Afternoon Reading

Weekdays 3.30pm-3.45pm

A short story or an abridged book, often by writers who are new to radio."

"

Weekdays 3.30pm-3.45pm

A short story or an abridged book, often by writers who are new to radio.

Weekdays 3.30pm-3.45pm

A short story or an abridged book, often by writers who are new to radio.

"Weekdays 3.30pm-3.45pm

A short story or an abridged book, often by writers who are new to radio."

Episodes

SeriesEpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
RepeatedComments
1Abroad, Hesitation

1Agatha Christie's Mysterious Mr Quin, The World's End

1Cassandra's Good Food Guide

1Cassandra's Good Food Guide20101019

1Cheltenham Festival: Stories on Stage

1Come Away, Come Away!, Peanut Butter and Cello

1Lost and Found, The Undertaker's Tale

1Penelope's People, Divorcing Grandpa

1Readings From Bath, Knit One Purl One

1The Greengrocer's Apostrophe, Penny's from Heaven

1Three Short Stories by E Nesbit, Her Marriage Lines

2Abroad, Sisters

2Abroad, Sisters20101017

2Agatha Christie's Mysterious Mr Quin, The Face of Helen

2Cassandra's Good Food Guide

2Cassandra's Good Food Guide20101020

2Cheltenham Festival: Stories on Stage

2In Her Element, A Horizontal View

2Penelope's People, Making Ends Meet

2Readings From Bath, Inappropriate Dancing

2The Greengrocer's Apostrophe, Alice, Hanging In There

2Three Short Stories by E Nesbit, The Bristol Bowl

3 LASTAgatha Christie's Mysterious Mr Quin, The Sign in the Sky

3 LASTCassandra's Good Food Guide

3 LASTCassandra's Good Food Guide20101021

3 LASTCheltenham Festival: Stories on Stage

3 LASTIn Her Element, No Refund for Clouds

3 LASTPenelope's People, Pills

3 LASTPenelope's People, Pills20101017

3 LASTReadings From Bath, The Successor

3 LASTThe Greengrocer's Apostrophe, The Sweet Possessive

3 LASTThree Short Stories by E Nesbit, Grandsire Triples

3 LASTThree Stories by Haruki Murakami, The Mirror

21In Her Element, Skomer Log

63 LASTThree Stories by Haruki Murakami, The Mirror

AR20040419

Ring Road: Ian Sansom reads five stories from his book about the sad and wonderful everyday events of small-town life. 1/5. The Seventh Son: Davey Quinn returns home after twenty years away.

AR20040420

Ring Road.

Ian Sansom reads five stories from his new book, published this month, about the sad and wonderful everyday events of small town life.

Ring Road is about the ordinary lives of ordinary people in a small town in the middle of nowhere. It celebrates the heroic energies and failures of plumbers and ministers of religion, of cooks and chefs and housewives, of painters and decorators. It's funny, poignant, eccentric and acutely observed.

2/5. Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

Mr and Mrs Donelly prepare for their first Christmas without the family.

AR20040421

Ring Road.

Ian Sansom reads five stories from his new book, published this month, about the sad and wonderful everyday events of small town life.

Ring Road is about the ordinary lives of ordinary people in a small town in the middle of nowhere. It celebrates the heroic energies and failures of plumbers and ministers of religion, of cooks and chefs and housewives, of painters and decorators. It's funny, poignant, eccentric and acutely observed.

3/5. Sandwiches.

Bob Savory has made his millions but is not a satisfied man.

AR20040422

Ring Road.

Ian Sansom reads five stories from his new book, published this month, about the sad and wonderful everyday events of small town life.

Ring Road is about the ordinary lives of ordinary people in a small town in the middle of nowhere. It celebrates the heroic energies and failures of plumbers and ministers of religion, of cooks and chefs and housewives, of painters and decorators. It's funny, poignant, eccentric and acutely observed.

4/5. Fellowship.

Francie McGinn finds love at the Good Friday Carvery and Gospel Night.

AR20040423

Ring Road

Ian Sansom reads five stories from his new book, published this month, about the sad and wonderful everyday events of small town life.

Ring Road is about the ordinary lives of ordinary people in a small town in the middle of nowhere. It celebrates the heroic energies and failures of plumbers and ministers of religion, of cooks and chefs and housewives, of painters and decorators. It's funny, poignant, eccentric and acutely observed.

5/5. Line Dancing.

Mrs Gilbey puts on her cowboy boots and discovers pleasure.

AR20040504

A week of stories from Alasdair Gray.

2/5. Wellbeing.

A dystopian vision of a future Britain as seen through the eyes of a once-revered writer. He is now homeless yet stubbornly refuses to move to a more hospitable country: "There are better ways of living than being happy but they require strength and sanity."

Read by Paul Young.

AR20040505

A week of stories from Alasdair Gray. 3/5. My Ex Husband and Swan Burial: Two tales offering a distinctly ironic look at marriage and the impact of work on our domestic lives.

AR20040506

A week of stories from the brilliant, funny and original Alasdair Gray.

4/5. Loss of the Golden Silence

A couple realise that the only possible future for their relationship lies in silence, failing to communicate and keeping secrets.

AR20040510

1/5. Writer's Choice: Oysters

By Anton Chekhov

Read by Michael Maloney.

Every day this week a well-known writer introduces a favourite story.

A boy and his father stand hungry and destitute on the streets of Moscow, dreaming of oysters. Chosen by short story writer Helen Simpson.

AR20040511

Writers' Choice. 2/5. Hence: By Carol Shields. Novelist and screenwriter Deborah Moggach introduces a favourite story, opting for a chapter from Carol Shields' last novel, Unless.

AR20040512

Writers' Choice: Well-known writers introduce a favourite story. 3/5. Faith, Hope and Charity by John McGahern, read by Adrian Dunbar. Chosen by bestselling novelist Joseph O'Connor.

AR20040513

Writers' Choice. 4/5. The Last Days of a Famous Mime by Peter Carey, read by Michael Maloney. The enigmatic tale of a great artist's last performance. Chosen by Andrew Motion.

AR20040601

Hay Fever

1/4. Meeting Cezanne

Written and read by Michael Morpurgo.

The first of four new stories from this year's Guardian Hay Festival programme for children.

Yannick goes to stay with relatives in Provence, where he encounters the greatest painter in the world.

AR20040602

Hay Fever.

Continuing the series of new stories from this year's Guardian Hay Festival programme for children.

2/4. The Language of Birdsong: Written and read by Celia Rees.

Lucy James is intrigued by a mysterious monument near her family's holiday home in France. She sets out to discover its meaning and uncovers an almost forgotten tragedy.

AR20040603

Hay Fever.

Continuing the series of new stories from this year's Guardian Hay Festival programme for children.

3/4. My Dead Sheep Story: Written and Read by Kevin Crossley-Holland.

A story about the risks of not being able to tell the story.

AR20040604

Hay Fever.

Continuing the series of new stories from this year's Guardian Hay Festival programme for children.

4/4. Not Such a Bad Thing.

Jack has won first prize in a short story competition, but he has a good reason for dreading the award ceremony.

Written and read by Catherine Fisher.

AR20040607

Getting Away from It

Travels abroad shed new light on life back home in five specially commissioned stories by different writers.

1/5. Jack, Internationally by Emily Perkins

A globetrotting clown, full of exciting stories, gets his come-uppance when his friends back home discover a secret about him that forces them to see him as he truly is.

Read by Claire Skinner

Produced by Gemma Jenkins

AR20040608

Getting Away from It

Travels abroad shed new light on life back home in five specially commissioned stories by different writers.

2/5. Dry Run, by Glenn Patterson

Summer 1979, two teenagers fall in love en route to France from Belfast mistakenly believing that they have left the past behind.

Reader: Marty Rea

Producer: Joanne Reardon

AR20040609

Getting Away from It

Travels abroad shed new light on life back home in five specially commissioned stories by different writers.

3/5. A Sense of Place, by Ruth Henderson

Mythology surrounding the Croatian island of Brac gives new hope to a mother struggling to find her place in life.

Reader: Anastasia Hille

Producer: Gemma Jenkins

AR20040610

Getting Away from It. A series of holiday stories. 3/5. A Sense of Place, by Ruth Henderson. The mythology of a Croatian island gives new hope to a mother struggling to find her place in life.

AR20040611

Travels abroad shed new light on life back home in five specially commissioned stories by different writers.

5/5. The Island, by Tim Pears

A beautiful, remote island off the coast of Maine provides answers to a young man's past.

Read by Matthew MacFadyen

Produced by Gemma Jenkins

AR20040614

1/5. Bloomsday 100. Martha's Streets: By Dermot Bolger. A series of stories commemorating the centenary of James Joyce's great novel Ulysses, from some of the most influential modern Irish writers.

AR20040623

The Casino

A delightful collection of short stories written by Margaret Bonham and first published in 1948.

3/5

The River

The river is a source of passion for William and his three year old daughter Frankie. When it floods catastrophe follows.

Read by Emma Fielding.

AR20040624

The Casino

A delightful collection of short stories written by Margaret Bonham, first published in 1948.

4/5. The Two Mrs Reeds

Two women with the same name convalesce in a maternity ward.

Read by Emma Fielding.

AR20040625

The Casino

A delightful collection of short stories written by Margaret Bonham, first published in 1948.

5/5. The Horse

Angela puts all her efforts into her homework while her mother hosts a small drinks party for her intellectual friends.

Read by Emma Fielding.

AR20040628

Opening Lines

A return of the series that showcases first time and emerging writers to the short story form, read by voices new to radio.

1/5. City Of Victory, by Anita Saran John

A magical tale set in Medieval India. Jehaan lives a life of luxury as the Queen's favourite but longs for the freedom of her nomadic childhood. Will she have the courage to follow her heart?

Read by Badria Timimi

Produced by Gemma Jenkins

AR20040726

Field Study: Series of short stories by Rachel Seiffert. 1/5. Reach: An exploration of the emotional distance between a mother and her seven-year-old daughter. Read by Lesley Sharp.

AR20040727

Field Study: Series of short stories by Rachel Seiffert. 2/5. Field Study: Martin meets Ewa and her young son while conducting field research. His findings yield unexpected results.

AR20040728

Field Study: Series of short stories by Rachel Seiffert. 3/5. Tentsmuir Sands. A small boy has a disquieting encounter at the beach. Read by Stella Gonet.

AR20040729

Field Study: Series of short stories by Rachel Seiffert. 4/5. The Crossing: Marta is urging her four children away from the war raging in the East when a stranger appears. Read by Zhivila Roche.

AR20040730

Field Study: Series of short stories by Rachel Seiffert. 5/5. The Late Spring: While a beekeeper waits for the mild winds which herald the passing of winter, something unexpected happens.

AR20040803

Every Tongue Got to Confess

New stories inspired by Zora Neal Hurston's collection of folk tales.

2/5

Baby Talk, by Angela Turvey

When grandma-to-be her calls round with calaloo soup, her daughter discovers that it's not just a baby that's born, a mother is born too, just as helpless and bewildered as her child.

Read by Rakie Ayola

AR20040804

Every Tongue Got to Confess

New stories inspired by Zora Neal Hurston's collection of folk tales.

3. Devil's Own Luck

By Cheryl Martin

Leroy's life is on the line and when Ernestine wins the lottery, his very soul is at stake too.

Read by Tanya Moodie.

AR20040805

Every Tongue Got to Confess

New stories inspired by Zora Neal Hurston's collection of folk tales.

4/5. The Strangest Fruit

written and read by Pauline Black

Now a successful businesswoman, Rhoda dreams of buying a farm where inner city black kids can come and enjoy country life. But her visit to Chinaberry Farm makes it plain that the locals aren't going to welcome her plan with open arms.

Produced by Kate McAll

AR20040806

Every Tongue Got to Confess

New stories inspired by Zora Neal Hurston's collection of folk tales.

5/5. Mama B And The Devil, by Patricia Cumper

Mama B grew up in the islands where the church taught her how to stay out of the reach of the devil's mischief. Now she's an immigrant in the big city and works like a slave to give her three sons a good start in this new life. But how will she teach them to withstand the devil's temptations when she isn't sure she can still recognise his face?

Read by Angela Wynter.

AR20040813

Tales from East Anglia II

A series of stories by writers for whom being East Anglian is important in their lives or their work.

5/5. Overlooked

By Nicci French

Out on a bike ride a mother and her teenage daughter come across a disturbing link with a seventeenth century witch drowned in a Suffolk pond.

Read by its co-author Nicci Gerrard.

AR20040816

A week of stories that celebrate some die-hard pedestrians as they walk across the page.

1/5. The Rigi Klum

By Mark Twain

He thought it would be an easy journey to the top. The walker is duped.

Ready by Stuart Milligan

AR20040817

Walking Stories

A week of stories celebrating some diehard pedestrians.

2/5. Bed and Breakfast, by Helen Simpson

To walk and court is the aim. But the countryside is full of challenges.

Read by Claire Skinner.

AR20040818

Walking Stories

A week of stories celebrating some diehard pedestrians.

3/5. The Good Soldier Svejk, by Jaroslav Hasek

Time to re-join the regiment - hup, two, three, four. But where is it?

Read by Dermot Crowley.

AR20040819

Walking Stories

A week of stories celebrating some diehard pedestrians.

4/5. The Walk

By Merle Collins

An easy walk for a young girl is complicated by the need to go at night and her accompanying cousin offers little protection when they encounter the 'thing' that beckons.

AR20040820

Walking Stories: A week of stories celebrating some diehard pedestrians. 5/5. The Pedestrian, by Ray Bradbury. There will come a time when we won't be allowed to walk, by order of the authorities.

AR20040823

1/5. A Necklace of Raindrops

By Joan Aiken

This selection of short stories was originally planned to celebrate Joan Aiken's 80th birthday which would have been this September. Sadly, her death earlier this year, means that this is an opportunity to look back on the extraordinary range of work that she produced in over fifty years of writing for children and adults.

Perhaps she is best known for her childrens books which include The Wolves of Willoughby Chase and Black Hearts in Battersea but she was also a prolific writer of short stories which range from the fairytale like title story A Necklace of Raindrops, to the almost Dali-esque The Lobster's Birthday via the strange and ethereal The Mysterious Barricades which conjures a land beyond the icy peaks of a mountain range where civil servants are said to go when they retire. Other stories in the series feature a mermaid, a phoenix and A Leg Full of Rubies.

Read by Miriam Margolyes.

AR20040824

A Necklace of Raindrops

By Joan Aiken

This selection of short stories was originally planned to celebrate Joan Aiken's 80th birthday which would have been this September. Sadly, her death earlier this year, means that this is an opportunity to look back on the extraordinary range of work that she produced in over fifty years of writing for children and adults.

Perhaps she is best known for her children's books which include The Wolves of Willoughby Chase and Black Hearts in Battersea but she was also a prolific writer of short stories which range from the fairytale like title story A Necklace of Raindrops, to the almost Dali-esque The Lobster's Birthday via the strange and ethereal The Mysterious Barricades which conjures a land beyond the icy peaks of a mountain range where civil servants are said to go when they retire. Other stories in the series feature a mermaid, a phoenix and A Leg Full of Rubies.

2/5. The Lobster's Birthday

Two friends take a day trip to Brighton.

Read by Miriam Margolyes.

AR20040825

A Necklace of Raindrops

By Joan Aiken

This selection of short stories was originally planned to celebrate Joan Aiken's 80th birthday which would have been this September. Sadly, her death earlier this year, means that this is an opportunity to look back on the extraordinary range of work that she produced in over fifty years of writing for children and adults.

Perhaps she is best known for her children's books which include The Wolves of Willoughby Chase and Black Hearts in Battersea but she was also a prolific writer of short stories which range from the fairytale like title story A Necklace of Raindrops, to the almost Dali-esque The Lobster's Birthday via the strange and ethereal The Mysterious Barricades which conjures a land beyond the icy peaks of a mountain range where civil servants are said to go when they retire. Other stories in the series feature a mermaid, a phoenix and A Leg Full of Rubies.

3/5. A Leg Full of Rubies

A phoenix comes between two sweethearts.

Read by Miriam Margolyes.

AR20040826

A Necklace of Rain Drops: Series of five short stories by Joan Aiken, who died earlier this year. 4/5. A Jar of Cobblestones. Read by Miriam Margolyes. A young writer meets a mermaid.

AR20040902

Own Hair, Own Teeth.

Four new stories about romantic encounters and the vagaries of love among the over-60s.

3/4. Who Shall I Run To

By Lynne Reid Banks

Jeremy and Sally celebrate their 35th wedding anniversary with a trip to Paris, but the holiday conjures up ghosts from Sally's past, exposing the cracks in their previously tranquil marriage.

Read by Sian Phillips.

AR20040903

Own Hair, Own Teeth.

Four new stories about romantic encounters and the vagaries of love among the over-60s.

4/4. Flight to Verona

By Elizabeth Berridge.

Linda worries about her mother's shoplifting tendencies and about her new male friend. But sixty-five year old Dora is too busy learning her lines as a star-crossed lover in an oldie production of Romeo and Juliet to pay her daughter much attention.

Read by Rosemary Leach.

About the Author: Elizabeth Berridge published her first short story in 1941 and has published nine novels, Across the Common winning the Yorkshire Post Award for Best Novel of the Year in 1964. She reviewed fiction for the Daily Telegraph for twenty-five years, and her last novel, Touch and Go, was adapted as a play by BBC Radio 4. She lives in West London

AR20040906

The Big Sneeze

A week of short stories inspired by a Sneeze.

1/5. Sneeze on Monday, Sneeze for Danger

By Val McDermid

Someone on the inside is covering Greg Thomas's back. The local drugs baron has been charged numerous times but somehow he never gets brought to book. And it's Chrissie's job to find out who's reaping the rewards. Listening in to

Thomas's apartment one night, Chrissie hears nothing remarkable except for a violent sneezing fit.

In the morning Thomas is found dead.

Produced by Lu Kemp.

AR20040907

The Big Sneeze

A week of short stories inspired by a Sneeze.

2/5. Sneeze on Tuesday, Kiss a Stranger

Written and read by Tim Crouch

Until the age of 29 Tim was blind. When he was a baby a small sycamore seed twirled its way down to his cot in the garden, he clutched it and shoved it up his tiny nostrils where the seed lodged itself - between his anterior of his brain and the optic nerve - for 29 years. And nobody knew it was there. This is the seeds story.

Produced by Lu Kemp.

AR20040908

The Big Sneeze

A week of short stories inspired by a Sneeze.

3/5. Sneeze on Wednesday, Get a Letter

By Linda Cracknell

Having received a photo of his grandson George sits down to write a letter to his son. A letter he imagines that might bridge the gap of years between them.

Produced by Lu Kemp.

AR20040909

The Big Sneeze

A week of short stories inspired by a Sneeze.

4/5.Sneeze on Thursday, Something Better

By Hannah McGill

Gwendoline the puppy is sick. There is no doubt about it. She's sneezing blood on the studio floor. There's only one thing for it: a new puppy must be found, and the producers just have to hope that the children won't notice.

Produced by Lu Kemp.

AR20040910

The Big Sneeze

A week of short stories inspired by a Sneeze.

5/5. Sneeze on Friday, Sneeze for Sorrow, See your sweetheart tomorrow

By Ruth Thomas

Landing a Saturday job in the local pet shop will finally allow Linda to get close to Mark Brown. If she lands it. She can't seem to get through the interview for sneezing. Is it the cuttlefish she's allergic to? The parakeets? Or is it something

that is going to make their relationship even more unfeasible than it already is?

Read by Catherine Shepherd.

Produced by Lu Kemp.

AR20040913

A week of stories and extracts from novels that take the sea and the sailor's never-ending battle with the elements as their theme.

1/5. The Far Side of the World

By Patrick O'Brian

This extract finds Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin in the balmy South Pacific relaxing as the ship slips easily along

Read by Benedict Cumberbatch.

AR20040914

Hearts of Oak

A week of stories and extracts from novels that take the sea and the sailor's never-ending battle with the elements as their theme.

2/5. The Voyage

By Washington Irving.

In the 19th century an American traveller reflects on space and time as he makes the long voyage from the New World to the Old.

Read by Julian Wadham.

AR20040916

Hearts of Oak

A week of stories and extracts from novels about the sea and the sailor's never-ending battle with the elements.

4/5. I Have Been Drowned by Tom Hopkinson

A quirky story of a sailor's attempt to cheat his fate by daring it to take him if it will.

Read by Jonathan Firth.

AR20040920

Ones to Watch

A talent showcase of unpublished work from new writers who may well be featuring in the review pages of the future.

1/5. The Handover Notes

By Kathryn Simmonds

A secretary offers the lowdown on office life for the temp who will take over from her.

Read by Maureen Lipman.

AR20040928

Carnbeg Stories. 2/5. The New: Refused membership of the village tennis club, a local entrepreneur builds his own - but social respectability still eludes him.

AR20040929

Carnbeg Stories

Short stories by Ronald Frame, all set in the fictitious Perthshire spa town of Carnbeg - previously the location of his Radio 4 drama series, The Hydro.

3/5. The Fitting

Jean Melhuish, reputedly the best seamstress in Scotland, receives clients in her front room, where complete discretion is ensured.

Read by Tamara Kennedy and Michael Mackenzie.

AR20040930

Carnbeg Stories: 4/5. Bonfires. When an elderly woman burns some old documents, her daughter finds some surprising information in the ashes. Read by Tamara Kennedy.

AR20041001

Carnbeg Stories

Short stories by Ronald Frame, all set in the fictitious Perthshire spa town of Carnbeg - previously the location of his Radio 4 drama series, The Hydro.

5/5. Away From It All

An Edinburgh couple enjoy escaping from the rat-race every weekend to their rural retreat in Carnbeg - until they begin to miss cappuccinos and the city buzz...

Read by Tamara Kennedy and Michael Mackenzie.

AR20041004

More Stories from Carnbeg

By Ronald Frame

Five new tales set in and around the small Perthshire spa town of Carnbeg.

1/5. Blind Shot

In 1959 a Glasgow businessman with a holiday home in Carnbeg reaches his fiftieth birthday and decides its time to bow to convention and choose a wife from among the local ladies. But Donald Walkinshaw's method of selection is briskly unconventional.

Read by Paul Young.

AR20041005

More Stories from Carnbeg

By Ronald Frame

Five new tales set in and around the small Perthshire spa town of Carnbeg.

2/5. Bull

The frisky young bull picked its way gingerly towards the recessed entrance. Its horns just avoided bringing down the hanging basket of flowers. It walked on, into the china shop

AR20041006

More Stories from Carnbeg

By Ronald Frame

Five new tales set in and around the small Perthshire spa town of Carnbeg.

3/5. The Evening News

"Loch Bragar was unchangeably itself, as were the mountains. For Una, that meant God was in charge; for Bill it meant the doings of humans count for very little in the final reckoning."

Read by Eileen McCallum.

AR20041011

Classic Collection: Five short stores from Ireland. 1/5. Gaegler's and the Greyhound, by Walter Macken: When a local entrepreneur decides to buy a greyhound, things don't go according to plan at all.

AR20041012

Classic Collection: Five short stores from Ireland. 2/5. The Triangle, by James Stephens: Mrs Morrissy's predictable life with her husband takes an unexpected turn when her cousin comes for a visit.

AR20041013

Classic Collection: Five short stores from Ireland. 3/5. The Bull Buyers, by Bryan MacMahon: Peter approaches a widow intent on buying an animal, but finds himself entering into a strange transaction.

AR20041014

4/5. A Red Petticoat

By Liam O'Flaherty

When there's not a bite left to eat in the house to feed her large family, Mrs Deignan stoops to desperate measures to secure them provisions.

Read by Marion O'Dwyer

AR20041015

Classic Collection: Five short stores from Ireland. 5/5. Dousie O'Dea, By John B Keane. Nothing can persuade a former mortician to come out of retirement - until the ultimate challenge arises.

AR20041018

Philip and Elizabeth. Portrait of a Marriage:

1/5. Blue-Eyed Boy: Gyles Brandreth reads from his compelling new biography of these two extraordinary people. Part history, part psychology, drama and romance, it is informed by the unique access the author was allowed to the subjects of this book.

Beginning with Prince Philip's unusual family background and his peripatetic childhood.

AR20041019

Philip and Elizabeth. Portrait of a Marriage

2/5

Lilibet

Gyles Brandreth continues reading from his new biography, and reveals surprising facts about the Queen's early life. Did she, even as a toddler, have the makings of a monarch?

AR20041020

Portrait of a Marriage

Gyles Brandreth reads from his new biography of The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh.

3/5. People Will Say We're in Love

Part three covers the their courtship and engagement - then marriage in 1947.

AR20041021

Philip and Elizabeth - Portrait of a Marriage: Gyles Brandreth reads from his compelling new biography 4/5. Up and Down. Happy days, the joys and trials of parenthood and, in 1952, tragedy.

AR20041022

Philip and Elizabeth - Portrait of a Marriage: Gyles Brandreth reads from his compelling new biography 5/5. Allies: The unique nature of The Queen and Prince Phili's partnership, how it works and why.

AR20041025

Ghost Stories

By John Connolly

1/5

The Inkpot Monkey

A novelist with a severe case of writer's block gets more than he bargained for when he purchases an antique inkpot in a London market.

Read by Freddie Jones

AR20041026

Ghost Stories

By John Connolly

2/5

The Shifting of the Sands

A cleric is sent to a remote coastal parish where he soon realises that the local community worships different gods from those of the Christian Church.

Read by Ian McDiarmid

AR20041027

Ghost Stories

By John Connolly

3/5

Some Children Wander by Mistake

When the circus comes to town, a young boy's curiosity about clowns leads him deeper behind the scenes than he would have liked.

Read by Alun Armstrong

AR20041028

Ghost Stories

By John Connolly

4. Miss Froom, Vampire

A young passer-by stops to help an attractive, middle-aged spinster in her garden, but recognises over tea that there is something peculiar, and irresistible, about his hostess.

Read by Jacqueline Pearce

AR20041029

Ghost Stories

By John Connolly

5/5. The New Daughter

A young family moves into a house on whose land sits an old fairy fort, and the father becomes aware of ancient forces beneath the ruin that seek to take his daughter from him.

Read by Niall Buggy.

AR20041105

Journeys and Migrations: Stories from the Belfast Festival

Tony Hawks introduces a week of short stories on the theme of Journeys and Migrations by five renowned Irish writers, recorded live at this year's Belfast Festival at Queen's.

5/5. Mr Bermingham's Journey

By Arthur Mathews

Mr Bermingham, member of the Irish Society for the Preservation of Eejits, is on his way to Limerick, following up reports that a genuine specimen of the 'Classic' Irish eejit is currently residing in the vicinity. An encounter on the train, however, leads to a most exciting - and rather unnerving - discovery.

Read by Niall Buggy.

AR20041108

Journeys and Migrations. Stories from the Belfast Festival

For the third year running, BBC Northern Ireland Radio Drama is returning to the Belfast Festival at Queen's with five new short stories for Radio 4. Taking the theme of this year's Festival - 'Journeys and Migrations' - as their inspiration, Clare Boylan, Gretta Mulrooney, Colin Bateman, Anne Dunlop and Arthur Mathews bring us a varied collection of light-hearted and imaginative stories. Ranging from a final fling on a singles holiday, to a train journey to find Ireland's greatest eejit, and with characters as entertaining and eccentric as any in Irish Literature brought to life by five talented readers, this week brings together some of the best and most exciting voices in Ireland today.

1/5

Singles

By Clare Boylan

Read by Lynda Bellingham

Connie goes abroad on a 'singles' holiday for a last fling and finds herself sharing a room with a nun. As her plans go awry, she is forced into an unlikely companionship with the other woman, and realises that she just wanted an opportunity to do once more the one thing in her life that she did really well. With Sister Agnes, Connie finally discovers the kind of relationship that gives her life some meaning.

Introduced by Tony Hawks

AR20041109

Journeys and Migrations: Stories from the Belfast Festival

A week of short stories on the theme of Journeys and Migrations by five renowned Irish writers, recorded live at this year's Belfast Festival at Queen's.

2/5. The Old Master

By Gretta Mulrooney

Underpaid, underfed, and far from his native Tralee, Arthur Maguire enters the lives of a London-based Irish family as part of an Exiles from Erin campaign. Their weekly routine and longstanding family traditions begin to alter to accommodate their 'exile', but when the mother goes on a new diet and starts reading beauty magazines, father and son decide something must be done.

AR20041110

Journeys and Migrations: Stories from the Belfast Festival

Tony Hawks introduces a week of short stories on the theme of Journeys and Migrations by five renowned Irish writers, recorded live at this year's Belfast Festival at Queen's.

3/5. The Prize

By Colin Bateman

From the blank walls of a prison cell to the blank walls of an art gallery - a Northern Irish ex-con goes on a journey of artistic self discovery via the circuitous route of West Belfast Turf Accountants to leafy residential suburbs. He finally gets the recognition he feels he deserves by bringing his own unique brand of persuasion to the great and good of the art world.

AR20041111

ourneys and Migrations: Stories from the Belfast Festival

Tony Hawks introduces a week of short stories on the theme of Journeys and Migrations by five renowned Irish writers, recorded live at this year's Belfast Festival at Queen's.

4/5. Pigs Might Fly

By Anne Dunlop

Lucy Streaghorn is bored with her life and career in rural Northern Ireland. She longs for a new challenge and is overjoyed when she receives a job offer to escape and travel the world - an offer that could change her life forever!

Read by Tara Lynne O'Neill.

AR20041112
AR20041115

Commonwealth Stories

1/5

Three winning stories from this year's Commonwealth Broadcasting Association Short Story Competition.

1. The Photograph, by Sefi Atta from Nigeria. Starvation meets the hunger for celebrity. Read by Adjoa Andoh.

2. The Kite Maker, by Anu Kumar from India. A kite brings a lost son home. Read by Lyndam Gregory.

3. Going Home, by Juliane Okot Bitek in Canada. A dangerous journey, answering a grandmother's longing. Read by Janice Acquah.

AR20041116

2/5

Commonwealth Stories

Three winning stories from this year's Commonwealth Broadcasting Association Short Story Competition.

1. Going Home, by Ruvanee Pietersz Vilhauer from Sri Lanka, the overall winner.

Home means stringhoppers, but Niki misses hot dogs.

Read by Josephine Welcome.

2. The Television, by M. Mather from South Africa.

Which matters more, a television or a child?

Read by Noma Dumezweni.

3. Dora's Turn, by Jackee Budesta Batanda from Uganda.

A girl soldier is ordered to kill her friend.

Read by Rakie Ayola.

AR20041117

3/5

Commonwealth Stories

Three winning stories from this year's Commonwealth Broadcasting Association Short Story Competition.

1. The Festive Season in a Part of Africa, by Tod Collins from South Africa.

A vet haggles for his fee.

Read by Christopher Wells.

2. Mangoes to Buy, by Alake Pilgrim from Trinidad.

Angela longs for news of her soldier son.

Read by Sandra James-Young.

3. Soundscape, by Liz Healy from Australia.

A boy records the sounds of winter, while his parents argue.

Read by Andrew Macklin.

AR20041122

Mind Games

Series of psychological thrillers and disturbing tales.

1/5. Situation 37

By Russell Hoban

A chance meeting on a train has murderous consequences.

Read by Mark Strong.

AR20041123

2/5

Mind Games.

Series of psychological thrillers and disturbing tales.

A Very Fine House by Helen Dunmore

Can property obsession go too far?

Read by Jilly Bond.

AR20041124

Mind Games

Continuing this series of new psychological thrillers and disturbing tales.

3/5

Where Sorrows End, by Patricia Duncker.

When a woman finds out about her husband's adultery, her thoughts turn to revenge.

Read by Isla Blair

AR20041125

Mind Games.

Continuing the series of psychological thrillers and disturbing tales.

4/5. The Boyle Curriculum

By Nick Parker

Now that their teacher has departed from his normal lesson plan, the children of 3B are about to learn some very strange lessons indeed.

Read by Hugh Bonneville.

AR20041126

Mind Games.

Continuing the series of psychological thrillers and disturbing tales.

5/5. Asleep or Elsewhere

By Maggie O'Farrell.

Clare wonders about the other woman who lives in her house, whom she never sees.

Read by Clare Skinner.

AR20041129

Autumn Anthology: Stories from new and established radio writers. 1/5: A Resurrection, by Christina Koning. A trip to Venice brings painful memories and an awkward encounter. Read by John Telfer.

AR20041130

Autumn Anthology: Stories from new and established radio writers. 2/5. Twenty Gods and the Pomegranate Seeds, by Azmeena Ladha. A family story begins with a marriage and ends with a treasure.

AR20041201

Autumn Anthology. Series of stories from new and established radio writers. 3/5. The Venus, by Joe Hollings. Digging in pursuit of the perfect tomato, Samuel Protheroe unearths a classical dilemma.

AR20041202

A miscellany of stories from new and established radio writers.

4/5

Bees

Written by Pippa Gladhill

The queen is bothered by a strange buzzing in her left ear, and her bees are agitated. Meanwhile, the king is reciting alphabetically all the words ever known to prevent mind rot.

Read by Phyllida Nash

AR20041203

Autumn Anthology. Series of stories from new and established radio writers. 5/5. Quantum Man, by Rachel Fixsen. A father finds an unexpected link with his son in the complexities of quantum physics.

AR20041206

The Sculptor's Daughter: Readings from Tove Jansson's autobiographical stories. 1/5. The Dark: In the cold Finnish winter a little girl reflects on the all-embracing dark. Read by Claire Skinner.

AR20041207

The Sculptor's Daughter. Readings from Tove Jansson's autobiographical stories. 2/5. The Bays: How the world around the island seems like a magical universe to a child. Read by Claire Skinner.

AR20041228

2/5. One hundred years ago - on 27th December, 1904 - J M Barrie's play Peter Pan was given its first theatre performance. It was such a huge success that Barrie decided to publish the story in prose, with Peter And Wendy appearing in 1911.

Read by Alan Bennett.

AR20041229

3/5. One hundred years ago - on 27th December, 1904 - J M Barrie's play Peter Pan was given its first theatre performance. It was such a huge success that Barrie decided to publish the story in prose, with Peter And Wendy appearing in 1911.

Read by Alan Bennett.

AR20041230

Peter and Wendy

4/5. One hundred years ago - on 27th December, 1904 - J M Barrie's play Peter Pan was given its first theatre performance. It was such a huge success that Barrie decided to publish the story in prose, with Peter And Wendy appearing in 1911.

Read by Alan Bennett.

AR20041231

Peter and Wendy

5/5. One hundred years ago - on 27th December, 1904 - J M Barrie's play Peter Pan was given its first theatre performance. It was such a huge success that Barrie decided to publish the story in prose, with Peter And Wendy appearing in 1911.

Read by Alan Bennett.

AR20050103

Scottish Shorts: New stories from Scotland. 1/5. Advent, by Linda Cracknell: Working away from home during the festive season, an executive rediscovers her sense of adventure. Read by Tamara Kennedy.

AR20050104

Scottish Shorts: New stories from Scotland. 2/5. Herring, by Kenneth Steven: Old fishing logbooks rekindle memories of first love in the winter snow. Read by John Buick.

AR20050105

Scottish Shorts: New stories from Scotland. 3/5. Write your Name Small, written and read by Anne Downie: The pantomime season finds a theatre company struggling to keep the show on the road.

AR20050106

Scottish Shorts: New stories from Scotland. 4/5. Kindness, by Ron Butlin: Elderly Alice is feeling bruised by life, but an angry commuter provokes her fighting spirit. Read by Edith MacArthur.

AR20050107

New stories from Scotland. 5/5. A Hallowed Space, by Jenny Warton: An awkward young man meets a beautiful girl in an art gallery - but is it the perfect match? Read by Ralph Riach.

AR20050110

The Time Being: Series of five original stories. 1/5. The White Road, by Tania Hershman. While her customers seek coffee and shelter from the Antarctic cold, Mags makes ready for a change of view.

AR20050111

The Time Being: Series of five original stories. 2/5. Bosendorfer, by Griselda Gordon. With her fortieth birthday approaching, Janice finds herself in a love triangle with a man and a grand piano.

AR20050112

The Time Being: Series of five original stories. 3/5. Detained, by Heidi Amsinck. Stranded in a snowbound airport, Clarissa kills time, and finds life is not all it seems. Read by Lesley Manville.

AR20050113

The Time Being: Original stories by unpublished writers. 4/5. Gunpoint Optimism, by Lauren Frankel. Inspired by a tragedy she sees from her window, Gilbey plays games of friendship and love.

AR20050114

The Time Being: Original stories by unpublished writers. 5/5. Gerald Says, by Sally Hinchcliffe. As she spends more time on site, Elizabeth struggles to keep building and marriage intact.

AR20050117

Borderlands. Stories set in the border territories of the British Isles. 1/5. A Cut Above, by Alison Fell. A funeral uncovers a long-held secret in a family's history. Read by Siobhan Redmond.

AR20050118

Borderlands.

Stories set in the border territories of the British Isles.

2/5. Stranger on the Shore

Following the death of his father, a successful record producer goes back to his home town. Read by Gerald Murphy.

AR20050119

Borderlands. Stories set in the border territories. 3/5. Jackboots over the Beacons, by Steve Davies. Tom's wife is not entirely pleased to have him under her feet all day. Read by Jennifer Hill.

AR20050120

Borderlands. Stories set in the border territories.

3/5. Annunciation, by Sue Gee.

Since her mother's death, Morag has lived quietly with her father in the old house beside the church. Today, however, is a day unlike any other.

Read by Stella Gonet.

AR20050124

Second Generation. Five short stories. 1: Pirates, by Peter Ho. Andy Lo's passion for films takes him to Singapore, where he is determined to make some money. Read by Jason Chan.

AR20050125

Second Generation. 2/5. The Importance of Having Warm Feet, by Marina Lewycka. The new girl with the strange-spounding name finds gerself taking centre stage. Read by Zhivila Roche.

AR20050126

Second Generation. 3/5. Sticks and Stones, by Trezza Azzopardi. Something about Paul Fry's vulnerability reminds Lewis of the torment of a half forgotten nightmare. Read by Ben Miles.

AR20050127

Second Generation. 4/5. Heard it Told, by Helen Oyeyemi. Osun goes on a journey of discovery in this cautionary tale set in Nigeria's beguiling landscapes. Read by Ndidi Del Fatti.

AR20050128

Second Generation. 5/5. The Horse, by Rana Dasgupta. A story about the power of words. Read by Julius D'Silva.

AR20050131

Whoever you Choose to Love: Short stories by Colette Paul. 1/5. Supernovas: A girl pays a visit to the observatory but spends more time observing the destructive trajectories of the adults around her.

AR20050201

Whoever you Choose to Love: Short stories by Colette Paul. 2/5. O Tell Me the Truth About Love, Part 1: 14 year old Carla watches with disapproval as her best friend and older sister falls in love.

AR20050202

Whoever you Choose to Love: Short stories by Colette Paul. 3/5. O Tell me the Truth about Love, Part 2: Carla continues to be disappointed by the way her sister has abandoned her feminist principles.

AR20050203

Whoever you Choose to Love: Short stories by Colette Paul. 4/5. Neighbours: A young married couple are invited for drinks by their bohemian neighbours. Read by Lesley Hart.

AR20050204

Whoever you Choose to Love

5/5

Here, This Tragedy

The selection of stories by Colette Paul concludes with a moving story about Edith, who is determined that her new friend Toby should meet her 19 year old daughter who has learning difficulties.

Read by Valerie Edmond

Abridged by Jill Waters

AR20050207

1/5. Wild Ways

Can't Beat It

By Emily Perkins

A week of stories about women on the road.

"I would never have come to the desert if I'd known that Cecilia would turn into a gibbering loon with an eating disorder," claims Marcie, who is travelling across America with her friend in a blue convertible automatic.

The highlight of their journey is a Jack Kerouac lookalike competition which brings Marcie face to face with the man of her dreams.

Read by Amanda Horlock

AR20050214

Sleepers

Five stories set on overnight trains.

1/5

To Sleep, To Dream.

By Susan Elderkin.

