Absent Friends

Tony Hawks explores characters whom we know and love, but who never actually appear.

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Episodes

SeriesEpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
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20111016-@@@-desert Island Discs Revisited20111016 (BBC7)
20150119 (BBC7)

From Janet Baker to Bach, the crime writer shares her castaway choices with Sue Lawley.

20140119-@@@-desert Island Discs Revisited20140119 (BBC7)
20140120 (BBC7)

From Steeleye Span to Warren Zevon, Scottish novelist Iain Banks shares his castaway choices with Sue Lawley. From August 1997.

20140126-@@@-desert Island Discs Revisited20140126 (BBC7)
20140127 (BBC7)

The late director and critic takes William Walton, The Jacksons and Billy Fury to his isle

The late film director and restaurant critic takes William Walton, The Jacksons and Billy Fury to his isle. From October 2005.

20150104-@@@-desert Island Discs Revisited20150104 (BBC7)
20150105 (BBC7)
20150111 (BBC7)

From Lyttelton to Mozart, actor Bob Hoskins shares his castaway choices with Sue Lawley.

From Humphrey Lyttelton to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, actor Bob Hoskins shares his castaway choices with Sue Lawley. From November 1988.

From Ella Fitzgerald to Puccini, Hollywood film star Lauren Bacall shares her castaway choices with Roy Plomley. From December 1984.

From Ella Fitzgerald to Puccini, the Hollywood film star shares her castaway choices.

20150111-@@@-desert Island Discs Revisited20150111 (BBC7)
20150112 (BBC7)

From Humphrey Lyttelton to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, actor Bob Hoskins shares his castaway choices with Sue Lawley. From November 1988.

From Lyttelton to Mozart, actor Bob Hoskins shares his castaway choices with Sue Lawley.

20150125-@@@-desert Island Discs Revisited20150125 (BBC7)
20150126 (BBC7)

From Jack Teagarden to Tchaikovsky, the Adrian Mole author shares her castaway choices.

From Jack Teagarden to Tchaikovsky, the Adrian Mole author shares her castaway choices with Sue Lawley. From December 1991.

20150201-@@@-desert Island Discs Revisited20150201 (BBC7)
20150202 (BBC7)

From Mahalia Jackson to Ray Charles, author and poet Maya Angelou shares her choices.

From Mahalia Jackson to Ray Charles, author and poet Maya Angelou shares her castaway choices with Michael Parkinson. From August 1987.

By Alan Ayckbourn20040125 (BBC7)
Desert Island Discs Revisited

0101Housewives And Honeys2005051720060604

Today we look at the formidable Elizabeth Mainwaring from Dad's Army; Ma Glum from The Glums in Take It From Here; and, from Porridge, Mrs Barrowclough and Denise, Godber's fianc退.

0102Losers And Dead Losses2005052420060611

The ship's engineer in The Navy Lark was a perpetual loser, always dashing out with digestive problems, whose plight was described by Ronnie Barker.

Other losers include Ozzie Higginbottom (Clitheroe Kid) and Edna Everage's invalid husband Norm.

Norm was later killed off, which leads us to characters who, although long dead, continue to leave their mark, such as Albert's wife (Steptoe and Son), Henry (After Henry) and Granville's mum (Open All Hours).

0103Bosses And Bossy Boots2005053120060618

No-one would dare mess with holiday camp boss Joe Maplin, whose blunt no-nonsense bulletins were read to staff by Jeffrey Fairbrother in Hi-de - Hi! Similar ogres are Miss Cathcart (from the same show); Miss Mountshaft and Mrs Doombes-Patterson (The Good Life); the PM (Yes Minister) and the absurd Stradivarius-voiced Matron (Wrinkles).

BBC bosses are also portrayed in less than flattering terms by comics such as Ronnie Corbett and Frankie Howerd

0104 LASTScribes, Scribblers And Telephone Callers2005060720060625

Tony Hawks investigates the letters and telephone conversations from absentee characters, including Shelly Berman and Bob Newhart, Jack Warner and Bunty Hoven and the most prolific letter writer of all, Mrs Trellis from I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue.

0201Children And Animals2007030620070730

Never work with children and animals is the acting profession's golden rule.

Maybe that's why kids and pets are frequently talked about, but seldom make an appearance.

That and child employment legislation, and the notorious unpredictability of real live animals - remember the elephant on Blue Peter?

0202In A World Of Their Own2007031320070806

An examination of solo performers who succeed in conjuring up a whole family, community or world of often wildly eccentric characters: Dame Edna Everage, with her family tales of husband Norm, daughter Valmai and sons Bruce and Kenneth, Lily Savage's various kith and kin; Cissie and Ada (aka Les Dawson and Roy Barraclough) gossiped endlessly about friends and acquaintances; Larry Grayson with Apricot Lil, Slack Alice and postman Pop-It-In Pete; and early radio comic Gillie Potter who dryly informed us of the goings-on in the village of Hogsnorton and its squire Lord Marshmallow.

0203 LASTOdd People, Odd Places2007032020070813

Including ITMA's Peter Geekie, Much-Binding-In-The-Marsh's Charlie Farnsbarns, the many physical abnormalities of Father Bigley (Father Ted) and Del Boy's shady contacts Monkey Harris and Tommy Razzle (Only Fools and Horses).

Finally, there's Grace Brothers' rival store Lally and Willett's, and Copthorne Avenue, the address that Peter Jones and Peter Ustinov never quite managed to track down in their radio series In All Directions.