Notices 2015

ex-R4 forum / 'beebotron' / R3 drama forum /

The above are non-BBC sites. The BBC no longer has a messageboard so use the above.
See also our Facebook page for recent updates and links to other sites.

Visitor totals and most-visited writers' and producers' pages:
Sep 16304 (S. Baczkiewicz 174, Gary Brown 130, Michael Davies 114, Charlotte Jones 110)
Oct 19801 (Don Taylor 446, Charlotte Jones 94, Gary Brown 92, Sebastian Baczkiewicz 88)
Nov 15670 (Wally K Daly 222, Don Taylor 198, Andrew Rissik 175, Archie Campbell 121)
Dec 12860 (Michael Davies 262, Gary Brown 220, Archie Campbell 192, John Fletcher 192)

During November, 1794 people has a visit exceeding 60 min. Vistor total for the year: 195,057.

31 Dec 2015

You may remember the many Saturday Night Theatre and other plays written by T.D.Webster about twenty years ago. Tom has now published his first novel, SEND IN THE CLOWN. It is available on Amazon. He describes it as a romantic thriller set mainly in Whitby. Please spread the word. Clicking the link will take you to the Amazon page where you can order a copy. Paperback is a tenner; Kindle version is about £3.

26 Dec 2015

The Radio review for Sep-Dec 2015 is now online. Click the link "2015 radio drama reviews" on the main radio page.

22 Dec 2015

I am sorry to report that the radio writer Nick Fisher died recently.

17 Dec 2015

A listing from Alistair Wyper of the World Service series 'Haunted', 1979-1984, showing original broadcast dates. These plays are already mentioned on articles68.html. Meanwhile the new information is shown below:

The Grey Ones by J B Priestley ( 11 August 1984)
The Dead Man of Varley Grange ( 27 July 1984)
Which One ( 20 September 1980)
The Liberated Tiger ( 21 July 1984)
The Lamp by Agatha Christie ( 22 July 1984)
Channel Crossing ( 5 July 1984)
The Mists of Memory ( 22 May 1982)
The Emissary ( 13 March 1982)
Esmerelda ( 30 August 1980)
The Inexperienced Ghost ( 27 February 1982)
The Judge's House ( 31 January 1982)
Listen to the Silence ( 2 August 1980)
The Dream Woman ( 19 July 1980)
Walk on the Water ( 12 July 1980)
Little Girl Lost ( 14 October 1979)

There is a full list at: http://www.radiolistings.co.uk/programmes/h/ha/.html

23 Nov 2015

The Radio Drama Award shortlists have now been released, apart from those for the Imison and Tinniswood Awards. Go back to the main Radio page and scroll down. They are listed under their official title, Audio Drama Awards, 2015.

10 Nov 2015

Jul: 17,509 visitors to the site. Most-visited writer pages:
John Fletcher 166, John Buchan 148, Michael Davies 148, Gary Brown 136.

Jul: 16,425 visitors. Most-visited writer pages:
Gary Brown 183, John Fletcher 161, Archie Campbell 155, Charlotte Jones 140.

14 Sep 2015

A note from Jo McCrum at the Society of Authors:

Call for Entries – Imison and Tinniswood Awards

Help us celebrate the best audio drama by sending in your writers’ productions. Please forward to all your networks and apply with all supporting materials before 29 September 2015.

Imison Award

Best original script by a writer new to audio drama - £1,500 sponsored by the Peggy Ramsay Foundation. Administered by the Society of Authors. The application form and entry details for the 2016 award can be found here, on the Society of Authors website.

Tinniswood Award

Best original script - £1,500 sponsored by the ALCS. Jointly administered by the Society of Authors and the Writers’ Guild. The application form and entry details for the 2016 award can be found here, on the Society of Authors website.

The awards will be presented on Sunday 31 January 2016 at the BBC’s Audio Drama Awards, Broadcasting House.

18 Aug 2015

I am sorry to report the death of Jill Hyem, radio writer and former Chairman of the Writers' Guild, in early June.