A British ex-pat takes a train from Shanghai to Beijing to escape both his insomnia and his now pregnant Chinese girlfriend.

Read by Tom Goodman-Hill.

AR20050215

Sleepers

Five stories set on overnight trains.

2/5

I Take My Heart Out When I Sleep.

By Candia McWilliam.

A night through snow going North reveals the generations to one another; or perhaps it does the opposite.

Read by Ralph Riach.

AR20050216

Sleepers

Five stories set on overnight trains.

3/5

The 10.15 to Bucharest

By Louise Welsh.

A Gothic tale set on the overnight train from Vienna to Bucharest, where nothing is what it seems.

Read by Liam Brennan.

AR20050217

Sleepers

Five stories set on overnight trains.

4/5

This Reporter

By Nick Walker

A reporter and his sound recordist, Brian, are travelling through a war zone seeking a story for their next bulletin without fully understanding the unfolding situation.

Read by Michael Feast

AR20050218

Sleepers: Five stories set on overnight trains. 5/5. At the End of the Day, by Andrew O'Hagan. A man returning home from Glasgow to Euston carries a strange gift for his newborn daughter.

AR20050221

Small Crimes in an Age of Abundance

By Matthew Kneale.

Abridged by Richard Hamilton.

A collection of short stories by Matthew Kneale taking us on a journey around today's uncertain world.

1/5. Metal

Toby Chisolm is on business in Africa when he finds himself in the thick of a local protest.

Read by Douglas Hodge.

AR20050222

Small Crimes in an Age of Abundance

By Matthew Kneale.

Abridged by Richard Hamilton.

A collection of short stories by Matthew Kneale taking us on a journey around today's uncertain world.

2/5. Numbers

When things go wrong at home, mathematician, Jim Harvey "retreats into coping, trying not to mind as the details of his life slip into chaos".

Read by William Hope.

AR20050223

Small Crimes in an Age of Abundance

By Matthew Kneale

Abridged by Richard Hamilton.

A collection of short stories by Matthew Kneale taking us on a journey around today's uncertain world.

3/5. Stone

While travelling independently through China, a well meaning English family become complicit in the country's violence.

Read by Douglas Hodge.

AR20050224

Small Crimes in an Age of Abundance

By Matthew Kneale

Abridged by Richard Hamilton.

A collection of short stories by Matthew Kneale taking us on a journey around today's uncertain world.

4/5.

Powder, Part One

For Peter Pelham the discovery of a holdall spells "concentrated danger that could destroy every one of his fifty-three years of cautious, law-abiding life.

Read by Robert Bathurst.

AR20050225

5/5. Small Crimes in an Age of Abundance. Powder. Part Two: By Matthew Kneale.

When Ginny and Theo return home for the holidays questions are asked about the bag of bags.

Read by Robert Bathurst.

Abridged by Richard Hamilton.

AR20050228

Hidden Histories: Stories from the Bath Festival.

Stories performed on stage at the Guildhall in Bath exploring secrets and memories.

1/5. Lunch with the Latest Floozy

By Rachel Fixsen

When a protective mother meets her son and his latest partner for lunch, all the ingredients are in place for a prickly encounter.

Read by Stephanie Cole.

AR20050301

Hidden Histories: Stories from the Bath Festival

Stories performed on stage at the Guildhall in Bath exploring secrets and memories.

2/5. Deceiving Mr Pemberley

By Crysse Morrison.

Julie doesn't expect much of her Care course placement with blind Mr Pemberley every Wednesday afternoon, and her creative solution to boredom causes her a major dilemma.

Read by Devon Black.

AR20050302

Hidden Histories: Stories from the Bath Festival.

Stories performed on stage at the Guildhall in Bath exploring secrets and memories.

3/5. Leo's War

By Julia Stoneham

When Leo and his brothers take on the challenge of beating the tide across the beach and under the cliffs, the exploit turns into a frightening rite of passage for the young boy.

Read by Bill Wallace.

AR20050303

Hidden Histories: Stories from the Bath Festival

Stories performed on stage at the Guildhall in Bath exploring secrets and memories.

4/5. My Father as an Ant

By Diana Hendry.

A touching account of a woman's memories of her silent father and his dreams.

Read by Stephanie Cole.

AR20050304

Hidden Histories: Stories from the Bath Festival

Stories performed on stage at the Guildhall in Bath exploring secrets and memories.

5/5. Mastermind

Written and read by Sheila Hannon.

Kai lai lumps and lollyade, lemonade powder, rainbow crystals, dib dabs, Bassett's sherbert fountains - memories of a childhood spent in a sweetshop and of the much-loved father who owned it give a woman all the specialist subject knowledge she would need if she ever appeared on Mastermind.

With special guest John Humphrys.

AR20050307

Beyond the Surgery

A series of stories by authors who trained and practiced as doctors.

1/5. Baptism by Rotation

A semi-autobiographical piece by Russian writer Mikhail Bulgakov, including a tense account of a young doctor's first experience of a difficult childbirth.

AR20050308

Beyond the Surgery.

A series of stories by authors who trained and practised as doctors.

2/5. An Incident at Gloucester

By Tobias Smollett

A portrait of a man beset by ailments who writes a series of letters home to his doctor recounting the romantic misadventures of his niece and his sister, as well as venting much spleen.

AR20050309

Beyond the Surgery. A series of stories by authors who trained and practised as doctors. 3/5. The Case of Lady Sannox, by Arthur Conan Doyle: A melodramatic tale read by Tim Piggott-Smith.

AR20050314

Write to Perform

Stories written and read by well known Irish performers.

1/5. Jennifer Ryan's Eyes are Still as Blue

Written and read by Dan Gordon.

When an unexpected invitation from an old school friend arrives, father of three, Michael, finds himself lost in nostalgic reverie.

AR20050315

Write to Perform

Stories written and read by well known Irish performers.

2/5. Changing Rooms

Written and read by Frances Tomelty

Thomas' mother can't come to terms with her son's choice of partner. However, when tragedy strikes she finds a bizarre solace in helping renovate their home.

AR20050316

Write to Perform

3/5. The Right Key, written and read by Harry Towb.

The third of five stories by well known Irish performers.

After a night out seeing South Pacific, Patrick Kennedy smiles to himself as he tells his wife the story of his own bid for stardom in the same musical, years earlier.

Produced by Heather Brennon.

AR20050317

Write to Perform

Stories written and read by well known Irish performers.

4/5. So Far Away from Me

Written and read by Annie McCartney and Katy Gleadhill.

When her only daughter Ellie goes travelling with her boyfriend, Rosie faces a huge void in her life. How will she cope?

AR20050318

Write to Perform

The last of five stories written and read by well known Irish performers.

5/5

Haberdashery, written and read by Billy Roche.

After many years harbouring a secret love for Evelyn, Leo makes one last personal and very poignant gesture.

AR20050321

Spring Collection

1/4. The Universal Aunt

By Candy Neubert.

In her stiff grey Harris Tweed coat, 11 year old Beverley is making the long journey back to her dreaded boarding school. As she passes through the sliding doors at the airport exit, she scans the crowd. Then a woman steps forward, smiling.

Read by Jacqueline Tong.

AR20050322

Spring Collection

2/4. The House That Jack Built

Written and read by Phyllida Nash.

After Jack's sudden death in Italy, his wife meets up with three of their old friends. But will Susie, Paula and Karen ever discover what really happened that night in Amalfi?

AR20050323

Spring Collection. 3/4. The Kitchen Front, by Stella Goorney. A perfect gastronomic moment is ruined when the sirens go off. Read by Rebecca Smart.

AR20050324

4/4. Spring Collection. The Night Singers

By Valerie Miner

Henry wonders if the retirement home will be too confining for the once vigorous woman who used to be his college professor but Cecilia, though older and physically diminished, still has the promise of music to keep her spirit soaring.

AR20050328

Tales from Ireland

1/5.

Storyteller Eddie Lenihan has been gathering stories and folklore from across Ireland for over 30 years. In this series he tells us some of the tales that have been told to him by people whose memories and experiences are steeped in centuries of anecdote, myth and wisdom.

The baffling powers of certain landscapes, and the invisible walls of a field feature in today's story.

AR20050329

Tales from Ireland: Eddie Lenihan tells the second of five Irish folklore tales exploring the way in which the natural world has been incorporated into the patterns of daily life.

AR20050330

Tales from Ireland: Eddie Lenihan tells the third of five Irish folklore tales, revealing the darker side of the stereotyped leprechauns and fairies.

AR20050331

Tales from Ireland: Eddie Lenihan tells the fourth of five Irish folklore tales, revealing the land's painful history.

AR20050401

Tales from Ireland: Eddie Lenihan tells the last of five Irish folklore tales, weaving magic, landscape and history together.

AR20050404

Days of Reckoning. Stories about dramatic turning points in people's lives. 1/5. Casting On, by Ruth Thomas: A young woman tries to come to terms with her unplanned pregnancy. Read by Emma Currie.

"

AR20050405

Days of Reckoning. Stories about dramatic turning points in people's lives. 2/5. The Gap, by Robert Douglas: A policeman on the verge of retirement pays an old friend a surprise visit.

"

AR20050406

Days of Reckoning: Stories about dramatic turning points in people's lives. 3/5. The Christmas Chair, by Jules Horne. An old man with Alzheimer's is brought home for the festive season.

"

AR20050407

Days of Reckoning: Stories about dramatic turning points in people's lives. 4/5. When Stevie Was Married, by John Heraghty. A man decides to invent a wife for himself. One day she turns up.

"

AR20050408

Days of Reckoning: Stories about dramatic turning points in people's lives. 5/5. Bruised Fruit, by Sue Rulliere. A man considers his life pointless after suffering a crippling injury.

"

AR20050411

The Casino. Short stories by Margaret Bonham, first published in 1948. 1/5. The Horse: Angela concentrates on her homework while her mother hosts a drinks party for her intellectual friends.

AR20050413

The River

3/5. A delightful collection of short stories written by Margaret Bonham and first published in 1948.

The river is a source of passion for William and his three year old daughter Frankie. When it floods catastrophe follows.

Read by Emma Fielding.

AR20050414

The Casino. Short stories by Margaret Bonham, first published in 1948. 4/5. The Two Mrs Reeds: Two women with the same name convalesce in a maternity ward. Read by Emma Fielding.

AR20050415

The Casino. Short stories by Margaret Bonham. 5/5. The Professor's Daughter: Four year old Britta and her fearful imagination are the cause of social embarrassment for Miss Jenner.

AR20050418

The Pennine Way

1/5. The Bride Doll, by Lesley Glaister.

A series of short stories specially commissioned to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the opening of Britain's first long distance walk, The Pennine Way.

Two sisters are landladies at different bed and breakfasts along the Pennine Way. One particular walker, a retired headmaster and widower, is wooed by both. The sisters compete to seduce him with their cooking skills: jam roly poly and a very special steak and ale pie. But which sister will be the lucky one.

AR20050419

The Pennine Way

2/5. At the bottom, Looking Up, written by Mike Stott and read by Bernard Gallagher.

Series of five specially commissioned short stories to mark the 40th anniversary of the opening of the Pennine Way.

A retired sheep farmer remembers his life on the Pennine Way. Now disabled and speechless, he remembers the wild life he saw from the tops, the tragedies and the triumphs of the natural order of things.

AR20050420

3/5. The Pennine Way. Venus Fly Trap: By Jane Rogers: Series of five specially commissioned short stories to mark the 40th anniversary of the opening of the Pennine Way.

AR20050421

The Pennine Way

4/5. Series of five specially commissioned short stories to mark the 40th anniversary of the opening of the Pennine Way.

Gladness, by Mark Illis.

The M62 is a modern Pennine Way. It crosses the Pennines from Manchester to Leeds and its where Bill Dax, the script writer of a television soap has a near death - or is it a near life - experience.

AR20050422

The Pennine Way

5/5. Venus Fly Trap

By Jane Rogers.

A series of short stories specially commissioned to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the opening of Britain's first long distance walk, The Pennine Way.

A young girl serving in a garden centre cafe is invited to come walking by one of the customers. He's clad in all the latest walking clothes and has a massive rucksack. She's only wearing her trainers. He takes her up Standedge Cutting and introduces her to the unique landscape that is the Pennine Way.

AR20050425

Brighton Women: Lynne Truss presents stories celebrating the life of women in Brighton's history. 1/5. Looking out to Sea, by Carole Hayman. The story of the 18th-century "dipper" Martha Gunn.

AR20050426

Brighton Women. Lynne Truss presents stories celebrating the life of women in Brighton's history. 2/5. The Buzz of the Day, by John Peacock. The tragic and moving tale of Maria Fitzherbert.

AR20050427

Brighton Women. Lynne Truss presents stories celebrating the life of women in Brighton's history. 3/5. The Grey Lady, by Roy Apps. The tale of Brighton's first female theatre manager, Mrs Nye Chart.

AR20050428

Brighton Women. Lynne Truss presents stories celebrating the life of women in Brighton's history. 4/5. Thoroughbred Minds, by Cathy Feeny. An insight into the fascinating life of writer Enid Bagnold.

AR20050429

Brighton Women. Lynne Truss presents stories celebrating the life of women in Brighton's history. 5/5. A Place in the Sun, by Nicky Singer. A celebration of the life of Grace Eyre Woodhead.

AR20050502

Cornish Tales. 1/5. Series of folk tales from Penwith in Cornwall, told by local people intercut with a range of opinion on the origins of this ancient material.

AR20050503

Cornish Tales. 2/5. Series of folk tales from Penwith in Cornwall, told by local people intercut with a range of opinion on the origins of this ancient material.

AR20050504

Cornish Tales. 3/5. Series of folk tales from Penwith in Cornwall, told by local people intercut with a range of opinion on the origins of this ancient material.

AR20050505

Cornish Tales

All this week the afternoon story goes to Penwith in Cornwall to seek out stories of giants, little people, wild spirits, mermaids, smugglers and pirates. What follows is an intoxicating mix of tale told by local people intercut with a range of opinion on the origins of this ancient material.

AR20050506

Cornish Tales. 5/5. Series of folk tales from Penwith in Cornwall, told by local people intercut with a range of opinion on the origins of this ancient material.

AR20050509

Dangerous Calm: Stories by Elizabeth Taylor. 1/5. The Letter Writers: Two people who have been writing to each other for ten years face the crisis of their first meeting. Read by Joanna David.

AR20050510

Dangerous Calm: Stories by Elizabeth Taylor. 2/5. Spry Old Character: Harry struggles to adapt to his new surroundings at the home for the blind. Read by David Troughton.

AR20050512

Dangerous Calm: Stories by Elizabeth Taylor. 4/5. A Dedicated Man: A hotel waiter finds that his marriage of convenience breeds its own dangerous fictions. Read by David Troughton.

AR20050513

Dangerous Calm: Stories by Elizabeth Taylor. 5/5. Hotel du Commerce: An overheard argument reveals the fragility of a honeymoon couple's own relationship. Read by Joanna David.

AR20050516

De Profundis

By Oscar Wilde. Abridged by Robert Forrest.

Wilde's letter to his lover Lord Alfred Douglas, written from Reading Gaol.

1/5. De Profundis is an account of Douglas and Wilde's shared life together, a life which ultimately brought about Wilde's penury and ruin. At times a vitriolic indictment of Douglas' behaviour, it is also a profound meditation on human suffering and a testament to Wilde's enduring attachment to his young Narcissus.

Read by Simon Russell Beale.

AR20050517

De Profundis

By Oscar Wilde. Abridged by Robert Forrest.

Wilde's letter to his lover Lord Alfred Douglas, written from Reading Gaol.

2/5. Oscar reminds Douglas of how he nursed him during a period of illness at the Grand Hotel in Brighton, and how the same favour was not returned when Oscar fell ill just a week later.

Read by Simon Russell Beale.

AR20050518

De Profundis

By Oscar Wilde. Abridged by Robert Forrest.

Wilde's letter to his lover Lord Alfred Douglas, written from Reading Gaol.

3/5. Oscar recalls the absurdity of his libel action against the Marquess of Queensbury which propelled him into the dock himself.

Read by Simon Russell Beale.

AR20050519

De Profundis

By Oscar Wilde. Abridged by Robert Forrest.

Wilde's letter to his lover Lord Alfred Douglas, written from Reading Gaol.

4/5. Wilde contemplates the redemption that lies within suffering.

Read by Simon Russell Beale.

AR20050520

De Profundis

By Oscar Wilde. Abridged by Robert Forrest.

Wilde's letter to his lover Lord Alfred Douglas, written from Reading Gaol.

5/5. Wilde delivers his final wounding blow, with love.

Read by Simon Russell Beale.

AR20050530

A Garden of Stories

Five readings featuring fictional gardens and gardeners.

1/5. The Occasional Garden

By Saki.

A spirited account of horticultural one-upmanship among ladies who lunch, read by gardening enthusiast and actress Penelope Keith.

AR20050531

A Garden of Stories

Five readings featuring fictional gardens and gardeners.

2/5. Through the Looking Glass

By Lewis Carroll.

Jenny Uglow, author of A Little History of British Gardening, discusses the role of gardens in children's literature and Caroll's quirky reversal of the idea of talking to plants. The extract from the chapter, The Garden of Live Flowers, is read by Patience Tomlinson.

Abridged and produced by Jill Waters.

AR20050601

Five readings featuring fictional gardens and gardeners.

3/5. Bouvard and Pecuchet

Julian Barnes reads an extract from Gustave Flaubert's unfinished novel.

Novelist Julian Barnes is a keen grower of vegetables as well as a well-known Flaubert enthusiast. He combines these two interests by introducing and reading an extract from Flaubert's unfinished novel in which two retired Parisian clerks embark on their adventures in gardening with great enthusiasm, an awful lot of books, and very little skill.

AR20050602

A Garden of Stories

Readings featuring fictional gardens and gardeners.

4/5. Elizabeth and her German Garden

By Elizabeth Von Arnim, abridged by Jill Waters.

Charles Quest-Ritson is a garden writer, expert on roses and author of Gardens of Germany. He introduces an extract from the autobiographical novel in which the young Elizabeth von Arnim tells of her delight in escaping the oppressive rigours of polite society in Germany by devoting herself to the creation of a garden.

Read by Claire Skinner.

AR20050603

A Garden of Stories

Readings featuring fictional gardens and gardeners.

5/5. The Selfish Giant

By Oscar Wilde.

John Cushnie takes a break from answering gardeners' questions to reflect on how frost affects the life of a garden and to introduce Oscar Wilde's touching story The Selfish Giant, in which frost descends permanently on the giant's garden when he refuses to let children play in it.

Read by Andrew Sachs.

AR20050606

Dreaming Alice

Contemporary writers give a twist to Alice in Wonderland.

1/5. Growing

By Kathy Page.

Alice's summer is already complicated by the prospect of a holiday with Dad and his new partner. Then there's her Science homework and she has a headache. It's enough to make anyone feel dizzy.

Read By Susan Jameson.

AR20050607

Dreaming Alice

Contemporary writers give a twist to Alice in Wonderland.

2/5. Fourth of July, 1862

Written and read by Patrick Gale.

At 18, Rhoda is beginning to feel like an old maid, constantly eclipsed by her enchanting younger sister. She's so desperate that she's prepared to consider the charms of The Mathematician.

AR20050608

Dreaming Alice

Contemporary writers give a twist to Alice in Wonderland.

3/5. Looking Glass

By Preethi Nair.

Alice has no time for breakfast, no time to grieve for her mother, no time for anything; until an escaped rabbit propels her into someone else's life.

Read by Rebecca Smart.

AR20050609

Dreaming Alice

Contemporary writers give a twist to Alice in Wonderland.

4/5. Sentence First

By Philip Gross.

A whole room full of white rabbits, walruses and carpenters standing around.

Read by Manon Edwards.

AR20050613

Square Peg in a Round Hole, The Life and Opinions of Sydney Smith

Adapted for radio by Caroline Harrington.

1/5. A Poor Working Man of God

Sydney Smith's entertaining and humane outlook on life is as enjoyable now as it was when he was writing in the late 18th and early 19th century. Here he reflects on how, against his own inclination, he became a curate.

Sydney Smith....Timothy West

Saba....Colleen Prendergast

"

AR20050614

Square Peg in a Round Hole, The Life and Opinions of Sydney Smith

Adapted for radio by Caroline Harrington.

2/5. The Land of Calvin, Oatcakes and Sulphur

Further extracts from the entertaining mind of the celebrated cleric. At the beginning of the 19th century, Sydney marries and moves to Edinburgh.

Timothy West....Sydney Smith

Colleen Prendergast....Saba

"

AR20050615

Square Peg in a Round Hole, The Life and Opinions of Sydney Smith

Adapted for radio by Caroline Harrington.

3/5. A Passionate Love for Common Justice

Further extracts from the entertaining mind of the celebrated cleric. Sydney moves to London in 1804, where his lectures on Moral Philosophy create a sensation.

Timothy West....Sydney Smith

Colleen Prendergast....Saba

"

AR20050616

Square Peg in a Round Hole, The Life and Opinions of Sydney Smith

Adapted for radio by Caroline Harrington.

4/5. Twelve Miles From a Lemon

Further extracts from the entertaining mind of the celebrated cleric. Sydney and his family arrive in North Yorkshire.

Sydney Smith....Timothy West

Saba....Colleen Prendergast

"

AR20050617

Square Peg in a Round Hole, The Life and Opinions of Sydney Smith

Adapted for radio by Caroline Harrington.

5/5. Pâté de Foie Gras to the Sound of Trumpets

Further extracts from the entertaining mind of the celebrated cleric. Though passed over for a bishopric, Sydney's reflections show an unfailing wisdom and good humour.

Sydney Smith....Timothy West

Saba....Colleen Prendergast

"

AR20050620

archy and mehitabel

By Don Marquis, abridged by Cathy Stewart.

A classic collection of humorous verse written by a cockroach with the soul of a poet, whose friend is a cat who was once Cleopatra.

1/5. the coming of archy

It all began with a message from archy left in the typewriter of New York Sun columnist Don Marquis: leave a piece of paper in your machine every night...

archy....Greg Proops

mehitabel....Peri Gilpin

Don Marquis....Don Fellows

AR20050621

archy and mehitabel

By Don Marquis, abridged by Cathy Stewart.

A classic collection of humorous verse written by a cockroach with the soul of a poet, whose friend is a cat who was once Cleopatra.

2/5. pity the poor spiders

The human race little knows all the sadness it causes in the insect world.

archy....Greg Proops

mehitabel....Peri Gilpin

Don Marquis....Don Fellows

AR20050622

archy and mehitabel

By Don Marquis, abridged by Cathy Stewart.

A classic collection of humorous verse written by a cockroach with the soul of a poet, whose friend is a cat who was once Cleopatra.

3/5. the wail of archy

The battered alley cat who was once Cleopatra puts on a brave face for her friend the cockroach: "toujours gai is the word archy".

Classic humorous verse from New York of the Prohibition Years.

archy....Greg Proops

mehitabel....Peri Gilpin

Don Marquis....Don Fellows

AR20050623

archy and mehitabel

By Don Marquis, abridged by Cathy Stewart.

A classic collection of humorous verse written by a cockroach with the soul of a poet, whose friend is a cat who was once Cleopatra.

4/5. the cheerful cricket

Humorous verse from the typewriter of a cockroach with no shortage of opinions: "crying cheer up cheer up... i hate those grinning skipping smirking senseless optimists".

archy....Greg Proops

mehitabel....Peri Gilpin

Don Marquis....Don Fellows

AR20050624

archy and mehitabel

By Don Marquis, abridged by Cathy Stewart.

A classic collection of humorous verse written by a cockroach with the soul of a poet, whose friend is a cat who was once Cleopatra.

5/5. archy and mehitabel in france

The cockroach and the 'toujours gai' alley cat up sticks for Paris, where archy is inspired by Napoleon and mehitabel proves "there's more than one dance in the old dame yet".

archy....Greg Proops

mehitabel....Peri Gilpin

Don Marquis....Don Fellows

AR20050627

Theories of Relativity

Specially commissioned stories to mark the centenary of Einstein's discovery.

1/5. What Did Einstein Ever Do for Topher Quigley

By Marianne Carey.

Car park attendant Topher Quigley shares a packet of ginger nuts and his personal philosophy with a time-travelling Einstein.

AR20050628

Theories of Relativity

Specially commissioned stories to mark the centenary of Einstein's discovery.

2/5. Locksmith

By Finlay Welsh.

In the wake of World War II, and the development of the atomic bomb, Einstein declared If only I had known, I would have become a locksmith. This story evokes an alternative life in a parallel universe.

AR20050629

Theories of Relativity

Specially commissioned stories to mark the centenary of Einstein's discovery.

3/5. Frames of Reference

By Patricia Hannah.

Mutual admiration can't bridge the space between them when Science flirts with Art in an Edinburgh café.

AR20050630

Theories of Relativity

Specially commissioned stories to mark the centenary of Einstein's discovery.

4/5. Eclipse

By Douglas Young.

In 1919 a group of scientists travel to the wild Atlantic island of Principe to view a total eclipse of the sun, hoping to test Einstein's Theory. But they can't resist betting on the outcome and consulting with a shaman to ensure clear skies.

AR20050701

Theories of Relativity

Specially commissioned stories to mark the centenary of Einstein's discovery.

5/5. Sunseeker

By Paul Magrs.

A retired scientist conducts a final physics experiment when she sends a postcard to her family from beyond the grave.

AR20050704

Five Sorry Tales

By Mick Jackson.

What happens when the everyday meets the surreal, when the adult world of middle England meets the imagination of children? In a series of dark and magical tales, Mick Jackson explores the possibilities.

1/5. A Rowboat in the Cellar

A homemade rowboat leads an old man from his cellar to a magical cavern for the retired.

Read by Alan Bennett.

AR20050705

Five Sorry Tales

By Mick Jackson.

What happens when the everyday meets the surreal, when the adult world of middle England meets the imagination of children? In a series of dark and magical tales, Mick Jackson explores the possibilities.

2/5. The Lepidoctor

A little boy discovers the secrets for bringing butterflies back to life.

Read by Chris Langham.

AR20050706

Five Sorry Tales

By Mick Jackson.

What happens when the everyday meets the surreal, when the adult world of middle England meets the imagination of children? In a series of dark and magical tales, Mick Jackson explores the possibilities.

3/5. The Pearce Sisters

The Pearce sisters were perfectly happy to live hermit-like in a shack on the beach, until a passing stranger inadvertently made them review their living arrangements.

Read by Miriam Margolyes.

AR20050707

Five Sorry Tales

By Mick Jackson.

What happens when the everyday meets the surreal, when the adult world of middle England meets the imagination of children? In a series of dark and magical tales, Mick Jackson explores the possibilities.

4/5. Alien Abduction

When a bored schoolboy imagines that an alien spaceship has landed in the park, all hell breaks loose as the news spreads.

Read by James Fleet.

AR20050708

Five Sorry Tales

By Mick Jackson.

What happens when the everyday meets the surreal, when the adult world of middle England meets the imagination of children? In a series of dark and magical tales, Mick Jackson explores the possibilities.

3/5. Hermit Wanted

Giles and Ginny are wildly wealthy. What could they possibly want for in life? Well, a hermit of course.

Read by Penelope Wilton.

AR20050711

Five on Four

A selection of stories by some of contemporary literature's finest writers.

1/5. Antickes and Frets

By Susanna Clarke, abridged by Elizabeth Allard.

Mary Queen of Scots embroiders a scheme to bring down the Queen of England. Mary Queen of Scots, Bess Hardwick, better known as the first Duchess of Devonshire, and Queen Elizabeth use their talents and position to exact revenge. A talent for embroidery has surprising consequences for all three women.

Susanna Clarke is the author of the acclaimed novel Jonathan Strange and Mr Norell, shortlisted for this year's Whitbread First Novel Award.

Read by Haydn Gwynne.

AR20050712

Five on Four

A selection of stories by some of contemporary literature's finest writers.

2/5. Commission

By Tim Winton, abridged by Doreen Estall.

In a remote and desolate corner of Australia, Vic finds his father, the man who disappeared from his life 27 years before.

Read by Michael Siberry.

AR20050713

Five on Four

A selection of stories by some of contemporary literature's finest writers.

3/5. Nothing but Ghosts

By Judith Hermann, abridged by Elizabeth Allard.

Afterwards, Ellen liked to say she had been to America but the only place there's anything to tell about is Austin, Nevada, the Hotel international, and Buddy. Buddy is the only one there is anything to tell about.

Read by Britta Gartner.

AR20050714

Five on Four

A selection of stories by some of contemporary literature's finest writers.

4/5. Holiday

By Panos Karnezis.

An American couple discover that appearances are can be deceptive.

Read by Debora Weston.

AR20050715

Five on Four

A selection of stories by some of contemporary literature's finest writers.

5/5. Who's Sorry Now?

By Anne Fine.

Emma suspects her husband, Doug, of having an affair. She devises a devious plan to catch him out in this darkly humorous tale of revenge.

Read by Holly Aird.

AR20050719

Original Shorts

2/5. Families

By Christopher Matthew.

Novelist and humorist Christopher Matthew's story concerns a young man who suspects he has a sister he's never met.

Read by Stephen Tomkinson.

AR20050720

Original Shorts

3/5. Dream Lovers

By Sean Carson.

In Sean Carson's short story debut, Mark and Kate believe that two people could experience the same dream. But where might that leave their respective partners?

Read by Michael Simkins.

AR20050721

Original Shorts

4/5. Billy

Written and read by Gemma Jones.

Actress Gemma Jones sets her new story in an English village during the Second World War, where a young boy and an old woman discover a fragile interdependence.

AR20050722

Original Shorts

5/5. Bright Green Trainers

An academic research trip yields a surprising result in novelist Adam Thorpe's brand new story.

Read by Richard E Grant.

AR20050725

Americana

A series of stories by some of the best contemporary US writers.

1/5. After the War

In Alice Sebold's story, the town of Oxbow has been flooded, having been judged obsolete. But three people continue to live on in the drowned houses.

Read by Ryan McCluskey.

AR20050726

Americana

A series of stories by some of the best contemporary US writers.

2/5. Breakup Stories

Jonathan Franzen reads his tale of three New York couples.

AR20050727

Americana

A series of stories by some of the best contemporary US writers.

3/5. Draggin' the Dog

In Anika Nailah's story a high school principal battles with her staff and her cravings for junk food.

Read by Alibe Parsons.

AR20050728

Americana

A series of stories by some of the best contemporary US writers.

4/5. Do you Know Where I Am?

By Sherman Alexie.

Two college sweethearts rescue a lost cat, an act that will have profound consequences for the rest of their lives together.

Read by Otter Ochampaugh.

AR20050729

Americana

A series of stories by some of the best contemporary US writers.

Not the End of All

By Nicole Krauss.

Two friends meet for lunch in Washington DC and discuss love, literature and loss.

Read by Laurel Lefkow.

AR20050801

Curly Tales

The return of a series in which writers have their wicked way with the storytelling form.

1/5. Turned Out Nice Again

Written and performed by Ian McMillan.

In a world of fantasy anything is possible, even a TV reality show themed around the immortal George Formby.

AR20050802

Curly Tales

The return of a series in which writers have their wicked way with the storytelling form.

2/5. Brother and Sister and Foot

By Scarlett Thomas.

An invasion of the body snatchers? Only a foot remains, and the noises...

Read by Flora Montgomery.

AR20050803

Curly Tales

The return of a series in which writers have their wicked way with the storytelling form.

3/5. Two Encounters

By Roger Hyams.

An unexpected meeting on a business trip leads a businessman into a dark place in his own mind.

Read by Paul Higgins.

AR20050804

Curly Tales

The return of a series in which writers have their wicked way with the storytelling form.

4/5. Loulou and Barbie and the Seven Deadly Sins

By Morven Crumlish.

A late summer day. Soon Loulou will be 12 and it will be time to put away childish things. But what will poor Barbie do then?

Read by Flora Montgomery and Tara Hugo.

AR20050805

Curly Tales

The return of a series in which writers have their wicked way with the storytelling form.

5/5. Propaganda Airways

By Nick Walker.

There is more than one way to wage war. And psychological warfare can be very effective.

Read by Kerry Shale.

AR20050808

The Reggie Pepper Stories

By P G Wodehouse.

1/5. Absent Treatment

Reggie attempts to cure his chum Bobby Cardew of a remarkable weakness of memory.

Read by Martin Jarvis.

AR20050809

The Reggie Pepper Stories

By P G Wodehouse.

2/5. Lines and Business

Reggie's attempt to rescue a pal's broken engagement hinges entirely on whether a bulging baby can actually be trained to learn a crucial line of dialogue.

Read by Martin Jarvis.

AR20050810

The Reggie Pepper Stories

By P G Wodehouse.

3/5. Disentangling Old Percy

Reggie is summoned by the fearful Florence Craye. Trouble is, even when Florence pats you on the head, she does it with her knuckles.

Read by Martin Jarvis.

AR20050811

The Reggie Pepper Stories

By P G Wodehouse.

4/5. The Test Case

Reggie is desperate to roll up the aisle with Ann Selby but how can he prevent her from regarding him as a sub-species of humanity?

Read by Martin Jarvis.

AR20050812

The Reggie Pepper Stories

By P G Wodehouse.

5/5. Concealed Art

Should Reggie's artist pal Archie confess to his fiancee how he really earns his money? Tell her you have private means, advises Reggie. And that's where the trouble starts.

Read by Martin Jarvis.

AR20050822

The Cherry Orchard with Rugs: Matt Lucas reads Rose Tremain's short story about a brief encounter on a Eurostar journey to Paris.

AR20050823

Mad Girls in the Attic: Deborah McAndrew reads Michele Roberts's tale inspired by Charlotte Bronte. Adele's French maid at Thornfield Hall tells of their life there as she travels back to France.

AR20050826

Job's Skin

Written and read by Alasdair Gray, inspired by the Book of Job.

A torrent of ill fortune afflicts Job. Though practically bankrupt by dot.com traders, and despite losing his two sons in an international disaster, he continues to count his blessings.

AR20050829

Five Short Stories by A E Coppard

Abridged by Roy Apps.

1/5. Dusky Ruth

At the close of a cold, wet April day a traveller seeks refuge at a Cotswold inn. He sees a beautiful dark-haired girl sitting by the fireside and both are struck with a passion that neither can deny.

Read by Anton Lesser.

Directed by Joanna Green.

AR20050830

Five Short Stories by A E Coppard

Abridged by Roy Apps.

2/5. The Ballet Girl

Late one afternoon young Simpkins is despatched from his father's cobbler's shop on a very special errand. But when he arrives at St Saviour's College, as

instructed, Simpkins gets more than he bargained for...

Read by Anton Lesser.

Directed by Joanna Green.

AR20050831

Five Short Stories by A E Coppard

Abridged by Roy Apps.

3/5. Adam and Eve and Pinch Me

All is well in the world of Jaffa Codling. The sun is shining, his children are playing in the garden. Nothing could be better. But as he enters the house something sinister

happens; something that will turn his idyllic day upside down.

Read by Anton Lesser.

Directed by Joanna Green.

AR20050901

Five Short Stories by A E Coppard

Abridged by Roy Apps.

4/5. Nixey's Harlequins

When one Thomas Wilson is mistaken for another Thomas Wilson, it can lead to all sorts of misunderstandings: as our man Wilson knows only too well.

Read by Anton Lesser.

Directed by Joanna Green.

AR20050902

Five Short Stories by A E Coppard

Abridged by Roy Apps.

5/5. Fifty Pounds

Phillip and Lally are flat broke. So when Lally receives news that a recently deceased aunt has bequeathed her a large sum of money, she is over the moon. This will put an end to all their troubles; or so she thinks.

Read by Anton Lesser.

Directed by Joanna Green.

AR20050905

I Want to Be Alone

To mark the centenary of Greta Garbo's birth, five stories about being alone, inspired by the statement attributed to this screen icon and famous recluse.

1/5. Mrs Hope and Me

By Jenny Diski.

Are we ever really alone? A writer, looking for inspiration, escapes to a remote cottage. She revels in the isolation but others grow concerned when she doesn't appear outside for three days.

Read by Eleanor Bron.

AR20050906

I Want to Be Alone

To mark the centenary of Greta Garbo's birth, five stories about being alone, inspired by the statement attributed to this screen icon and famous recluse.

2/5. On Top of the World

By Bernadine Evaristo.

A woman's feelings of alienation and isolation are embodied in the frozen landscape of the Arctic.

Read by Adjoa Andoh.

AR20050907

I Want to Be Alone.

To mark the centenary of Greta Garbo's birth, five stories about being alone, inspired by the statement attributed to this screen icon and famous recluse.

3/5. Blood Strangers

By Jim Crace.

The story's narrator attempts to come to terms with the death of his mother.

Read by Jeremy Swift.

AR20050908

I Want to Be Alone

To mark the centenary of Greta Garbo's birth, five stories about being alone, inspired by the statement attributed to this screen icon and famous recluse.

4/5. Birgitta's Cell

By Marina Warner.

The ghostly voice of an anchorite intrudes upon a school trip to Norfolk as she whispers the story behind her solitary existence.

Annie....Zara Turner

Birgitta....Clare Corbett

AR20050909

I Want to Be Alone.

To mark the centenary of Greta Garbo's birth, five stories about being alone, inspired by the statement attributed to this screen icon and famous recluse.

5/5. Sagrada Familia

By Henry Shukman.

A young couple's relationship is at breaking point as they travel round Barcelona's famous landmark. Will another building in the city have the power to reunite them or are they destined to go their separate ways?

Read by Christopher Kelham.

AR20050912

The Laws of Evening

By Mary Yukari Waters. Abridged by Doreen Estall.

Stories exploring postwar Japanese society.

1/5. Seed

Shoji's work for a construction conglomerate has meant a move from his home town of Hiroshima to the recently conquered Chinese town, Tai-huen. Shoji is accompanied by his wife Masae and daughter Hiroko. As Masae whiles away her days, and becomes accustomed to the columns of Chinese prisoners of war that pass by her window, she wonders how her three year old daughter will remember her childhood.

Read by Noriko Aida.

AR20050913

The Laws of Evening

By Mary Yukari Waters. Abridged by Doreen Estall.

Stories exploring postwar Japanese society.

2/5. Shibusa

Reflections on etiquette and its ancient origins infuse a meeting between two acquaintances with a grace that defies the painful losses both have suffered.

Read by Noriko Aida.

AR20050914

The Laws of Evening

By Mary Yukari Waters. Abridged by Doreen Estall.

Stories exploring postwar Japanese society.

3/5. Aftermath

Makiko is grateful the war is over. But she cannot ignore a niggling sense that Japan's surrender has spawned a new threat more subtle, more diffuse.

Read by Noriko Aida.

AR20050915

The Laws of Evening

By Mary Yukari Waters. Abridged by Doreen Estall.

Stories exploring postwar Japanese society.

4/5.Rationing

Saburo's relationship with his father is defined by the conventions of respect and courtesy. The distance that lies between them is challenged by sudden illness.

Read by Noriko Aida.

AR20050916

The Laws of Evening

By Mary Yukari Waters. Abridged by Doreen Estall.

Stories exploring postwar Japanese society.

5/5. Mirror Studies

Kenji's last field study provides him with some unexpected answers.

Read by Noriko Aida.

AR20050919

Strange Things Done in the Midnight Sun

A week of famous narrative poems.

1/5. The Pied Piper of Hamelin

By Robert Browning.

Tennyson's famous children's work in the original. The surprisingly dark, familiar tale of the mass abduction of children. First published in 1842.

Read by Stephen Campbell Moore.

AR20050920

Strange Things Done in the Midnight Sun

A week of famous narrative poems.

2/5. Goblin Market

By Christina Rossetti.

Rossetti's sensual allegorical work about the pleasure and pain of surrendering to our desires. Two young girls are tempted by goblins to purchase the fruit they have to offer. Despite the warning example of a local girl who wasted away after eating the goblins' wares, Laura cannot resist. First published in 1862.

Read by Daniela Denby-Ashe.

AR20050921

Strange Things Done in the Midnight Sun

A week of famous narrative poems.

