Notices 2007

Susan-Jane Arevalo, who appears on our radio writers page as Susan-Jane Harrison, has a play "The Quetzal" being broadcast on Shoestring Radio, USA. Click on the link below and then on "Listen Now" under Shoestring Radio Theatre. Part 1 is available from 22-29 December 2007; part 2 is online from Saturday to Saturday a week later. http://shoestring.org/listen.html#computer

Alison Plowden died in July 2007. I knew very little about her work, though was aware of her excellent adaptation of "Other Paths to Glory" by Anthony Price, and her dramatisation of a police mystery by Catherine Aird.

Barry Pike and Roger Bickerton have compiled a page about her radio work, and this is now on-line. See the WRITERS page.

More interesting reviews of recent BBC Radio by a BBC fan in New York:
Larry Slade: see his website for comments on:

Solo behind the Iron Curtain by Tracy Spottiswoode
The woman from the north, by Bernard MacLaverty
Forty-Three Fifty-Nine by Mike Walker and John Dryden

New article by Gil Swain on the production by Raymond Raikes, broadcast in 1972. Biographical details on nearly all of the cast, including Deryck Guyler, Robin Browne, David Gooderson and Norman Shelley. Let us know what you think.

Greg Linden has compiled an interesting page about the writer Jane Poncia, who has four BBC radio plays to her credit. She lives in Boston, Ma, USA, but comes originally from Wales. See the Writers page.

Gil Swain has recently suggested that a section of the website be devoted to "the cast" - the actors who make radio drama possible. Gil's preliminary page is on-line. I'm very grateful when people take the initiative like this. It's what the site was set up for.

Clive Lever informs me that a series of Les Barker material was broadcast on radio 2 in the early to mid 90s, called "Mrs. Ackroyd explores her roots". Does anyone have a recording? Perhaps BBC7 would re-broadcast it if we could find a copy. There were six 30-minute programmes, broadcast once a week, just before Christmas.

Some of you may already have visted this site; it's on our links page. http://www.wirelesstheatrecompany.co.uk

I've just heard from Mariele Temple that more drama downloads are available. They've had 18,000 hits since May, which is very pleasing. Amongst their new downloads are:

Comedy from sketch group IN THE MEANTIME
A two-hander called THE WOMAN INSIDE

They have also recorded NO CAUSE FOR ALARM, a comedy by Gareth Rubin, which will soon be online, and are presently recording DREAM ME A WRITER by Simon Farquhar, whose first radio play, CANDY FLOSS KISSES has been heard on radio 4 (and repeated in March this year). These downloads are free. Please pay them a visit.....7 Aug 07

I am grateful to Bob Thirsk who is assembling lists of radio plays by year. These can be found by clicking on RADIO PLAYS followed by PLAYS BY YEAR followed by BOB THIRSK'S LISTS. ....4 Aug 07

I am very sad to report the death of Rodney Wingfield; radio playwright and crime writer, whom I had known since 1994.

He was instrumental in setting up this website, giving valuable help (and contacts) at a stage when I was tempted to give up. This is not the place for an obituary (there are plenty of these already on the net), but my sense of loss is a measure of the man.

He was a hugely talented radio writer and crime novelist, and a warm-hearted man of great integrity.

'You that would judge me, do not judge alone
This book or that...
Think where man's glory most begins and ends,
And say my glory was I had such friends.'

N.D. 2 Aug 07

Jeremy has begun to expand his website; it's at an early stage, but his collection of recordings is not; he's been recording drama, comedy and Gilbert & Sullivan (live and broadcast) since 1958. His site is well worth a visit, and if you have rare recordings, particularly G&S, Jeremy would like to hear from you. To repeat what I said a few months ago: the Jeremy Stevenson Archive is probably the best private archive of off-air BBC recordings (comedy, drama and G&S) in the UK. ...26 Jul 07


Jo Hodder of the Society of Authors has supplied shortlists for the Imison and Tinniswood drama awards - for plays broadcast during 2006. Details on those pages. ....18 Jul 07

I am sorry to report the death of T.C.Hudson, aged 97. He was the author of "Murder Remembered", which some of you will know, broadcast in 1970. Only last month he lent me (via a friend) a recording of the play which I've cleaned up and archived. ....17 Jul 07


Many thanks to "Rocco Siefert" (is this your real name?) who has sent me some excellent vintage plays. I do not know who you are ... cannot trace your email address. Please let me know.