Jill has a very long list of radio credits, and also wrote for television; some of her titles are known to everyone, not just radio buffs - "Tenko", for example, and "Waggoners' Walk". She also wrote the groundbreaking "Now She Laughs, Now She Cries"; a story of love between two women.

I last spoke to her on the 'phone just before Christmas, when she told me she had terminal cancer. She was chatty and serene and we talked about some of her plays. She was a keen supporter of 'Diversity', especially our attempts to raise the profile of radio drama. Jill will be greatly missed.

Requiescat in pace.

3 Jul 2015

14960 visitors to the site. Top three writer pages: Michael Davies 220, Gary Brown 192, Charlotte Jones 186; fourth was Archie Campbell with 173 visitors.

2 Jul 2015

15316 visitors to the site (Michael Robson 278, John Fletcher 168, Gary Brown 156).
1723 people had a visit in excess of an hour.

There were also 155 visits to producer Archie Campbell's page; a name from way back. He produced Lord of the Flies, Trouble with Lichen, The Black Cloud and hundreds of other less familiar items, at a time when a good radio drama could have an audience of 10 million.

28 Jun 2015

Here is a list of the individuals who have been (at least nominally) in charge of Radio Drama at the BBC. Obviously this is only part of the story, but it is at least a starting point.

1929-1963 Val Gielgud
1963-1976 Martin Esslin
1976-1986 Ronald Mason
1986-1994 John Tydeman
1994-1997 Caroline Raphael
1997-2001 Kate Rowland
2001-2005 Gordon House
2005-         Alison Hindell

Val Gielgud was appointed in 1929 as the first "Productions Director" of radio drama but was also involved in television. Martin Esslin, Ronald Mason, John Tydeman and Caroline Raphael were essentially 'heads of department' whose roles were quite similar. In later years many of the responsibilities (e.g. features) were changed or devolved elsewhere. Jeremy Mortimer was acting head of radio drama for a few months when Gordon House retired, before Alison Hindell took over.

Jeremy Howe is now (June 2015) "Commissioning Editor" for radio drama and as such has overall responsibility for the BBC radio drama output.

29 Jun 2015

Alistair has kindly put together a short piece about the BBC Genome project, which is an attempt to list the entire programme content of "Radio Times" online, from when it first appeared back in the 1920s. The resource is becoming well-used by those who are interested in programmes from the past. It covers both radio and television.

To use it, type "BBC Genome Project" into a search engine and go from there.

13 May 2015

Three letters about BBC bias, edited slightly for clarity. DT, 13 May.

What should concern John Whittingdale, the new Culture Secretary, reported to be declaring war on the BBC, is not so much the alleged bias against the Conservative Party, but where it gets its funding from and its overt support of Britain's membership of the European Union.

A FOI request last year revealed that the BBC receives millions of pounds from the EU, which must compromise its supposed neutrality.

Whilst the Conservatives Party may have cause for complaint, so also does the UK Independence Party, which has had to contend with interviews which plainly set out to damage the party's reputation rather than scrutinise party policy.

DT, Lymington, Hants.

    Since its inception, senior figures at the BBC have interpreted its education mandate as a duty to turn the whole population of Britain info left-wingers.

    The BBC Trust should be scrapped and the management board made fully accountable for the BBC's actions.

    DE, Manningtree, Essex

      The first job of the new Culture Secrertary might be to rein in the Dimblebys, especially Jonathan.

      He is billed as the chairman of Radio 4's 'Any Questions', yet frequently asks long-winded supplementary questions, redirecting the debate, and interrupts panelists with his own comments. Much the same can be said of 'Question Time' on BBC1. My family calls them the Dimbleby Shows.

      FA, Forest Hall, Northumberland.

One other point - a number of BBC employees get paid more than the Prime Minister. What's that all about? - Ed.