3/5. The Ghosts from Hiawatha

By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

A romantic vision of the Native American leader. First published in 1855, it was proclaimed the first American epic poem, though the stories are believed to be drawn largely from Nordic folklore rather than Native American myth. In The Ghosts, Hiawatha receives a visitation from the land of the dead.

Read by Geoffrey Whitehead.

AR20050922

Strange Things Done in the Midnight Sun

A week of famous narrative poems.

4/5. The Shooting of Dan McGrew/The Cremation of Sam McGhee

By Robert Service.

Robert Service's comic-strip style poems about frontiersmen and the American West - complete with square-jawed heroes and buxom gals. First published in 1908.

Read by Cal Macaninch.

AR20050923

Strange Things Done in the Midnight Sun

A week of famous narrative poems.

5/5. Peter Grimes

By George Crabbe.

Crabbe's devastating poem The Borough, tells the story of a sadistic man, Peter Grimes, who murders his young apprentices and shows no remorse. His shamelessness does not, however, go unavenged as the ghosts of the boys join his dead father to hound Grimes to his grave. First published in 1810, the poem was the inspiration behind Britten's famous opera.

Read by Alexander Morton.

AR20050927

A week of contemporary, cutting-edge writing.

2/5. Two Good Feet

By Richard Hollins.

Ten year-old Marcus is facing the familiar prejudice that greets him in every new situation. On his first day at his sixth school, his ears tune in to the Yorkshire vowels of his new classmates and teachers, as he bides his time.

But Marcus has more than one surprise up his sleeve - he has two outstandingly good feet.

Read by Paul Simpson.

AR20050928

Series showcasing cutting-edge contemporary writing. 3/5. Lady Play, by Sharon Raizada. Sonia wants to get back with her ex, but a smooth-talking card sharp sounds a note of caution.

AR20050929

Opening Lines

A showcase of cutting-edge, contemporary writing.

4/5. The Train

By Zoran Zivkovic.

A bank manager is travelling to an important meeting when he encounters God. He is told that he can have the answer to a single question.

AR20050930

A week of contemporary, cutting-edge writing.

4/5. Tango

By Caroline Sutton

Serial hobbyist Gerry takes up tango lessons in his retirement, setting his sights on Buenos Aries, leaving his wife Sheila wondering what he actually does with his evenings.

What she discovers surprises her.

Read by Susan Jameson.

AR20051003

Writing from Burma

Short stories by Burma's foremost women writers.

1/4. The Tale of 80,000 Horns

By Ma Sanda. Translated by Vicky Bowman.

This satirical re-working of a well loved folktale was written in 1988, and is available to a British audience for the first time.

Read by Stella Gonet.

AR20051004

Writing from Burma

Short stories by Burma's foremost women writers.

2/4. Her Only Sarong

By Nu Nu Yi. Translated by Anna Allott.

This touching story tells of one young girl's struggle to feed her family following the death of her mother. Written in 1984, this first story established Nu Nu Yi as one of Burma's most popular writers.This is the first time it has been made available in English.

Read by Teresa Gallagher.

AR20051005

Writing from Burma

Short stories by Burma's foremost women writers.

3/4. Helping Heman and Moe Oo to Understand

Translated by John Okell, read by Patience Tomlinson.

U Maung Aye is a traditional man who grew up in the countryside. As he approaches retirement, he wants nothing more than a quiet and peaceful life. But his four daughters are in pursuit of the material and the modern, and are bored of their father's rural idyll.

AR20051006

Writing from Burma

Short stories by Burma's foremost women writers.

4/5. The Light of Knowledge

By Mya Hnuang Nyo. Translated by Pascal Khoo Thwe and read by Penny Downie.

Moe is a teacher. She has dedicated the last seven years to a career that has become the source of her disillusionment.

AR20051007

Letters From Burma

By Aung San Suu Kyi. Two essays from a collection of newspaper articles by the winner of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize.

Read by Penny Downie.

AR20051010

Live From Durham.

Stories by contemporary writers, performed live at Durham Literary Festival.

1/5: A Short Walk On The Cutting Edge

Written and read by Alan Plater.

A comic and partially true account of the author's attempt to go out and find a story where something actually happens.

AR20051011

Live From Durham.

Stories by contemporary writers, performed live at Durham Literary Festival.

2/5: Mind the Gap

Written by Pat Barker. Read by Ace Bhatt.

The award winning novelist's story explores a young British Muslim boy's experience of travelling from Yorkshire to London to watch the cricket with his father. The boy's excitement turns to fear as he gets caught up in the enormous mass of people travelling on the Underground.

AR20051012

Live From Durham.

Stories by contemporary writers, performed live at Durham Literary Festival.

3/5: The Street

By Julia Darling. Read by Madeleine Moffatt.

A comic and poignant tale about Amy Steel - a tough, elderly woman from the North East, who doesn't suffer fools gladly and has lived in the same street all her life.

When a strange looking official comes knocking on her door she's not impressed with his news.

AR20051013

Live From Durham.

Stories by contemporary writers, performed live at Durham Literary Festival.

4/5: Three Fevers

Written and read by Sean O'Brien

One man's connection to a novel he's never read takes him back to a lost love affair by the sea and forward to his current relationship.

AR20051014

Live From Durham.

Stories by contemporary writers, performed live at Durham Literary Festival.

5/5: The Great Big Book Exchange

Written and read by Paul Magrs

Enchanting story about a woman and her grandson's obsession with reading novels. The woman begins to exchange books via a book shop and begins to develop a unique relationship with the owner.

AR20051017

Family Affairs.

Five explorations of the variety of relationships that make up family.

1/5. Steven's Baby

By Dann Casswell.

A pregnant woman puts off telling her husband the news, fearful of destroying his dreams of having a chip shop.

Read by Lisa Coleman.

AR20051018

Five explorations of the variety of relationships that make up family.

2/5. Fishing Buddies

Written by Rachel Fixsen.

Since his wife left him, Colin has lived for his Sundays, fishing with his best friend. But how good a friend is Jeremy?

Read by Peter Ellis.

AR20051019

Family Affairs

Five explorations of the variety of relationships that make up family.

3/5. Still Life, Real Life

Written by Penny Aldred.

A woman's life is changed when she sees herself through the lens of a photographer.

Read by Barbara Kellerman.

AR20051020

Family Affairs

Five explorations of the variety of relationships that make up family.

4/5. The Watercress Wife

Written by Tamar Hodes.

Gideon's love of flowers and delicious food comes from his beloved mother and idyllic childhood. The woman he marries, however, is very different..

Read by Stephen Perring.

AR20051021

Five explorations of the variety of relationships that make up family.

5/5. Mrs Glover's Tea-leaves

Written by Jill Miller.

Mr Glover was everything to his wife, and they had no friends. Now he's dead, and she begins to discover a new way to live.

Read by Carolyn Pickles.

AR20051024

New Stories by Rose Tremain

1/5: Peerless

The moving story of a man who finds a purpose in life and the way to mend an old wound when he befriends a penguin.

Read by Oliver Ford Davies.

AR20051025

New Stories by Rose Tremain

2/5. Loves Me, Loves Me Not

Read by Dermot Crowley.

It is 60 years since Frank's romantic hopes were shattered on the New York quayside. Now he can choose to confront the past.

Producer Di Speirs.

AR20051026

New Stories by Rose Tremain.

3/5. The Ebony Hand

Read by Penelope Wilton.

The best laid plans are not to be relied on and comfort can be found in the strangest places, as an aunt strives to do the best by her niece.

Producer Di Speirs.

AR20051027

New Stories by Rose Tremain

4/5. Moth

Read by Debora Weston.

A strange transformation brings attention and tragedy to a trailer park mother.

Produced by Di Speirs.

AR20051028

Five New Stories by Rose Tremain

5/5. How It Stacks Up

Read by Dermot Crowley.

The poignant portrait of McCreedy's 46th birthday dinner.

Produced by Di Speirs.

AR20051031

Belfast Festival Stories

Stories from acclaimed Irish writers.

1/5. The Man From Ancestry

By Daragh Carville.

When a woman enters a mysterious shop and asks for help to delve into the history of her family, will she end up regretting that she didn't heed her grandmother's stern warnings to leave well alone?

Read by Frances Tomelty.

AR20051102

Belfast Festival Stories

Stories from acclaimed Irish writers.

3/5. Not that Kind of Country

By Niall Williams.

A cryptic comment made in his sleep ushers in an unusual day of disquiet and unease for car salesman Harry Brennan.

Read by Gerald Murphy.

AR20051103

Belfast Festival Stories

Stories from acclaimed Irish writers.

4/5. The Boy From Stoke-On-Trent

By Shane Connaughton.

With the sixth baby due, the McCulloughs' arrival back from England has caused quite a commotion. Every child is in the town square eagerly watching as the McCulloughs dismount the bus, but none of them had reckoned on a stranger in town...

Read by Stephen Rea.

AR20051104

Belfast Festival Stories

Stories from acclaimed Irish writers.

5/5. Too Late, Amore

By Brian Gallagher, read by Aidan McArdle.

Tired of a solitary existence in Dublin, Myles looks forward to marrying into a large gregarious Sicilian family. However, when they take him into their hearts, will he still be glad he left his old life behind?

Producer Heather Brennon.

AR20051107

Women at War

A series of five short stories by (and about) women, written during the Second World War.

1/5. Night in the Front Line

By Molly Lefebure, read by Julia McKenzie.

Feisty Mrs Minnow, bombed out of her house, has had just about enough from 'Mr Hitler'.

AR20051108

Women at War

A series of five short stories by (and about) women, written during the Second World War.

2/5. I Was Too Ignorant

By Rosomond Oppersdorff, read by Joanne Whalley.

An inexperienced nurse finds unexpected fulfilment amid the horrific conditions of a military hospital in France.

AR20051109

Women at War

A series of five short stories by (and about) women, written during the Second World War.

3/5.The Sailor's Wife

By Ann Chadwick, read by Rosalind Ayres.

In a harbour town, a young service wife dreams up a surprising way of securing lodging for herself and her baby.

AR20051110

Women at War

A series of five short stories by (and about) women, written during the Second World War.

4/5. Poor Mary

By Sylvia Townsend Warner, read by Miriam Margolyes.

Mary is a sergeant in the Auxiliary Territorial Service, her husband is a conscientious objector. After four years away, Mary seems to have changed.

Producer Martin Jarvis.

AR20051111

Women at War

A series of five short stories by (and about) women, written during the Second World War.

5/5. The Mandoline

By Malachi Whitaker, read by Rosalind Ayres.

An elderly couple handle a potentially embarrassing encounter with a German prisoner of war.

Producer Martin Jarvis.

AR20051121

The first of five days of stories from writers living in the Commonwealth.

1/5. The Painterboy of Demerara

Written by David Dabydeen.

A story specially written by David Dabydeen, one of the judges of the 2005 Commonwealth Broadcasting Association Short Story Competition.

AR20051122

Stories from writers living in the Commonwealth.

2/5. Three winning stories from this year's Commonwealth Broadcasting Association short story competition.

Islama-Bad Boys

By Rasheeda Azam, read by Pooja Ghai.

Yesterday's Darkness

By Ifeanyi Ajaegbo, read by Jude Akuwudike

An Old Wife's Tale

By Luke Jorsling, read by Sandra James-Young.

AR20051123

Stories from writers living in the Commonwealth.

3/5. Three more winning stories from this year's Commonwealth Broadcasting Association short story competition.

Chinna and Muthu

By Suchitra Ramadurai, read by Lyndam Gregory

A Child has Gone Missing from this House

By Fiona McFarlane, read by Bronwyn Lim

Good Fences

By Faiza Sultan Khan, read by Pooja Ghai.

AR20051124

Commonwealth Stories 2005

Three more winning stories from this year's Commonwealth Broadcasting Association short story competition.

Xmas Blues

by Folashade Alli-Owe (Nigeria)

Read by Valentine Nonyela

Treason

by Preeta Krishna (India)

Read by Sudha Bhuchar

The Day I Met My Father

by Halcian Pierre (Trinidad)

Read by Sandra James-Young

Producer Christine Hall.

AR20051125

Commonwealth Stories 2005: The week of stories from the Commonwealth concludes with a specially commissioned reading set in Malaysia. The Fog, by Elly Niland is read by Liz Sutherland.

AR20051205

Songs in the Key of Lennon

John Lennon wrote intimate accounts of his relationships and put them to music. Robert Sandall talks to friends and family about one such song and what light it sheds on the man.

1/5. Help!

A cri de coeur from a man for whom fame wasn't always comfortable.

Part of the BBC's John Lennon season.

Producer Alison Vernon-Smith.

AR20051206

Songs in the Key of Lennon

John Lennon wrote intimate accounts of his relationships and put them to music. Robert Sandall talks to friends and family about one such song and what light it sheds on the man.

2/5. Strawberry Fields Forever

Was Liverpool's most famous son a working class hero?

Producer Alison Vernon-Smith.

AR20051207

Songs in the Key of Lennon

John Lennon wrote intimate accounts of his relationships and put them to music. Robert Sandall talks to friends and family about one such song and what light it sheds on the man.

3/5. Julia

How his mother's distance and death shaped Lennon's work and life.

Part of the BBC's John Lennon season.

Producer Alison Vernon-Smith.

AR20051208

Songs in the Key of Lennon

John Lennon wrote intimate accounts of his relationships and put them to music. Robert Sandall talks to friends and family about one such song and what light it sheds on the man.

4/5. The Ballad of John and Yoko.

Producer Alison Vernon-Smith.

AR20051209

Songs in the Key of Lennon

John Lennon wrote intimate accounts of his relationships and put them to music. Robert Sandall talks to friends and family about one such song and what light it sheds on the man.

5/5. How Do you Sleep

A pointed question to Paul McCartney.

Producer Alison Vernon-Smith.

AR20051212

After the Wave

A selection of pieces by five writers living in the countries affected by last year's tsunami.

1/5. Two and a Half Words

By Amitav Ghosh

The internationally renowned Calcutta-born novelist and journalist gives a moving account of the journey he made to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the wake of the disaster, in the company of a famous film star who reveals an unexpected private side, and a man he calls simply The Director, who is searching with increasing desperation for his wife and daughter.

Read by Sam Dastor.

AR20051213

After the Wave

A selection of pieces by five writers living in the countries affected by last year's tsunami.

2/5. Chaya

By Nihal de Silva

Four months have passed since the menacing wave washed away Simon and Susan's belongings from their Sri Lankan hotel. A return trip to thank embassy staff and friends leads them back to Chaya, the waitress who took them in following their ordeal. Their meeting is unsettling.

Read by Paul Bhattacharjee.

AR20051214

After the Wave

A selection of pieces by five writers living in the countries affected by last year's tsunami.

3/5. Lek and Mrs Miller

By Tew Bunnag.

An idyllic beach in Phuket is the setting for a brief moment of comfort between a young Thai hotel worker and an English visitor. A wordless exchange brings understanding in the face of unbearable loss.

Read by Jamie Zubairi.

AR20051215

After the Wave

A selection of pieces by five writers living in the countries affected by last year's tsunami.

4/5. Tears of a Coffin Maker

By Lal Medewattegedera.

When the first wave struck, the authorities, fearing the devastation that would follow subsequent waves, released inmates held in a prison in the coastal town of Matara in southern Sri Lanka.

This extraordinary event provides the backdrop to this moving story where a prisoner helps a stranger look for his missing wife.

Read by Shiv Grewal.

AR20051216

After the Wave

A selection of pieces by five writers from the countries affected by last year's tsunami.

5/5. Relief

By Rattawut Lapcharoensap.

A bold challenge to our preconceptions from one of this year's most acclaimed new talents, who explores the shifting and ambiguous relationship between victims of disaster and those who bring aid.

Read by Mark Meadows.

AR20051219

Write Christmas

Festive stories with a twist.

1/5. Regaining the Ashes

Written and read by Matt Harvey.

'Traditions are strange things. Dad said tradition is doing what we do now because it's what we did then. Precedent outranks practicality, he said....and sanity, he should have said.'

AR20051220

Write Christmas

Festive stories with a twist.

2/5. Xmouse

Written and abridged by Susie Maguire, read by Stuart McLoughlin.

The arrival of an unexpected guest at Christmas challenges Derek to re-think his life completely.

Producer Christine Hall.

AR20051221

Write Christmas

Festive stories with a twist.

3/5. Poinsettia

By Candy Neubert, read by Kim Hicks.

Marion is not enjoying the Christmas party, but then she has just had an argument with her escort which resulted in a frosty silence - if such a thing is possible in the Caribbean.

Producer Christine Hall.

AR20051222

Write Christmas

Festive stories with a twist.

4/5. Between Here and Knitwear

Written and read by Chrissie Gittins.

A poignant reminder that when everything else is reduced to a melancholy farce, love and warmth give meaning to the season.

Producer Christine Hall.

AR20051223

Write Christmas

Festive stories with a twist.

5/5. Grotto

By Sheila Yeger, and read by Jennie Stoller.

Michael has spent much of his life trying to avoid confrontation, but being cast as Father Christmas is just about the last straw.

Producer Christine Hall.

AR20051226

101 Dalmatians

Dodie Smith's classic Christmas adventure.

Read by Anna Chancellor.

1/5. Christmas has come early to the Dearly household. Pongo and Missis have given birth to a large brood of puppies and Mr and Mrs Dearly are delighted. As is their alarming new neighbour, Cruella de Vil, who appears to be taking an unhealthy interest in the pups' well being.

AR20051227

101 Dalmatians

Dodie Smith's classic Christmas adventure.

Read by Anna Chancellor.

2/5. When Cruella de Vil swings buy to chat with Mrs Dearly the puppies unaccountably disappear. It is beyond question a dog-knap asserts the Top-man from Scotland yard, but quite how the puppies are going to be found is a job Pongo knows he cannot leave to humans.

AR20051228

Dodie Smith's classic Christmas adventure.

Read by Anna Chancellor.

3/5. With the help of the twilight, barking Pongo and Missis have discovered the puppies' whereabouts and have made the journey from London to Suffolk to find them. But when they locate their puppies, Missis is alarmed to discover there are a few more than she remembers.

AR20051229

101 Dalmatians

Dodie Smith's classic Christmas adventure.

Read by Anna Chancellor.

4/5. With 97 puppies in tow, Pongo and Missis lead their army across the countryside. But the puppies are small and slow and the journey becomes more and more difficult. With Cruella de Vil hot on their tails, the dogs are badly in need of a miracle.

AR20051230

101 Dalmatians

Dodie Smith's classic Christmas adventure.

Read by Anna Chancellor.

5/5. Pongo and Missis and 97 puppies will soon be home again, that is if they can convince the Dearlys to take them all in. But first they must reek their revenge on Cruella de Vil. Christmas it seems has come at last.

AR20060102

The Adventures of Dougal

By Eric Thompson, abridged by Richard Hamilton.

A family tribute to Eric Thompson, the voice behind the iconic television series, The Magic Roundabout. Phyllida Law, his wife, and Sophie Thompson, his daughter, read a selection of his witty tales.

1/5. Brian spearheads an ambitious plan to rebuild Dougal's house, and an evening of magical trickery at Zebedee's leads to an unexpected disappearance.

AR20060103

The Adventures of Dougal

By Eric Thompson, abridged by Richard Hamilton.

A family tribute to Eric Thompson, the voice behind the iconic television series, The Magic Roundabout. Phyllida Law, his wife, and Sophie Thompson, his daughter, read a selection of his witty tales.

2/5. Dougal and Florence set out to solve the mystery of the disappearing flowers. In a separate adventure, Dougal is appointed the captain of a boat and a launch is planned.

AR20060104

The Adventures of Dougal

By Eric Thompson, abridged by Richard Hamilton.

A family tribute to Eric Thompson the voice behind the iconic television series, The Magic Roundabout. Phyllida Law, his wife, and Sophie Thompson, his daughter, read a selection of his witty tales.

3/5. The companions set out for Scotland, and encounter Dougal's fearsome Uncle Hamish.

AR20060105

The Adventures of Dougal

By Eric Thompson, abridged by Richard Hamilton.

A family tribute to Eric Thompson the voice behind the iconic television series, The Magic Roundabout. Phyllida Law, his wife, and Sophie Thompson, his daughter, read a selection of his witty tales.

4/5. Dougal and his friends continue their winter Holiday in Glen Dougal. Hi jinks ensue during a haggis hunt. And a tobogganning expedition sees Ermintrude take to her skis.

AR20060106

The Adventures of Dougal

By Eric Thompson, abridged by Richard Hamilton.

A family tribute to Eric Thompson the voice behind the iconic television series, The Magic Roundabout. Phyllida Law, his wife, and Sophie Thompson, his daughter, read a selection of his witty tales.

5/5. Dougal and his friends take an international trip. An unfortunate incident at the leaning tower of Pisa leaves Ermintrude feeling quite faint.

AR20060109

A week of stories by Russian writer Ivan Bunin.

1/5. Raven

Translated by Graham Hettinger, read by Robert Glenister and abridged by Miranda Davies.

A young man falls in love with his little sister's beautiful nanny, but his father's brooding, raven-like presence seems set to prevent any hope of happiness.

AR20060110

A week of stories by Russian writer Ivan Bunin.

2/5. Ida

Translated by Graham Hettinger, read by Ronald Pickup and abridged by Miranda Davies.

Over a Christmas breakfast at the Bolshoy Mokovsky restaurant, a composer tells his friends a story of passionate and unrequited love.

AR20060111

A week of stories by Russian writer Ivan Bunin.

3/5. Sunstroke

Translated by Sophie Lund, read by Robert Glenister and abridged by Miranda Davies.

A young officer encounters a beautiful stranger on board a Volga steamer, on a hot summer's day.

AR20060112

A week of stories by Russian writer Ivan Bunin.

4/5. Late Hour

Translated by David Richards, read by Ronald Pickup and abridged by Miranda Davies.

After a long absence from Russia, an elderly man returns to the town of his birth. The potency of the familiar scenery conjures up bitter-sweet memories of a lost love.

AR20060113

A week of stories by Russian writer Ivan Bunin.

5/5. In Paris

Translated by Graham Hettinger, read by Ronald Pickup and abridged by Miranda Davies.

Two Russian emigrés meet and fall in love in 1930s Paris.

AR20060116

Puppets Through America

By Walter Wilkinson, read by David Timson and abridged by Roy Apps.

80 or so years ago it was common to see an itinerant Punch and Judy man performing in the streets, or else pushing his show on a truck, looking for a likely place to set up his little theatre. Such a man was Walter Wilkinson, who travelled about the British Isles with his Peep-Show in the first half of the last century.

But Wilkinson's fame grew beyond these shores, and in the mid 1930s he was invited to attend the Second Annual Festival of the Puppeteers of America.

Wilkinson and his wife travelled to America with their puppets and Peep-Show, and thus began a journey which took them across the United States, from New York City to New Mexico and back.

1/5. Let Us Go To America!

Wilkinson and his wife travel to New York and, having described their hand-puppets as highly valuable, experience great difficulty in getting their property through Customs.

Producer David Blount.

AR20060117

Puppets Through America

By Walter Wilkinson, read by David Timson and abridged by Roy Apps.

80 or so years ago it was common to see an itinerant Punch and Judy man performing in the streets, or else pushing his show on a truck, looking for a likely place to set up his little theatre. Such a man was Walter Wilkinson, who travelled about the British Isles with his Peep-Show in the first half of the last century.

But Wilkinson's fame grew beyond these shores, and in the mid 1930s he was invited to attend the Second Annual Festival of the Puppeteers of America.

Wilkinson and his wife travelled to America with their puppets and Peep-Show, and thus began a journey which took them across the United States, from New York City to New Mexico and back.

2/5. On the Air with Martha Deane

Wilkinson describes being interviewed, while in New York, by radio chat show host, Martha Deane.

Producer David Blount.

AR20060118

Puppets Through America

By Walter Wilkinson, read by David Timson and abridged by Roy Apps.

80 or so years ago it was common to see an itinerant Punch and Judy man performing in the streets, or else pushing his show on a truck, looking for a likely place to set up his little theatre. Such a man was Walter Wilkinson, who travelled about the British Isles with his Peep-Show in the first half of the last century.

But Wilkinson's fame grew beyond these shores, and in the mid 1930s he was invited to attend the Second Annual Festival of the Puppeteers of America.

Wilkinson and his wife travelled to America with their puppets and Peep-Show, and thus began a journey which took them across the United States, from New York City to New Mexico and back.

3/5. The City of Puppets

Wilkinson is amazed by the sophistication of the puppets he is invited to view at the Annual Festival of the Puppeteers of America, in Cincinnati.

Producer David Blount.

AR20060119

Puppets Through America

By Walter Wilkinson, read by David Timson and abridged by Roy Apps.

Eighty or so years ago it was common to see an itinerant Punch and Judy man performing in the streets, or else pushing his show on a truck, looking for a likely place to set up his little theatre. Such a man was Walter Wilkinson, who travelled about the British Isles with his Peep-Show in the first half of the last century.

But Wilkinson's fame grew beyond these shores, and in the mid 1930s he was invited to attend the second annual Festival of the Puppeteers of America.

Wilkinson and his wife travelled to America with their puppets and peep-show, and thus began a journey which took them across the United States, from New York City to New Mexico and back.

4/5. The Great South West

Wilkinson and his peep-show entertain lively and appreciative audiences in New Mexico.

Producer David Blount.

AR20060120

Puppets Through America

By Walter Wilkinson, read by David Timson and abridged by Roy Apps.

Eighty or so years ago it was common to see an itinerant Punch and Judy man performing in the streets, or else pushing his show on a truck, looking for a likely place to set up his little theatre. Such a man was Walter Wilkinson, who travelled about the British Isles with his peep-show in the first half of the last century.

But Wilkinson's fame grew beyond these shores, and in the mid 1930s he was invited to attend the second annual Festival of the Puppeteers of America.

Wilkinson and his wife travelled to America with their puppets and peep-show, and thus began a journey which took them across the United States, from New York City to New Mexico and back.

5/5. Puppets Return East

Wilkinson and his peep-show move back East - from New Mexico to New York City, and then home.

Producer David Blount.

AR20060124

Heartbreak

A week of stories about heartbreak to mark Elvis' first hit, Heartbreak Hotel, in 1956.

On a Roll

By Tania Hershman, read by Nina Wadia.

A woman checks in at a casino with money, kitten heels and a broken heart.

AR20060125

Heartbreak

A week of stories about heartbreak to mark Elvis' first hit, Heartbreak Hotel in 1956.

3/5. The Return

By Salley Vickers, read by Barbara Flynn.

A perfect evening in Rome is shattered when a woman's married lover finishes the liaison and unwittingly triggers a sequence of devastating repercussions.

AR20060126

Heartbreak

A week of stories about heartbreak to mark Elvis' first hit, Heartbreak Hotel in 1956.

4/5. Channel 17

By Helen Simpson, read by Phyllis Logan.

Three couples play out different stages of their relationship. The one thing in common is Channel 17.

AR20060130

Addiction

Stories on the theme of addictions and obsessions.

1/5. The Summer of Pakflake, by Nick Parker.

The invention of a new edible packaging material sends the nation into a frenzy.

Read by Michelle Gomez.

AR20060131

Addiction

Stories on the theme of addictions and obsessions.

2/5. Cold Coffee Connoisseurs, by Henry Shukman.

A man looks back on his early teenage years, when he and his friends would salivate over the local cafe's perfect cold coffee.

Read by Jonathan Firth.

AR20060201

Addiction

Stories on the theme of addictions and obsessions.

3/5. The Eyes of the Soul, by Michel Faber.

After a saleswoman knocks on her door, Jeanette's view of the world is changed forever.

Read by Jackie Morrison.

AR20060202

Addiction

Stories on the theme of addictions and obsessions.

4/5. The Kitchen Goddess and the Trumans

By Nadia al Yafai.

When Claude and Nellie advertise for a chef to bring sparkle back to their jaded palette and faded relationship, they don't realise how dependent they will become on their enigmatic new cook, the magical Annapurna.

Read by Nina Wadia.

AR20060203

Addiction.

Stories on the theme of addictions and obsessions.

4/5. The Poison Tree

By Gregory Norminton.

When Private Roger Wilson's life is saved in the jungle by Second Lieutenant Frank Lively, the two men are bound together forever. But for Roger, the overwhelming sense of a debt he can never repay gradually takes over his life, poisoning all his relationships.

Read by David Horovitch.

AR20060206

Salesman in Beijing. Recorded at the BBC in 1984, Arthur Miller reads from his account of his journey to Beijing to direct a production of his play Death of a Salesman. 1/3. Miller meets the cast.

AR20060207

Salesman in Beijing. Recorded at the BBC in 1984, Arthur Miller reads from his account of his journey to Beijing to direct his play Death of a Salesman. 2/3. The players begin to find their way.

AR20060208

Salesman in Beijing.

Recorded at the BBC in 1984, Arthur Miller reads from his account of the journey to Beijing to direct his play Death of a Salesman.

3/3. The absence of make-up on Chinese actors playing foreigners proves an artistic breakthrough for Miller's Beijing production, and the enterprise is rewarded by the unveiling of rich connections between two contrasting cultures.

AR20060209

'The Crucible' in History. 1/2. Arthur Miller, in a 2002 BBC recording, places his play about the witch trials of Salem in the context of the era of the Communist witch-hunt led by McCarthy.

AR20060210

'The Crucible' in History. 2/2. Arthur Miller, in a 2002 BBC recording, places his play about the witch trials of Salem in the context of the era of the Communist witch-hunt led by McCarthy.

AR20060213

Five stories on the theme of Passion.

1/5. Rose Honey Rust

By Kathryn Simmonds, read by Eve Matheson.

'Her Ronny understood women. He just used to shrug when he saw the bags, he knew she liked to have pretty things. If she'd bought something extra pricey, she'd cook him a nice meal and make a fuss of him'.

AR20060214

Five stories on the theme of Passion.

2/5. Huntsman's Stew

By Candida Clark, read by Bill Wallis.

As one family tradition comes to a close on a Yorkshire farm, it opens the way for a reconciliation between father and son.

AR20060215

Five stories on the theme of Passion.

3/5. Her Drug of Choice

By Susie Maguire, read by Jenny Coverack.

A cautionary tale for travellers.

AR20060216

Five stories on the theme of Passion.

4/5. Do the Math

Read by author Ian Sansom.

A story about one young woman's addiction to the sweeter things in life.

AR20060217

Five stories on the theme of Passion.

5/5. Look at Me, I'm Beautiful

By Ben Rice, read by Eve Matheson.

'She was lying in the steaming pond on her front with her face in the water and her ams dangling down at her sides, and she was entirely naked. They were sure that she was dead because some of Mike's carp were nibbling at her toes'.

AR20060220

One for the Road

A week of stories inspired by last orders at the bar.

1/5. I Hope That I Don't Fall in Love with You

By Kathryn Heyman, read by Federay Holmes.

A newspaper headline triggers unhappy memories for a barmaid in a story about love and betrayal in the Australian Outback.

Producer Eilidh McCreadie.

AR20060221

One for the Road

A week of stories inspired by last orders at the bar.

2/5. The Telegram

By Charlotte Hobson, read by John Kazek.

'Only a person with a real taste for the macabre, a self-destructive streak, would choose to drink down at the railway station...'

Producer Eilidh McCreadie.

AR20060222

One for the Road

A week of stories inspired by last orders at the bar.

3/5. RSI

By Bill Duncan, read by John Buick.

Rumours fly around a North-East fishing village as The Creator seems to succumb to the illness that took his father - but could there be a simpler explanation?

Producer Eilidh McCreadie.

AR20060223

One for the Road

A week of stories inspired by last orders at the bar.

4/5. Are You Lonely

By Will Napier, read by Paul Birchard.

Vince might have problems but at least he's found a novel source of income. However, as last orders are called, he is about to face the consequences of his actions.

AR20060224

One for the Road

A week of stories inspired by last orders at the bar.

5/5. There's a Fine Line between an Elvis Suit and a Babygro

By Denise Mina, read by Gabriel Quigley.

Ellie is on a long-awaited trip to Manchester. She's relaxed, confident and looking forward to seeing her sister. Everything would be perfect if only the man in the seat opposite would calm down.

AR20060227

Featuring new Scottish writing.

1/5. Thirst

By Merryn Glover, read by Gayanne Potter.

An act of kindness yields some miraculous results for a downtrodden woman in Nepal.

AR20060228

Featuring new Scottish writing.

2/5. The Dizzy

By Patrick Prior, read by John Kielty.

A young man awaits his date but as time ticks on, he realises she's not coming. So it's time to take matters into his own hands.

AR20060301

Featuring new Scottish writing.

3/5. Tomato Sauce

By Vivien Jones, read by Monica Gibb.

The smell of freshly picked tomatoes awakens a childhood memory in which one simple act of disobedience has the most surprising effect.

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Featuring new Scottish writing.

4/5. Murdo and Ishbel

By Marietta MacGranthin, read by Tamara Kennedy.

A villager is drawn nightly to the sea where he becomes obsessed by a mysterious woman.

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Featuring new Scottish writing.

5/5. Dog Days

By Peter Regent, read by Paul Young.

Holidaying in Greece, a Scottish minister has a somewhat disastrous encounter with a couple of dogs.

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My Animals and Other Family

Short stories by acclaimed writer Julia Blackburn, read by the author.

1/5. A Bushbaby from Harrods

A family friend takes one look at 10-year-old Julia and decides she needs companionship. The Harrods' Zoo is as close to heaven as anywhere Julia has been, and Congo the bushbaby is the first love of her life.

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My Animals and Other Family

Short stories by acclaimed writer Julia Blackburn, read by the author.

2/5. Tortoises and Tropical Fish

Julia finds that watching the tropical fish calms her racing heart when family life becomes too painful.

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My Animals and Other Family

Short stories by acclaimed writer Julia Blackburn, read by the author.

3/5. Chickens, Guinea Pigs and the Facts of Life

From passion, to birth, to death, guinea pigs teach Julia the facts of life as she wishes to know them.

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My Animals and Other Family

Short stories by acclaimed writer Julia Blackburn, read by the author.

4/5. Two Very Different Dogs

Julia's cocker spaniel Jason becomes an outward sign of the troubles in her family.

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My Animals and Other Family

Short stories by acclaimed writer Julia Blackburn, read by the author.

5/5. Talking with Pigs

Julia takes up pig-keeping.

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Stories of the Heart and Mind

A week of stories recorded in Bill Lee's now stationary caravan in Kent, reflecting his experiences as a nomadic Romany within a householder society.

1/5. Clothes Pegs and Lucky Heather

Bill recalls his childhood days on the open road - a life that may seem romantic to the outsider, but the freedom to travel comes with a price tag.

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Stories of the Heart and Mind

A week of stories recorded in Bill Lee's now stationary caravan in Kent, reflecting his experiences as a nomadic Romany within a householder society.

2/5. Grandfather's Medals

In spite of serving in the armed forces when their country needed them, many Gypsies found that the peacetime population was reluctant to accept them on their return. A recent brush with the law reminds Bill Lee of an encounter his grandfather had with the police in 1918.

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Stories of the Heart and Mind

A week of stories recorded in Bill Lee's now stationary caravan in Kent, reflecting his experiences as a nomadic Romany within a householder society.

3/5. The Farmer's Chest

A farmer discovers that he needs more help than he had bargained for in Bill Lees story recalling a long childhood summer following the regular cycle of work undertaken by the Gypsies on Kentish farms.

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Stories of the Heart and Mind

Bill Lee is a Romany Gypsy who grew up in a horse drawn caravan travelling the lanes and byways of Kent with his family, who supported themselves by taking casual labour on the farms in The Garden of England.

He has inherited the Gypsy art of storytelling from the older members of his family, whose tales he listened to around the open fire at night, as he fell asleep in his father's arms.

In five stories of life on the road recorded in his now stationary caravan in Kent, Bill reflects on his experiences of being a nomadic Romany within a sedentary society and what happens when the two worlds meet.

4/5. The Carburettor

Romany Bill Lee was a young boy when his father took the decision to renounce life on the road. But after only a few weeks enclosed by bricks and mortar, and just as Bill was about to go to school, life took an unexpected turn.

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Stories of the Heart and Mind

Bill Lee is a Romany Gypsy who grew up in a horse drawn caravan travelling the lanes and byways of Kent with his family, who supported themselves by taking casual labour on the farms in The Garden of England.

He has inherited the Gypsy art of storytelling from the older members of his family, whose tales he listened to around the open fire at night, as he fell asleep in his father's arms.

In five stories of life on the road recorded in his now stationary caravan in Kent, Bill reflects on his experiences of being a nomadic Romany within a sedentary society and what happens when the two worlds meet.

5/5. The End of the Road

The Gypsy's relationship with the horse goes deep. But the old ways are disappearing fast and the survival of the ancient Romany culture is under threat. In the last of five stories recorded on location, Bill Lee reflects on how a single transaction was to change his life forever.

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A series of specially commissioned short stories in which writers were asked to explore the appeal and fatal attraction of 'lucky numbers' in any aspect of life, from lottery tickets and birthdays to mathematics and magic.

1/5. Laki Namberz

By James Meek.

Nigel Lindsay reads a story set in post-Soviet era Kiev.

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A series of specially commissioned short stories in which writers were asked to explore the appeal and fatal attraction of 'lucky numbers' in any aspect of life, from lottery tickets and birthdays to mathematics and magic.

2/5. Golden Mean

By Alan Garner, read by Robert Powell.

A moving tale of first love, mathematics, irrational numbers and the idea of eternity.

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A series of specially commissioned short stories in which writers were asked to explore the appeal and fatal attraction of 'lucky numbers' in any aspect of life, from lottery tickets and birthdays to mathematics and magic.

3/5. Lucky Numbers

By John Bennett, read by Joe Tremain.

A story which features a young teenager who likes to dream about winning the lottery.

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A series of specially commissioned short stories in which writers were asked to explore the appeal and fatal attraction of 'lucky numbers' in any aspect of life, from lottery tickets and birthdays to mathematics and magic.

4/5. Nine Sons

By Erica Wagner, read by Fiona Shaw.

A haunting tale of magic and the unexpected power of wishes.

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A series of specially commissioned short stories in which writers were asked to explore the appeal and fatal attraction of 'lucky numbers' in any aspect of life, from lottery tickets and birthdays to mathematics and magic.

5/5. The Missing Link

By David Almond, read by Colin Maclachlan.

The cruelty of the playground is confronted by what may be proof of the power of prayer, or hope, or fear.

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Great Western Adventure

Shorts stories inspired by a place created by the great engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, in celebration of his bicentenary.

5/5. Coursework

By Steve May, read by Lisa Coleman.

Zoe has left college in a hurry to get back home, over the Tamar bridge. The train stops on the bridge and makes her feel unsteady - it's too high, and there's nothing to catch you, should you fall.

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Stories with music celebrating George Gershwin's masterpiece.

1/4. The Rhapsody Blues

By Candace Allen, read by Ricky Fearon.

An ambitious young Black pianist from the Midwest is witness to the premiere of the Rhapsody.

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Literary Misfits

A week of literary mayhem as some of our best-loved fictional characters stumble into the pages of the wrong books.

1/5. The Case of the Scream in the Night

By Eilís Ní Dhuibhne, read by Michael Maloney.

When a mysterious Miss Jane Eyre calls at Sherlock Holmes' Baker Street residence, little does he suspect just how mysterious her case will turn out to be.

Producer Heather Brennon.

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Literary Misfits

A week of literary mayhem as some of our best-loved fictional characters stumble into the pages of the wrong books.

2/5. The Final Voyage of Gulliver

By John Morrison, read by Mark Lambert.

When Gulliver is tempted to make one final journey, he inadvertently finds himself washed up on John Bull's Other Island (George Bernard Shaw). What will he make of its inhabitants and more to the point, what will they make of him?

Producer Heather Brennon.

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A week of literary mayhem as some of our best-loved fictional characters stumble into the pages of the wrong books.

3/5. A Vampire Vaudeville

By Kerry Lee Crabbe.

Lady Bracknell is very surprised when an unexpected visitor, Count Dracula, calls to ask for the hand of her daughter Gwendolen. Will Lady Bracknell refute this preposterous request or, indeed, will she find herself bewitched by the unusual charms of this tall nocturnal stranger?

