Richard Wortley:
Epilogue, and a list of Plays


There was a jolly tale in broadcasting circles that a BBC announcer had been caught in flagrante at Broadcasting House, or if not flagrante something more than ‘under the mistletoe’.

Reported to Lord Reith who Winston Churchill called ‘that Wuthering Height’, this lowering Scotsman and first Director General of the organisation, was expected to sack him.

But he issued a reprieve on the condition the man was never again to read the epilogue (spiritual thoughts for bedtime at that period).

MY epilogue is a touch more mundane. Three hundred and fifty-four items were printed out for me from a ‘TV AND RADIO FREETEXT SEARCH ENGINE’.

Several turn out to be duplications but it is a further aid memoir if not a lesson on the ‘random’ limits of documentation.

Also before the invention of slimline cds, hefty reel-to-reel tapes meant major storage problems.

Directors were therefore instructed to keep the minimum, though by some miracle of the obvious those ‘at the top’ preserved most of their own work.

My truncated reselection here is purely for nostalgia and a little fleshing-out for those who like lists.

Please note by an extra quirk of numbering and happenstance, examples of my very earliest endeavors have appeared last.


Your search for FREETEXT “Wortley, Richard (prod)” has found 354 items and has returned: 0 TV items and 354 Radio items.


4. ARTHUR SNATCHFOLD: SAME DIFFERENCE (3) 29/09/2003 Five stories, abridged by Cathy Stewart, marking the different stages in the lesbian and gay experience. 1: Arthur Snatchfold by E M Forster, read by Simon Russell Beale.

6. ALBERTINA 13/06/1999 Play by Howard Barker. The Bishop of Albertina proposes that all undesirables should be put on a Ship of Fools. With Ian McDiarmid, Robert Glenister, Juliet Stevenson. A Catherine Bailey Production.

12. COVER, RECOVERY 18/01/1996 Play by Steve May with Gavin Muir, Tessa Peake-Jones and Julian Rhind-Tutt.

21. OUR LADY OF SHADOWS 08/04/1995 By Lucy Gough. A dramatic reinterpretation of Tennyson’s poem ‘The Lady of Shalott’. With Claire Skinner and Rosemary Leach. Music by Elizabeth Parker.

45. FLOREANNA’S BARRELL 06/06/1989 Play by Peter Tegel. In the 1930s the eccentric Dr Ritter from Germany sets up a ‘paradise’ community on the Galapagos Island of Floreanna. With Frances Jeater and John Rowe.

50. THE SWALLOWS 30/03/1989 A play in verse by Mark Beeson. The swallows return for the summer, but their home has become a holiday let. As the modern world looms over the denizens of the countryside, the evicted Pipistrelle seeks help at the estate agent. With Brian Miller, Norman Bird, Clare Travers-Deacon..

57. STRANGE DELIGHTS 21/12/1988 Comedy by Perry Pontac. Mr Meldrum, with his ‘magnificent torso, dark melancholy eyes and full crimson lips throbbing with unspent kisses’, seeks from Lady Carsanet a hand in marriage. But which hand? The overgrown schoolgirl Lobelia Carsanet or her brother, Vivian? With Sian Phillips…

60. BEAUTIFUL FEELING 30/11/1988 By David Marshall. A strange Norfolk chicken farmer engages two young people to help him out. But a prize cockerel gets killed and the young man disappears. Starring Matthew Scurfield, Cara Kelly and Spencer Banks.

67. FIGURES IN A BYGONE LANDSCAPE 22/09/1986 Dur 13’34” The early days of a Lancashire childhood. Written and adapted for radio by Don Haworth from his autobiography and read by Stephen Thorne.

68. ODD MOMENTS 02/09/1988 Play by Petty Pontac. Everilda, beautiful and highly trained, applies for the post of housekeeper, but Mrs Luffram hires her for an entirely different qualification. With Brenda Blethyn, Judy Parfitt and Robert Lang.

69. MORRIS DANCES 01/09/1988 Play by Neil Rhodes. Morris can do almost anything. He can travel anywhere; he can meet anyone; he can find excitement in any place. But he can’t dance - until he again meets Geraldine in a South American city…

85. IMPRESSIONS OF AN ENGLISH INNER-CITY AMERICAN TAP DANCER With Jill Baker and Suzanna Hamilton 12/01/1988 ’Someone out there in the big wide world, someone is holding a glass slipper for me.’ Laura teaches American tap at a London community centre. Her most promising pupil is Berni, but it looks as though the centre will be closed.

87. CRONIAMENTAL 05/01/1988 Play by Brian McAvera exploring the life of Guillaume Apollinaire. With Douglas Hodge, Struan Rodger, Christopher Godwin, Michael Tudor Barnes. Violinist: Perry Montague-Mason.

99. RAISEL 24/11/1987 A play by Peter Tegel. Brigitta has adjusted to the shock of her illness better than her husband. The illness of his elderly relative, Raisel, a survivor of Auschwitz, complicates matters until a family confrontation is inevitable. With James Laurenson and Lynn Farleigh.

122. FROZEN ASSETS 30/01/1987 Play by Barrie Keeffe. With Julian Firth, Judy Loe, Clive Mantle, Richard Durden and Harold Innocent.

145. HOW GHENGIS KHAN BECAME THE PILOT 24/07/1986 Dur: 56’40” Having a winged mermaid by his shoulder when confronted by his own personal terror helped Martin survive - but how can his adolescent son face the disaster in his life? Written by Tony Butler.

167. THE PRIMATES 29/06/1985 Dur: 58’43” A verse play by Mark Beeson. With Brett Usher, Maggie McCarthy, Jane Wenham and William Hope.