13 May 2015

A few people have asked me about numbers, so here goes: The numbers shown are visits to the site, followed by the top three individual writer pages for that month where stats are available:

Jan 18307 (Wally K Daly 162, Rodney Wingfield 154, Nick Warburton 140)
Feb 16480 (Bruce Bedford 160, JCW Brook 152, John Buchan 130)
Mar 15788 (S. Baczkiewicz 167, Wally K Daly 162, John Peacock 154)
Apr 15637 (Ronnie Smith 310, Rhys Adrian 301, David Spenser 203)
During April, 1379 people had a visit to the site in excess of an hour.

5 May 2015

This is now online (completed during rainy periods during the apple breeding season) and covers the period Jan - April 2015.

30 Apr 2015

Another play by J.C.W.Brook has been located: The Wooing of Mr Drimble, a comedy from 1975. Not a good recording, but it has been possible to make a reasonable copy.

13 Mar 2015

Just listened to an excellent play which went out on 26 Feb: 'Scenes from a Crime', by John Dryden. Set against a vivid soundscape (on location in Mumbai);, it's a creepy story about a man who's lost his memory.

11 Feb 2015

I have just compiled a page describing Ray Brown's three radio plays, which include the excellent 'Barnes and Molly', which went out in 2000.

11 Feb 2015

Michael Duke's page has been updated.

8 Feb 2015

You may remember the many Saturday Night Theatre and other plays written by T.D.Webster about twenty years ago. Tom has now published his first novel, SEND IN THE CLOWN. It is available on Amazon. He describes it as a romantic thriller set mainly in Whitby. Please spread the word. Clicking the link will take you to the Amazon page where you can order a copy. Paperback is a tenner; Kindle version is about £3.

Amazon info:

    From a distance, it looks like a bundle of old clothes washed up at the tide’s edge, but thirty years in the Met tells Howard otherwise. It’s a body. And a body says trouble. When Howard Johnstone retires from the CID, he returns for a holiday in his home town on the North Yorkshire coast. He stays, enticed by a beautiful face from his past. Gwen Melsome, the Fair Miss Frigidaire.

    July 1962: Saltby Grammar’s production of Twelfth Night. Howard as Feste the clown. Gwen, the cool lady Olivia. Type casting. A passionate but interrupted backstage embrace.

    After thirty years, Gwen is back, running her father’s old bookshop, and Howard falls in lust all over again. With wishful thinking, Howard takes on a part-time driving job for one of Saltby’s great and good, surgeon Alex Saunders. But when he finds a body on the beach, Howard curses his luck. He’s been an idiot to return, and an even bigger idiot to stay. Nothing but trouble ahead.

    ....UPDATE: A cracking story; I'm about a third of the way through it.......

31 Jan 2015

An excellent second series of 'The Corrupted' by G.F.Newman, is being broadcast on weekday afternoons at 2.15. A cracking tale of crime, the Krays, Profumo, Christine Keeler, seedy clubs and a family's struggle for domination. 10 episodes of 55min. The series stars Toby Jones, Denise Gough, Joe Armstrong, Luke Allen-Gale, Jasmine Hyde and Ross Kemp. Production is by Clive Brill, for Indie producer Brill Productions.

22 Jan 2015

There's a repeat of this well-known play by Steve Walker on Radio 4 Extra on Fri 30 Jan, 9.15pm. It was originally broadcast in 1989.

21 Jan 2015

New pages and updates for Ade Bean, Lydia Ragosin, Gary Brown, Ellen Dryden, Dirk Maggs.

19 Jan 2015

Alistair Wyper has written for us an interesting article about Radio Drama in France.

Substantial updates (and in some cases, new pages) have been done over the last few days for the following radio producers: Lu Kemp, Marc Beeby, Jessica Dromgoole, Clive Brill and Toby Swift.

There are also updates for writers Mike Harris, Mike Walker and Sebastian Baczkiewicz.

1 Jan 2015

Just setting up the computer to record Tolstoy's epic, which is being broadcast shortly - ten hours of drama between 9am and 10pm. The dramatization is by Timberlake Wertenbaker.

Happy New Year to all our readers.

31 Dec 2014 .

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