Producer Oonagh McMullan.

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Literary Misfits

A week of literary mayhem as some of our best-loved fictional characters stumble into the pages of the wrong books.

4/5. Casaubon in the Catacombs

By Anne Haverty.

Leaving the town of Middlemarch, the scholarly Mr Casaubon and his wife Dorothea embark on a trip to Dublin, but will they find themselves living the Life of Riley in the Emerald Isle?

Producer Heather Larmour.

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Literary Misfits

A week of literary mayhem as some of our best-loved fictional characters stumble into the pages of the wrong books.

5/5. Pride and Homicide

By Barry Devlin, read by Killian Donnelly.

When the notorious Butcher Boy, Francie Brady, arrives in Longbourn and takes up a position with a certain Bennett family, it can only be a matter of time before pride leads to something a little more sinister than a fall for one of the local residents.

Producer Heather Larmour.

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A Dark and Stormy Night

The story of a single crime told from five different points of view.

1/5. The Victim's Tale

Read by Cheryl Campbell.

Rachel Adams is in bed on a dark and stormy night in her tall, thin house on the coast, when she becomes aware that someone is moving about downstairs. She knows who her stalker is and, as she tells her story, she fills in the details of their lives.

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A Dark and Stormy Night

The story of a single crime told from five different points of view.

2/5. The Copper's Tale

Read by Philip Glenister.

We think we know what happened in Rachel Adams' house last night, and how Donald ended up with a broken leg at the foot of the stairs. But what the copper sees as he goes off shift tells a different story. A darker story - and one that casts a different light on Mrs Rachel Adams. But appearances can be deceptive.

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A Dark and Stormy Night

The story of a single crime told from five different points of view, by Frances Fyfield.

3/5. The Daughter's Tale

Read by Nicola Walker.

Who knows a mother better than her daughter? But Rachel's daughter sees her mother through a particularly singular eye, and even she is willing to interpret the situation to suit herself.

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A Dark and Stormy Night

The story of a single crime told from five different points of view, by Frances Fyfield.

4/5. The Barrister's Tale

Read by Julia Ford.

As the barrister leafs through statements from victim, defendant and copper, she forms a fourth, alternative view of the events of the dark and stormy night. But at the end of a day when she's lost a case and seen a villain released to walk the streets, she's lost all inclination to be charitable.

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A Dark and Stormy Night

The story of a single crime told from five different points of view, by Frances Fyfield.

5/5. The Defendant's Tale

Read by Neil Stuke.

With his leg in plaster. Donald sits with his solicitor and tells his own story of the dark and stormy night. By now, the events are familiar but the story gets a new spin. Do we finally get to hear the truth?

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Nothing That Meets the Eye

A week of stories by crime writer Patricia Highsmith, recently published for the first time in book form, abridged by Neville Teller.

1/5. A Dangerous Hobby, Part 1

He cons professional women out of their precious possessions, then hoards the booty for his own daughter to benefit.

Read by Campbell Scott.

Producer Duncan Minshull.

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Nothing That Meets the Eye

A week of stories by crime writer Patricia Highsmith, recently published for the first time in book form, abridged by Neville Teller.

2/5. A Dangerous Hobby, Part 2

The so-called master fraudster is suddenly found out and his plans spiral out of control. To confess or to flee?

Producer Duncan Minshull.

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Nothing That Meets the Eye

A week of stories by crime writer Patricia Highsmith, abridged by Neville Teller, read by Campbell Scott.

3/5. Variations on a Game, Part 1

Working for a science fiction writer puts a man in a quandary. With the attentions of the beautiful wife ever present, he must escape the job.

Producer Duncan Minshull.

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Nothing That Meets the Eye

A week of stories by crime writer Patricia Highsmith, abridged by Neville Teller, read by Campbell Scott.

4/5. Variations on a Game, Part 2

The writer mysteriously disappears, does this means the end of the problem for Penn Knowlton? Or just the beginning?

Producer Duncan Minshull.

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Nothing That Meets the Eye

A week of stories by crime writer Patricia Highsmith, abridged by Neville Teller, read by Anna Massey.

5/5. The Trouble With Mrs Blynn, The Trouble With the World

She is hired to make the last days of the patient more comfortable, but are there darker motives at play?

Producer Duncan Minshull.

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Movie Matinees

Radio 4 goes back to the book to find the passages from literature that inspired iconic movie moments.

1/5. Gone With the Wind

By Margaret Mitchell, read by Megan Dodds.

Scarlett and Melanie are paid a visit by looting Yankee soldiers.

Producer Lisa Osborne.

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Movie Matinees

Radio 4 goes back to the book to find the passages from literature that inspired iconic movie moments.

2/5. Ice Cold in Alex

By Christopher Landon, read by Ben Miles.

'They served it ice cold in Alex'. And it's the prospect of an ice cold beer at the end of the journey that keeps Captain George Anson and his team just this side of sanity through the insane desert heat.

Producer Lisa Osborne.

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Movie Matinees

Radio 4 goes back to the book to find the passages from literature that inspired iconic movie moments.

3/5. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

By L Frank Baum, read by Lorelei King.

A cyclone sets Dorothy and Toto gently down in the land of the Munchkins - an awfully long way, as the girl said, from Kansas.

Producer Lisa Osborne.

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Movie Matinees

Radio 4 goes back to the book to find the passages from literature that inspired iconic movie moments.

4/5. Rebecca

By Daphne du Maurier, read by Emma Fielding.

It's the morning after the ball and the young Mrs de Winter is determined to confront Mrs Danvers, and find out why the housekeeper hates her so.

Producer Lisa Osborne.

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Movie Matinees

Radio 4 goes back to the book to find the passages from literature that inspired iconic movie moments.

5/5. Zorba the Greek

By Nikos Kazantzakis, read by Alex Jennings.

In the seclusion of the Cretan countryside, Zorba dances for the sheer joy of living.

Producer Lisa Osborne.

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Brighton Rocks.

Presented by Lynne Truss. Five original stories recorded at Brighton's Pavilion Theatre in front of an audience, each inspired by the phrase 'Brighton Rocks'.

1/5. Feather's is for Diamonds

By John Peacock.

A frightening tale of the Brighton underworld in the 1920s.

Read by Joanna David.

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Brighton Rocks

Presented by Lynne Truss. Five original stories recorded at Brighton's Pavilion Theatre in front of an audience. Each story has been inspired by the phrase 'Brighton Rocks'.

2/5. Eloquent Bones

By Cathy Feeny.

When, by chance, Dr Gideon Mantell comes across a huge fossilised tooth, he is taken on a journey that will lead to him becoming one of the great forgotten men of science.

Read by Geoffrey Whitehead.

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Brighton Rocks.

Presented by Lynne Truss. Five original stories recorded at Brighton's Pavilion Theatre in front of an audience. Each story has been inspired by the phrase 'Brighton Rocks'.

3/5. Disgruntled of Brighton

By Perry Pontac.

Full of forceful opinions, an elderly man in a Brighton nursing home tells the unlikely story of his life.

Read by Bernard Cribbins.

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Brighton Rocks.

Presented by Lynne Truss. Five original stories recorded at Brighton's Pavilion Theatre in front of an audience. Each story has been inspired by the phrase 'Brighton Rocks'.

4/5. My Beautiful Lambretta

By Lee Pressman.

A Mod and a Rocker are brought together to tell us their version of the events of May 1964, when thousands of teenagers battled it out along the sea front at Brighton.

Read by Struan Rodger and Keith Drinkel.

Director Celia de Wolff.

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Brighton Rocks.

Presented by Lynne Truss. Five original stories recorded at Brighton's Pavilion Theatre in front of an audience. Each story has been inspired by the phrase 'Brighton Rocks'.

5/5. Diamond Geezer

By Roy Apps.

Could it be that Graham Greene got it all wrong? Pinkie Brown's son attempts to put the record straight.

Read by Kenneth Cranham.

Director Celia de Wolff.

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Five enchanting short stories by American writer Gina Ochsner, about people who feel that their lives are loose skins they've not quite grown into and which perhaps won't ever fit.

3/5. How One Carries Another

A grieving family experiences strange comings and goings by a ghost named Niels.

Read by Bill Hope.

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Five enchanting short stories by American writer Gina Ochsner, about people who feel that their lives are loose skins they've not quite grown into and which perhaps won't ever fit.

4/5. When the Dark is Light Enough

The intriguing encounter between an obsessive crime scene investigator and a murdered Russian woman.

Read by Madlena Nedeva and Vicki Simon.

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Five enchanting short stories by American writer Gina Ochsner, about people who feel that their lives are loose skins they've not quite grown into and which perhaps won't ever fit.

5/5. A Blessing

Superstition and tradition prevent Russian immigrants from living their American dream.

Read by Zhivila Roche.

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Wedding Feasts

Short stories on the theme of the culinary delights of nuptial celebrations.

1/5. Foods of the World

By Trezza Azzopardi.

In Malta, Loula is caught up in the excitement of her cousin's wedding day.

The readers are Angharad Rees and Bethan Walker.

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Wedding Feasts

Short stories on the theme of the culinary delights of nuptial celebrations.

2/5.Through the Woods

By Lucy Caldwell

A Belfast woman finds food for thought when she is caught up in the whirl of a Roma wedding on a trip to a mountain village in Transylvania.

Read by Dervla Kirwan.

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Wedding Feasts

Short stories on the theme of the culinary delights of nuptial celebrations.

3/5. What God Hath Joined Together

By Panos Karnezis.

As a Greek groom and his English bride celebrate the best day of their lives, they also reflect on the differences that lie between them.

Read by Mia Soteriou.

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Stories on the theme of the culinary delights at nuptial celebrations.

4/5. Dirty and Unclean

By Naomi Alderman.

In marrying a man outside her Jewish community, Nina Mulavana is convinced she can escape the confines of her upbringing. However, events take an unexpected turn.

Read by Tracy-Ann Oberman.

Producer Elizabeth Allard.

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Wedding Feasts

Stories on the theme of the culinary delights at nuptial celebrations.

5/5. Grace and Rose

By Jackie Kay, read by Phyllis Logan and Siobhan Redmond.

Shetland is the perfect setting for Grace and Rose's joy filled day.

Producer Elizabeth Allard.

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Series highlighting the best work from over 250 Creative Writing Groups in the North of England.

1/5. Squirrels

By Karen Whitchurch, read by Barbara Marten.

Squirrels are an ageing woman's only contact with reality in the psychiatric ward she has long inhabited. It's quite idyllic at first, but neither the staff nor the squirrels are quite what they seem.

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Dora's Women

Readings specially written by leading writers for the ever-green Dora Bryan.

1/5. Tinkling the Ivories

By Stephen Wyatt.

Back in demand, Elisa Fortunata, Queen of the Keyboards, recalls the romance and magic of the silent movies.

Director Martin Jenkins.

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Dora's Women

Readings specially written by leading writers for Dora Bryan.

2/5. Keep taking the tablets

By Jimmie Chinn.

Amy prepares for a painful interview with Mr Purvis and Mr Peach - a meeting which will profoundly affect her marriage.

Director Martin Jenkins.

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Dora's Women

Readings specially written by leading writers for Dora Bryan.

3/5. Rooster

By Roy Apps.

A confrontation with a randy old rooster leads to an explosive climax.

Director Martin Jenkins.

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Dora's Women

Readings specially written by leading writers for Dora Bryan.

4/5. The Child Within

By Wally K Daly.

Waiting in the wings, can the Good Fairy of the pantomime empathise with all the excited children?

Director Martin Jenkins.

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Dora's Women

Readings specially written by leading writers for Dora Bryan.

5/5. Hide

By David Pownall.

"In all that time you'd think she'd have found out, wouldn't you?"

What is the dark secret?

Director Martin Jenkins.

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Opening Lines

This series showcases first time and emerging writers.

1/5. The Italian is Not My Songbird

By Tara Bergin, read by Marina Blake.

Set in present-day St Petersburg, the narrator wakes up each morning to the sound of her Italian lodger who can imitate the different calls of songbirds. His tunes set up longing in her heart. She works in a ticket booth in the metro, watching and commenting on the passengers who walk by her every day.

She is offered a chance to play out her dreams when an artist approaches her and asks if he can paint her portrait.

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Opening Lines

A series that showcases first time and emerging writers.

2/5. Tierra Del Fuego

By Ian Dudley, read by Robert Glenister.

A family holiday turns into a living hell for the narrator, cooped up in an apartment on the Costa del Sol. He wants peace and quiet, but his wife and daughter have other ideas.

He imagines himself as King David, surveying the masses, aloof on his balcony. But when his wife persuades him to go to an ex-pat barbecue and karaoke night, his worst fears are realised. All the guests have to perform a party piece and to his horror, he finds himself in the spotlight.

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Opening Lines

A series that showcases first time and emerging writers.

3/5. How Michael Stays Young

By Elizabeth Sarkany, read by Amanda Root.

Carolyn is unhappy in her marriage and watches Michael from across the road with his perfect family. When Michael's marriage falls apart, she indulges in a fantasy that she will be the one to renew his faith in love. She goes out of her way to attract his attention and watches his every move, neglecting her life at home.

Convinced her fantasy is about to become reality, she is devastated when Michael starts seeing someone new. She expects things to fall back into the same old routine, but then her husband comes out with a surprising admission that gives them both hope for the future.

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Opening Lines

A series that showcases first time and emerging writers.

4/5. The Man in the Wilderness

By Michael Martin, read by Clive Swift.

The story's narrator is immensely proud of his garden. He watches in disapproval as his young neighbours allow their garden to run wild. He makes judgements about them, criticising their slovenly and dissolute ways. But who is losing a grip on reality?

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Opening Lines

A series that showcases first time and emerging writers.

5/5. Upside Down

By Donna Daley-Clarke, read by Adjoa Andoh.

Katrina is mesmerised by her beautiful daughter performing cartwheels and trapeze stunts at a half-term circus class. The handsome French instructor suggests she might like to try it, too. Maybe she will.

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Original Shorts: New short stories created by well-known authors. 1/5. The Milly Ming, by Jane Gardam. A beguiling account of a parish home for unmarried mothers. Read by Sarah Badel.

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Original Shorts: New short stories created by well-known authors. 2/5. Snapshot, by Clare George. A photojournalist, recently wounded in Iraq, tries to regain her skills. Read by Georgina Rich.

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Original Shorts

New short stories created by well-known authors.

3/5. Rainbow Warrior

By Adam Thorpe, read by Martin Jarvis.

An ironic look at an earnest conservationist dad whose family, on holiday, would rather just have fun.

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Original Shorts

New short stories created by well-known authors.

4/5. Eggs and Salt Water

By Claire Rayner, read by Doreen Mantle.

A moving account of a child - evacuated to a rural village in the Second World War - who learns a surprising lesson in Jewish philosophy.

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Original Shorts

New short stories created by well-known authors.

5/5. Only in Front of the Children

By Christopher Matthew, read by Patricia Hodge.

A witty tale of one-upmanship among well-heeled parents of children who attend the same home-counties prep school.

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Future Imperfect and Other Stories: By Cherie Jones. 1/5. The Illusion of Raiment. A tale of the moment of truth in a marriage, looking back at where it all went wrong.

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Future Imperfect and Other Stories: By Cherie Jones. 2/5. Warress: A young girl learns the ways of her ancestors and their magic. Read by Orlessa Altass.

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Future Imperfect and Other Stories: By Cherie Jones. 3/5. The Doll: A young woman meets her father for the first time and hopes to introduce him to her girlfriend.

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Future Imperfect and Other Stories: By Cherie Jones. 4/5. An examination of the disappointments and unexpected joys of single parenthood. Read by Nicola Alexis.

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Future Imperfect and Other Stories: By Cherie Jones. 5/5. Child of a Lesser God. Forbidden love takes its course in Barbados. Read by Dorothea Smartt.

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Mary Renault's classic reworking of the legend of Theseus.

Abridged by Keith Darvill and read by Robert Glenister.

3/10. Theseus and his friend Pirithoos go in search of golden fleeces and find more adventure than they were expecting.

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The Bull from the Sea

Mary Renault's classic reworking of the legend of Theseus.

Abridged by Keith Darvill and read by Robert Glenister.

5/5. Two sons are born to Theseus, but the future of the throne is uncertain.

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The Madeleine Effect

Five stories exploring the role played by food in our lives and memories.

1/5. The Most High Tea

By Candia McWilliam, read by Tamara Kennedy.

An unusual family visit their favourite sweet shop and leave with far more than just a pleasant taste in their mouth.

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The Madeleine Effect

Five stories exploring the role played by food in our lives and memories.

2/5. Broken Bread

By Merryn Glover, read by Gary Lewis.

Helping out at his local soup kitchen, a man reflects upon his childhood. Amid these memories, a tired old man sits down and begins to eat and, in doing so, reveals far more than he could have imagined.

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The Madeleine Effect

Five stories exploring the role played by food in our lives and memories.

3/5. Mangoes

By Joanna Blythman, read by Gerda Stevenson.

The award-winning food critic and writer shares her passion for mangoes, savouring the sticky sweetness of Indian and Pakistani mangoes, and exploring the subject of how one eats a mango.

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The Madeleine Effect

Five stories exploring the role played by food in our lives and memories.

4/5. The Ghosts, the Astronauts, the Tipsy Cake and the Turks

Written and read by Finlay Welsh.

A penniless man wanders the streets of Vienna fantasising about eating tipsy cake. As his hunger grows worse, he is haunted by the city's ghosts and a strange scratching sound at his door.

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The Madeleine Effect

Five stories exploring the role played by food in our lives and memories.

5/5. Skin and Bones

By Sophie Cooke, read by Laura Fraser.

Francis likes to sew, write and cook, but she doesn't much like eating. When she invites her newly discovered half-brother to dinner, she finds a whole new kind of fullness.

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Stories by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky - a prominent figure in Moscow literary circles in the 1920s and 30s, though he was all but unpublished when he died. On his death, a critic mourned the passing of 'a writer-visionary, an unsung genius'.

1/5. Quadraturin

The story of a man confined to his 86 square feet of living space in a cramped apartment. Then a stranger comes to visit with a secret tube containing an agent for 'biggerizing' rooms.

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Stories by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky - a prominent figure in Moscow literary circles in the 1920s and 30s, though he was all but unpublished when he died. On his death, a critic mourned the passing of 'a writer-visionary, an unsung genius'.

2/5. The Runaway Fingers

The strange tale of the concert pianist Heinrich Dorn, who is performing to a packed concert hall when the fingers of his right hand, tired of being confined to the octaves of a piano, make a break for freedom.

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Stories by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky - a prominent figure in Moscow literary circles in the 1920s and 30s, though he was all but unpublished when he died. On his death, a critic mourned the passing of 'a writer-visionary, an unsung genius'.

3/5. The Unbitten Elbow

The tale of the poor wretch whose aim in life is to 'bite his elbow', sparking a career in the circus and a furious philosophical debate.

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Stories by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky - a prominent figure in Moscow literary circles in the 1920s and 30s, though he was all but unpublished when he died. On his death, a critic mourned the passing of 'a writer-visionary, an unsung genius'.

4/5. Yellow Coal, Part One

Written in 1939, this tale foresees the energy crisis and global warming - as an international commission is set up to look for new sources of power. But Professor Leker's proposal to harness man's spite brings problems of its own.

Read by Andrew Sachs.

AR20060908

Stories by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky - a prominent figure in Moscow literary circles in the 1920s and 30s, though he was all but unpublished when he died. On his death, a critic mourned the passing of 'a writer-visionary, an unsung genius'.

5/5. Yellow Coal, Part Two

Written in 1939, this tale foresees the energy crisis and global warming - as an international commission is set up to look for new sources of power. But Professor Leker's proposal to harness man's spite brings problems of its own.

Read by Andrew Sachs.

AR20061023

Classical Assassins: Five short monologues by Jonathan Lennie, based on historical facts and conjecture, about deaths of great composers. 1/5: Tchaikovsky and Me. Read by Benjamin Whitrow.

AR20061024

Classical Assassins: Five short monologues by Jonathan Lennie, based on historical facts and conjecture, about deaths of great composers. 2/5: Beethoven and Me. Read by Nigel Anthony.

AR20061025

Classical Assassins: Five short monologues by Jonathan Lennie, based on historical facts and conjecture, about deaths of great composers. 3/5: Bach, Handel and Me. Read by Bill Wallis.

AR20061026

Classical Assassins

Five short monologues by Jonathan Lennie, based on historical facts and conjecture, about deaths of great composers.

4/5. Webern and Me

Read by Carl Prekopp.

AR20061110

Hard Frosts in Florence

By David Pownall. In this play specially written for Paul Scofield, a deeply-troubled Michelangelo returns to Florence to view his statue of the boy David ? Flesh caught in stone - for the last time.

Michelangelo....Paul Scofield

Director Martin Jenkins.

Gilbert Harding....Roger Allam

Derek....Ben Crowe

Roger....Keith Drinkel

Philip....Carl Prekopp

Nancy....Jenny Funnell

Psychiatrist....Ian Masters

Female fan....Jean Trend

AR20061113

Short Stories by John McGahern

Stories by the celebrated Irish author who died earlier this year.

1/5. The Stoat

A young man compares the stoat's single-minded pursuit of a rabbit to that of a shy woman's pursuit of his hopeless father.

Read by Sean McGinley.

AR20061114

Short Stories by John McGahern

Stories by the celebrated Irish author who died earlier this year.

2/5. Swallows

A young surveyor from Dublin meets up with a policeman from the country. The choices in their lives are ruthlessly compared.

Read by Sean McGinley.

AR20061115

Short Stories by John McGahern

Stories by the celebrated Irish author who died earlier this year.

3/5: Sierra Leone, part 1.

A young man who falls in love with the mistress of an ageing politician is forced to look at his capacity for commitment.

Read by Sean McGinley.

AR20061127

The Horse

A witty angle on the Trojan War by Alick Rowe.

1/5. The Hope and the Horror

Letters from Greek conscript Geoff and blinkered military commander Diomedes reveal 'inside' stories.

Readers are Martin Jarvis and Darren Richardson.

AR20061128

The Horse

A witty angle on the Trojan War by Alick Rowe.

2/5. The Strife and the Sorrow

Operation Pegasus and the defeat of Troy seem like great ideas to Dingbat Diomedes. But Geoff assumes 'horse duty' means getting back in the saddle.

AR20061129

The Horse

A witty angle on the Trojan War by Alick Rowe.

3/5. The Pity and the Pathos

Geoff has sardine nightmares and Dimwit Diomedes suffers a setback at the Pegasus training camp.

AR20061130

The Horse

A witty angle on the Trojan War by Alick Rowe.

4/5. The Dread and the Desire

Dio and Geoff's letters show increasing panic, but Mighty Ag insists the Spartan security guards are only doing their job.

AR20061201

The Horse

A witty new angle on the Trojan War from multi award-winning writer Alick Rowe.

5/5. The Tragedy and The Triumph

Geoff sends a last letter and Diomedes reveals the Master Plan.

Read by Darren Richardson and Martin Jarvis.

AR20061204

A Brush with Fame

Stories exploring with wit and humour the way we all react to a glancing encounter with fame.

1/5. The Horse He Rode in On

By Jane Stevenson, read by Ann Beach.

This tale is set in The Rising Sun in London's East End.

AR20061205

A Brush with Fame

Stories exploring with wit and humour the way we all react to a glancing encounter with fame.

2/5. Irrational Fear of Tom Stoppard

Written and read by Adam Mars-Jones.

A gentle tale, blending an overactive imagination with social insecurity and rumours of phenomenal brainpower.

AR20061206

A Brush with Fame

Stories exploring with wit and humour the way we all react to a glancing encounter with fame.

3/5. Dinah

Written and read by Maureen Lipman.

AR20061207

A Brush with Fame: 4/5. Night After Night: A specially commissioned short story from a new talent, exploring the moment a young woman was touched first by notoriety and then by stardom.

AR20061208

A Brush with Fame: 5/5. Brief Encounter: The series exploring what happens when lesser mortals encounter fame ends with a specially commissioned story set in a contemporary television studio.

AR20061227

Angelic Hosts

Specially commissioned stories about angels for Christmas, inspired by artwork and song through the ages.

1/3. And We Flew Into Bethlehem, by Michael Morpurgo. A young shepherd boy has an unexpected encounter with the angel Gabriel.

Read by Paul Copley and Robert Hastie.

AR20061228

Angelic Hosts

Four specially commissioned stories about angels for Christmas, inspired by artwork and song through the ages.

2/3. Mrs Marvel's Angel

By Clare Boylan. When a cleaning lady finds a valuable painting of an angel in her employer's attic, good things start to happen.

Read by Rosemary Leach.

AR20061229

Angelic Hosts

Specially commissioned stories about angels for Christmas, inspired by artwork and song through the ages.

3/3. The Green Angel

By John Burnside.

An abstract image of an angel triggers off a forgotten memory. With hindsight, could apparently random events be a sign of divine intervention?

Read by David Rintoul.

AR20070302

The West End by the Sea

Lynne Truss introduces a series of theatrical short stories, specially commissioned to celebrate the bicentenary of the Theatre Royal, Brighton.

5/5. Nell's First Night

By Roy Apps, read by Thelma Barlow and Clare Corbett.

What better way for Nell to give her 13-year-old god-daughter a treat, than to take her to a 'proper' theatre?

AR20070312

Birds and Beasts

Specially commissioned stories with an animal theme.

1/5. Nanny

By Shena Mackay.

The past catches up with Campbell Forsyth, academic and philanderer, when he notices something odd about the hairy woman in the front row.

Read by Barbara Flynn.

AR*2007052820081223

By Michael Faber.

A father is close to experiencing the happiest moment of his life.

Richard Schiff reads a short story by Michael Faber, abridged by Richard Hamilton.

A husband and father is close to experiencing the happiest moment of his life.

AR*2007052820081223

By Michael Faber.

A father is close to experiencing the happiest moment of his life.

Richard Schiff reads a short story by Michael Faber, abridged by Richard Hamilton.

A husband and father is close to experiencing the happiest moment of his life.

AR28/05/200720081223

By Michael Faber. A father is close to experiencing the happiest moment of his life.

ARDear Derek20090114

Agatha is drawn to her young cousin Phillip when he comes to stay. Read by Emily Woof.

ARHard Frosts In Florence20061110

By David Pownall.

In this play specially written for Paul Scofield, a deeply-troubled Michelangelo returns to Florence to view his statue of the boy David ? Flesh caught in stone - for the last time.

Michelangelo....Paul Scofield

Director Martin Jenkins.

Gilbert Harding....Roger Allam

Derek....Ben Crowe

Roger....Keith Drinkel

Philip....Carl Prekopp

Nancy....Jenny Funnell

Psychiatrist....Ian Masters

Female fan....Jean Trend

ARHard Frosts In Florence20061110

By David Pownall.

In this play specially written for Paul Scofield, a deeply-troubled Michelangelo returns to Florence to view his statue of the boy David ? Flesh caught in stone - for the last time.

Michelangelo....Paul Scofield

Director Martin Jenkins.

Gilbert Harding....Roger Allam

Derek....Ben Crowe

Roger....Keith Drinkel

Philip....Carl Prekopp

Nancy....Jenny Funnell

Psychiatrist....Ian Masters

Female fan....Jean Trend

ARMatchlight20090115

After a dull night at the cinema, a woman is approached by someone on the way home.

ARMoments Past, A Black Dog20111102

Written by Philippa Gregory.

Read by Maureen Beattie.

Short story series in which leading historical authors write about a particular moment from the past, one which went on to influence the future.

Today, bestselling author Philippa Gregory examines the life and trial of of Eleanor Cobham: the unlucky Duchess of Gloucester, who married Duke Humphrey, uncle to Henry VI of England, in 1428 and was accused of treasonable necromancy - using magic to destroy the king.

Produced by Kirsteen Cameron.

Eleanor Cobham, the Duchess of Gloucester, is accused of treasonable necromancy in 1441.

ARMurder She Thought - Series 1, Dear George20090517

It seems Joyce plans to do away with her amiable husband.

ARMurder She Thought - Series 1, Have A Nice Death20090531

An author has a wonderful time in New York, until he receives a strange phone call.

ARMurder She Thought - Series 1, Kk20090607

Theme-park monsters are meant to frighten the visitors, not the other way round.

ARMurder She Thought - Series 1, Paint20090524

A young woman is hired by a city whizz-kid to redecorate his flat.

ARMurder She Thought - Series 1, Three Is A Lucky Number20090614

Margery Allingham's electrifying 'bride in the bath' story.

ARPillars Of The Community20090108

By Anneliese Mackintosh. A young woman attends a dinner party hosted by her neighbours.

ARPillars Of The Community *20090108

By Anneliese Mackintosh.

A young woman attends a dinner party hosted by her neighbours.

Comedy by Anneliese Mackintosh.

A young woman attends a dinner party hosted by her neighbours, who seem to be hiding something.

Read by Natalie Bennett.

ARPillars Of The Community *20090108

By Anneliese Mackintosh.

A young woman attends a dinner party hosted by her neighbours.

Comedy by Anneliese Mackintosh.

A young woman attends a dinner party hosted by her neighbours, who seem to be hiding something.

Read by Natalie Bennett.

ARPoints Of Entry, A Rigor Mortis Of The Tongue And Other Earthly Things20081127

A young Zimbabwean, newly arrived in London, struggles to make connections.

ARPoints Of Entry, Bread Heap And A Dreamer20081128

Story about a prisoner who refuses to give in to his torturers.

ARPoints Of Entry, From Revolution To Idyll - Mothertongue20081124

Poet and translator George Szirtes reflects on leaving Hungary after the 1956 revolution.

ARPoints Of Entry, Hackney Adolescence20081125

Writer and academic Ziauddin Sardar reflects on the racism he encountered in London.

ARPoints Of Entry, On Not Being Able To Cross The Road20081126

Novelist Gillian Slovo reflects on arriving in England as an adolescent.

ARThe Astronaut20090106

By Jason Donald. A lethargic jobseeker spies an opportunity to be a hero.

ARThe Facts Of Life20090113

Young Newton has to see the headmaster about a rather delicate subject. Read by Bill Nighy

ARThe Hair Of The Dog20081222

Short story by Jane Gardam. Eleanor reflects on her daughter Rosie's wedding 25 years ago.

ARThe Hair Of The Dog *2007052720081222

Short story by Jane Gardam.

Humour and tenderness colour Eleanor's reflections on her daughter Rosie's wedding 25 years before.

Abridged by Jules Wilkinson

ARThe Hair Of The Dog *2007052720081222

Short story by Jane Gardam.

Humour and tenderness colour Eleanor's reflections on her daughter Rosie's wedding 25 years before.

Abridged by Jules Wilkinson

ARThe Intelligence Of Hearts20090107

By Cynthia Rogerson. A gallery attendant muses on love and loneliness. Read by Paul Young.

AR011989: Writing On The Wall, The Quest For Christa T20091006
AR01A Few More Actors' Words, An Elephant At Trincomalee20110222

The latest series of short stories by actors features James Wilby, Sarah Winman and Kerry Shale reading their own work. From the jungles of 1970s Sri Lanka (when it was Ceylon) to a luxury boutique hotel in Seville, from the devastation a death causes - and comfortable lives confronted by something shocking - to the adventure of following a wild elephant, these stories are as varied as the performers who have written and read them.

Producer: David Roper

A Heavy Entertainment production for BBC Radio 4.

In James Wilby's new story a wild elephant makes a surprise appearance in 1970s Sri Lanka.

AR01A Friend Of The Family, Coming Round20090505
AR01A Georgian Trilogy, A Peacock In Sulphur20100202
AR01A Glimpse Of Stocking, Hold-ups2009102020110522

A short story in celebration of 'something shocking' - the nylon stocking.

Alice Herring seems like the perfect witness but all is not as it seems in this comic tale of robberies, romance and cubic zirconia. Written by Jojo Moyes and read by Siobhan Redmond.

A jewel robbery goes wrong in this comic tale by Jojo Moyes, read by Siobhan Redmond.

AR01A Little More Love In The Afternoon, Chitting2010071320111202

Series in which leading romantic novelists write short stories inspired by the four word brief: Love in the Afternoon.

"Chitting" by Elizabeth Buchan.

Read by Melody Grove.

Produced by Kirsteen Cameron.

Twelve-year-old Edie is not happy. Her mum's going away for a week which means she has to go to her grandmother's house after school. Worse still, she'll have to eat her gran's cooking (stew, with boiled carrots! White fish with cabbage!). Needless to say, her grandmother's none too happy to have the company of a "sulky young miss". As the week passes, slowly, the pair learn to make the best of a bad situation.

Elizabeth Buchan is the author of ten novels, including the bestselling and prize-winning "Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman", "That Certain Age" and "The Second Wife". She is a past winner of the Romantic Novel of the Year Award. She lives in London with her husband and children.

By Elizabeth Buchan. A young girl discovers a different side to her stern grandmother.

By Elizabeth Buchan.

AR01A Poet's Year, A White Page20110201

National Poet of Wales, Gillian Clarke, who has recently been awarded The Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry 2010, reads from her journal about life on her small holding in rural West Wales. In this episode, a blizzard of snow, blocked roads and a frozen water pump test their survival skills.

The Welsh landscape and the healing power of nature are both driving forces in Gillian Clarke's poetry and prose. These readings are adapted from At the Source: Prose Writings by Gillian Clarke, published by Carcanet. The music is Clowns by Goldfrapp.

Producer: Willa King

BBC Cymru Wales.

Poet Gillian Clarke reads from her journal about life in rural West Wales.

AR01Abroad, Hesitation20090310
AR01Abroad, Hesitation20101010

Series of three edgy tales of people abroad, by Virginia Gilbert.

A husband on holiday with his wife is tested to the limit by the tantrums of a young boy he just cannot help being annoyed by. When the boy gets into difficulties one evening in the pool, the husband's hesitancy to rush to his aid forces his wife to look at him in a new light. Read by Philip Jackson.

A husband on holiday with his wife is tested to the limit by the tantrums of a young boy.

AR01Agatha Christie's Mysterious Mr Quin, The Coming Of Mr Quin2009091520110111

Martin Jarvis reads a trio of stories starring Agatha Christie's personal favourite character - a certain Mr Harley Quin.

When guests at a house party recall the suicide of the previous owner, a mysterious stranger arrives who throws unexpected light on the case. But another mystery remains - who actually is Mr Quin himself?

Producer/Director : Rosalind Ayres

A Jarvis and Ayres Production for BBC Radio 4.

Guests at a house party recall the unexpected suicide of the previous owner.

AR01Agatha Christie's Mysterious Mr Quin, The Dead Harlequin20110906

Written by Agatha Christie. Adapted by Archie Scottney.

Martin Jarvis returns with a new series of these strangely compelling 1920s stories by the Queen of Crime.

Mr Satterthwaite buys a painting. It intrigues him because the face of the man in the picture bears a distinct resemblance to a certain Mr Quin. One Harlequin lies dead on the floor, another Harlequin is looking through the window. What does it mean? 'I took a special interest in your picture,' says Mr Satterthwaite to the artist, 'I recognised it as the Terrace Room at Charnley.' He knows that a suicide was committed there fourteen years ago. But is the picture telling us something else? Was it, in fact, murder?

There are guests that night for dinner at Satterthwaite's home. An extra place is laid. Will Mr Harley Quin arrive to assist their thinking - perhaps even solve the mystery? Christie considered this character to be her personal favourite.

Producer/Director: Rosalind Ayres

A Jarvis and Ayres production for BBC Radio 4.

Mr Satterthwaite buys a painting. Does it contain the solution to a murder?

AR01Agatha Christie's Mysterious Mr Quin, The World's End20100914

Following the success of the first series of 'The Mysterious Mr Quin', Martin Jarvis reads more stories featuring Agatha Christie's personal favourite character.

Mr Quin assists his friend Mr Satterthwaite to investigate three mysteries. But one mystery remains - who is Mr Harley Quin himself?

Mr Satterthwaite, on holiday in Corsica, travels by car with his friend the Duchess and an Indian judge, to the top of the island known as The Worlds End. They are led, via perilous ravine lined roads, by Naomi, a young, strangely distracted artist.

In a village at the summit they suddenly encounter Mr Quin and, whilst sheltering from a sudden snowstorm, another visiting group - a well-known actress, her husband and a theatre producer. The actress tells the story of her stolen opal and the young writer imprisoned for the offence. Naomi seems unexpectedly disturbed by the tale.

Has Mr Quin once again appeared in time to avert a possible tragedy?

Producer: Rosalind Ayres

A Jarvis and Ayres Production for BBC Radio 4.

A story told on a Corsican clifftop leaves a deep impression on a young artist.

AR01Alan Howard Reads, On Dover Beach20090415
AR01Alan Sillitoe Short Stories20100221

By Alan Sillitoe. A young boy undertakes his most ambitious pyrotechnic project.

AR01An Audience With Max Wall, First Footings20090809
AR01An Elegy For Easterly, The Mupandawana Dancing Champion2010031620110712

The Mupandawana Dancing Champion is the first of three stories selected from An Elegy for Easterly, Zimbabwean writer Petina Gappah's debut collection and winner of the Guardian First Book Award for 2009. Today - just outside Harare, in Mupandawana, a nimble footed coffin maker enjoys a little local celebrity, and some relief from the daily struggle to make ends meets. However, a political intervention cramps his style.

Each of the three stories selected from An Elegy For Easterly are acutely observed, powerful and poignant. They are populated by characters struggling to live in Mugabe's Zimbabwe, who despite the hardships of their everyday lives, are also resilient and imaginative, and not without a wry sense of humour.

Writer: Petina Gappah is a Zimbabwean writer with law degrees from Cambridge, Graz University and the University of Zimbabwe. Her short fiction and essays have been published in eight countries.

Reader: Reader: Lucian Msamati has been appearing in Clybourne Park in London's West End.

Award-winning Petina Gappah's story about a coffin maker's dancing prowess.

AR01An Important Passenger, Miss Pearman Takes The Train20091124
AR01An Italian Bestiary, At Home With Dormice20091227
AR01Anger, Look Forward In Anger20100509

Oliver James reads his overview describing and illuminating the nature of anger.

AR01Arthur Miller Stories, Fame20101123

Martin Jarvis directs acclaimed actor Alfred Molina in Miller's witty story on the nature of celebrity. Meyer Berkowitz has two hit plays running on Broadway.

Suddenly he's a star. And rich. People approach him in the street. Cabbies yell and wave at him. His photo is on the front cover of magazines. Barmen ply him with drinks on the house. But fame can be tiresome. Especially when you are accosted by an old high school friend.

Though anonymity can be oddly unwelcome too.

Playwright Miller's forensic examination of the dual aspects of stardom makes compelling points about human nature and the ego.

Reader: Alfred Molina

Director: Martin Jarvis

A Jarvis and Ayres Production for BBC Radio 4.

Alfred Molina performs Miller's New York story on the hateful pleasure of fame.

AR01Backwards And In High Heels, Fascinating Marion20110405

Stories of women quietly outperforming the men in their lives. Commissioned to mark 100 years since the birth of Ginger Rogers, who famously did everything that Fred Astaire did - only backwards and in high heels.

'Fascinating Marion' by Joan Smith. Teenager Stella is horrified when her practical mother invests in an outlandish hat. Read by Melody Grove.

Journalist, critic and novelist Joan Smith is the author of the 'Loretta Lawson' detective novels and writes a regular column for The Independent.

By Joan Smith. Stella is horrified when her practical mother invests in an outlandish hat.

AR01Ballads Of Thin Men, Dig Yourself20110517

Bob Dylan - one of the most significant and influential cultural figures of the late 20th and early 21st century - is 70 on 24 May 2011. The three stories in Ballads Of Thin Men have been commissioned specially to mark the occasion.

Written by Nick Walker

The Savoy Hotel, London, 1965. In the Iolanthe Room, Margaret is holding a meeting to prepare for a memorial function in honour of the recently-deceased Sir Winston Churchill. She uses flash-cards to help her small audience. Staying at the Savoy is 'a chap... who plays the guitar which is quite nice,' And he's been using flash-cards too...

