in Stoppard's R&G are Dead, playing the lead in Richard Nelson's "Some Americans Abroad" and the King George V in Rose Tremain's "Who Was Emily Davison".



Nigel's pages are presented as follows:

1956-2017 Third Programme, Third Network and Radio 3
1956-1968 The Light Programme
1969-1996 Radio 2
1956-2009 Home Service & Radio 4 (A few selected items)
1960-1997 Thirty Minute Theatre
1974-2010 World Service
1961-1997 Serials
1960-2016 A note from Richard Wortley
2009-2016 Recent Work

1956-1968 The Light Programme
1956-1967 Home Service
1967-1976 Radio 4
1977-1992 Radio 4
1993-2017 Radio 4

Thank you Alistair, Barry, Clive, and Jim for all your work on these pages, and to Alison for doing most of the coding.

Finally, to repeat what I've said above - if any others would like to contribute to these pages, please contact me.

Nigel Deacon.

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