Who Shot Ada Tansey?
by Peter Whalley

Peter Whalley - Who Shot Ada Tansey?

BBC Radio 4: Saturday Night Theatre

Broadcast: Saturday 23rd October 1982 @ 8:30 p.m.

"Who Shot Ada Tansey?" opens at Broadcasting House on the set of the TV soap "Alexandra Road" (a favourite of the Royal Family as quoted from the Daily Express) as they begin shooting their 3,009th episode. Once a top show, they now they rank 37th in the ratings which causes the new Head of Series, Sam Richardson, to decide to pull the plug on the show.

As the show is being taped, Sam meets with Mike Spilsbury, the show's Producer, and tells him that the show will be taken off the air in three months time due to its poor ratings, but not to tell anyone. This puts Mike in a bind as later that evening he has to make a speech honouring the show's 3,000th transmission during a Celebration dinner for Britian's best loved and longest running television series. Sam does give Mike hope that if in those final three months he can bring the show back to the top of the ratings, Sam will think about keeping the show going.

Mike receives another blow when Sylvia Spencer, who plays Ada Tansey on "Alexandra Road", tells him she plans to leave the show after 27 years as she is sick to death of playing Ada, the most popular character on the show.

To complete Mike's bad day, he is notified at the dinner that someone had entered Sylvia Spencer's dressing room after the show's taping and killed her by blowing the back of her head off. Fortunately, at the dinner was Detective Inspector David Naylor, the Police Liaison Officer for the show, who immediately takes charge of the case.

With Derek Smith [Detective Inspector David Naylor, the Police Liaison Officer for the Show], John Branwell [Frank], David Fleeshman [Mike Spilsbury, the Show's Producer], Robert Keegan [Arnold Thorne, a Writer for the Show], Keith Clifford [Bernard, a Writer for the Show], Bernard Latham [Larry, a Senior Writer for the Show], Ann Rye [Ruthie, a Senior Writer for the Show / Edith Carlyle, the Show's Historian], Sue Jenkins [Mel, a Junior Writer for the Show / Amanda Schofield, an Actress playing Denise Platt], Rosalie Williams [Sylvia Helen Spencer, an Actress playing Ada Tansey / Jean Tolley], Kate Lee [Ethel, an Actress / Barbara Naylor, David's Wife], Russell Dixon [Sam Richardson, the Head of Series / Luigi], and Roger Phillips [Dennis Moon, an Actor playing Father O'Flynn].

Other parts were played by members of the cast.

Directed by Caroline Smith in Manchester.

80 minutes.


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