Nick Walker is part of Coventry-based mixed media experimentalists Talking Birds whose work has been presented extensively in the UK as well as in Sweden, Ireland, and the USA. He has worked with some of the country's leading new work theatre companies including Stan's Cafe, Insomniac, and Theatre Instituut Nederlands both in the UK and abroad.

He is the author of two critically-acclaimed novels Blackbox and Helloland. His plays and short stories are often featured on BBC Radio 4 including Arnold In A Purple Haze (2009), the 'First King of Mars' stories (2007 - 2010) and the recent Afternoon Play Life Coach (2010), all of them Sweet Talk productions.

Producer: Jeremy Osborne

A Sweet Talk Production for BBC Radio 4.

By Nick Walker. 1965: something odd is happening to Margaret at the Savoy Hotel.

AR01Bath Festival Stories By Candlelight, Stowmont2010030220111030

By Sadie Jones. The owner of a house is overtaken by forces he doesn't understand.

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Bath Festival Stories by Candlelight

The first in a series of supernatural tales commissioned by Radio 4 for last year's Bath Literature Festival

1/3 : Stowmont by Sadie Jones, read by John Telfer.

An 18th century story about a man and the architect he employs, who are forced to shelter for the night from a snow storm in the house they have resolved to pull down and replace. In spite of their rationalism, and beyond their comprehension, the past asserts itself over their will.

Producer Christine Hall.

AR01Bath Festival Stories, The Mermaid20110301

In the first of three short stories recorded in front of an audience at the Bath Literature Festival, Marina Warner reads The Mermaid.

Marina Warner is a writer of fiction, criticism and history; her works include novels and short stories as well as studies of myths, symbols, and fairytales.

A niece rolls up to her Aunt's place in a flash car. It had been turned over by its previous coke-head owner, but the re-conditioning is superb. Over a lunch of samphire and crabmeat she complains about the affects of ageing, mobile phone reception and the inability of boyfriends to keep their promises. She thought Gianni was different from the others, but it turns out she escaped from his clutches just in time. Her Aunt is well used to her niece's capricious behaviour; she is, after all, every inch her mother's daughter. Revived by food and rest, the niece speeds off into the blue yonder and the Aunt finds she has an awakening of her own.

Producer: Sarah Langan.

By Marina Warner. A niece rolls up to her aunt's place in a flash car.

AR01Bears Of England, Spirit Bears2009070720110101

A village is plagued by an especially wicked gang of spirit bears. Read by Ian Holm.

In the days before electric light and oil lamps most of England was troubled by spirit bears. But one village believed itself to be victim to an especially wicked gang and sought to find an answer.

Adapted by Booker-nominated writer Mick Jackson from his collection 'Bears Of England.'

Reader: Ian Holm

Producer: Karen Rose

A Sweet Talk production for BBC Radio 4.

AR01Big Charlie2008122920100801

Butlins place an advertisement in The Times.

Colonel "Elephant Bill" Williams' amazing story of how, in the summer of 1957, the largest elephant in captivity - Big Charlie - was moved from Butlin's Holiday Camp in Ayr, Scotland, to Butlin's, Filey, Yorkshire.

In May 1957, an advertisement in The Times caught Elephant Bill's eye. Butlin's Ltd was offering £1,000 in cash for the immediate safe transport of the largest elephant in captivity from its camp in Ayr to its camp in Filey - a distance by road of 350 miles.

Colonel JH Williams had earned his sobriquet "Elephant Bill" as a result of his experiences working with elephants in the jungles of Burma and, intrigued by the advertisement, he volunteered his services. As did 3,500 other people, for the problem of moving Big Charlie, a 5 and a half ton male elephant, and one of the finest tuskers in captivity, had captured the popular imagination.

Some of the suggestions for moving the elephant were eccentric in the extreme, but not long after the advertisement appeared, Elephant Bill found himself engaged as elephant consultant - with very ill-defined duties - to help Mr Willie Wilson of Glasgow transport Big Charlie.

Although Big Charlie was accompanied at all times on the journey by his gentle and devoted mahout, Shaik Ibrahim, the job was made much more hazardous by the fact that Big Charlie was on "musth" - or in season - and that Billy Butlin's demands for constant publicity posed tricky problems for all concerned.

The story of this incredible journey begins today.

Written by J.H.Williams. Abridged and read by Tony Lidington.

Producer: David Blount

A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

AR01Blake's Doors Of Perception, No Trumpets Needed20090705
AR01Bright Young Things, Jeeves And The Yuletide Sprit20091229
AR01Caravan Club, Not Wanted On Voyage20090215
AR01Cassandra's Good Food Guide20101019

"Cassandra" (Bill Connor) was a Fleet Street legend during the Daily Mirror's heyday, with his column running non-stop, not counting global hostilities, for 35 years until 1967.

He could often be cantankerous and comically opinionated in what was described as his "polished-up barrack room" style of writing. Some of Cassandra's best columns, however, were not about people or institutions he wanted to admonish, but humorous personal tales about eating and drinking.

Here, we are encouraged to come into the garden by dead of night to listen to the rubbery, rustling noise of a vegetable growing in "How I Like My Cabbage." We learn from him the horrors of being brought up on "Miss Cowie's Porridge" ("If ever a word describing a food had the sound of its meaning, it is 'Porridge' - the slup and slur and costive slirrup of the uneatable.") Then there are the "Scrap Cakes" - his brilliant invention of artillery food that married couples can safely throw at each other ("They are convenient in size, fit the hand like a grenade and do not mark the carpet.") In the description of his calming encounter with the admirable Grocer in Harrods, he is on the trail of "Fried Za Zas", while in "The Prose of Sauce" he reveals "I have been a reader of sauce-bottle labels ever since I first got to eye-level with the kitchen table."

It has been said about Cassandra that he was outwardly stubborn and prickly, but inwardly a warm and friendly cove. An argument with him ended, as a rule, with his twinkling eyes peering over the steamed-up spectacles.

That is exactly the side of the man conveyed by this collection of columns.

Read by Roger Lloyd Pack

Producer: Neil Cargill

A Pier Production for BBC Radio 4.

Roger Lloyd Pack reads tales of eating and drinking from Fleet Street legend Bill Connor.

AR01Casual Cruelty, The Lottery20100209
AR01Census 2011, The Suffragette's Party20110322

A new story by Beatrice Colin written to mark the national census.

A suffragette's dedication to the cause is tested to the hilt on the night of the census in 1911. Read by Melody Grove.

Beatrice Colin is a novelist, short story writer and creative writing teacher who has written plays for Radio 4 and novels including The Songwriter and The Luminous Life of Lilly Aphrodite.

In Edinburgh, an enthusiastic suffragette takes a stand by evading the 1911 census.

AR01Chattering, Black And White Dog20101130

Black and White Dog is the first in our selection of short stories from Louise Stern's debut collection. In this story about love and family, a memory from Beth's childhood casts a shadow. What sets Beth apart is that like Stern herself she has grown up deaf, and reveals a world that is at times unfamiliar and hard to grasp, but one that at the same time is instantly understood.

Alan Warner says: "An amazing debut. Vibrantly perceptive, gentle, funny and profound."

The reader is Sasha Pick.

Abridged and produced by Elizabeth Allard.

Sasha Pick reads Black and White Dog, from Louise Stern's debut collection.

AR01Cheltenham Festival Readings, Love With Impediments20090726

Written and read by Hari Kunzru. A futuristic story of consumerism gone mad and bad.

AR01Cheltenham Festival Readings, Meg Rosoff: The Fisherman And His Wife20111011

Meg Rosoff, whose prize-winning books are enjoyed by children and adults alike, gives her own very modern twist to the classic fairy tale of The Fisherman and His Wife.

Recorded in front of an audience at the Cheltenham Literature Festival.

Meg Rosoff's first novel, How I Live Now, was an instant success, and her most recent is There Is No Dog.

Producer: Beth O'Dea.

Meg Rosoff reads her story in front of an audience at the Cheltenham Literature Festival.

AR01Cheltenham Festival: Stories On Stage20101012

Three best-selling writers take to the stage at this week's Cheltenham Literature Festival in an event showcasing the art of the short story. The first of the three is Susan Hill, who has won major prizes for her short stories, her novels and children's books, and is a respected reviewer, critic, broadcaster and editor. In 'Sand' two middle-aged sisters return to their mother's house after her funeral and remember an incident in their childhood that has remained unspoken and unexplored until now.

Susan Hill reads her story 'Sand' from the Cheltenham Literature Festival.

AR01City Of Two Continents, The Byzantine Passage20100119
AR01Classical Assassins, Schubert And Me20100523
AR01Come Away, Come Away!, Peanut Butter And Cello2010050420101024

A young girl from the favela carries an unexpected burden on a cross-city journey.

Melody Grove reads 'Peanut Butter and Cello' by Geraldine McCaughrean.

Produced by Eilidh McCreadie.

To mark 150 years since J M Barrie's birth, three leading writers for young people contribute new stories inspired by a chapter title from 'Peter Pan'. The authors have been set the task of exploring the joys and the terrors of childhood without sentimentality, much as Barrie did in his original text.

Geraldine McCaughrean has been awarded the Carnegie Medal, the Whitbread Prize and the Guardian Fiction Award for her books written for all ages. In 2004 she fought off fierce competition to be selected by the Trustees of Great Ormond Street Hospital to write an official sequel to 'Peter Pan'. Her novel, 'Peter Pan In Scarlet', was published to critical acclaim in 2006.

By Geraldine McCaughrean. A young girl from the favelas carries a precious burden.

AR01Comic Fringes20110823

By Sarah Millican.

Poignant and funny monologue exploring the tricky turning point in a woman's life, when she goes from being thought of as useful to becoming invisible.

A series of brand new short stories written and performed by leading comedians Sarah Millican, Joe Lycett and Bridget Christie.

Recorded live in front of an audience at the BBC's own venue at Potterrow, listeners are invited to take front row seats for 'as live' performances by three of the freshest talents appearing at this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Produced by Kirsteen Cameron.

A new story written and read by Sarah Millican, recorded at this year's Edinburgh Fringe.

AR01Comic Fringes, May Contain Nuts2009082520101215

Written and read by Janey Godley.

"If I'm slowly turning into my dad, then I'd better start collecting owl calendars and squirrels."

A woman glimpses her own mortality when she calculates that only twenty-seven years separate her from her cantankerous father. Brilliant, unsentimental insight into the father / daughter relationship.

Another chance to hear this series of short stories by leading comedians recorded live in front of a packed audience at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2009. Coming up, at the same time over the next three Wednesdays, are stories by Sarah Millican, Jon Richardson and Susan Calman.

Produced by Kirsteen Cameron.

An unsentimental insight into the father-daughter relationship by Janey Godley.

AR01Comic Fringes, The Woman Who Sniffed20100824

Take front row seats for a new series of short stories written and read by comedians and recorded last week in front of an audience at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Susan Calman gets the series underway with a wry look at office politics in "The Woman Who Sniffed".

Produced by Kirsteen Cameron.

By Susan Calman. A wry look at office politics.

AR01Comic Fringes, The Woman Who Sniffed20110105

Take front row seats for a new series of short stories written and read by comedians and recorded last week in front of an audience at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Susan Calman gets the series underway with a wry look at office politics in "The Woman Who Sniffed".

Produced by Kirsteen Cameron.

By Susan Calman. A wry look at office politics.

AR01Countryman's Cooking, Of Pigeon And Pastry20090922
AR01Cupid Strikes, Better Off Without Them20100117

By Philip Ardagh. Will Cupid's arrow reach its target of Juliet and Geoff?

AR01Danish Noir, Last Train To Helsingor20101207

In these three specially-commissioned tales by Heidi Amsinck, Denmark is a place of twilight and shadows: a mysterious place where strange and often dark things happen. In 'Last Train to Helsingor' Henrik Borg has done well for himself; he drive a Mercedes to and from work though prefers the train from Copenhagen to Helsingor, because it is predictable.

But things start to go wrong when Borg falls asleep, and wakes up in a mysterious, deserted railway siding.

Heidi Amsinck, a writer and journalist born in Copenhagen, has covered Britain for the Danish press since 1992. Heidi has written numerous short stories including The Chanterelles of Ostvig (2008), Conning Mrs Vinterberg (2007) and Detained (2005), all of which were produced by Sweet Talk for BBC Radio 4.

Written by Heidi Amsinck

Read by Tim McInnerny

Producer: Ros Ward

A Sweet Talk production for BBC Radio 4.

By Heidi Amsinck. Strange things wait for Borg when he wakes in a disused railway siding.

AR01Defining Moments, The Lost Weekend20091208
AR01Dilemmas Of Modern Martyrs, The True Story Of The Twelve Dancing Princesses20091004

A soldier is exposed to the truth in this quirky reworking of the traditional fairy tale.

AR01Elvis In Prestwick, Elvis In Prestwick20100223
AR01Em Forster Short Stories, The Story Of The Siren2010040620110510

The Story of the Siren is the first in our series of short fiction by EM Forster. It is an unsettling story about a sea nymph and an ill fated young Sicilian. The novelist best known for twentieth century classics including A Passage to India, A Room with a View and Maurice was also a prolific writer of short stories. In them he explored many of the themes central to his novels, including the morals of the middle classes in the early twentieth century, and his fascination with culture and mores of the beguiling South. The reader is Dan Stevens.

Abridged by Richard Hamilton. Produced by Elizabeth Allard.

A Sicilian tells an unsettling story about an ill fated young man. Read by Dan Stevens.

AR01Empath Man, The Optiagra Effect20090616
AR01Excused Games, Rematch20090623
AR01Extremely Entertaining Short Stories, The Brown Wallet20110315

Stacy Aumonier's life as a stage performer, 'society entertainer', World War One private and draughtsman all contributed to his unrivalled reputation as a short-story writer in the 1920's.

Nobel Prize winner and Forsyte Saga author John Galsworthy described Stacy Aumonier as "one of the best short-story writers of all time." Other famous admirers included Alfred Hitchcock, who had several of his stories adapted for television, and James Hilton, author of Goodbye, Mr Chips, who once said of Aumonier: "I think his very best works ought to be included in any anthology of the best short stories ever written."

However since his untimely death at the age of 51, Aumonier has been rather forgotten. This is particularly ironic considering Galsworthy's belief - expressed in his foreword to a posthumously published collection of short stories - that Aumonier would, through his writing, "outlive nearly all the writers of his day."

Sadly, this did not happen. Yet the recently published collection of Aumonier's Extremely Entertaining Short Stories has certainly helped bring this overlooked talent to a new audience. Aumonier's stories are not only hilarious, full of wit and genuine warmth for his subjects, but also beautifully constructed insights into the various absurdities of human behaviour; be it in the drawing rooms of London high society or the trenches of World War I.

'The Brown Wallet' read by Mark Heap.

Mark Heap has appeared widely across television, radio and film; he recently appeared on TV as Thomas Brown in the returning BBC series 'Lark Rise to Candleford'. His acclaimed comedic performances include 'Spaced', 'Green Wing' and BBC series 'The Great Outdoors'

'The Brown Wallet' by Stacy Aumonier was abridged by Neville Teller and read by Mark Heap. It was recorded in Belfast and the Producer/Director was Laura Conway.

'A Source Of Irritation' read by Mark Addy.

Mark Addy has worked extensively in film, television and on stage. His many credits include 'The Full Monty', 'Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord 1983' and the upcoming HBO television series 'Game of Thrones'.

'A Source of Irritation' by Stacy Aumonier was abridged by Neville Teller and read by Mark Addy. It was recorded in Belfast and the Producer/Director was Michael Shannon.

'The Room' read by Mathew Horne

Mathew Horne's many television credits include 'The Catherine Tate Show', 'Teachers' and '20 Things to Do before You're Thirty'. Mathew is best known to many for his portrayal of Gavin in the hit BBC series 'Gavin and Stacey'.

'The Room by Stacy Aumonier was abridged by Neville Teler and read by Mathew Horne. It was recorded in Belfast and the Producer/Director was Laura Conway.

Beaten man Giles Meiklejohn finds a locked, brown wallet in the back of a taxi.

AR01Face It, Together20110920

The first of three short story commissions on the theme of social networking.

Together by Naomi Alderman walks the line between science fiction and our own near future, in a love story involving eight loosely-networked friends.

Read by Dan Stevens

Produced by Robert Howells

Naomi Alderman won the Orange New Writers Award for her first novel Disobedience and has subsequently been named as the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year. She has published prize-winning short fiction in Prospect, Woman and Home, the Sunday Express and a number of anthologies and in 2009 was shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award. From 2004 to 2007 Naomi was lead writer on the BAFTA-shortlisted alternative reality game Perplex City.

A love story that walks the line between science fiction and our own near future.

AR01For The Love Of A Child, Chocolate Pudding2010121420111224

The first of three stories about relationships between adults and children, drawn from real-life.

Written and read by Julia Blackburn, whose most recent book 'The Three Of Us' has won the 2009 Pen/Ackerley prize for memoir and autobiography, the stories are written with a mesmerising delicacy of touch in the way they describe human relationships and Julia Blackburn's capacity to find the best in people while encompassing their frailty.

1. Chocolate Pudding

A psychiatrist is perplexed by several cases of coma in a young child. With patience and bowls of chocolate pudding he manages to wake the child, by describing how delicious the pudding is and putting it under the child's nose. The story is inspired by conversations with the psychiatrist and his descriptions of 'Sleeping Beauty Syndrome'.

Producer...Mary Ward-Lowery

Music: Trois Morceaux en Forme de Poire by Eric Satie.

By Julia Blackburn. A psychiatrist wakes a child from coma using chocolate pudding.

The first of two stories about relationships between adults and children, drawn from real-life.

Written and read by the Costa-shortlisted writer Julia Blackburn. The stories are written with the same mesmerising delicacy of touch that Julia brought to her Penn-Ackerley prize-winning memoir 'The Three of Us', demonstrating her extraordinary capacity to find the best in people while encompassing their frailty.

AR01Foster20100831

By Claire Keegan

Abridged by Neville Teller

A heartbreaking, haunting story of childhood, loss and love by one of Ireland's most acclaimed writers. A small girl is sent to live with her mother's people on a farm in rural Ireland, without knowing when she will return home. In the strangers' house, she finds a warmth and affection she has not known before and slowly begins to blossom in their care. And then a secret is revealed, and suddenly, she realizes how fragile her idyll is.

Winner of the Davy Byrnes Memorial Prize, Foster will be published in a revised and expanded version by Faber on 2nd September 2010. Beautiful, sad and eerie, it is a story of astonishing emotional depth, showcasing Claire Keegan's great accomplishment and talent.

Claire Keegan's first collection of short stories, 'Antarctica', was completed in 1998 and was awarded the Rooney Prize for Literature. Her second short story collection, 'Walk the Blue Fields', was published to enormous critical acclaim in 2007 and won her the 2008 Edge Hill Prize for Short Stories. Claire Keegan lives in County Louth, Ireland.

'Foster' is read by Evanna Lynch, best known to many for her portrayal of Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter films.

Producer Heather Larmour

Billing:

A young girl is sent to live with her mother's people, the Kinsella's, on a farm in rural Ireland. Evanna Lynch reads Claire Keegan's award-winning story of loss and love.

A young girl is sent to live with her mother's people on a farm in rural Ireland.

AR01Good Show Clarissa, A Midnight Revel20110308

Martin Jarvis directs Helen Mirren, Joanna Lumley and Lisa Dillon as 'The Girls' in 'Good Show Clarissa!' from Jarvis and Ayres Productions - a series of three 'jolly hockey stick' stories for Radio 4 - performed by stars. These classic tales represent some of the best of popular 20th Century 'girls school fiction'.

The first story, 'A Midnight Revel', written in 1926 and performed with girlish relish by Dame Helen Mirren, is a neat thriller in which the boarders at Hardwick High are prevented by the rainy weather from playing a hockey match.

Bored at such inactivity, they decide to think of an adventurous alternative entertainment. It's left to Nan Stevenson, the one who usually has 'blossomy' ideas to come up with something exciting. "I've got it!" she exclaimed at last, triumphantly. "There's one thing we've never tried yet (and jolly fun it would be, too!) a midnight supper. Scrumptious! But how will they organise it? And will the girls' daring midnight spree proceed according to plan? What could possibly go wrong?

Producer: Martin Jarvis

A Jarvis and Ayres production for BBC Radio 4.

Helen Mirren has great fun with Angela Brazil's classic 1926 jolly hockey-sticks tale.

AR01Granta Stories, The Death Of A Chair20090913
AR01Hay-on-wye Stories 2008, The Hilltop Singer20100418
AR01I Expected The Worst..., My Last Breath20110329

"Before the showing, I put some stones in my pocket to throw at the audience in case of disaster. I expected the worst. But, happily, the stones weren't necessary. After the film ended, I listened to the prolonged applause and dropped my projectiles, discreetly, one by one, on the floor behind the screen."

In a series of three readings this week, famous film-makers describe their adventures in the movie business.

1. MY LAST BREATH

Luis Bunel recalls scandalous times with the Surrealists in

twenties Paris, when he made films such as Un Chien Andalou

on money borrowed from his mother!

Reader Ian McDiarmid

Producer Duncan Minshull.

Luis Bunel recalls scandalous times with the Surrealists in 1920s Paris.

AR01I Got The Dog, Andria's Story20100907

Susie Maguire's trilogy of comic stories about the fallout from a break up. Who gets left with what? Music, water, transportation, arithmetic...possessions, separations...and Love. Rebecca Front reads Andria's story.

Andria fell hook, line and sinker for the enigmatic and brooding Russian pianist, Boris. They met at a street market and the attraction was instant. He posted a little Russian doll through her letterbox with his phone number attached. How could she resist?

She decides to buy a bed. A 'lit bateau'; a boat bed, which she hoped was going to be a metaphor for the fantastic voyage the two of them were about to embark on together.

Sure enough, nine months later, the sound of Boris's piano playing is punctuated by the patter of feet across the parquet floor. Well, they are paws to be precise, belonging to an Italian greyhound that Andria found on the street. They name her Mimi.

Boris's passion for his art, once the very thing that attracted Andria, is becoming a source of friction. That intensity that was once directed to her is now being poured into his music. He's playing piano at 4 a.m. in the morning, Andria is angry and Mimi is confused.

After one particularly blazing row, Andria wakes to the realisation that her bed that was once so symbolic of the dreams she held for their future, now resembled the raft of the Medusa. Things can't go on - but what about poor Mimi? Beds, pianos, dogs and shipwrecks as Rebecca Front reads Andria's story.

Producer: Sarah Langan.

Susie Maguire's trilogy comic stories about the fallout from a break-up.

AR01I Was There Too!, Maiden, Mother, Spinster, Saint20100706

In the pivotal moments of history the little man is inevitably written out of the history books. Whatever happened to Cleopatra's milkman, Einstein's postman, Michelangelo's model or Shakespeare's gardener? Just maybe there was more going on behind the scenes than we could ever imagine.

Writers Lucy Caldwell, Heidi Regan and Jessica Ransom, take us behind the scenes for an alternative look at some great historical moments through the eyes of some unexpected - and, until now - overlooked witnesses who were there too!

It's history - but not quite as we know it!

Maiden, Mother, Spinster, Saint

by Lucy Caldwell

Reader: Corrine Kempa

Being overshadowed by a sibling takes on a whole new meaning when your sister is a figure of national notoriety.

Pretty As A Picture

by Heidi Regan

Reader: Raphael Koeb

Beauty and truth collide when a young assistant accompanies a master painter on an important royal commission.

She Wore a White Dress

by Jessica Ransom

Reader: Julie Dray

Dressing a queen is a great responsibility, especially for her final public appearance.

Producer: Heather Larmour

This week our afternoon readings take a look at some momentous moments in history from the perspective of those on the sidelines. Each afternoon some unexpected witnesses who were 'there too' tell us their stories and give us an insight into the happenings that didn't make it into the history books.

Today's 'I Was There Too!' reading takes us back to events in fifteenth century France and a most unusual case of sibling rivalry, as Corrine Kempa reads 'Maiden, Mother, Spinster, Saint' by Lucy Caldwell, producer Heather Larmour.

By Lucy Caldwell. Being overshadowed by a sibling takes on a whole new meaning.

AR01I Was There Too!, That Door2009051220110918

Series of stories about great historical moments, told from the perspective of unexpected and overlooked witnesses.

By Elizabeth Kuti. Wittenberg, on a cold October night in 1517. Brother Martin has some papers he wants to nail to the church door, but he hadn't counted on meeting the indomitable Frau Sprenger.

Read by Eleanor Bron.

October 1517. Brother Martin has some papers he wants to nail to the church door.

AR01If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This, If I Loved You20100608
AR01In Her Element, Skomer Log2009031720100912

A series in which three women writers describe their personal connection with the Welsh landscape and how their encounter with nature has shaped their lives.

Jane Matthews recounts her sojourn with seals and puffins on a small island off the coast of Pembrokeshire.

Read by Siriol Jenkins

Producer : Kate McAll

Director : Nigel Lewis.

Jane Matthews recounts her sojourn with seals and puffins on a small Pembrokeshire island.

AR01In-flight Entertainment, Squirrel20100420
AR01Jennings' Little Hut, The Squatters20100131
AR01John B Keane Readings, Protocol20081201

It is obvious that this visit from Timmy Binn is different from all the others.

AR01John Banville2009011520111003 (BBC7)
20111004 (BBC7)

Magic Squares.

Five readings from the stage of the Cheltenham Literature Festival by Man Booker winners to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the prize.

John Banville: Magic Squares.

AR01John Banville2009011520111003 (BBC7)
20111004 (BBC7)

Magic Squares.

Five readings from the stage of the Cheltenham Literature Festival by Man Booker winners to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the prize.

John Banville: Magic Squares.

AR01Johnson's Miscellany20110515

Featuring Samuel Johnson's best-known work, A Dictionary of the English Language.

Three readings featuring extracts from Samuel Johnson's major works introduced by his biographer, David Nokes.

Samuel Johnson (better known as Dr Johnson) was born in Lichfield in September 1709. Half-blind, shambolic and poverty-stricken, he became the most admired and quoted man in the eighteenth century.

The son of a bookseller, lack of funds forced him to leave Oxford before taking a degree and, after a stint as a teacher, he travelled to London in search of work. Beginning as a Grub Street journalist, Johnson made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet, essayist, moralist, novelist, literary critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer. A devout Anglican and political conservative, Johnson has been described as "arguably the most distinguished man of letters in English history".

His most famous work is, without doubt, A Dictionary of the English Language, published in 1755. It was not the most accurate dictionary, nor the most comprehensive, but it became widely recognised as the first standard dictionary until publication of the Oxford English Dictionary 150 years later.

Other major works by Johnson are, among others, his Lives of the English Poets including his biography of Richard Savage; the novella, Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia; his notes on The Plays of William Shakespeare; The Idler essays; The Rambler magazine and A Journey to The Western Isles of Scotland.

In these three programmes, David Nokes, author of a biography of Johnson, introduces a series of extracts from the great man's work. In chronological order, we work our way through his literary life.

Today's episode features a reading from one of his early biographies, The Life of Richard Savage, and an extract from his most famous work, the Preface to a Dictionary of the English Language.

Read by Michael Pennington

Introduced by Professor David Nokes

Produced by Joanna Green

A Pier Production for BBC Radio 4.

AR01Just William: Pursuin' Happiness, The Knight At Arms20100727

He's back! Who? Just William.

Richmal Crompton's grubby, tousled, William Brown occupies his usual would-be-heroic starring role in three stories new to BBC Radio 4, brought to definitive life, as ever, by Martin Jarvis.

In this opening tale, William, inspired by his history teacher's accounts of medieval derring-do, sets out with his faithful squire Ginger to succour the oppressed. They come upon a beautiful damsel who is unquestionably oppressed, and therefore clearly in need of helpful succouring!

But as so often with William, things aren't quite what they seem.

Director: Pete Atkin

Producer: Rosalind Ayres

A Jarvis and Ayres Production for BBC Radio 4.

William sets out as a would-be heroic knight with his chum Ginger.

AR01Just William: Rightin' Wrongs, The Pennymans Hand On The Torch20111025

Adapted by Martin Jarvis.

Martin Jarvis chooses and performs three more Richmal Crompton stories about her immortal hero, William Brown. Today, the Outlaws are intrigued by some eccentric newcomers to the village who plan to persuade everyone to return to the simple life.

They say they want to 'bring back the morning to the world'. The village, naturally, isn't too keen on the idea. But when William gets involved - which includes his exciting performance as Saint George's dragon - there's a surprisingly effective, if unexpected, outcome.

Producer: Rosalind Ayres

Director: Pete Atkin

A Jarvis and Ayres production for BBC Radio 4.

William helps newcomers to the village in an eccentric mission to improve the world.

AR01Lido, To Brixton Beach20110607

by Stella Duffy.

Three stories that explore the most evocative experience of summer - outdoor swimming.

A mysterious swimmer spends all day in the pool at Brockwell Lido. Read by Adjoa Andoh.

Stella Duffy is an award winning novelist, short story writer and playwright. In addition to her writing work, Stella is an actor, comedian and improviser. She has performed in Improbable Theatre's highly acclaimed Lifegame throughout Britain, off-Broadway in New York, and in Australia. She has also recorded several plays and the sitcom Losers for BBC Radio 4.

By Stella Duffy. A mysterious swimmer spends all day in the pool at Brockwell Lido.

AR01Lost And Found, The Undertaker's Tale20101024

Series of three short stories by major writers which have only recently come to light.

By Mark Twain.

Newly published in the book 'Who Is Mark Twain?' and The Strand Magazine, Twain's tale about the funeral industry had lain undiscovered for 130 years. Twain tackles the same problems that we are challenged with today and pokes fun at the same type of characters that inhabit our present-day world.

This world broadcast premiere is read by Hector Elizondo.

A Jarvis and Ayres production for BBC Radio 4.

By Mark Twain. A previously-unpublished tale about the funeral industry.

AR01Lost And Found, The Undertaker's Tale2009051920101031

Series of three short stories by major writers which have only recently come to light.

By Mark Twain.

Newly published in the book 'Who Is Mark Twain?' and The Strand Magazine, Twain's tale about the funeral industry had lain undiscovered for 130 years. Twain tackles the same problems that we are challenged with today and pokes fun at the same type of characters that inhabit our present-day world.

This world broadcast premiere is read by Hector Elizondo.

A Jarvis and Ayres production for BBC Radio 4.

By Mark Twain. A previously-unpublished tale about the funeral industry.

AR01Lost In The Lanes, Absent Without Eve20100803

A third series of short stories written by writers new to radio.

Each year we set them within the environs of Brighton - Pier Shorts, Pavilion Pieces and this year the infamous Lanes of Brighton. More often than not the various journeys lead them beyond the winding Lanes of centuries past and into the Lanes of today, where the antique shops stand beside the more modern examples of what they would once have been, from treasures to cupcakes, and on, across roads, into the place of markets stalls and cafes, buskers and the vibrant life that is the North Laines.

Our first story, Absent Without Eve, is written by Lizzie Enfield. Read by Jan Ravens.

When their children left home, Eve imagined she and her husband David would be free to spend Saturday mornings wandering the North Laines together, sipping leisurely cappuccinos and browsing second hand bookshops. But David has other plans for himself and his recently acquired motorbike - plans that don't seem to include Eve.

Producer: Celia de Wolff

A Pier Production for BBC Radio 4.

By Lizzie Enfield, read by Jan Ravens.

AR01Love In The Afternoon, A Voice From The Past20101226

By Penny Vincenzi. When Anna befriends Rose, she is enchanted by vivid tales from the past

By Penny Vincenzi.

When Anna befriends Rose - a grand and very stylish resident of her grandfather's nursing home - she finds herself enchanted by vivid tales from a racy past. Atmospheric short story by the bestselling romantic novelist Penny Vincenzi.

Read by Joanna Lumley.

Produced by Kirsteen Cameron.

AR01Lyrical Ballads, Lewti And The Thorn2009101320110626

In today's episode we hear the poems 'Lewti' - Coleridge's 'love-chant' to an enigmatic and stony-hearted woman and 'The Thorn', Wordsworth's ballad about a mysterious outcast and the superstitions that the locals have attached to her. Recorded on location in Coleridge's Cottage in Nether Stowey, Somerset and in the Quantock Hills.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge - Julius D'Silva

William Wordsworth - Mark Meadows

The Captain - Peter Gruffydd

Adapted and produced by Emma Harding.

Coleridge's Lewti and Wordsworth's The Thorn.

AR01Made In Bristol, Rip Off20100427
AR01Midsummer Tales, Count From The Splash20100615
AR01Moments Past, The Night Eleanor Roosevelt Became Eleanor Roosevelt20111101

Written by Ellen Feldman.

Read by Miriam Margolyes.

First in a series of new short stories in which leading historical authors write about a particular moment from the past, one which went on to influence the future.

Today, how a shocking discovery changed the course of Eleanor Roosevelt's life.

Produced by Kirsteen Cameron.

Read by Miriam Margolyes. How a shocking discovery changed Eleanor Roosevelt's life.

AR01More Actors' Words, The Love Of Order20100525
AR01More Love In The Afternoon, The Lark20090609
AR01Mrs Dalloway's Party, Mrs Dalloway In Bond Street20110215

Mrs Dalloway's Party:

Mrs Dalloway in Bond Street by Virginia Woolf

Abridged by Miranda Davies

Read by Sylvestra Le Touzel

Produced by Lucy Collingwood

Fascinated and preoccupied by the idea of this social event,Virginia Woolf wrote this story sequence around the same time as writing the novel Mrs Dalloway. In each of these three stories written in Woolf's distinctive style, the listener is offered glimpses into each character's inner most thoughts and emotions. Woolf depicts the intriguing social world of Mrs Dalloway's party in microscopic detail.

This story, 'Mrs Dalloway in Bond Street', follows Mrs Dalloway as she runs errands and prepares for the party she's hosting.

Following Mrs Dalloway as she runs errands and prepares to host a party.

AR01Mud: Stories Of Sex And Love, The Lay Of Bee Wolf20100601
AR01Murder She Thought - Series 2, Domestic Violence2009012720100808

By Cathy Ace. What do you do when divorce isn't an option? Read by Glenne Headley.

A pleasant, reasonable woman wants to find the perfect husband. Trouble is, she's had several and none has proved acceptable. So what do you do when divorce isn't an option?

Award-winning Hollywood actress Glenne Headley reads Cathy Ace's tale.

Director: Martin Jarvis

A Jarvis and Ayres Production for BBC Radio 4.

AR01New Irish Short Stories, The Crippled Man20110802

From the book 'New Irish Short Stories' we celebrate the work of three internationally celebrated masters of the form; William Trevor, Roddy Doyle and Dermot Bolger.

The collection celebrates the range and calibre of Irish storytelling - conjuring a wealth of emotions and taking a look at the beauty of Ireland as it passes through a turbulent time - its eye always on the future.

'The Crippled Man' by William Trevor read by Stephen Rea:

William Trevor was born in Mitchelstown, county Cork in 1928. He had won the Whitbread Prize three times and the Hawthornden Award once and has been nominated five times for the booker prize, most recently for his novel Love and Summer.

Stephen Rea: Nominated for a 'Best Actor' Academy Award for his performance in The Crying Game, Stephen Rea, remains one of the most versatile and gifted actors of our generation. His numerous film credits include: Interview with a Vampire, End of the Affair, V for Vendetta, The Butcher Boy and Copenhagen.

He most recently appeared as the chilling character Gatehouse in the BBC 2 series The Shadowline.

'Animals' by Roddy Doyle read by Brendan Gleeson

Roddy Doyle is the author of nine novels, including The Commitments, Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha, which won the Booker Prize, and The Dead Republic. He has written several books for children as well as pieces for the stage, screen and television. His most recent book is Bullfighting , a collection of stories.

Brendan Gleeson: At the age of 34 Brendan Glesson embarked on his film career playing Mel Gibson's right hand man in the Oscar Winning Braveheart. Since then he has acted in more than 30 films, including Michael Collins, Cold Mountain, 28 Days Later, Troy, Kingdom of Heaven, In Bruges and The Village. Younger audiences know him as Hogwarts professor Mad-Eye Moody from Harry Potter. He most recently played Sergeant Gerry Boyle in The Guard, which premiered at the 2011 Galway film festival.

'Winter' by Dermot Bolger read by Dearbhla Molloy

Dermot Bolger is a novelist, poet and publisher, whose ten novels include The Family on Paradise Pier, The Journey Home, The Woman's Daughter and A second Life.

Dearbhla Molloy is a highly credited actress on both stage and screen. Dearbhla played Gertrude to Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet, in the West End for The RSC, and was nominated for a Tony Award for her role in Brian Friel's Dancing at Lughnasa.

Alongside her amazing theatre credits Dearbhla has appeared in Waking the Dead, Foyle's War, Midsomer Murders and New Tricks.

New Irish Short Stories were produced / directed by Laura Conway.

Two men painting a crippled man's house begin to realise something is amiss.

AR01New Welsh Writing From Ty Newydd, A Very Private View20110621

Ty Newydd, near Snowdonia, is the National Writing Centre for Wales as well as being the former home of Lloyd George. These three stories were created there on a Writing for Radio course, and showcase both new and established Welsh writers.

In A Very Private View, a young man in Vienna keeps company with one of the city's most famous doctors. Peter Taylor's story is read by Ioan Gruffudd.

Director Nigel Lewis

Executive Producer: Kate McAll

BBC Cymru Wales.

A young man in Vienna keeps company with one of the city's most famous doctors.

AR01Once Seen, The Lodger2010012620110821

Series of three stories inspired by a very modern small-ads phenomenon.

By Anna Maxted, read by Sandra Duncan.

Victoria is widowed, middle-aged and living in cold, wet London rather than her hot, sunny adopted homeland, Portugal. She has a lodger she is singularly ill-equipped to cater for; nonetheless he is grateful to her. This is a surprise for Victoria, which then leads to another.

A Heavy Entertainment production for BBC Radio 4.

By Anna Maxted. Widowed Victoria has a lodger whom she is ill-equipped to cater for.

AR01One Hundred And Forty Characters, Between The Tweets20110927

By Jojo Moyes.

First in a series of specially commissioned short stories inspired by the social networking phenomenon, Twitter. (For non "tweeters", the title derives from Twitter's format where "tweets" - the postings - can be no longer than 140 characters.)

A daytime TV star's reputation hangs in the balance when an anonymous woman accuses him on Twitter of having an affair with her. Who is the mysterious tweeter, @blonde_becca, and why is she so determined to destroy the celebrity's career? 'Reputation manager' Bella is called in to handle the situation and, using her I.T. contacts, makes a surprising discovery.

Jojo Moyes is an award-winning author, former newspaper journalist and a regular Tweeter. Her story title was suggested by one of her Twitter followers.

Read by Claire Knight.

Produced by Kirsteen Cameron.

A star's career is at risk when gossip about him spreads on Twitter. Story by Jojo Moyes.

AR01One More Year, Maia In Yonkers2009063020111106

Series of stories from the debut collection by Sana Krasikov, exploring the experiences of characters who leave the former Soviet Union for a new life in America.

Following the death of her husband and with no job, Maia finds work in New York, caring for an elderly woman. She sends money back home to her sister, who looks after her teenage son Gogi, so they can live a better life. Gogi sees his mother's absence differently, and Maia must contend with his resentment on his much-anticipated visit to the Big Apple.

Read by Sian Thomas.

Abridged by Richard Hamilton.

Maia sends money home to her sister, but has to contend with her son's resentment.

AR01Ones To Watch (volume 2), George And The Fly20090621

Joan's mother always said that George was not to be trusted.

AR01Opening Lines, Day Tripper20090331
AR01Opening Lines, Horses20100817

The series which gives first-time and emerging short story writers their radio debut.

By Emma Greengrass

The sight of four coal-black horses, glimpsed through the window of a London bus, encourages an elderly lady to believe her luck is changing.

Julia McKenzie reads this life-affirming story about making every second count.

Produced by Gemma Jenkins.

By Emma Greengrass. Seeing four coal-black horses proves life affirming for an an old lady

AR01Opening Lines, Writing In Chalk20110726

A return of the series which gives first-time and emerging short story writers their radio debut.