175. ON THE YANKEE STATION 09/05/1985 Dur: 56’38” Afternoon Theatre play, adapted from his short story by William Boyd. The grim world of American pilots on bombing raids in Vietnam. Also grim are the bullying tactics of an officer towards Lydecker, a member of his ground crew.

190. SCENES FROM AN EXECUTION 14/10/1984 A play by Howard Barker with Glenda Jackson, Freddie Jones, Clive Merrison, Clifford Rose, Peter Howell and Darlene Johnson.

192. BONEY JAN AND THE FLYING MAN 15/04/1984 Written by Nigel Baldwin. With Charlotte Cornwell, Tom Wilkinson and Susan Wooldridge.

200. SWIMMER 01/04/1984 A play by Christopher Russell, joint winner of the 1983 Radio Times playwriting competition.

210. PURE SCIENCE 01/09/1983 An allegory for radio by Nick Dear, with Patrick Troughton, Elizabeth Spriggs, Derek Fowlds.

213. REMEDIAL EXERCISES 27/07/1983 Afternoon Theatre play by David Marshall. One spring holiday in World War II, Jamie returns to the prep school which is his home to find his strict unapproachable father absorbed in a new member of staff - a refugee from Germany.

216. STRANGLED CRY 22/05/1983 A play by Christopher Buggert. A disturbing view of contemporary life is unfolded in a kaleidoscope of bizarre and machine events.

218. DRAGON 23/04/1983 An epic saga by Don Haworth. In this allegorical story reflecting on the nature of power and war, the legend of St George is turned on its head.

220. CHRIST STOPPED AT EBOLI 17/03/1983 Written by Carlo Levi, translated by Frances Frenaye. Part nine of a ten part abridgement by Sue Anstruther, read by Michael Williams.

248. TERROR 19/08/1981 By Ken Gass. An exploration of the meaning of terror in seven separate ‘movements’. Taking Part: Sean Arnold, Peter Barker, Patrick Barr, Diana Bishop, Nicholas Courtney, Alan Dudley, Judy Franklin, Malcolm Hayes.

249. THE BROKEN NECK 03/08/1981 The Monday Play by Peter Tegel. Roger (Michael Spice) and Jane (Frances Jeater) take their young daughter to an idyllic Greek island where she has an accident and the family are caught up in the strange spirit of…

285. DANDOLO 17/04/1978 A play written by Anton Gill. With Carleton Hobbs, Michael Goldie and Stephen Thorne.

286. HALT! WHO GOES THERE? 26/03/1978 A play by Tom Mallin. Cast list: Clive Swift, Rosemary Leach.

287. DUCK AND THE KANGAROO 13/02/1978 By Allan Berrie. Cast list: Denys Hawthorne, Kate Binchy.

300. WAGGONERS’ WALK 16/12/1976 Episode 1954 - Edie’s Funeral. Written by Jill Hyem and Alan Downer. Cast list: Basil Moss, Ann Morrish.

312. TURN FOR THE WORSE 21/09/1975 Play by Peter Tegel. Cast List: Annie (Elizabeth Spriggs) Barbara (Lynn Farleigh Dan)

313. MARNIE 20/09/1975 A play by Winston Graham, adapted for radio by John Kirkmorris. Marnie (Julie Hallam Strutt)

321. STRIP JACK NAKED 01/12/1974 A new play by Susan Hill. Ian Richardson, in character, sings unaccompanied. Cast List: James (Ian Richardson)

326. LORD NELSON LIVES IN LIVERPOOL 14/07/1974 Play by Philip Martin with David Lincoln. Cast List: David Lincoln….Nelson Kennard, Anthony Hall…

330. STRANGE MEETING 22/04/1974 Play by Susan Hill adapted for radio by Guy Vaesen. Cast List: Coulter (Nigel Graham), Hilliard (Martin Jarvis), (David Timson).

334. LAST TEMPTATION 16/09/1973 Part 1. The Lion Within. Written by Nikos Kazantzakis. Translated and adapted by Andreas Stavrou and Hallam Tennyson. Music composed by Elizabeth Poston. Music conducted by Peter Marchbank.

338. FORTY YEARS ON Written by Alan Bennett. Adapted for radio by Alan Bennett and Richard Wortley. Musical settings by Carl Davies. Accompanied songs sung by boys of City of London School directed by Anthony Gould. Treble soloists: Simon Preece and Simon Pearmain.

349. KNOT OF SECRET MIGHT 20/10/1970 By Alison Plowden. Narrator: Stephen Thorne. Cast List: Nerys Hughes.

351. LIVING LANGUAGE: TIMOTHY 18/01/1968 An episode from the series for schools. A short story by Bill Naughton, dramatised by Joan Griffiths. Editor: Joan Griffiths.

352. LIVING LANGUAGE 10/11/1966 The Odyssey, Part 6. The Bending of the Bow. Written by Kenneth Cavender, retold from the Greek epic poem. Narrator: Michael Smee. Taking Part: Jane Wenham, Alaric Cotter, Barry Foster, Katherine Parr, Alexander John.

353. NATURE STUDY: THE OAK AND ITS INHABITANTS 03/06/1964 Written by Christine Dudley. The programme describes the growth of the oak tree and the past and present uses made of its wood. Also describes some of the animal and plant life which lives in or on the tree.

354. HISTORY WORK UNITS: THE SIEGE OF BASING HOUSE 19/11/1963 The siege of Basing House and its defence under John Paulet, Marquis of Winchester; a description of a famous siege of the English Civil War. Script by John Braddock. Narrator: Gordon Jackson.

Many thanks, Richard, for your efforts on our behalf.........ND

UPDATE..........Richard Wortley's latest venture is a radio version of Alan Bennett's "The History Boys". Richard directed; David Hunter produced.

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