An interesting piece by Mike Harris, one of our best-known authors, entitled Writing for Radio, is now on our Radio Plays page, reproduced by permission of Edinburgh University Press. This is taken from The Handbook of Creative Writing edited by Steven Earnshaw, published April 2007 at £18.99. The EUP website is at .....http://www.eup.ed.ac.uk

Another Mike Harris article will appear shortly. .........Thanks Mike - and thanks EUP.- ......ND.

One other thing - the ARTICLES page is getting rather full and is being reorganised. Comments welcome.


.........from Jeremy Stevenson


May I, through the good offices of your excellent website, make an appeal? Does anyone know the whereabouts of any of the “Bilbow” family?

Antony Bilbow used to read the above mentioned stories on the BBC Light Programme. They were usually transmitted at eleven o’clock in the morning. Because of the very high popularity of the programmes, he was nearly always given the same slot for five days – that is Monday to Friday.

The “star” of the stories was undoubtedly his dog, Worthington. However Worthington did not feature in every tale (no pun intended!). More often than not he was just in the Monday and Friday programmes.

Other occasional characters were Gladstone – the parrot and Mr MacSporran – the vet. Then there were Marjorie and Bill. They were real; I can confirm this as I knew then both well. Marjorie was Bill’s wife and together with her brother Tony wrote all the stories.

Marjorie and Bill lived in a house in Cricklewood – Olive Road to be exact. I can see it now in my imagination. In one of the stories Bill is ill in bed with a bad cold and Marjorie and Tony decide to turn out the loft. I don’t offhand remember the reason for this decision, but it’s all very real to me.

According to the BBC Sound Archives catalogue, no recordings of the stories still exist. They were, after all, nearly always transmitted “live”. However, I am happy to report that around one hundred exist in the Jeremy Stevenson Sound Archive. For details of dates and titles click our website


and follow the directions.

Antony Bilbow’s radio play “Ugly Duckling” - transmitted 18 August 1971 - is also safely preserved here. As indeed are the two documentaries on A.J.Alan.

Jeremy Stevenson

ND comment...The Jeremy Stevenson Archive is probably the best private archive of off-air BBC recordings (comedy and drama) in the UK. Jeremy also has an extensive collection of broadcast and never-broadcast Gilbert and Sullivan performances going back to the fifties. .


I'm looking for a copy of A SLIGHT BREEZE OVER DINGLESFIELD - does anyone have a recording? This dates from the early 60s. - N.D.


An appeal from Wally K Daly ... We are looking out for a copy of ARCHIVOROUS, a series of radio programmes hosted by Wally K, who plays an archivist in the depths of Broadcasting House, under the title "In the Archive".

Wally K adds -
" I invented and performed the part of perhaps my most successful character - 'Archivorous' a creature who was the sum total of the BBC archive (having been struck by a bolt of lightning in the fifties Frankenstein fashion) and the brilliant conceit was that no matter what piece of archive it was asked for it could instantly play.

In the last episode of the series Daly and Archivorous were captured by aliens (Six foot tall fluffy budgies) and taken off to some far distant planet never to be seen again."

Does anyone out there have a recording of any of these shows? It would be great to hear these again on BBC7, and there appears to be no obstacle to their being repeated - if we can find someone with the tapes. The programme dates from about 1989.

**UPDATE, Mar 07** - seven of these shows have been found, and BBC7 staff are aware.

Another find - a VRPCC member, R.C., has located all episodes of ANYTHING LEGAL, also by Wally K, which I recall as a light sitcom where two unexployed white-collar workers go into business to tackle anything they're offered - from dog-walking to writing a poem to celebrate a birthday. It was fun. It's hoped these will be broadcast on BBC7.


A lot of recordings have come in recently, from writers and others, for archiving. Recent finds include

Hijack at Penrose Gardens, by Rodney Tibbs 1973
Sweet dreams and Swedish ghosts, by Mike Stott
Nearly Dead, by Peter Whalley
The Grand Babylon Hotel, by Arnold Bennett. 1972
Viva, by Marcy Kahan 1986
The Contemplative Life, by Marcy Kahan 1985
The transmogrification of Herbert Mellish, by Marcy Kahan 1987
Plaza Suite by Neil Simon
In a summer season, by Elizabeth Taylor
Kid Lightning, by Mike Walker
Wild flowers and grains of sand, by Robin Smith

Finally - the "lost plays" lists ... it's impossible to keep these completely accurate - I'd have to give up the day job. Before sending anything, please email me.


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