A young girl, struggling with her reading and writing in school, looks to her mother for support in this touching story by Helen Barton

Read by Claire Skinner

Produced by Robert Howells

In 2009, Helen won the Orange Harper's Bazaar short story award and has written a novel and several short stories, as well as a series of literary quiz books.

Helen Barton opens a series which gives emerging short story writers their radio debut.

AR01Parlez-vous British?, Finding Dad20100704

A Londoner suspects that he might find his real father in Paris.

The first in a series of intriguing stories revealing the best and worst of the Nation abroad.

In Finding Dad, a Londoner suspects that his real father may not be the one he has known all his life. A trip

to Paris seems indicated - after all, no man is an island. But try telling that to Dad.

Jack Davenport reads Rob Green's specially written story.

Director: Martin Jarvis

A Jarvis and Ayres Production for BBC Radio 4.

AR01Pavilion Pieces, The Prince's Favourite2009081820110410

Short stories by new writers.

By Emma Barnes.

In 1820s Brighton an elderly lady, on a tour of the Royal Pavilion with her nieces, has a very particular story to tell.

Read by Claire Skinner.

A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

By Emma Barnes. In 1820s Brighton an elderly lady has a very particular story to tell.

AR01Penelope's People, Divorcing Grandpa2009042120101003

In Penelope's People, a new series of specially commissioned monologues, Penelope Keith presents three very different women, coming to terms with their changing circumstances - and demonstrates her skills as a versatile character actor.

In Divorcing Grandpa by Roy Apps, Penelope Keith plays Eleanor - an upper-middle class woman whose professional husband has been sent to prison for an unspecified white-collar crime. In order to continue living in the style to which she has become accustomed (and to continue to be able to afford her darling grand-daughter's school fees) she realises that she too must break the law - and quickly discovers that she is rather good at it.

Reader: Penelope Keith

Producer: David Blount

A Pier Production for Radio 4.

By Roy Apps. Eleanor must find new ways to pay her granddaughter's school fees.

AR01Perspectives, The Mumpers2009080420110424

By Eleanor Thom. An old woman at the end of her life is cared for by her young nurse.

Series of stories about people approaching something familiar from a different point of view.

By Eleanor Thom. Distant memories mingle with the present as an old woman at the end of her life is cared for by her young nurse. Read by Laura Smales.

AR01Pier Shorts, Ghost Train20091213

By Ambreen Hameed. A young Muslim girl, haunted by the past, returns to the pier.

AR01Portrait, The Painter's Story20110809

A mystery unfolds in Susie Maguire's trilogy of stories that examine a portrait from three perspectives. The painter's story is read by Burn Gorman.

Tom first lays eyes on Nic in the audience of an art house cinema. She smells of money and he knows she is out of his league, but he decides to ask if he can paint her. She succumbs and finally enters the arena of his scruffy studio. There's a power shift; she may be the femme fatale whose husband owns the building, but this is Tom's domain, and she is the one feeling nervous. He knows all the tricks to put her at her ease. He's used to the idle chit chat between artist and model, the questions about commissions, the subtle pleas for reassurance. He rashly agrees to her request not to exhibit the painting when it's finished, but hopes that once she sees the finished piece, she'll be flattered and have a change of heart. He is already secretly planning further portraits of her as he circles her with his camera snapping away, adjusting her position now and then. Will he keep his promise to keep her portrait for his eyes only, and who is really studying who?

Producer: Sarah Langan.

Tom first lays eyes on Nic and decides to ask if he can paint her.

AR01Portraits Of East Anglia, Man In The Water20090322
AR01Readings From Bath, Knit One Purl One2009030320100919

The first of three new stories by Bath writers from the stage of last year's Literature Festival in the city is a funny and tender account of a marriage, a series of summer holidays and the importance of knitting.

Reader: Pippa Haywood

Producers: Sue Fry/Sara Davies.

An account of a marriage, a series of summer holidays and the importance of knitting.

AR01Red Herrings, Mangia, Mangia, Ti Fa Bene!2009042820101219

Short story by acclaimed crime writer Donna Leon.

Read by Greta Scacchi.

A dark tale that warns against over-indulgence... An attentive Italian housewife prepares a mouth-watering meal to beguile her taciturn husband. The title translates as "Eat! Eat! It's Good for You".

Produced by Kirsteen Cameron.

By Donna Leon. The pleasure of a sumptuous meal beguiles a taciturn husband.

AR01Red Herrings, Unwanted Presence20101102

"Unwanted Presence" by Lynda La Plante.

Read by Rory Kinnear.

Crime writing at its twisted best... Leading authors Lynda La Plante, Brian McGilloway and Andrew Taylor tackle the red herring - that most effective weapon in the crime writer's arsenal - in a series of new short stories specially written for BBC Radio 4.

Produced by Kirsteen Cameron.

About the author:

Born in Liverpool, Lynda La Plante trained for the stage at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). Work with the National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company led to a career as a television actress with regular roles in dramas such as Fox, Minder and The Sweeney.

While filming The Gentle Touch as an actress, La Plante wrote four plot outlines and sent them to the show's producers. All were returned as unsuitable, but on one someone had written 'this is wonderful!' That was all the encouragement La Plante needed, and that brief synopsis eventually became the phenomenally successful TV series Widows. La Plante's original scripts for the highly acclaimed Prime Suspect (starring Helen Mirren) garnered many awards and set a new standard for television drama.

Rory Kinnear reads Unwanted Presence by Lynda La Plante.

AR01Rhys Davies Award Winners, Getting Up20100309
AR01Saints And Sinners, Madame Cassandra20110412

'Madame Cassandra' by Edna O'Brien.

Read by Sorcha Cusack.

Abridged by Doreen Estall

Produced by Lawrence Jackson

Edna O'Brien is one of the most distinguished writers and figures in the world of letters. Since emerging from Ireland in the early 1960s with 'The Country Girls', her many novels including 'Girl with Green Eyes', 'House of Splendid Isolation' and 'In The Forest' have attracted both praise and controversy. 'Saints and Sinners' is her eagerly awaited new collection.

Sorcha Cusack's numerous theatre credits range from plays with the RSC and National Theatre to Frank McGuinness's 'Baglady' to 'Bloody Sunday' at the Tricycle. Her many TV and film credits include 'Eureka Street', 'Snatch' and 'Middletown'.

Producer Lawrence Jackson's credits for Radio 4 include four series of the popular murder-mystery 'Baldi', two series of John Connolly's 'Ghost Stories' and the Classic Serial 'Barry Lyndon'. For Radio 7 his credits include C.S.Lewis' 'Out of the Silent Planet' and 'Perelandra', G.K.Chesterton's 'The Man Who Was Thursday', Daphne Du Maurier's 'The House on the Strand' and classic ghost stories by Sheridan Le Fanu and Algernon Blackwood.

A woman confesses to a gypsy fortune-teller her deepest fears about her marriage.

AR01Scene Of The Crime, From The River's Mouth20091222
AR01Scottish Shorts, Fear In A Hat20110104

A shy schoolgirl fears the worst when she attends a compulsory religious retreat with her catty classmates.

Read by Sally Reid

Written by Nicola White

Producer: Eilidh McCreadie

'Scottish Shorts' showcases the best new writing from Scotland. Nicola White lives on a peninsula in Argyll, between a picturesque sea loch and an MOD arms depot. A former art curator and documentary producer, she turned her back on the city and steady wages a few years ago. Since then she has been invited to read her work at the Blue Room, Newcastle and the Irish Writers Centre, Dublin. In 2008 she received a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award.

A shy schoolgirl fears the worst when she attends a compulsory religious retreat.

AR01Singles20060717

Five stories being aired as a tribute to writer Clare Boylan, who died earlier this year.

Read by Lynda Bellingham.

When Connie goes on a singles holiday, she strikes up an unexpectedly meaningful relationship with her room-mate.

Producer Heather Brennon

AR01Singles20060717

Five stories being aired as a tribute to writer Clare Boylan, who died earlier this year.

Read by Lynda Bellingham.

When Connie goes on a singles holiday, she strikes up an unexpectedly meaningful relationship with her room-mate.

Producer Heather Brennon

AR01Sos: Save Our Souls, Signing20101114

A series of stories inspired by the international Morse Code distress call, 'SOS - Save Our Souls'.

A court interpreter is being sent unexpected signals - but will she choose to acknowledge them?

Read by Natalie Bennett

Producer: Eilidh McCreadie.

A court interpreter is being sent unexpected signals - but will she acknowledge them?

AR01Sputnik, Doors20091122
AR01Spy Stories, The Child Spy20100325
AR01Squirrels20060619

Series highlighting the best work from over 250 Creative Writing Groups in the North of England.

By Karen Whitchurch, read by Barbara Marten.

Squirrels are an ageing woman's only contact with reality in the psychiatric ward she has long inhabited.

It's quite idyllic at first, but neither the staff nor the squirrels are quite what they seem.

AR01Squirrels20060619

Series highlighting the best work from over 250 Creative Writing Groups in the North of England.

By Karen Whitchurch, read by Barbara Marten.

Squirrels are an ageing woman's only contact with reality in the psychiatric ward she has long inhabited.

It's quite idyllic at first, but neither the staff nor the squirrels are quite what they seem.

AR01Stories From The Bath Literature Festival, Zippin' Up Your Boots20091018
AR01Stories With Latitude20090426
AR01Stories With Latitude, Drink Nothing20090721
AR01Stories With Latitude, I Drink Nothing20110213

Emma Kennedy's memories of accompanying her parents to hear the Rolling Stones at a rock festival when she was nine offer a hilarious child's eye-view of the event, from the sanitary facilities and the inaccessibility of the ice-cream van to the motley crowd of festival goers, the sight of a male streaker and the thrilling arrival of Mick Jagger strutting onto the stage.

Producer Sara Davies.

By Emma Kennedy. A child's-eye view of seeing the Rolling Stones at a rock festival.

AR01Summer Ghosts, All The Dead Mothers Of My Daughter's Friends20110816

"Yes, the ghosts you see at night, they're the souls - the auras, if you like - of good people who didn't deserve to die. That's why they're full of regret, and frightening. Ghosts we see in broad daylight are the ones whose deaths were right and fair - they've been redeemed by death. They were evil while alive..."

In this series of commissioned stories, the idea is to present ghosts or ghostly happenings in the cold light of day. Will something 'unexplained' be as scary in a light that is... well, reliable to the eye!

1. All The Dead Mothers of My Daughter's Friends by Sophie Hannah.

Mel makes a friend at the school gates and learns about the different types of ghosts in the world. Then the theories are tested out...

Reader Tracy-Ann Oberman

Producer Duncan Minshull.

Mel makes a friend at the school gates and learns about different types of ghosts.

AR01Tales From Tate Modern, A Modern Love Story20100511
AR01Tales From The Casino, Ten Miles High20110419

'They say the floor at the Casino is amazing - a sprung wood floor! And they can fit 1200 people in the ballroom there. Twelve hundred people dancing!'

David's mate Batty converted him to Northern Soul: lending him obscure records, teaching him dance moves and describing the legendary club. The plan is to hitch-hike to Wigan to experience the Casino for themselves.

Between 1973 and 1981 Wigan Casino was arguably the ultimate venue for Northern Soul music. Young people from all over the UK regularly made the trek to Wigan to dance to the latest Northern Soul artists. Queues to get in were sometimes five or six people deep, and stretched quite a way up the road.

The highlight was the weekly all-nighter, with Russ Winstanley as DJ, which traditionally ended with three songs that became known as the Three Before Eight: "Time Will Pass You By" by Tobi Legend, "Long After Tonight Is Over" by Jimmy Radcliffe and "I'm On My Way" by Dean Parrish.

These three specially-commissioned stories by Laura Barton (herself from Wigan) hark back to a time when the town threw off the image created by George Orwell and the Casino was voted 'Best Disco In the World' by American Billboard Magazine.

Laura Barton was born in Lancashire in 1977. She is a freelance writer of features and music columns, notably 'Hail, Hail, Rock 'n' Roll' for the Guardian. Her first story for radio, The Carpenter, was broadcast in 2009 as part of Sweet Talk's We Are Stardust, We Are Golden series for BBC Radio 4. Twenty-One Locks, her debut novel, was published in 2010. Laura lives in London.

Written by Laura Barton. Read by Bryan Dick.

Producer: Jeremy Osborne

A Sweet Talk Production for BBC Radio 4.

By Laura Barton. David, a recent convert to Northern Soul, hitchhikes to Wigan Casino.

AR01Tales From The Low Countries, My Father's Photo Album2009110320110605

When the Dutch-Moroccan character at the centre of Abdelkader Benali's short story learns that his mother is ill, he's compelled to make a long-overdue visit to his parents' house in Rotterdam. The visit proves to be the start of a journey through his childhood, family history and sense of himself.

Read by Khalid Abdalla

Translated by David McKay

Abridged and produced by Emma Harding.

By Abdelkader Benali. A Dutch-Moroccan man makes a long-overdue visit to his parents' home

AR01Tapertime, One Cretan Evening20081215
AR01Telling The World, The Girl Who Fell20090830

Nick Hennessey tells the creation story from the Karelian epic The Kalevala.

AR01The Adventures Of Mr Thake, Thake On The Riviera20090714

AR01The Adventures Of Mr Thake, Thake On The Riviera20101221

Written by J.B. Morton.

In 1924 the writer J.B. Morton adopted the name 'Beachcomber' and began a humorous column in the Daily Express which was to run for over 50 years. Reading about the odd lives of Beachcomber's characters - whether they were nonsensical, puritanical, pompous or simply insane - became part of the ritual of breakfast throughout the land.

A typical example of Beachcomber's gift for creating what G.K. Chesterton described as "a huge thunderous wind of elemental and essential laughter," is Mr Thake.

Out of print since the 1930s, The Adventures of Mr Thake is a collection of letters to Beachcomber, sent home from the calamitous travels abroad of a gentleman of considerably more leisure than sense. Oswald Bletisloe Hattersley Thake is, to be blunt, an upper-class twit.

Described affectionately as "a caricature of his nation" here we have the fascinating spectacle of a Wooster with no Jeeves to rescue him. Whether he is losing his heart to young gold diggers on board the S.S. Lutetia while losing his hat overboard and wondering whether to stop the ship, or being fleeced in the nightclubs of Paris, Thake never quite understands what is happening to him - or why...

Reader: Leslie Phillips

Producer/Abridger: Neil Cargill

A Pier Production for BBC Radio 4.

Thake scents adventure in the snowy peaks of Biarritz.

AR01The A-z Of Dr Johnson: Johnson's Miscellany20090908
AR01The Big Chill, Conning Mrs Vinterberg20090412
AR01The Boundless Garden, Black Scarf Rock20110614

Mark Williams reads from an anthology of 19th century Greek short stories. Yannios, an old fisherman, saves a boy from drowning in the shadow of the mysterious Black Scarf Rock.

Alexandros Papadiamandis (1851 - 1911) was born on the western Aegean island of Skiathos, where many of his short stories are set. He has been compared to Dostoyevsky and Hardy and, shares with them similar qualities in the great European tradition of story-telling. His reflections on, and observations of, Greek life - particularly on his native Skiathos - define the Greek experience at the turn of the last century in a way unattained by any of his (now forgotten) contemporaries.

In these stories he explores the souls of ordinary men and women as they succumb to, or struggle against, the power of evil, and try to deal with life's ambiguities. Aware of the way in which the past breathes life into the present, Papadiamandis also delves into Greek mythology, as it survived through people's belief in supernatural wonders on both land and sea.

Mark Williams is well known as one of the stars of BBC TV's The Fast Show ("Suits you, sir..!!") and for the role of Ron Weasley's father in the Harry Potter films.

Translated by Liadain Sherrard

Abridged by Roy Apps

Producer: David Blount

A Pier Production for BBC Radio 4.

An old fisherman saves a boy from drowning in the shadow of mysterious Black Scarf Rock.

AR01The British At Table2011062820111211

Written by Christopher Driver.

Christopher Driver's eloquent and passionate insights into British attitudes to food.

Christopher Driver was a passionate writer, broadcaster, second-hand bookshop owner, conscientious objector and controversial hand-picked successor to Raymond Postgate as editor of The Good Food Guide through the 1970s. His descriptions of our changing attitudes towards what we allowed to grace our plates between the end of rationing and the affluent 1980s, and caustically witty observations of the marvels of British catering (such as the waitress who uncorked the wine with her teeth), made both informative and amusing reading. It is, as he said, "a book about the way we eat now in the light of the way we used to eat within middle-aged-memory. It is about ourselves as shoppers, cultivators, cooks and consumers."

Driver saw the shape of food to come thirty years before the rest of us and his accuracy is extraordinary: "The march of regulation and technology means that to obtain good bacon it will be once again necessary to kill and cure your own pig, as in the eighteenth-century. Progress takes odd forms."

It is sixty years since Postgate (known as "Public Stomach Number One" after founding his "Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Food") first published the Good Food Guide. Here is an opportunity to enjoy part of its history in the words of its most eloquent editor, revealing everything from the lost world of whale steaks, coypu vindaloo and sweet and sour barracuda, to the language of food description that embraces such evocative phrases as "the flavour of unploughed fields" and "the texture of compressed string."

Reader: Tony Gardner

Abridger: Neil Cargill

Producer: Neil Cargill

A Pier Production for BBC Radio 4.

By Christopher Driver.

Read by: Tony Gardner

Abridged by: Neil Cargill

AR01The Brother20111004

By Myles na Gopaleen (Flann O'Brien)

"Do you know what it is, the brother's an extraordinary genius."

Born on the 5th October 1911 in Strabane, Northern Ireland, Brian O'Nolan is perhaps best known as Flann O'Brien, the name under which he published his novels At Swim Two Birds, The Hard Life, The Dalkey Archive and The Third Policeman. Often described as one of the 'holy trinity' of modern Irish writers alongside Joyce and Beckett, he was notorious for writing under a range of pseudonyms and penned the daily 'Cruiskeen Lawn' column in the Irish Times as Myles na Gopaleen (na gCopaleen) from1940 until his death in 1966. Satirising the absurdities and ironies of Dublin life the Cruiskeen Lawn introduced a memorable and hilarious cast of characters; Keats and Chapman, The Plain People of Ireland and the extraordinary, eccentric and preposterous 'brother'.

To mark the centenary of his birth, a series of readings selected from O'Brien's 'Brother' articles, introduces us to one of his most peculiar and eccentric literary creations. An 'extraordinary genius' indeed, the brother is apparently an authority on almost every subject imaginable and has his finger in more pies than he has fingers! Living in digs with his long-suffering landlady and her lodgers, the brother believes that he really does know best about everything from medicine, to water purity, politics and policing, and, as we discover, there is no arguing with the brother!

Meet the inimitable 'brother' as Myles regales us with that most unusual of individual's latest exploits.

Read by Jim Norton with Kevin Moore.

Producer Heather Larmour.

Selections from Flann O' Brien's writings charting the exploits of the 'brother'.

AR01The Burying Of Joe Bloggs, Shirley May20090407
AR01The Cherry Orchard With Rugs20050822

Matt Lucas reads Rose Tremain's short story about a brief encounter on a Eurostar journey to Paris.

AR01The Cherry Orchard With Rugs20050822

Matt Lucas reads Rose Tremain's short story about a brief encounter on a Eurostar journey to Paris.

AR01The Closed Door, Wednesday20090531
AR01The Crystal Fountain, Landlord Of The Crystal Fountain20110426

Martin Jarvis directs Imelda Staunton in Malachi Whitaker's moving story, written in the 1930s. Attractive red-headed teacher, Brenda Millgate, meets five jolly men on a train from King's Cross going north. What happens to her on the journey is a life-changing experience. They're very friendly and helpful. All northerners. Where have they been? Who are they? Eventually it's revealed that they're all landlords.

Brenda, unhappy in London away from her northern roots, is beguiled by their talk, their humour and their courtesy. Then one of them says something which changes her whole life.

Malachi Whitaker was a prolific writer in the 1920s and '30s, writing with great perception and care about ordinary folk, invariably setting the stories in her native Yorkshire. She became known as 'the Chekhov of the north' because of her sympathetic observation of the minutiae of human beings and their (often comic and surprising) behaviour.

Imelda Staunton biography: Oscar nominated and Bafta award-winning for her title role performance in 'Vera Drake'. She has had a long and distinguished career in the theatre, RNT and West End, performing A Man for all Seasons, Mack and Mabel, Side by Side, and Elektra. Also BBC TV Series: Cranford.

Producer/Director: Martin Jarvis

A Jarvis and Ayres production for BBC Radio 4.

Imelda Staunton reads Malachi Whitaker's story: a train journey changes a woman's life.

AR01The Curiosities Of The Egyptian Hall, Between Isis And Osiris2010011220110731

Introduced by Tony Lidington as Alfred, Custodian of the Hall.

A series of three specially commissioned stories inspired by London's Egyptian Hall - 'England's Home of Mystery and Many Illusions', which stood in Piccadilly for most of the 19th Century. The recordings were made in front of an invited audience at the Concert Artistes' Association in Covent Garden. The first tale is read by award-winning radio actor, Miriam Margolyes.

London's Egyptian Hall was originally built in 1812 to house collections of curiosities brought back from the most remote and mysterious parts of the globe - from the South Seas, North and South America and Africa. But it soon became the venue for extraordinary spectaculars, panoramas and pseudo scientific demonstrations - such as Britain's first ever films, illusions, magic and freak shows. By the end of the 19th Century, it had become known as 'England's Home of Mystery and Many Illusions', under the management of the renowned magician, Maskelyne. It became the centre of magic and spiritualism where new acts were demonstrated and charlatans exposed.

It is this rich legacy that has inspired these three stories - which are as quirky, mysterious and surprising as the curiosities themselves!

Each tale is introduced by Alfred - the custodian of the Hall (played by Tony Lidington) - who tells us a little of the Hall's history, before each story.

Miriam Margolyes tells the tale of artist Benjamin Robert Haydon, whose exhibition at the Egyptian Hall was eclipsed by the hugely popular American midget, General Tom Thumb. With Tony Lidington as Alfred, the Custodian of the Hall.

Written by John Peacock

Read by Miriam Margolyes

Producer: David Blount

A Pier Production for BBC Radio 4.

By John Peacock. Miriam Margolyes tells the tale of artist Benjamin Robert Haydon.

AR01The Diaries Of Edith Appleton2009111020110626

Series of readings featuring extracts from the diaries of Edith Appleton, a nurse working close to the front line during the First World War.

It is 1915 and Edie is based at Casualty Clearing Station Number 3 near Ypres, where she witnesses first-hand the horrors of war. In these dark days, small pleasures mean everything and the rare chance to have a bath is most welcome.

Read by Rachel Atkins.

A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

It is 1915 and Edie is based at Casualty Clearing Station Number 3 near Ypres.

AR01The Doll: Short Stories By Daphne Du Maurier, East Wind20110503

In East Wind the lives of a young couple are altered irrevocably when a group of beguiling strangers are shipwrecked off the shores of the Scilly Isles. Excitingly, East Wind is one of several recently rediscovered stories by Daphne du Maurier, and published in her new anthology, The Doll: Short Stories. East Wind was written when she was just nineteen, until now it has only ever been published in the United States and was found in her 1926 notebooks in the archives at Exeter University. Most of the other stories included in the collection have never been published or have been out of print for decades. Written early on in du Maurier's writing career they reveal the dark themes explored in the novels that made her name.

Reader: Anna Madeley

Abridger: Richard Hamilton

Producer: Elizabeth Allard.

A young couple are beguiled by shipwrecked strangers.

AR01The Fantastic Book Of Everybody's Secrets, The Octopus Nest2009102720110605

Series of chilling tales from crime writer Sophie Hannah's first short story collection.

Claire and Timothy have no idea why there's a strange woman appearing in so many of their family photographs. As Claire stumbles across the answer, she is more frightened than ever.

Read by Helen Bradbury.

A Sweet Talk production for BBC Radio 4.

Claire and Timothy wonder why a strange woman appears in many of their family photographs.

AR01The First Person, The Child2009021720110123

Series of three quirky short stories by Ali Smith.

A woman shopper finds her trolley occupied by someone else's baby. When she tries to persuade others that the child is not hers, no one believes her and she is forced to take the peculiar child home. Read by Jackie Morrison.

A woman shopper finds someone else's baby in her trolley and is forced to take it home.

AR01The Foxes Come At Night, Gondolas20110719

Now 78, Cees Nooteboom is one of Holland's leading and most respected authors, a writer of both novels and travel books and a consummate short story writer. The Foxes Come at Night, his most recent collection, has won the 2010 Gouden Uil - the most prestigious literary award in Flanders and is now published in English.

The collection is set in the cities and islands of the Mediterranean, territory Nooteboom knows well. The stories are linked by their meditations on memory and age, on love won and lost and on the fragments of life treasured in a photograph or a detail.

In 'Gondolas' a fine art dealer finds the past stirred by a photograph taken on the same Venetian canal bank forty years ago. In 'Thunderstorm' a couple's own fissures are reflected in a horrific moment on a beach. And in 'Late September' a woman waits on a windblown Spanish cafe terrace before the inevitable conclusion to her lonely day.

Written with haunting attention to detail and pitch perfect prose, sensitively translated by Ina Rilke, these stories show one of the European masters of the genre at his best.

Reader Ian McDiarmid

Abridger Sally Marmion

Producer Di Speirs.

On the banks of a Venetian canal a photograph stirs memories.

AR01The Further Adventures Of The First King Of Mars, Ninety Seconds Of Terror20110306

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the launch of Sputnik Nick Walker was commissioned to write the sci-fi adventure 'The First King Of Mars'.

Now, in five, thrilling, action-packed episodes we continue the story where it left off with our fearless commander, previously employed to head-up the first manned mission to Mars, plummeting towards the planet with no thick atmosphere to slow him down.

Starring Peter Capaldi.

Producer: Karen Rose

A Sweet Talk Production for BBC Radio 4.

The first manned spacecraft to Mars plummets towards the planet. Read by Peter Capaldi.

AR01The Greengrocer's Apostrophe, Penny's From Heaven20100928

Comic tales inspired by those hand-written signs offering "Apple's and Banana's" which can be found in every town in Britain.

James Anthony Pearson reads a quirky story about the apostrophe that ends a relationship, written by Anneliese Mackintosh.

Produced by Eilidh McCreadie.

Anneliese Mackintosh's story of an apostrophe which ends a relationship.

AR01The Heart Of Saturday Night, Come On Up To The House2009090120110501

'Come On Up to the House', by acclaimed Scottish writer A L Kennedy, is the first in a series of stories inspired by the distinctive world created by the legendary musician Tom Waits - a dark and sometimes sleazy world peopled by down-at-heel characters on the edge of society, or outcasts singing of loss and longing. In this story, inspired by a Waits track of the same name, a man finds himself reaching out to a perfect stranger in the wee small hours of the morning.

The reader is the acclaimed actor, Peter Capaldi, best known for his film roles in Local Hero and more recently In the Loop, in which he reprised his extraordinary creation, spin doctor Malcolm Tucker from Armando Iannucci's The Thick of It.

Author: A L Kennedy is a distinguished Scottish author and stand-up comedian who has won awards both for her short stories and novels. In 2003 she was nominated by Granta magazine as one of 20 'Best of Young British Novelists'.

Produced by Justine Willett.

By AL Kennedy. A man reaches out to a perfect stranger in the small hours of the morning.

AR01The Mystery Of The Hills, Making Contact20111018

By Andrew Greig.

Read by Liam Brennan.

A poet reflects upon a romantic encounter from his youth, which taught him the value of language and the nature of identity.

First in a series of stories commissioned to mark the centenary of the birth of the Highland poet Sorley MacLean. Awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry in 1990, MacLean is regarded as the greatest Gaelic poet of the Twentieth Century, giving new literary standing to a language which has at times seemed close to extinction.

MacLean was born in October 1911 on Raasay, a small island lying off the east coast of Skye, into a family immersed in Highland history and culture. It is often said that what Hugh MacDiarmid did for Scots, Sorley MacLean did for Gaelic, sparking a Gaelic renaissance in Scottish literature. He was also instrumental in preserving and promoting the teaching of Gaelic in Scottish schools. He died in 1996.

Produced by Kirsteen Cameron.

By Andrew Greig. A poet reflects upon lessons learned from a failed affair.

AR01The Other Garden And Collected Stories By Francis Wyndham, The Facts Of Life20100810

Francis Wyndam's three subtle stories of desire and yearning during the dark days of the second world war are matchless in tone and nuance. They centre on the young and old, on those upstairs and downstairs, on those living in town and country...

1.The Facts of Life

Young Newton never settled at the school, then he has to see the

headmaster about a rather delicate subject...

Read by Bill Nighy

Producer Duncan Minshull.

Young Newton has to see the headmaster about a rather delicate subject. Read by Bill Nighy

AR01The Pat Hobby Stories, Pat Hobby's Secret20110830

Written by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Adapted by Archie Scottney.

Alfred Molina returns with a new series of F. Scott Fitzgerald's brilliant stories of late 1930s Hollywood, directed by Martin Jarvis. Since the advent of the talkies, hack screen writer Pat Hobby has fallen on hard times and hard liquor.

Now, desperately in need of a studio writing job, he pursues a drunken movie director and obtains some secret information about a crucial film script idea. Producer Banizon is prepared to buy the idea from Pat, because the knowledge could save his next movie. So can Pat Hobby, at last, hold the studio up to ransom before spilling the beans? Maybe. But death and desperation make things even more problematic than usual for Pat.

Producer/Director: Martin Jarvis

A Jarvis and Ayres Production for BBC Radio 4.

Pat has secret information about a film script idea. Can he make some dollars out of it?

AR01The Pocket Aa Milne, High Jinks At Happy-thought Hall20110524

A hundred years ago, A.A. Milne was honing his writing skills as Assistant Editor of Punch with his regular humorous columns and essays. Perfect gems of the form, his stories not only delight in the spirit of the age, they also transcend the years with their insights.

Parodying the country-house weekend, with its uncomfortable joys of evening games such as "Definitions", "The Complete Kitchen" and "High Jinks at Happy-Thought Hall", Milne captures the absurdity and vacuousness of characters in transition from idle youth to the tedium of adulthood.

Of course, no country house weekend would have been complete without "the little play for amateurs", perfectly formed examples of which Milne supplies in read-aloud form.

He also shares his experience of being out of his depth in the company of those more suited to society gatherings, in the form of survival hints and tips. One such is to become "an Authority" on something, anything, even if you know nothing - it livens things up.

Milne's stories might have a frivolous veneer, but each one ends with his customary twinkle in the eye, having given us more to think about than we imagined: "...But if you mix in the right society, and only see the wrong people once, it is really quite easy to be an authority on birds --- or, I imagine, on anything else."

When he re-published this collection of his humorous stories much later in his career, he observed that for years his younger self was "a model to which I was failing to live up... in fact he became, as one's past is bound to become, both a rival and a millstone." His talent for comic observation that was to become evident in his tales of Winnie-the-Pooh is obvious in these essays.

As he wrote himself by way of introduction:

"This little book contains the best of what my rival was writing thirty years ago. I contemplate him now with detachment. I have grown to appreciate his quality. So impartial am I become, that I am torn between a desire to tell him how very, very good he is, and a desire to re-write his book for him. But I shall do neither, leaving him to speak for himself."

Read by Ian McNeice

Abridged and Produced by Neil Cargill

A Pier Production for BBC Radio 4.

Humorous tales of absurd country-house weekends written by AA Milne 100 years ago.

AR01The Rhapsody Blues20060410

By Candace Allen, read by Ricky Fearon.

An ambitious young Black pianist from the Midwest is witness to the premiere of the Rhapsody.

AR01The Rhapsody Blues20060410

By Candace Allen, read by Ricky Fearon.

An ambitious young Black pianist from the Midwest is witness to the premiere of the Rhapsody.

AR01The Treasure Chest, Tales Of Life And Death2009021020110109

Mark Williams reads some pithy, comic anecdotes from a German almanac.

Written by Johann Peter Hebel.

An enduring classic of German literature, The Treasure Chest by Johann Peter Hebel (pub.1811) is a collection of pithy comic anecdotes, mysteries and moral tales full of sanity, wit and good humour. Mark Williams dips into The Treasure Chest and reads a selection of Hebel's best stories this Sunday on BBC Radio 4. The tales are translated by John Hibberd and abridged by Roy Apps.

As its title promises, The Treasure Chest contains some real gems of imaginative fiction. Hebel developed a spontaneous and accessible style for these stories - which he originally wrote for inclusion in a popular almanac - for the entertainment and instruction of the ordinary, working people of the small, German state of Baden, where he was a schoolteacher and Lutheran preacher.

Since its publication in 1811, The Treasure Chest has drawn generations of admirers including Goethe, Tolstoy, Wittgenstein, and Herman Hesse..

The reader, Mark Williams, is well known as one of the stars of the BBC TV comedy sketch show, The Fast Show ("Suits you, sir..!!") and for the role of Ron Weasley's father in the Harry Potter films.

Translated by John Hibberd and abridged by Roy Apps.

Read by Mark William

Producer/Director: David Blount

A Pier Production for BBC Radio 4.

AR01The Victorian Clown: The Circus Memories Of James Frowde, Beginnings20101228

James Frowde's memoirs - taken from the book 'The Victorian Clown' by Jacky Bratton and Ann Featherstone and adapted for radio and performed by Tony Lidington - represent the closest we have to a first-hand, vernacular description of the daily life of a British circus clown in the mid Nineteenth Century.

At that time, circus people and pantomime artists were on the lowest rung of the cultural ladder, just a step above vagrants and beggars; indeed they were viewed with suspicion and fear by those who aspired or achieved more stable, residential lives. Few people travelled very far in those days, so this was an era when the circus and fairground were glimpses into an exotic, thrilling world, which lay beyond the parish or county boundaries. Strange people performing strange feats, crazy antics which defied convention and expectation, wild animals tamed, colour and glitter, music and movement - all for a day and then gone, overnight, like a dream.

Here is the life of an ordinary, workaday, Victorian clown, whose tricks and antics prepared the ground for the comedians and wits we love today. Basil Fawlty, Tony Hancock, Stan and Olly, Paul Whitehouse and Harry Enfield all have their roots in the itinerant lives and familiar material of the comedians who plied their trade in circus rings and wooden fit-ups in the early years of Queen Victoria's reign - before even the music halls came of age.

Frowde remembers starting work doing menial jobs at Hengler's Circus - owned by his grandfather.

Adapted and read by Tony Lidington.

Producer: David Blount

A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

Frowde remembers starting work doing menial jobs.

AR01The Writing Life, The Author At Home2010021620110828

There's the novelist reclining in her Creating Hammock, attended by her assistant Juan.

1/3 The Author at Home

There's the lady novelist reclining in her Creating Hammock, attended by Juan her fragrant assistant. Or maybe not.

Produced by Mark Smalley.

AR01Three For My Baby, Awesome Day20110705

These stories take their cue from the Johnny Mercer classic 'One For My Baby' - made famous by Fred Astaire, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and especially Frank Sinatra. Each of these specially-commissioned pieces tell of a 'brief episode' of the kind the song alludes to but doesn't describe. In other words, these are stories about doomed love: affairs that turned sour, were thwarted by circumstance or were never, ever, going to work.

Awesome Day by Shena Mackay

"Rick looked up at the clock above the counter. A quarter to three. It was always a quarter to three at the Wooden Nickel... It had been quarter to three when he and Meriel first came to the Wooden Nickel and it was still quarter to three when they left." Meriel loves the theatre. Rick loves Meriel. Or is it New York he's in love with?

Shena Mackay was born in Edinburgh. She is author of two novellas, three collections of short stories and eight novels. Her novel Dunedin and the collection of short stories, The Laughing Academy, both won Scottish Arts Council Book Awards and the bestselling The Orchard On Fire was shortlisted for the 1996 Booker Prize and the McVitie's Prize. Her most recent book, The Atmospheric Railway: New and Collected Stories was published in paperback in 2010. Shena lives in Southampton.

Reader: Burn Gorman

Producer: Jeremy Osborne

A Sweet Talk production for BBC Radio 4.

By Shena Mackay. Meriel loves the theatre. Rick loves Meriel, or is it New York he loves?

AR01Three Short Stories By E Nesbit, Her Marriage Lines20101005

She is known now, almost exclusively, as a children's writer - the author of The Railway Children. But E. Nesbit was more than that: a pioneer Socialist, a campaigner for Women's Rights and a passionate social reformer. She was also a prolific poet and author of adult fiction.

The stories in this series are taken from 'In Homespun', a collection that was originally published in 1896, and are set in the villages of South Kent and East Sussex that Nesbit knew well. Told in the first person, by a variety of strong, women characters- the sort of character E. Nesbit specialized in - looking back on their earlier lives. Their voices are robust and distinct.

Here, by turns, are danger, comedy and romance. At stake? Marriage and money. Deft and atmospheric writing from a master story teller.

Her Marriage Lines is a wonderfully comic detective story cum romance. Harry, the son of the house, wants to marry Poll, but the delightfully wicked old housekeeper has other ideas. When the Old Man dies unexpectedly, poison is suspected. But there is a surprising twist in the tale.

Reader: Jenny Agutter

Abridged by Roy Apps

Producer/Director: Celia de Wolff

A Pier Production for BBC Radio 4.

A comic detective story with a touch of romance, by the author of The Railway Children.

AR01Three Stories By Giovanni Verga, Gramigna's Mistress2009060220111120

Peppa is due to marry Finu, then runs off to join some hot-shot she has never even met.

Series of stories about farming folk by the Sicilian writer of the 1870s, laced with dry humour.

Peppa is due to marry Finu, then runs off to join some hot-shot she has never even met. Apparently it's his reputation that does it!

Read by Dermot Crowley.

AR01Three Stories By Haruki Murakami, Crabs20100829

Haruki Murakami was born in Kyoto in 1949. Following the publication of his first novel in Japanese in 1979, he sold the jazz bar he ran with his wife and became a full-time writer. It was with the publication of Norwegian Wood - which has to date sold more than 4 million copies in Japan alone - that the author was truly catapulted into the limelight.

Known for his surrealistic world of mysterious (and often disappearing) women, cats, earlobes, wells, Western culture, music and quirky first-person narratives; he is now Japan's best-known novelist abroad.

Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman is one of his acclaimed collections of short stories. In the stories 'Crabs, 'The Year of Spaghetti' and 'The Mirror', Murakami confronts fundamental emotions: loss, identity, friendship, love; and questions our ability to connect with humanity, and the pain of those connections or the lack of them.

The reader is Megan Dodds.

Producer: David Roper

A Heavy Entertainment production for BBC Radio 4.

Two lovers on holiday in Singapore discover a small restaurant, with surprising results.

AR01Three Stories By Mark Twain, The Mcwilliamses And The Burglar Alarm20101109

To accompany Book Of The Week's broadcast of 'Autobiography of Mark Twain', there is a chance to hear three of the author's classic short stories, with their familiar trademarks of high farce and droll insight. His tales bring us eccentric burglars, cossetted children, and a visitor to a theme park obsessed with the making of mocassins. And also torrents of water...

1. The McWilliamses and The Burglar Alarm

Surely their home would be better off with a state of the art

security device - if it works, that is...

Reader Stuart Milligan

Producer Duncan Minshull.

The security of a household is comically shattered not by burglars, but by an alarm.

AR01Three Women In A Motorhome, Pam's Story2009072820110220

Part 1 of 3 stories by Sue Teddern about three women who take a short but eventful trip in a motorhome. Pam's story is read by Lynda Bellingham.

Pam's husband died recently. The couple had just bought a motorhome and dreamt of enjoying their retirement on the open road, but ever since his death 'The Sedona' has been parked on the driveway - too symbolic to sell, too precious to use. Pam is cajoled by her daughter into taking it for a trip along The Severn, and on the way they pick up an eccentric elderly relative. Pam is grieving, but also learning to assert herself with a daughter whose concern manifests as control.

Producer: Sarah Langan.

Recently widowed Pam takes a trip in a motor home with her daughter.

AR01Too Much Happiness, Free Radicals20091215
AR01Travelling Light, Shopping20110125

At five in the morning, Emily makes her shopping forays. But although June approaches, outside it is getting darker.

The writer and artist Tove Jansson is best known as the creator of the Moomin stories, which were first published in English sixty years ago and have remained in print ever since. She turned her attention to writing for adults when she was in her fifties.

With the deceptively light prose that is her hallmark, 'Travelling Light' reveals to us the precariousness of a journey and the unease we feel at being placed outside of our milieu.

Reader: Claire Rushbrook

Produced by Karen Rose

A Sweet Talk production for BBC Radio 4.

The first of three tales by Tove Jansson, each focusing on a journey.

AR01Treasure Island, The Old Sea Dog20100314
AR01Unaccustomed Earth, Hell-heaven20100330
AR01Urban Welsh, Jack20101121

By Rachel Tresize. A moment's recklessness with Gethin is about to change Abby's life.

Jack by Rachel Trezise. A moment's recklessness with Gethin in the long grass is about to change Abby's life. Read by Shelley Rees.

Produced by Kate McAll

A BBC Cymru Wales Production.

AR01Walk The Blue Fields, Walk The Blue Fields20090224
AR01We Are Stardust, We Are Golden, Dreams Of Milk And Honey20090811
AR01Welsh Accent, While The Fire Still Smoulders20100622
AR01Welsh Rarebits, Golden Swirls20090929
AR01What I Learned From The Metaphysical Poets, Rock Of Eye20100404

By Iain Finlay MacLeod. An elderly tailor comes face to face with a lost love.

AR01Why, Robot?, The Melancholy20100518
AR01Winnie The Pooh20090526
AR01Winter In The Air And Other Stories, Winter In The Air20110531

Winter in the Air is the title story from Sylvia Townsend Warner's recently republished collection in which a woman reflects on the final and difficult days of her marriage. At the same time she looks ahead to her new life in her solitary flat in 1950s London.

The stories in this collection were written between 1938 and 1950. They capture the mood and atmosphere of the times, and the lot of women in mid twentieth century England. Sylvia Townsend Warner is less well known today, but in her time was a prolific writer of novels, short stories and poetry. She also wrote a biography of T.H. White. These stories illustrate her talent for sharp, insightful, and vivid storytelling.

The reader is Susannah Harker

Abridged by Richard Hamilton

Produced by Elizabeth Allard.

In Sylvia Townsend Warner's story a woman reflects on the last days of her marriage.

AR01Womanly Wiles, Ties That Bind20110208

American star Kathleen Turner reads this specially commissioned story of family tension.

After the death of her husband, a New York writer decides to move to Cape Cod where her younger sister has a house on the Bay. Their mother lives in a nearby assisted-living facility. Neither sister has children; the father died many years ago. Only the three women are left. How nice, our storyteller feels, for them to regain some of the closeness of former years; to recapture the fun and memories of childhood summers - when the family had happily vacationed there.

But what if ties that are supposed be binding turn out to be less than secure - even fraying at the edges? What if a house-purchase becomes problematic? And where are the difficulties actually coming from? Mother? Or the sisters? Could 'family', perhaps, exist only in the mind?

Producer/Director: Rosalind Ayres.

American star Kathleen Turner reads Christine Conrad's brand new story of family rivalry.

AR01Wrestling Angels, Once I Was Dead2009012020111009

By Fraser Grace, read by James Fleet.

The subject of one of Jesus's most famous and divisive miracles finds that resurrection is not all that it is cracked up to be. The first of Fraser Grace's three stories which re-tell biblical tales.

Read by James Fleet

Produced by Marilyn Imrie

A Sweet Talk production for BBC Radio 4.

AR01Young Turks, The Happiness Of Blond People20100413
AR021989: Writing On The Wall, Across The Fence20091007
AR0280 Not Out, A Shocking Accident20081209
AR02A Few More Actors' Words, It's Chinatown20110223

The latest series of short stories by actors features James Wilby, Sarah Winman and Kerry Shale reading their own work. From the jungles of 1970s Sri Lanka (when it was Ceylon) to a luxury boutique hotel in Seville, from the devastation a death causes - and comfortable lives confronted by something shocking - to the adventure of following a wild elephant, these stories are as varied as the performers who have written and read them.

Producer: David Roper

A Heavy Entertainment production for BBC Radio 4.

Kerry Shale's new story features a nasty surprise for married couple Dave and Polly.

AR02A Friend Of The Family, Just One Of The Girls2009050620110206

By Chrissie Gittins. Rich and Dan are united closely by the death of Dan's wife Milly.

A Friend of the Family 2/3

Just One of the Girls

A new story for radio

by Chrissie Gittins

Read by Phyllida Nash

A tender story of friendship, grief and new shoes.

Producer Christine Hall

Milly's death deprives Dan of a wife and Rich of a valued friend. After all, not every man has a companion who'll help him choose a new dress.

AR02A Georgian Trilogy, The Wurst Express From Kakheti20100203
AR02A Glimpse Of Stocking, The Hostess With The Mostest2009102120110529

A short story in celebration of 'something shocking' - the nylon stocking.

If bus hostess Jill is to afford a summer holiday, she's got to win the monthly customer satisfaction bonus.

All that stands in her way are some curling sandwiches, a top-loading video cassette player and a pair of American Tan tights. Well, it is 1984...

Written by Laura Marney and read by Gayanne Potter.

By Laura Marney. Bus hostess Jill strives to win the monthly customer satisfaction bonus.

AR02A Little More Love In The Afternoon, The Gift20100714

Series in which leading romantic novelists write short stories inspired by the four word brief : Love in the Afternoon.

"The Gift" by Santa Montefiore.

Read by Aoife McMahon.

Produced by Kirsteen Cameron.

Cara confronts long buried memories when she learns that an old flame is seriously ill in hospital. Flying out to be by his bedside in Buenos Aires, she makes a decision that will impact on both their futures.

Santa Montefiore was born in England in 1970 to an Anglo-Argentine mother, and read Spanish and Italian at Exeter University. Her novel "The Italian Matchmaker" was nominated for this year's Romantic Novel of the Year Award. She lives in London with her husband, the historian Simon Sebag Montefiore, and their children, Lily and Sasha.

By Santa Montefiore. Cara attends the sick bed of the man who broke her teenaged heart.

AR02A Poet's Year, The Fruits Of Summer20110202

National Poet of Wales, Gillian Clarke, who has recently been awarded The Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry 2010, reads from her journal about life on her small holding in rural West Wales. Bees, a successful harvest of hay and a family of swallows make a bountiful summer.

The Welsh landscape and the healing power of nature are both driving forces in Gillian Clarke's poetry and prose. These readings are adapted from At the Source: Prose Writings by Gillian Clarke, published by Carcanet. The music is Clowns by Goldfrapp.

Producer: Willa King

BBC Cymru Wales.

Bees, hay and swallows make a bountiful summer.

AR02Abroad, Sisters20090311
AR02Abroad, Sisters20101017

Series of three edgy tales of people abroad, by Virginia Gilbert.

When two sisters take a holiday together, the memory of a childhood incident causes older sister May to gradually recognise the truth of her standing with her younger sister. Read by Sorcha Cusack.

Older sister May gradually recognises the truth of her standing with her younger sister.

AR02Agatha Christie's Mysterious Mr Quin, The Face Of Helen20100915

Following the success of the first series of The Mysterious Mr Quin, Martin Jarvis reads three more stories about Agatha Christie's personal favourite character.

Mr Quin assists his friend Mr Satterthwaite to investigate three mysteries. But one mystery remains - who is Mr Harley Quin himself?

Mr Satterthwaite meets Mr Quin at a performance of 'Pagliaccia', sung by the rising tenor star Yoachim. In the audience they see a remarkably beautiful young woman. After the performance Quin mysteriously hints that, once again, they have been witness to a drama. Outside the opera house Satterthwaite offers the young woman a lift home in his car to escape a scuffle between her jealous companion, Philip Eastney and another young man, Mr Burns.

Later, Satterthwaite encounters Gillian and Charlie Burns in Kew Gardens; they are now engaged to be married. Gillian is worried that Eastney may be upset. Charlie reveals Gillian's sad history of distressing behaviour by men obsessed with her.

That evening, Satterthwaite encounters Eastney who discusses his war work on poison gas manufacture but, mainly, music. Eastney once heard Caruso sing and believes the tenor was able to shatter a glass with a particularly pitched high note.

On his way home Satterthwaite realises the significance of Quin's remark at the opera. The latest newspaper announces that tonight's concert on the wireless will include Yoachim singing a song with a particularly high final note.

Will Satterthwaite be in time to prevent a tragedy?

Producer: Rosalind Ayres

A Jarvis and Ayres Production for BBC Radio 4.

A beautiful woman in the audience at the opera finds herself caught between two men.

AR02Agatha Christie's Mysterious Mr Quin, The Man From The Sea20110907

Written by Agatha Christie. Adapted by Archie Scottney.

Martin Jarvis reads this intriguing 1920s story by the undisputed queen of Crime. Mr Satterthwaite is holidaying on a Spanish Island. One day he proceeds from the hotel to the small harbour. He passes the black lava beach where the surf thunders and where, long ago, an English swimmer was carried out to sea and drowned.

High up, on the edge of the cliff, is a white villa with faded green shutters, and a tangled beautiful garden. Today Mr Satterthwaite's peace is going to be oddly shattered. Something strange and frightening once occurred in this house. But will it take Mr Harley Quin's influence over Satterthwaite to discover the truth? Christie considered this character to be her personal favourite.

Producer/Director: Rosalind Ayres

A Jarvis and Ayres production for BBC Radio 4.

Why does a villa on the edge of a Spanish cliff intrigue Mr Satterthwaite so much?

AR02Agatha Christie's Mysterious Mr Quin, The Soul Of The Croupier2009091620110112

Martin Jarvis reads this compelling tale set amidst the roulette tables of Monte Carlo, starring Agatha Christie's personal favourite character, Harley Quin.

Holidaying in the South of France, Mr Satterthwaite encounters a beautiful Russian Countess with a mysterious past. But with the sudden arrival of Mr Quin, secrets are about to be revealed. Can they solve a conundrum concerning her and a brash young American?

Producer/Director : Rosalind Ayres

A Jarvis and Ayres Production for BBC Radio 4.

Can Mr Quin assist his friend Satterthwaite to solve a conundrum concerning a Countess?

AR02Alan Howard Reads, Marriage Lines20090416
AR02Alan Sillitoe Short Stories, Enoch's Two Letters20100613

On his return from school, Enoch finds the house empty. Where have his parents gone?

AR02An Audience With Max Wall, Foundations Of A Wall20090816
AR02An Elegy For Easterly, My Cousin-sister Rambanai2010031720110713

My Cousin-Sister Rambanai is the next selected story from An Elegy for Easterly, Zimbabwean writer Petina Gappah's debut collection and winner of the Guardian First Book Award for 2009. Today - when Rambanai returns from Dallas to Harare her exuberant sparkle is irresistible, but a new search for a bigger world has unexpected outcomes.

Each of the three stories selected from An Elegy For Easterly are acutely observed, powerful and poignant. They are populated by characters struggling to live in Mugabe's Zimbabwe, who despite the hardships of their everyday lives, are also resilient and imaginative, and not without a wry sense of humour.

Writer: Petina Gappah is a Zimbabwean writer with law degrees from Cambridge, Graz University and the University of Zimbabwe. Her short fiction and essays have been published in eight countries.

Reader: Chipo Chung appeared in the National Theatre's 2009 production of Phedre, currently she can be seen in the television series, Camelot.

Award-winning Petina Gappah's story about Rambanai's yearning for a bigger world.

AR02An Important Passenger, The Plymouth Express20091125
AR02An Italian Bestiary, The Chestnuts And The Wild Pigs20100103
AR02Anger, Kinetic20100516

Andy McNab reads his story of a personal journey from a turbulent childhood into the army.

AR02Arthur Miller Stories, Please Don't Kill Anything20101124

Acclaimed actor Alfred Molina performs Arthur Miller's affecting 'Monroe' story. It has an especial extra resonance as it seems the nearest Miller came to characterising Marilyn Monroe within a short story. The sweet, dedicated girl-wife - and he, the loving older husband - still at the beginning of what could be a perfect, idyllic partnership.

A married couple watch fishermen on a beach at sundown unloading their latest catch. She worries over the ones that will die needlessly, unacceptable to the fishermen but not returned to the sea. She tries to throw some of them back. The husband, amused, patiently indulges her childlike obsession.

The generosity of spirit and understanding between the two is movingly conveyed and seems to echo aspects of Miller's own relationship with Monroe. Written in 1960, its sense of contentment and celebration contrasts notably with what we know was to happen between them soon afterwards. He doesn't foresee the tragedies to come... Or does he?

Reader: Alfred Molina

Director: Martin Jarvis

A Jarvis and Ayres Productions for BBC Radio 4.

Alfred Molina performs Arthur Miller's 1960 'Monroe' story set on a beach at sundown.

AR02Backwards And In High Heels, Dressing Natalie20110406

Stories of women quietly outperforming the men in their lives. Commissioned to mark 100 years since the birth of Ginger Rogers, who famously did everything that Fred Astaire did - only backwards and in high heels.

'Dressing Natalie' by Hannah McGill. A woman puts pen to paper and writes to her bank manager after an unforeseen spending spree. Read by Barbara Rafferty.

Writer and critic Hannah McGill is a former Artistic Director of the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

By Hannah McGill. An unlikely spending spree requires a letter to the bank manager.

AR02Ballads Of Thin Men, The Night Ride20110518

Bob Dylan - one of the most significant and influential cultural figures of the late 20th and early 21st century - is 70 on 24 May 2011. The three stories in Ballads Of Thin Men have been commissioned specially to mark the occasion.

Written by Simone Felice

The starting point for this story is the line from Bob Dylan's 'Joey': 'Born in Red Hook, Brooklyn, in the year of who-knows-when.' When the lights in his apartment fuse Adrian Young puts on a dress and takes to his bike to ride the borough's streets on a wintry December night.

Simone Felice is the author of two novellas, Goodbye, Amelia and Hail Mary Full Of Holes, and numerous short stories, poems and songs. He is a founding member of The Felice Brothers and his new band The Duke and King's first album 'Nothing Gold Can Stay' has been described as 'Neil Young meets Marvin Gaye on the kind of record that cults are made of.' His new novel, Black Jesus, publishes in April 2011. Simone lives in the Catskill Mountains of New York State.

Producer: Jeremy Osborne

A Sweet Talk Production for BBC Radio 4.

By Simone Felice. Adrian takes to his bike on a wintry Brooklyn night.

AR02Bath Festival Stories By Candlelight, The Ghost Writer2010030320111106

By Amanda Craig. Chance throws together two novelists with very different backgrounds.

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Bath Festival Stories by Candlelight

The second of a series of supernatural tales commissioned by Radio 4 for last year's Bath Literature Festival.

2/3 The Ghost Writer by Amanda Craig, read by John Telfer

Justin Vest, critically-acclaimed but poorly-selling novelist, is staying temporarily in the home of the late, wildly successful, very pink and fluffy writer Arabella Fysshe. At first glance they don't have much in common - for a start, he's alive and she isn't - but Arabella has some unfinished business with the world.

Producer Christine Hall.

AR02Bath Festival Stories, The Switch-off Personality20110302

Three writers read their own stories in front of an audience at the Bath Festival of Literature. 2. Paul Farley reads The Switch-Off Personality.

Paul Farley is a poet, playwright, and broadcaster. His poetry has won the Somerset Maugham Award, a Forward prize and the Whitbread Poetry Prize.

This is the story of a young boy who wrote a letter that began, 'Dear Jim, Please can you fix it for me.'. Thirty years later, the boy who is now a man, finally gets a reply.

Producer: Sarah Langan.

By Paul Farley. A young boy's letter gets a reply 30 years later.

AR02Be Prepared, The Dog Watch20090208

By Candia McWilliam. A couple tipsily celebrate their wedding anniversary.

AR02Bears Of England, Circus Bears20090708
AR02Benny Gets The Blame20060718

Read by Stephen Hogan.

A look back to those days of childhood when the backstreets were full of youngsters playing out their imaginary games.

Producer Heather Brennon

AR02Benny Gets The Blame20060718

Read by Stephen Hogan.

A look back to those days of childhood when the backstreets were full of youngsters playing out their imaginary games.

Producer Heather Brennon

AR02Big Charlie2008123020100808

Colonel 'Elephant Bill' Williams arrives in Ayr and meets Big Charlie for the first time.

The true story of the transportation of an elephant between two Butlins camps in the 1950s.

Colonel "Elephant Bill" Williams arrives in Ayr and meets Big Charlie and his mahout, Shaik Ibrahim, for the first time.

Written by JH Williams. Abridged and read by Tony Lidington.

Producer: David Blount

A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

Story of how the largest elephant in captivity moved from Scotland to Yorkshire in 1957.

AR02Blake's Doors Of Perception, Demonstrating Grace20090712
AR02Bright Young Things, The Garden Party2009123020110717

Romola Garai reads the first of two stories celebrating the extravagant, cocktail-swilling party people of the 1920s, the 'Bright Young Things'. In today's story, one of Katherine Mansfield's all-time classics, a tragic death threatens to intrude upon the lavish preparations for a rather extravagant summer party.

Born in 1888 in New Zealand, Katherine Mansfield is widely considered to be one of the finest short story writers of the early 20th century and was a major influence on the evolution of the modern short story form in Britain and Europe.

Written by Katherine Mansfield

Read by Romola Garai

Abridged by Richard Hamilton

Produced by Justine Willett.

Romola Garai celebrates the 1920s party people with Katherine Mansfield's classic story.

AR02Caravan Club, Wayfaring Days20090222
AR02Cassandra's Good Food Guide20101020

Personal tales about eating and drinking from the cantankerous and comically opinionated Fleet Street legend "Cassandra" - Bill Connor.

Connor reveals his first food memory: Miss Cowie's uneatable porridge.

Read by Roger Lloyd Pack

Producer: Neil Cargill

A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

Roger Lloyd Pack reads tales of eating and drinking from Fleet Street legend Bill Connor.

AR02Casual Cruelty, Trial By Combat20100210
AR02Census 2011, Everyone Who Lives Here20110323

Stories to mark the national census. Meg Fraser reads a moving tale of neighbours connecting over a census form, written by Kathryn Simmonds.

Kathryn Simmonds is a short story writer and award-winning poet whose play 'Poetry for Beginners' was broadcast on Radio 4 in 2008. Her collected poems, 'Sunday at the Skin Laundrette' was awarded the Forward Prize for best first collection.

The census brings isolated neighbours together in a tale about urban loneliness.

AR02Chattering, Window Washer20101201

Window Washer is the next in our selection of short stories from Louise Stern's debut collection. In this story sculptures about the voice and silence belonging to a client give Christian, a window cleaner, pause for thought. What sets Christian apart is that like Stern herself he is deaf, and reveals a world that is at times unfamiliar and hard to grasp, but one that at the same time is instantly understood.

Alan Warner says: "An amazing debut. Vibrantly perceptive, gentle, funny and profound."

The reader is Harry Lloyd.

Abridged and produced by Elizabeth Allard.

Harry Lloyd reads the story Window Washer from Louise Stern's debut collection.

AR02Cheltenham Festival Readings, Close20090802

By Jon McGregor. A brief holiday encounter takes hold of Elizabeth's imagination.

AR02Cheltenham Festival Readings, Joe Dunthorne: Carl Inglestone, Life Model20111012

Joe Dunthorne reads his new short story Carl Inglestone: Life Model to an audience at the Cheltenham Literature Festival. His hilarious coming-of-age novel Submarine, set in Swansea, was made into one of this year's biggest indie hit films.

Producer: Beth O'Dea.

Joe Dunthorne reads his new short story at the Cheltenham Literature Festival.

AR02Cheltenham Festival: Stories On Stage20101013

Sarah Dunant is a novelist, broadcaster and critic whose most recent book, Sacred Hearts, was serialised on Woman's Hour last year. Her story Wings of Desire is set in Florence, where an English couple are hoping the romance of the city may help them conceive the child they both long for. A missed turning leads to a church and an encounter with an unexpectedly human Angel Gabriel.

Sarah Dunant reads her story 'Wings of Desire' at the Cheltenham Literature Festival.

AR02Cheltenham Literature Festival Stories: Booker 40 Selection20111004 (BBC7)
20111005 (BBC7)

Graham Swift on becoming a writer.

Five readings from the stage of the Cheltenham Literature Festival by Man Booker winners to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the prize.

AR02Cheltenham Literature Festival Stories: Booker 40 Selection20111004 (BBC7)
20111005 (BBC7)

Graham Swift on becoming a writer.

Five readings from the stage of the Cheltenham Literature Festival by Man Booker winners to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the prize.

AR02City Of Two Continents, The Abyss As Viewed From Istanbul On 27th October 196220100120
AR02Classical Assassins, Lully And Me20100530
AR02Come Away, Come Away!, Daredevil20100505

AR02Come Away, Come Away!, Daredevil20101031

A reckless challenge leads to a dark discovery in a tale of nature and brotherhood.

James Bryce reads 'Daredevil' by Michael Morpurgo.

Produced by Eilidh McCreadie.

To mark 150 years since author J M Barrie was born, birth, three leading writers for young people contribute stories inspired by a chapter title from 'Peter Pan'. The authors have been set the task of exploring the joys and the terrors of childhood without sentimentality, much as Barrie did in his original text.

Award-winning author and former Children's Laureate Michael Morpurgo has written over 100 books including 'The Wreck of the Zanzibar' and 'Kensuke's Kingdom'. The stage production of his 2007 novel, 'War Horse' has just transferred to the West End after an award-winning run at the National Theatre.

By Michael Morpurgo. A reckless challenge leads to a dark discovery.

AR02Comic Fringes, Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Be Green20100825

Series of new short stories written and read by comedians and recorded live last week in front of a packed audience at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Patrick Monahan takes centre stage with "Just When You Thought It Was Safe to be Green"; a story which warns against paying too much attention to government crime statistics.

Produced by Kirsteen Cameron.

Patrick Monahan's story warns against paying attention to government crime statistics.

AR02Comic Fringes, Spooky And The Van20110824

By Joe Lycett.

Seventeen year old Julian is writing a blog. He's currently experiencing the weird limbo that lies between finishing school and starting university. As well as musing upon how his life might change, Julian's neighbour, nicknamed Spooky, is providing plenty of writing material and mystery...

Second in a series of brand new short stories written and performed by comedians. Recorded earlier this month in front of an audience at the BBC's own venue at Potterrow, listeners are invited to take front row seats for 'as live' performances by some of the freshest talents appearing at this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Produced by Kirsteen Cameron.

A comic story written and read by Joe Lycett, recorded at this year's Edinburgh Fringe.

AR02Comic Fringes, The Hair Of The Dead2009082620101222

Written and read by Sarah Millican.

Kitty does the hair of the dead. Just the front... A moving (and very funny) short story about a compassionate undertaker's assistant.

Another chance to hear this series of short stories by leading comedians recorded live in front of a packed audience at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2009. Still to come - at the same time over the next couple of Wednesdays - are stories by Jon Richardson and Susan Calman.

Produced by Kirsteen Cameron.

Short story written and read by Sarah Millican, recorded live at the 2009 Edinburgh Fringe

AR02Cupid Strikes, Consuming Celia20100124

By Kate Perry. Apparently money cannot buy the one thing Celia really wants.

AR02Danish Noir, The Light From Dead Stars20101208

In these three specially-commissioned tales by Heidi Amsinck, Denmark is a place of twilight and shadows: a mysterious place where strange and often dark things happen. In 'Last Train to Helsingor' Henrik Borg has done well for himself; he drive a Mercedes to and from work though prefers the train from Copenhagen to Helsingor, because it is predictable.

But things start to go wrong when Borg falls asleep, and wakes up in a mysterious, deserted railway siding.

Heidi Amsinck, a writer and journalist born in Copenhagen, has covered Britain for the Danish press since 1992. Heidi has written numerous short stories including The Chanterelles of Ostvig (2008), Conning Mrs Vinterberg (2007) and Detained (2005), all of which were produced by Sweet Talk for BBC Radio 4.

Written by Heidi Amsinck

Read by Tim McInnerny

Producer: Ros Ward

A Sweet Talk production for BBC Radio 4.

By Heidi Amsinck. Strange things wait for Borg when he wakes in a disused railway siding.

AR02Defining Moments, The Westlink Upgrade20091209
AR02Dilemmas Of Modern Martyrs, You See Patterns When You Close Your Eyes20091011

A young woman starts work for a blind poet and becomes absorbed in a strange new world.

AR02Elvis In Prestwick, Do You Know Where I Am?20100224
AR02Em Forster Short Stories, The Road From Colonus2010040720110511

Misunderstandings thwart plans for a sojourn in the idyllic Greek countryside in The Road From Colonus, the next in our series of short fiction by EM Forster. The novelist best known for twentieth century classics including A Passage to India, Where Angels Fear to Tread and Howard's End was also a prolific writer of short stories. In them he explored many of the themes central to his novels, including the morals and mores of the middle classes in the early twentieth century, and his fascination with the Mediterranean.

Read by Andrew Sachs. Abridged by Richard Hamilton. Produced by Elizabeth Allard.

Misunderstandings thwart plans for a sojourn in the idyllic Greek countryside.

AR02Empath Man, From Court To Cult20090617
AR02Excused Games, At The Crease20090624
AR02Extremely Entertaining Short Stories, A Source Of Irritation20110316

Stacey Aumonier's life as a stage performer, 'society entertainer', World War One private and draughtsman all contributed to his unrivalled reputation as a short-story writer in the 1920's.

Nobel Prize winner and Forsyte Saga author John Galsworthy described Stacy Aumonier as "one of the best short-story writers of all time." Other famous admirers included Alfred Hitchcock, who had several of his stories adapted for television, and James Hilton, author of Goodbye, Mr Chips, who once said of Aumonier: "I think his very best works ought to be included in any anthology of the best short stories ever written."

However since his untimely death at the age of 51, Aumonier has been rather forgotten. This is particularly ironic considering Galsworthy's belief - expressed in his foreword to a posthumously published collection of short stories - that Aumonier would, through his writing, "outlive nearly all the writers of his day."

Sadly, this did not happen. Yet the recently published collection of Aumonier's Extremely Entertaining Short Stories has certainly helped bring this overlooked talent to a new audience. Aumonier's stories are not only hilarious, full of wit and genuine warmth for his subjects, but also beautifully constructed insights into the various absurdities of human behaviour; be it in the drawing rooms of London high society or the trenches of World War I.

'The Brown Wallet' read by Mark Heap.

Mark Heap has appeared widely across television, radio and film; he recently appeared on TV as Thomas Brown in the returning BBC series 'Lark Rise to Candleford'. His acclaimed comedic performances include 'Spaced', 'Green Wing' and BBC series 'The Great Outdoors'

'The Brown Wallet' by Stacy Aumonier was abridged by Neville Teller and read by Mark Heap. It was recorded in Belfast and the Producer/Director was Laura Conway.

'A Source Of Irritation' read by Mark Addy.

Mark Addy has worked extensively in film, television and on stage. His many credits include 'The Full Monty', 'Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord 1983' and the upcoming HBO television series 'Game of Thrones'.

'A Source of Irritation' by Stacy Aumonier was abridged by Neville Teller and read by Mark Addy. It was recorded in Belfast and the Producer/Director was Michael Shannon.

'The Room' read by Mathew Horne

Mathew Horne's many television credits include 'The Catherine Tate Show', 'Teachers' and '20 Things to Do before You're Thirty'. Mathew is best known to many for his portrayal of Gavin in the hit BBC series 'Gavin and Stacey'.

'The Room by Stacy Aumonier was abridged by Neville Teller and read by Mathew Horne. It was recorded in Belfast and the Producer/Director was Laura Conway.

Old Sam Gates' day is ruined when an enemy fighter plane crashes into his field of turnips

AR02Face It, The Deletion20110921

The second of three short story commissions on the theme of social networking.

"It soon becomes apparent that I don't need to even see Emma White's account because she's sprawled all over my ex's page like spilt bleach. I decide my next move is self-deletion."

The Deletion, by Laura Dockrill, shows how reliant people are becoming on social networks and makes us wonder whether, after setting up an account, it's ever possible to truly quit.

Read by Laura Dockrill

Produced by Robert Howells

Laura Dockrill is a poet and illustrator from South London. A graduate of The Brit School of Performing Arts, twenty-two year old Laura was named one of the top ten literary stars of 2008 according to The Times and voted Elle's top face to look out for in 2009.

By Laura Dockrill. After setting up an account, how hard is it to truly quit the network?

AR02For The Love Of A Child, Call Me And I'll Come To You2010121520111231

The second of three stories about relationships between adults and children, drawn from real-life.

Written and read by Julia Blackburn, whose most recent book 'The Three Of Us' has won the 2009 Pen/Ackerley prize for memoir and autobiography, the stories have Julia's mesmerising delicacy of touch in the way they describe human relationships and her capacity to find the best in people while encompassing their frailty.

2. Call me and I'll Come to You

At a low ebb, Julia rediscovers a letter her father wrote to her before his death. He describes how the love between a parent and child is not diminished by death. Julia is comforted, as if her father was with her in that moment.

Producer...Mary Ward-Lowery

Music: Trois Morceaux en Forme de Poire by Eric Satie.

By Julia Blackburn. Julia rediscovers a letter her father wrote to her before his death.

Written and read by the Costa-shortlisted writer Julia Blackburn, the second of two stories about relationships between adults and children, drawn from real-life.

The stories are written with the same mesmerising delicacy of touch that Julia brought to her Penn-Ackerley prize-winning memoir 'The Three of Us', demonstrating her extraordinary capacity to find the best in people while encompassing their frailty.

AR02Foster20100901

By Claire Keegan

Abridged by Neville Teller

A heartbreaking, haunting story of childhood, loss and love by one of Ireland's most acclaimed writers. A small girl is sent to live with her mother's people on a farm in rural Ireland, without knowing when she will return home. In the strangers' house, she finds a warmth and affection she has not known before and slowly begins to blossom in their care. And then a secret is revealed, and suddenly, she realizes how fragile her idyll is.

Winner of the Davy Byrnes Memorial Prize, Foster will be published in a revised and expanded version by Faber on 2nd September 2010. Beautiful, sad and eerie, it is a story of astonishing emotional depth, showcasing Claire Keegan's great accomplishment and talent.

Claire Keegan's first collection of short stories, 'Antarctica', was completed in 1998 and was awarded the Rooney Prize for Literature. Her second short story collection, 'Walk the Blue Fields', was published to enormous critical acclaim in 2007 and won her the 2008 Edge Hill Prize for Short Stories. Claire Keegan lives in County Louth, Ireland.

'Foster' is read by Evanna Lynch, best known to many for her portrayal of Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter films.

Producer Heather Larmour

Billing:

The discovery of a secret threatens the idyll of life with the Kinsella's.

Read by Evanna Lynch

AR02Good Show Clarissa, Jemima Gets Them Guessing20110309

Martin Jarvis directs Lisa Dillon's humorous performance as the entire Fourth Form of Cliff House School in 'Jemima Gets Them Guessing'.

Written by Hilda Richards in 1939, eccentric, monocled Jemima Carstairs (a sort of female fourteen year-old Bertie Wooster with brains) is presented with a problem. One of their class-mates, Frances Frost - the icicle of the Fourth - threatens to blackmail decent Clara Trevlyn for visiting the Palais de Danse, thereby jeopardising Clara's position as Captain of Games.

But Clara may have had a perfectly proper motive for breaking bounds. To save her chum, Jemima concocts a plan involving a beach-side confrontation and a mysterious boat-trip. Can Jemima rescue Clara's reputation and prevent her from disgrace?

Producer: Martin Jarvis

A Jarvis and Ayres production for BBC Radio 4.

Lisa Dillon tells how eccentric Jemima Carstairs tries to rescue a chum's reputation.

AR02Granta Stories, Cary Grant's Suit20090920
AR02Hay-on-wye Stories 2008, Travels With A Hydrosextant20100425
AR02I Expected The Worst..., Francois Truffaut: Letters20110330

"Dear Monsieur,

You do me too great an honour in asking my advice. I have never written a shooting script and I never know where I'm going to place the camera one hour before I start shooting, which is to say, before seeing the actors move through the set..."

A series of three readings, in which famous directors describe their adventures in the

the movie business:

2. Francois Truffaut: Letters.

His missives are a rich source of insight and amusement, as he

considers the likes of dubious actors, terrible music, freedom

of expression and favourite foods...

Read by Ben Miles

Producer Duncan Minshull.

Francois Truffaut's letters cover everything from freedom of speech to favourite recipes.

AR02I Got The Dog, Boris's Story20100908

Boris is an artist - a pianist. When he's working on a piece, time becomes meaningless; he will play all through the night and not notice. That enigmatic passion, once the very thing that attracted Andria to him, eventually caused their break up.Boris left, taking his piano and their dog Mimi with him.

Things begin to look up for him when he starts seeing another artist Chiara. Surely she will understand the creative drive? Chiara is a performance artist. When she asks Boris to compose a piece of music for her next 'project', it seems that perhaps they are kindred spirits.

He's also pleased that Chiara is getting along very well with Mimi, until one he's shocked to discover that Mimi has been co-opted into Chiara's performance! Tensions mount further as Boris's obsessive drive to work takes over, and poor Mimi is caught in the cross-fire again. Who'll get the dog this time?

John McGlynn reads Boris's story

Producer: Sarah Langan.

Things begin to look up for pianist Boris when he starts seeing another artist, Chiara.

AR02I Was There Too!, Nothing But Blue Skies2009051320110925

By Dominic Power. Katharine Rudd tells the true story of the night of the Roswell incident

Series of stories about great historical moments, told from the perspective of unexpected and overlooked witnesses.

97-year-old Katharine Rudd tells the true story of her experiences on the night of the Roswell incident in New Mexico, 1947, when the US government allegedly covered up an encounter with aliens.

By Dominic Power, read by Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio.

AR02I Was There Too!, Pretty As A Picture20100707

In the pivotal moments of history the little man is inevitably written out of the history books. Whatever happened to Cleopatra's milkman, Einstein's postman, Michelangelo's model or Shakespeare's gardener? Just maybe there was more going on behind the scenes than we could ever imagine.

Writers Lucy Caldwell, Heidi Regan and Jessica Ransom, take us behind the scenes for an alternative look at some great historical moments through the eyes of some unexpected - and, until now - overlooked witnesses who were there too!

It's history - but not quite as we know it!

Maiden, Mother, Spinster, Saint

by Lucy Caldwell

Reader: Corrine Kempa

Being overshadowed by a sibling takes on a whole new meaning when your sister is a figure of national notoriety.

Pretty as a Picture

by Heidi Regan

Reader: Raphael Koeb

Beauty and truth collide when a young assistant accompanies a master painter on an important royal commission.

She Wore a White Dress

by Jessica Ransom

Reader: Julie Dray

Dressing a queen is a great responsibility, especially for her final public appearance.

Producer: Heather Larmour

Our afternoon readings this week take a look at some momentous moments in history from the perspective of some unexpected witnesses who were 'there too' but didn't quite make it into the history books.

Today's reading takes us to Tudor times where an eager young apprentice travels with a master painter on an important commission where he learns a valuable lesson about the politics of beauty and truth.

Raphael Koeb reads 'Pretty as a Picture' by Heidi Regan, producer Heather Larmour.

By Heidi Regan. A young assistant accompanies a painter on an important royal commission.

AR02If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This, The Guide20100609
AR02In Her Element, A Horizontal View20090318
AR02In Her Element, A Horizontal View20100919

A series in which three women writers describe their personal connection with the Welsh landscape and how their encounter with nature has shaped their lives.

Patricia Barrie recalls the view from her bedroom window when she was confined to bed as a child with a serious illness. Read by Sharon Morgan.

Producer : Kate McAll

Director : Nigel Lewis.

Patricia Barrie recalls the view from her window when she was confined to bed as a child.

AR02In-flight Entertainment20100421
AR02Jennings' Little Hut, The Kettle Of Fish20100207
AR02John B Keane Readings, The Voice Of An Angel20081202

When Tom Winter agrees to play the role of Santa Claus.

AR02Johnson's Miscellany20110522

Two contrasting essays from The Idler series, published weekly in the Universal Chronicle.

Three readings featuring extracts from Samuel Johnson's major works introduced by his biographer, David Nokes.

Samuel Johnson (better known as Dr Johnson) was born in Lichfield in September 1709. Half-blind, shambolic and poverty-stricken, he became the most admired and quoted man in the eighteenth century.

The son of a bookseller, lack of funds forced him to leave Oxford before taking a degree and, after a stint as a teacher, he travelled to London in search of work. Beginning as a Grub Street journalist, Johnson made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet, essayist, moralist, novelist, literary critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer. A devout Anglican and political conservative, Johnson has been described as "arguably the most distinguished man of letters in English history".

His most famous work is, without doubt, A Dictionary of the English Language, published in 1755. It was not the most accurate dictionary, nor the most comprehensive, but it became widely recognised as the first standard dictionary until publication of the Oxford English Dictionary 150 years later.

Other major works by Johnson are, among others, his Lives of the English Poets including his biography of Richard Savage; the novella, Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia; his notes on The Plays of William Shakespeare; The Idler essays; The Rambler magazine and A Journey to The Western Isles of Scotland.

In these three programmes David Nokes, author of a biography of Johnson, introduces a series of extracts from the great man's work. In chronological order, we work our way through his literary life.

This episode includes two contrasting essays from The Idler series published weekly in the Universal Chronicle -The Corruption of News Writers and Ladies' Journey to London.

Read by Michael Pennington

Introduced by Professor David Nokes

Produced by Joanna Green

A Pier Production for BBC Radio 4.

AR02Just William: Pursuin' Happiness, The Revenge20100728

Written by Richmal Crompton, and read by Martin Jarvis.

William Brown, surprisingly perhaps, becomes a Boy Scout - something his family agrees to in the hope that it will keep him out of trouble. William's sense of honour means that he takes most seriously his obligation to perform a daily 'deed of kindness'.

But an encounter with a very small, extremely objectionable little boy tests his resolve to breaking point.

Director: Pete Atkin

Producer: Rosalind Ayres

A Jarvis and Ayres Production for BBC Radio 4.

Boy Scout William commits to a daily good deed, until he meets a ghastly child.

AR02Just William: Rightin' Wrongs, The Knights Of The Square Table20111026

Adapted by Martin Jarvis.

Martin Jarvis chooses and performs three more Richmal Crompton stories about her immortal hero, William Brown. William persists in his belief that there's money to be made from 'rightin' wrongs' - a shilling for big ones and sixpence for little ones. And he'll be in charge as King William. His faith is rewarded by the arrival of an amiable young man who has a wrong that is definitely worth a shilling to put right - one that involves a fair damsel and a false knight. William's ingenuity as a knight of the square table is tested to the limit as tea-time approaches.

Producer: Rosalind Ayres

Director: Pete Atkin

A Jarvis and Ayres production for BBC Radio 4.

William and the Outlaws decide that rightin' wrongs could be a profitable undertaking.

AR02Lido, Lido Lover20110608

by Michèle Roberts.

Three stories that explore the most evocative experience of summer - outdoor swimming.

An English woman finds a kind of fulfilment on the Venetian Lido.

Read by Joanna Tope.

Michèle Roberts is the author of twelve highly acclaimed novels, including The Looking Glass and Daughters of the House which won the WHSmith Literary Award and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Her memoir Paper Houses was BBC Radio 4's Book of the Week in June 2007. She has also published poetry and short stories, most recently collected in Mud- stories of sex and love (2010). She is Emeritus Professor of Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia.

By Michele Roberts. An English woman finds a kind of fulfilment on the Venetian Lido.

AR02Lost And Found, Blackberry Day2009052020101107

Malachi Whitaker was the pen name of Marjorie Olive Whitaker. She wrote a number of short stories in the twenties and thirties and was regarded as one of the finest authors of that time.

Whitaker chronicled the lives of ordinary folk in the north of England, with sensitivity and humanity. She died in 1975. Her forgotten story, 'Blackberry Day' is a moving account of a woman in the Yorkshire Dales finding it hard to come terms with her husband's retirement from the mill.

Reader: Rosalind Ayres

Producer/Director: Martin Jarvis

A Jarvis and Ayres Production for BBC Radio 4.

A woman in the Yorkshire Dales struggles to come terms with her husband's retirement.

AR02Lost In The Lanes, Calling20100804

Twelve-year-old Tom and his sister first came to Brighton after they lost their father in the great storm of 1883. They left their mother at her new job in the big house, and walked to their lodgings in the Lanes. But in the middle of the night Tom hears their mother, calling for them. And in trying to find her, he finds his own future.

Written by Emma Darwin, and read by Philip Voss.

Part of a series of three stories written by new writers to radio set in The Lanes of Brighton and beyond.

Producer: Celia de Wolff

A Pier Production for BBC Radio 4.

By Emma Darwin, read by Philip Voss.

AR02Lyrical Ballads, The Nightingale And The Lucy Poems2009101420110703

Coleridge's The Nightingale and Wordsworth's series of poems about the enigmatic Lucy.

A selection of poems from Wordsworth and Coleridge's 1798 collaboration which marked the beginning of the English Romantic poetry movement.

The Nightingale, Coleridge's 'conversation poem' in which he disputes the traditional association of the nightingale with melancholy. And Wordsworth's series of elegiac poems about the narrator's love for the enigmatic Lucy. Recorded on location in the Quantock Hills, Somerset and in the Wye Valley, Monmouthshire.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge....Julius D'Silva

William Wordsworth....Mark Meadows

Adapted by Emma Harding.

AR02Mad Girls In The Attic20050823

Deborah Mcandrew reads Michele Roberts's tale inspired by Charlotte Bronte.

Adele's French maid at Thornfield Hall tells of their life there as she travels back to France.

AR02Mad Girls In The Attic20050823

Deborah Mcandrew reads Michele Roberts's tale inspired by Charlotte Bronte.

Adele's French maid at Thornfield Hall tells of their life there as she travels back to France.

AR02Made In Bristol, The Boys In Black20100428
AR02Midsummer Tales, Casting20100616
AR02More Actors' Words, The Accident20100526
AR02More Love In The Afternoon, A Fortnight In Tuscany20090610
AR02Mrs Dalloway's Party, Together And Apart20110216

Mrs Dalloway's Party:

Together and Apart by Virginia Woolf

Read by Emma Fielding

Abridged and produced by Lucy Collingwood

Fascinated and preoccupied by the idea of this social event,Virginia Woolf wrote this story sequence around the same time as writing the novel Mrs Dalloway. In each of these three stories written in Woolf's distinctive style, the listener is offered glimpses into each character's inner most thoughts and emotions. Woolf depicts the intriguing social world of Mrs Dalloway's party in microscopic detail.

In 'Together and Apart', two people are introduced at Mrs Dalloway's party and begin a rather awkward conversation where each of their internal thoughts about the other is revealed. Until they hit upon a subject close to both of their hearts.

Two people are introduced at Mrs Dalloway's party and begin a rather awkward conversation.

AR02Mud: Stories Of Sex And Love, Tristram And Isolde20100602
AR02Murder She Thought - Series 2, Portrait Of An Unknown Man2009012820100815

A painting has strange powers. Elizabeth Morgan's story is read by Miriam Margolyes.

Do you know that weird feeling when the eyes of a portrait seem to follow you around the room? This gothic tale takes the experience several steps further.

Miriam Margolyes reads Elizabeth Morgan's gothic tale.

Director: Martin Jarvis

A Jarvis and Ayres Production for BBC Radio 4.

AR02New Irish Short Stories, Animals20110803

From the book 'New Irish Short Stories' we celebrate the work of three internationally celebrated masters of the form; William Trevor, Roddy Doyle and Dermot Bolger.

The collection celebrates the range and calibre of Irish storytelling - conjuring a wealth of emotions and taking a look at the beauty of Ireland as it passes through a turbulent time - its eye always on the future.

'The Crippled Man' by William Trevor read by Stephen Rea:

William Trevor was born in Mitchelstown, county Cork in 1928. He had won the Whitbread Prize three times and the Hawthornden Award once and has been nominated five times for the booker prize, most recently for his novel Love and Summer.

Stephen Rea: Nominated for a 'Best Actor' Academy Award for his performance in The Crying Game, Stephen Rea, remains one of the most versatile and gifted actors of our generation. His numerous film credits include: Interview with a Vampire, End of the Affair, V for Vendetta, The Butcher Boy and Copenhagen.

He most recently appeared as the chilling character Gatehouse in the BBC 2 series The Shadowline.

'Animals' by Roddy Doyle read by Brendan Gleeson

Roddy Doyle is the author of nine novels, including The Commitments, Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha, which won the Booker Prize, and The Dead Republic. He has written several books for children as well as pieces for the stage, screen and television. His most recent book is Bullfighting , a collection of stories.

Brendan Gleeson: At the age of 34 Brendan Glesson embarked on his film career playing Mel Gibson's right hand man in the Oscar Winning Braveheart. Since then he has acted in more than 30 films, including Michael Collins, Cold Mountain, 28 Days Later, Troy, Kingdom of Heaven, In Bruges and The Village. Younger audiences know him as Hogwarts professor Mad-Eye Moody from Harry Potter. He most recently played Sergeant Gerry Boyle in The Guard, which premiered at the 2011 Galway film festival.

'Winter' by Dermot Bolger read by Dearbhla Molloy

Dermot Bolger is a novelist, poet and publisher, whose ten novels include The Family on Paradise Pier, The Journey Home, The Woman's Daughter and A second Life.

Dearbhla Molloy is a highly credited actress on both stage and screen. Dearbhla played Gertrude to Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet, in the West End for The RSC, and was nominated for a Tony Award for her role in Brian Friel's Dancing at Lughnasa.

Alongside her amazing theatre credits Dearbhla has appeared in Waking the Dead, Foyle's War, Midsomer Murders and New Tricks.

New Irish Short Stories were produced / directed by Laura Conway.

Family pet history according to George.

AR02New Welsh Writing From Ty Newydd, Translation20110622

Ty Newydd, near Snowdonia, is the National Writing Centre for Wales as well as being the former home of Lloyd George. These three stories were created there on a Writing for Radio course, and showcase both new and established Welsh writers.

Translation is Julie Ma's story about a young Chinese girl having to translate sensitive information for her mother. It's read by Liz Sutherland.

Director Kate McAll

BBC Cymru Wales.

A young Chinese girl has to translate sensitive information for her mother.

AR02Old Blood20060620

By Christiane Algar, read by Carol Mcguigan.

Charting the relationship between an aristocratic lady and her philandering husband, told through the eyes of a young servant girl.

AR02Old Blood20060620

By Christiane Algar, read by Carol Mcguigan.

Charting the relationship between an aristocratic lady and her philandering husband, told through the eyes of a young servant girl.

AR02Once Seen, It's A Guy Thing20100127
AR02One Hundred And Forty Characters, Songbirds20110928

By Oliver Emanuel.

A young man, devastated by a messy relationship break-up, finds solace in bird watching.

Second in a series of specially commissioned short stories inspired by the social networking phenomenon, Twitter. (For non "tweeters", the series title derives from Twitter's format where "tweets" - the postings - can be no longer than 140 characters.)

Read by Robin Laing.

Produced by Kirsteen Cameron.

Story by Oliver Emanuel. A broken heart is healed by the redemptive power of birdsong.

AR02One More Year, Companion2009070120111113

Companion is the next selected story from Sana Krasikov's collection One More Year. Ilona Siegal has left conflict riven Georgia and anticipates a brighter future in America.

The stories selected from One More Year by the Ukranian writer Sana Krasikov centre on the experiences of those who have left the former Soviet Union, and gone to America. How they make new lives for themselves, and how those left behind understand their absence are the themes of these subtle, and touching, stories by an exciting literary talent.

Read by Sian Thomas

Abridged by Richard Hamilton

Produced by Elizabeth Allard.

Sana Krasikov's story about the search for a better life.

AR02Ones To Watch (volume 2), You're Dead20090628

A summer afternoon is revealed as less than idyllic.

AR02Opening Lines, Ladies Of The Soil20110727

A return of the series which gives first-time and emerging short story writers their radio debut.

A meditative tale by Gill Blow about unspoken tensions between a husband and wife as they look to an uncertain future.

Read by Philip Jackson

Produced by Gemma Jenkins

A graduate of the Sheffield Hallam creative writing course, Gill's one-act play was performed as part of the New Writers Drama Festival in Lincoln last year and her story, Pol Creek, was recently published in The New Writer Magazine.

A meditative tale by Gill Blow about unspoken tensions between a husband and wife.

AR02Opening Lines, The Amazing Arnolfini And His Wife20100818

The series which gives first-time and emerging short story writers their radio debut.

By Jonathan Pinnock

A husband and wife tightrope walking team travel across America wowing audiences with their daredevil acrobatics. A jaw-dropping finale is promised in this high wire thriller.

Read by Laurel Lefkow

Produced by Gemma Jenkins.

By Jonathan Pinnock. A husband and wife tightrope walking team travel across America.

AR02Opening Lines, The World20090401
AR02Pavilion Pieces, The Indian Hospital2009081920110417

Written by Kellie Jackson

It is 1915 and Brighton's Royal Pavilion is transformed into a hospital for Indian Soldiers. A goodwill visit from the King and Queen has a disturbing impact on two young Gurkha brothers.

Read by Judy Parfitt

Producer/Director: Celia de Wolff

A Pier Production for BBC Radio 4.

By Kellie Jackson. A royal visit has a disturbing impact on two young Gurkha brothers.

AR02Penelope's People, Making Ends Meet20090422
AR02Penelope's People, Making Ends Meet20101010

Series of monologues performed by Penelope Keith, presenting resourceful characters responding very differently to big changes in their lives.

By Cathy Feeny. Lonely widow Cora has been made redundant. Cash is tight, but she still cannot resist the tempting knick-knacks from the mail order catalogues. A chance meeting offers her a way to beat the credit crunch and get out of mounting debt.

A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

By Cathy Feeny. A chance meeting offers lonely widow Cora a way out of mounting debt.

AR02Perspectives, Futouristic.co.uk2009080520110501

Series of stories about people approaching something familiar from a different point of view.

By Christopher Priest, read by Nick Underwood.

When he replies to an irresistible email proposition, Mr Frogle can be sure of only one thing - nothing will ever be the same again.

By Christopher Priest. Mr Frogle replies to a life-changing email proposition.

AR02Pier Shorts, Love Lessons From Cephalopods20091220

By Kay Sexton. A marine scientist challenges a Russian gangmaster to a swimming contest.

AR02Portrait, The Model's Story20110810

A mystery unfolds in Susie Maguire's trilogy of stories that examine a portrait from three perspectives. The Model's Story is read by Federay Holmes.

Nic wakes up in hospital. She's battered and bruised, and is trying to piece together the events that led her to this state. Her husband Andrew turns up, very concerned and keen to take care of her, but Nic retreats to a local hotel to lick her wounds and reflect on what has happened. She wonders if it all went wrong when she started modelling for Tom. She'd certainly valued that time they shared in his studio, but Andrew would never be able to understand that theirs was a platonic relationship. It's only when she is finally and violently presented with a fragmented image of herself, that she really begins to see the bigger picture, and seeks the courage to do what she has to.

Producer: Sarah Langan.

Nic wakes up in hospital and tries to piece together the events that led her there.

AR02Portraits Of East Anglia, Teeny Weeny Little World20090329
AR02Readings From Bath, Inappropriate Dancing2009030420100926

Stephanie Cole reads the second of three stories from the stage of last year's Bath Literature Festival. At the age of 81, Alice Garbutter has taken her first risk, and it feels so good she's going to take more. Inappropriate Dancing by Fran Landsman

Producers: Sue Fry/Sara Davies.

At the age of 81, Alice has taken her first risk, and now plans to take some more.

AR02Red Herrings, In Pursuit Of The Uneatable20101103

Crime writing at its twisted best... The red herring - that most effective weapon in the crime writer's arsenal - inspires this series of new short stories by leading exponents of the genre.

"In Pursuit of the Uneatable" by Brian McGilloway. Read by Eugene O'Hare.

A new case for McGilloway's detective hero Inspector Benedict Devlin. Protesters get more than they bargained for at a fox hunt on the Irish borderland.

Produced by Kirsteen Cameron.

About the author:

Brian McGilloway was born in Derry, Northern Ireland in 1974. He is the author of the critically acclaimed Inspector Benedict Devlin series. His first novel, "Borderlands", was shortlisted for the CWA New Blood Dagger 2007 and was hailed by The Times as 'one of (2007's) most impressive debuts.' The second novel in the series, "Gallows Lane", was shortlisted for both the 2009 Irish Book Awards/Ireland AM Crime Novel of the Year and the Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year 2010. The new Inspector Devlin novel, "The Rising", was published in the UK earlier this Spring in hardback, alongside the paperback of the third novel, "Bleed A River Deep".

Eugene O'Hare reads In Pursuit of the Uneatable by Brian McGilloway.

AR02Red Herrings, The Difference2009042920101226

Chilling short story by master crime writer, Reginald Hill.

A winter funeral prompts an elderly lawyer to reflect upon a troubling case from his past.

Read by David Ryall.

Producer Kirsteen Cameron.

By Reginald Hill. A young murderer's confession has far reaching consequences.

AR02Rhys Davies Award Winners, Dammed20100310
AR02Saints And Sinners, Black Flower20110413

'Black Flower' by Edna O'Brien.

Read by Sheila Hancock

Abridged by Doreen Estall

Produced by Lawrence Jackson

Edna O'Brien is one of the most distinguished writers and figures in the world of letters. Since emerging from Ireland in the early 1960s with 'The Country Girls', her many novels including 'Girl with Green Eyes', 'House of Splendid Isolation' and 'In The Forest' have attracted both praise and controversy. 'Saints and Sinners' is her eagerly awaited new collection.

Sheila Hancock CBE most recently won the Olivier Award for Best Supporting Role in a Musical for 'Cabaret', as well as appearing in 'Sister Act' the Musical. She is known for her numerous TV and film appearances, and her popular memoirs 'The Two of Us' and 'Just Me'.

Producer Lawrence Jackson's credits for Radio 4 include four series of the popular murder-mystery 'Baldi', two series of John Connolly's 'Ghost Stories' and the Classic Serial 'Barry Lyndon'. For Radio 7 his credits include C.S.Lewis' 'Out of the Silent Planet' and 'Perelandra', G.K.Chesterton's 'The Man Who Was Thursday', Daphne Du Maurier's 'The House on the Strand' and classic ghost stories by Sheridan Le Fanu and Algernon Blackwood.

A woman's relationship with a recently released criminal takes a turn for the worse.

AR02Scottish Shorts, The Last Cup20110105

Set on a windswept Western Isle, a kindly old fisherman and his stern minister find a poignant sliver of common ground over tea from a chipped china cup.

Read by Matthew Zajac.

Written by Merryn Glover.

Producer: Patricia Hitchcock

'Scottish Shorts' showcases the best new writing from Scotland. Merryn Glover is a playwright and author of short stories and received a Scottish Arts Council bursary. She has written plays for BBC Radio Scotland.

A kindly old fisherman and his stern minister find a sliver of common ground.

AR02Sos: Save Our Souls, The Longsight Branch20101121

Short stories to mark the 100th anniversary of the international distress call.

Paul Magrs's quirky tale of friendship and survival is set in the trees high above Manchester.

Read by Laura Smales.

Paul Magrs's quirky tale of friendship and survival is set in the trees above Manchester.

AR02Sputnik, The Phantom Cosmonaut20091129
AR02Spy Stories, Parker Adderson, Philosopher20100324
AR02Stories From The Bath Literature Festival, Out Of Time20091025
AR02Stories With Latitude20090503
AR02Stories With Latitude, Scott Hardy's Queensway Sessions2009072220110220

PHOTOGRAPHER REUBEN CANTARINI BECOMES OBSESSED WITH THE WORK OF A BRILLIANT MUSICIAN CALLED SCOTT HARDY, WHOSE MUSIC ONLY EXISTS ON THE INTERNET UNTIL REUBEN CLANDESTINELY TAPES A PRIVATE SESSION. WHEN HARDY'S DEATH IS ANNOUNCED, HIS CULT FOLLOWING GROWS. REUBEN NEVER DIVULGES THE EXISTENCE OF HIS BOOTLEG RECORDING UNTIL AN EMAIL FROM ANOTHER MUSIC COLLECTOR STARTS TO UNRAVEL THE MYSTERY OF HIS HERO'S DEATH.

Producer Sara Davies.

By Matt Thorne. A photographer becomes obsessed with the work of a brilliant musician.

AR02Summer Ghosts, The Queen Of Craigielee20110817

"Yes, the ghosts you see at night, they're the souls - the auras, if you like - of good people who didn't deserve to die. That's why they're full of regret, and frightening. Ghosts we see in broad daylight are the ones whose death were right and fair - they've been redeemed by death. They were evil while alive..."

In this series of commissioned stories the aim is to present ghosts or ghostly happenings in the cold light of day. Will something 'unexplained' be as scary in a light that is... well, reliable to the eye!

2. The Queen of Craigielee by Louise Welsh

Photographing the deserted tower block means going to its thirtieth floor, which isn't really the place to be...

Reader Tracy Wiles

Producer Duncan Minshull.

Photographing the deserted tower block means going to its eerie 30th floor.

AR02Tales From Tate Modern, The Way To Veritas20100512
AR02Tales From The Casino, What Shall I Do?20110420

Rita works in the cloakroom of the Casino, and hasn't been on the ballroom floor since the days when it was called the Wigan Empress. But then Frank starts calling.

Between 1973 and 1981 Wigan Casino was arguably the ultimate venue for Northern Soul music. Young people from all over the UK regularly made the trek to Wigan to dance to the latest Northern Soul artists. Queues to get in were sometimes five or six people deep, and stretched quite a way up the road. The highlight was the weekly all-nighter, with Russ Winstanley as DJ, which traditionally ended with three songs that became known as the Three Before Eight: "Time Will Pass You By" by Tobi Legend, "Long After Tonight Is Over" by Jimmy Radcliffe and "I'm On My Way" by Dean Parrish.

These three specially-commissioned stories by Laura Barton (herself from Wigan) hark back to a time when the town threw off the image created by George Orwell and the Casino was voted 'Best Disco In the World' by American Billboard Magazine.

Laura Barton was born in Lancashire in 1977. She is a freelance writer of features and music columns, notably 'Hail, Hail, Rock 'n' Roll' for the Guardian. Her first story for radio, The Carpenter, was broadcast in 2009 as part of Sweet Talk's We Are Stardust, We Are Golden series for BBC Radio 4. Twenty-One Locks, her debut novel, was published in 2010. Laura lives in London.

Written by Laura Barton. Read by Melanie Kilburn.

Producer: Jeremy Osborne

A Sweet Talk Production for BBC Radio 4.

By Laura Barton. Time was when Rita used to dance here but now she works in the cloakroom.

AR02Tales From The Low Countries, The Fortress At Bruges2009110420110612

Set in the not-so-distant future in 'what remains of Belgium'. Following the floods of global warming, most of the Low Countries are now under the sea, but the medieval city of Bruges has survived due to a feat of engineering called 'The Fortress'. The solidarity of two old friends - a Walloon historian and a Fleming engineer - is tested by the arrival on the scene of Jean's new girlfriend, Magdalena. Read by Stephen Campbell Moore

Produced by Emma Harding.

By Gregory Norminton. The solidarity of two old friends is tested by one's new girlfriend.

AR02Tapertime, A Question Of Light20081216
AR02Tapertime, Justin Cartwright20100704

'Tapertime'

The above is an old Edwardian word meaning dusk, and this week's commissioned stories take place as the light fades. What happens to the visual world as dusk emerges? What happens to make people behave differently, often strangely, as the world starts to blur? Five leading writers explore the possibilities.

2. A Question of Light by Justin Cartwright

As a young lad the narrator had to leave Sweden for the sunshine of Australia. But certain people and

deep-rooted rituals pull him back to the land of the dark...

Reader Tim Pigott Smith

Producer Duncan Minshull.

By Justin Cartwright. A man is drawn back to an island, still haunted by a boyhood memory.

AR02Telling The World, Lord Shiva And The Death Boon20090906

Peter Chand tells his version of a story from the Punjab, via Wolverhampton.

AR02The Adventures Of Mr Thake, Thake In America20101222

Written by J.B. Morton.

The hapless traveller sends news home to Beachcomber after losing his hat at Niagara Falls...

In 1924 the writer J.B. Morton adopted the name 'Beachcomber' and began a humorous column in the Daily Express which was to run for over 50 years. Reading about the odd lives of Beachcomber's characters - whether they were nonsensical, puritanical, pompous or simply insane - became part of the ritual of breakfast throughout the land.

A typical example of Beachcomber's gift for creating what G.K. Chesterton described as "a huge thunderous wind of elemental and essential laughter," is Mr Thake.

Out of print since the 1930s, The Adventures of Mr Thake is a collection of letters to Beachcomber, sent home from the calamitous travels abroad of a gentleman of considerably more leisure than sense. Oswald Bletisloe Hattersley Thake is, to be blunt, an upper-class twit.

Described affectionately as "a caricature of his nation" here we have the fascinating spectacle of a Wooster with no Jeeves to rescue him. Whether he is losing his heart to young gold diggers on board the S.S. Lutetia while losing his hat overboard and wondering whether to stop the ship, or being fleeced in the nightclubs of Paris, Thake never quite understands what is happening to him - or why...

Reader: Leslie Phillips

Producer/Abridger: Neil Cargill

A Pier Production for BBC Radio 4.

AR02The Adventures Of Mr Thake, Thake On The Riviera20090715
AR02The A-z Of Dr Johnson: Johnson's Miscellany20090909
AR02The Big Chill, Blood In Stone20090419

By Frances Fyfield. John sets off through the woods, equipped with matches and petrol.

AR02The Boundless Garden, The Gleaner20110615

Mark Williams reads from an anthology of 19th century Greek short stories. It's Christmas and Achtitsa has neither food nor money. Then she hears from her long lost son in America...

Alexandros Papadiamandis (1851 - 1911) was born on the western Aegean island of Skiathos, where many of his short stories are set.

In these stories he explores the souls of ordinary men and women as they succumb to, or struggle against, the power of evil, and try to deal with life's ambiguities. Aware of the way in which the past breathes life into the present, Papadiamandis also delves into Greek mythology, as it survived through people's belief in supernatural wonders on both land and sea.

Mark Williams is well known as one of the stars of the BBC TV's The Fast Show ("Suits you, sir..!!") and for the role of Ron Weasley's father in the Harry Potter films.

Translated by Elizabeth Key Fowden

Abridged by Roy Apps

Producer: David Blount

A Pier Production for BBC Radio 4.

It's Christmas and Achtitsa has no food or money. Then she hears from her long lost son.

AR02The British At Table2011062920111218

Christopher Driver's observations on the impact of foreign food on British eating habits.

Christopher Driver was a passionate writer, broadcaster, second-hand bookshop owner, conscientious objector and controversial hand-picked successor to Raymond Postgate as editor of The Good Food Guide through the 1970s. His descriptions of our changing attitudes towards what we allowed to grace our plates between the end of rationing and the affluent 1980s, and caustically witty observations of the marvels of British catering (such as the waitress who uncorked the wine with her teeth), made both informative and amusing reading. It is, as he said, "a book about the way we eat now in the light of the way we used to eat within middle-aged-memory. It is about ourselves as shoppers, cultivators, cooks and consumers."

Driver saw the shape of food to come thirty years before the rest of us and his accuracy is extraordinary: "The march of regulation and technology means that to obtain good bacon it will be once again necessary to kill and cure your own pig, as in the eighteenth-century. Progress takes odd forms."

It is sixty years since Postgate (known as "Public Stomach Number One" after founding his "Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Food") first published the Good Food Guide. Here is an opportunity to enjoy part of its history in the words of its most eloquent editor, revealing everything from the lost world of whale steaks, coypu vindaloo and sweet and sour barracuda, to the language of food description that embraces such evocative phrases as "the flavour of unploughed fields" and "the texture of compressed string."

Reader: Tony Gardner

Abridger: Neil Cargill

Producer: Neil Cargill

A Pier Production for BBC Radio 4.

By Christopher Driver

Read by Tony Gardner

Abridged by Neil Cargill

AR02The Brother20111005

By Myles na Gopaleen (Flann O'Brien)

"Do you know what it is, the brother's an extraordinary genius."

Born on the 5th October 1911 in Strabane, Northern Ireland, Brian O'Nolan is perhaps best known as Flann O'Brien, the name under which he published his novels At Swim Two Birds, The Hard Life, The Dalkey Archive and The Third Policeman. Often described as one of the 'holy trinity' of modern Irish writers alongside Joyce and Beckett, he was notorious for writing under a range of pseudonyms and penned the daily 'Cruiskeen Lawn' column in the Irish Times as Myles na Gopaleen (na gCopaleen) from1940 until his death in 1966. Satirising the absurdities and ironies of Dublin life the Cruiskeen Lawn introduced a memorable and hilarious cast of characters; Keats and Chapman, The Plain People of Ireland and the extraordinary, eccentric and preposterous 'brother'.

To mark the centenary of his birth, a series of readings selected from O'Brien's 'Brother' articles, introduces us to one of his most peculiar and eccentric literary creations. An 'extraordinary genius' indeed, the brother is apparently an authority on almost every subject imaginable and has his finger in more pies than he has fingers! Living in digs with his long-suffering landlady and her lodgers, the brother believes that he really does know best about everything from medicine, to water purity, politics and policing, and, as we discover, there is no arguing with the brother!

Meet the inimitable 'brother' as Myles regales us with that most unusual of individual's latest exploits.

Read by Jim Norton with Kevin Moore.

Producer Heather Larmour.

The Brother learns French and suffers from a leaky valve.

AR02The Burying Of Joe Bloggs, Theodora20090408
AR02The Closed Door, Family Crisis20090607
AR02The Crystal Fountain, Strange Music20110427

Martin Jarvis directs Moira Quirk in Malachi Whitaker's moving short story of a young girl's visit to a dance hall on a rainy night with her friend. But why does Cora send Joyce though to the dance-floor alone. Why does she remain outside? Is she waiting for someone? Then the young man she's come to see is standing in front of her.

It's Danny Dunne, the band leader. He tells her she shouldn't have come. She tells him urgently that she wants to see him again. 'I want us to be alone again together,' she says. 'You know what I want.' He nervous, telling her he's got to be careful. But what is the real story between these two? Does Cora have a hidden agenda? And is there more to diffident Danny than there seems?

Malachi Whitaker was prolific in the 1920s and '30, writing with compassion and perception about ordinary folk, invariably setting the stories in her native Yorkshire. She became known as 'the Chekhov of the north' because of her sympathetic observation of the minutiae of human beings and their (often comic) behaviour.

Producer/Director: Martin Jarvis

A Jarvis and Ayres Production for BBC Radio 4.

Malachi Whitaker's touching 1934 story of a young girl's strange visit to a dance-hall.

AR02The Curiosities Of The Egyptian Hall, The Great Mephisto!2010011320110807

A series of three specially commissioned stories inspired by London's Egyptian Hall - 'England's Home of Mystery and Many Illusions', which stood in Piccadilly for most of the 19th Century. The recordings were made in front of an invited audience at the Concert Artistes' Association in Covent Garden.

London's Egyptian Hall was originally built in 1812 to house collections of curiosities brought back from the most remote and mysterious parts of the globe - from the South Seas, North and South America and Africa. But it soon became the venue for extraordinary spectaculars, panoramas and pseudo scientific demonstrations - such as Britain's first ever films, illusions, magic and freak shows. By the end of the 19th Century, it had become known as 'England's Home of Mystery and Many Illusions', under the management of the renowned magician, Maskelyne. It became the centre of magic and spiritualism where new acts were demonstrated and charlatans exposed.

The Great Mephisto! written by Tony Lidington

A young illusionist from the Punjab takes revenge on his cruel master.

Read by Medhev Sharma

Introduced by Tony Lidington as Alfred, Custodian of the Hall.

Producer: David Blount

A Pier Production for BBC Radio 4.

By Tony Lidington. A young illusionist from the Punjab takes revenge on his cruel master.

AR02The Diaries Of Edith Appleton2009111120110703

Series of readings featuring extracts from the diaries of Edith Appleton, a nurse working close to the front line during the First World War.

It is 1915 and Edie has been moved to a hospital in Etretat on the Normandy coast, where she must supervise members of the Voluntary Aid Detachment. These are well-meaning but relatively untrained girls and, at times, Edie finds their presence somewhat trying.

Read by Rachel Atkins

A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

Edie is moved to Etretat, where she must supervise members of the Voluntary Aid Detachment

AR02The Doll: Short Stories By Daphne Du Maurier, The Doll20110504

The Doll is a macabre and unsettling tale about a young man besotted by a young violinist, who in turn has a strange and haunting passion. The Doll is the title story of a newly published collection by Daphne du Maurier, and excitingly, is one of several recently re-discovered short fictions by the famous writer that have either never been published or have been out of print for decades. Written in the late 1920s when du Maurier herself was just twenty, The Doll reveals some of the dark themes that she explores in the novels that made her name.

Reader: Ed Stoppard and Sean Baker

Abridger: Richard Hamilton

Producer: Elizabeth Allard.

A young man is tormented by love.

AR02The Fantastic Book Of Everybody's Secrets, Friendly Amid The Haters2009102820110612

When a woman challenges a joiner's methods, he flips and leaves her in fear of her life.

Three chilling tales from crime writer Sophie Hannah's first short story collection mark her debut on Radio 4.

Read by Kathryn Hunt.

A woman asks a joiner to re-hang some doors but when she challenges his laid-back approach with sarcasm, he flips and she is left in fear of her life. Worse is her feeling that she deserves her shame and humilation.

Producer: Melanie Harris

A Sweet Talk production for BBC Radio 4.

AR02The First Person, Writ20090218
AR02The Foxes Come At Night, Thunderstorm20110720

Now 78, Cees Nooteboom is one of Holland's leading and most respected authors, a writer of both novels and travel books and a consummate short story writer. The Foxes Come at Night, his most recent collection, has won the 2010 Gouden Uil - the most prestigious literary award in Flanders and is now published in English.

The collection is set in the cities and islands of the Mediterranean, territory Nooteboom knows well. The stories are linked by their meditations on memory and age, on love won and lost and on the fragments of life treasured in a photograph or a detail.

In 'Gondolas' a fine art dealer finds the past stirred by a photograph taken on the same Venetian canal bank forty years ago. In 'Thunderstorm' a couple's own fissures are reflected in a horrific moment on a beach. And in 'Late September' a woman waits on a windblown Spanish cafe terrace before the inevitable conclusion to her lonely day.

Written with haunting attention to detail and pitch perfect prose, sensitively translated by Ina Rilke, these stories show one of the European masters of the genre at his best.

Reader Tracy-Ann Oberman

Abridger Sally Marmion

Producer Di Speirs.

A couple's troubled marriage is reflected in a horrific incident on a beach.

AR02The Further Adventures Of The First King Of Mars, The Shadow Of A Volcano20110313

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the launch of Sputnik, Nick Walker was commissioned to write the sci-fi adventure 'The First King Of Mars'.

'Mars Twenty' has landed. And it wasn't pretty.

Nick Walker's theatre work has been presented extensively in the UK as well as Europe, and the USA. His plays and short stories are often featured on BBC Radio 4 and 3 series of the late-night show The Bigger Issues. He is the author of two critically acclaimed novels Blackbox and Helloland, published in the UK, US, Australia, Japan and across Europe.

Performed by Peter Capaldi.

Producer: Karen Rose

A Sweet Talk Production for BBC Radio 4.

Peter Capaldi stars in Nick Walker's space adventure.

AR02The Greengrocer's Apostrophe, Alice, Hanging In There20050829
AR02The Greengrocer's Apostrophe, Alice, Hanging In There20100929

Comic tales inspired by those hand-written signs offering "Apple's and Banana's" which can be found in every town in Britain.

When Alice's high-flying career stalls, she finds a novel way to occupy her time. Armed only with a balaclava and a pot of paint, she starts to vent her anger on sloppy punctuation.

A new story by Ronald Frame, read by Tracy Wiles.

Produced by Eilidh McCreadie.

When Alice's high-flying career stalls, she finds a novel way to occupy her time.

AR02The Heart Of Saturday Night, Muriel2009090220110508

Ed Stoppard reads the next in the series of stories inspired by the distinctive world created by the legendary musician Tom Waits - a sleazy world peopled by down-at-heel characters on the edge of society, or outcasts and deadbeats singing of loss and longing. In US author Willy Vlautin's story, a small-town forklift truck-driver returns to his old neighbourhood and the bar he used to drink in before his breakdown. All the characters are still there, but he can't help but notice how they all do their best to avoid mentioning his dead wife Muriel.

The reader is Ed Stoppard.

The Author: US novelist and singer/songwriter Willy Vlautin grew up in Reno, Nevada. His first novel, The Motel Life, was published by Faber and Faber in 2006. He is also the songwriter and vocalist for the internationally acclaimed band, Richmond Fontaine, whose album The Fitzgerald (2005) was described by Q magazine as 'the most beautiful sad album of the year'.

Produced by Justine Willett.

By Willy Vlautin. A forklift truck driver returns to his old neighbourhood bar.

AR02The Mystery Of The Hills, The Girl With The Red Hair20111019

By Mairi MacLeod.

Read by Mairi Morrison.

A young Skye woman, Eilidh, stops for a break during a walk in the Cuillin mountains. In her rucksack she carries a recent gift: the collected poems of Sorley MacLean. As she begins to read, she hears a woman singing and is transported by the sadness in her voice. Who is the stranger; what tragedy has she suffered?

Second in a series of stories specially commissioned to mark the centenary of the birth of the Highland poet Sorley MacLean. A warded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry in 1990, MacLean is regarded as the greatest Gaelic poet of the Twentieth Century, giving new literary standing to a language which has at times seemed close to extinction.

MacLean was born in October 1911 on Raasay, a small island lying off the east coast of Skye, into a family immersed in Highland history and culture. It is often said that what Hugh MacDiarmid did for Scots, Sorley MacLean did for Gaelic, sparking a Gaelic renaissance in Scottish literature. He was also instrumental in preserving and promoting the teaching of Gaelic in Scottish schools. He died in 1996.

Produced by Kirsteen Cameron.

A woman has a mystical experience while walking in Skye's Cuillin mountains.

AR02The Other Garden And Collected Stories By Francis Wyndham, Dear Derek20090114
AR02The Other Garden And Collected Stories By Francis Wyndham, Dear Derek20100811

Stories by short fiction writer Francis Wyndham, recalling England in the 1940s.

Agatha is drawn to her young cousin Phillip when he comes to stay, but should she really be snooping in his bedroom? Read by Emily Woof.

Agatha is drawn to her young cousin Phillip when he comes to stay. Read by Emily Woof.

AR02The Pat Hobby Stories, Teamed With Genius20110831

Written by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Adapted by Archie Scottney.

Studio head Jack Berners calls hack writer Pat Hobby into his office. Surprisingly he has a writing job for him. Pat seems ready for it. Berners teams him with British writer, Rene Wilcox. It's ballet picture. As Pat leaves the office Berners calls him back and puts some dollars in his hand. 'Get a new hat,' he says, 'You used to be quite a boy around the secretaries in the old days. Don't give up at forty-nine!' But over in the Writers' Building Pat discovers that Wilcox has never written for the cinema before, and doesn't want to collaborate. Can Hobby survive? Will he have to do some proper writing at last?

Producer/Director: Martin Jarvis

A Jarvis and Ayres Production for BBC Radio 4.

Pat has the chance of a shared screen credit with a British writer on a ballet picture.

AR02The Pocket Aa Milne, Little Plays For Amateurs20110525

A.A. Milne relives the agony and ecstasy of amateur dramatics during a country-house weekend.

A hundred years ago, A.A. Milne was honing his writing skills as Assistant Editor of Punch with his regular humorous columns and essays. Perfect gems of the form, his stories not only delight in the spirit of the age, they also transcend the years with their insights.

Parodying the country-house weekend, with its uncomfortable joys of evening games such as "Definitions", "The Complete Kitchen" and "High Jinks at Happy-Thought Hall", Milne captures the absurdity and vacuousness of characters in transition from idle youth to the tedium of adulthood.

Of course, no country house weekend would have been complete without "the little play for amateurs", perfectly formed examples of which Milne supplies in read-aloud form.

When he re-published this collection of his humorous stories much later in his career, he observed that for years his younger self was "a model to which I was failing to live up... in fact he became, as one's past is bound to become, both a rival and a millstone." His talent for comic observation that was to become evident in his tales of Winnie-the-Pooh is obvious in these essays.

As he wrote himself by way of introduction:

"This little book contains the best of what my rival was writing thirty years ago. I contemplate him now with detachment. I have grown to appreciate his quality. So impartial am I become, that I am torn between a desire to tell him how very, very good he is, and a desire to re-write his book for him. But I shall do neither, leaving him to speak for himself."

Read by Ian McNeice

Abridged and Produced by Neil Cargill

A Pier Production for BBC Radio 4.

AA Milne relives the agony and ecstasy of amateur dramatics.

AR02The Treasure Chest, Tales Of Wisdom And Common Sense20090211
AR02The Victorian Clown: The Circus Memories Of James Frowde, Tenting & Travelling20101229

James Frowde's memoirs - taken from the book 'The Victorian Clown' by Jacky Bratton and Ann Featherstone and adapted for radio and performed by Tony Lidington - represent the closest we have to a first-hand, vernacular description of the daily life of a British circus clown in the mid Nineteenth Century.

At that time, circus people and pantomime artists were on the lowest rung of the cultural ladder, just a step above vagrants and beggars; indeed they were viewed with suspicion and fear by those who aspired or achieved more stable, residential lives.

Frowde remembers performing as a contortionist known as the 'Duke of Limbs'.

Adapted and read by Tony Lidington.

Producer: David Blount

A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

AR02The Writing Life, The Author Away2010021720110904

2/3 The Author Away.

Stuck in the Northern Lodge Motel, Tasmania, with only foot long woodlice for compnay, maybe life on the road during the book tour isn't everything it's cracked up to be.

Producer Mark Smalley.

Maybe life on the road during the book tour isn't everything it's cracked up to be.

AR02Three For My Baby, Harold Lloyd Is Not The Man Of My Dreams20110706

These stories take their cue from the Johnny Mercer classic 'One For My Baby' - made famous by Fred Astaire, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and especially Frank Sinatra. Each of these specially-commissioned pieces tell of a 'brief episode' of the kind the song alludes to but doesn't describe. In other words, these are stories about doomed love: affairs that turned sour, were thwarted by circumstance or were never, ever, going to work.

Harold Lloyd Is Not The Man Of My Dreams by Morven Crumlish

She met Walter on the day she was supposed to fall in love. But Walter had no inkling of the conflicting emotions that could be aroused by silent comedians...

Morven Crumlish's stories have been published and broadcast widely, and she also contributes to the Guardian. Her work has featured in three previous Sweet Talk productions for BBC Radio 4. 'Loulou and Barbie and the Seven Deadly Sins' appeared in Curly Tales 2 (2005); Dilemmas of Modern Martyrs - five of her stories - in 2008; and most recently 'A Good Impression' (Platform 3, 2010). Morven lives in Edinburgh.

Reader: Morven Christie

Producer: Jeremy Osborne

A Sweet Talk production for BBC Radio 4.

By Morven Crumlish. A woman meets Walter on the day she was meant to fall in love.

AR02Three Short Stories By E Nesbit, The Bristol Bowl20101006

Jane's aunt is a real ogre to work for, but Jane is after her money, so she puts up with it.

Everything is going to plan, until the day Jane smashes The Bristol Bowl- aunt's prize bit of porcelain. That disaster takes her on her first trip to London and a very surprising offer of marriage.

Reader: Jenny Agutter

Abridged by Roy Apps

Producer/Director: Celia de Wolff

A Pier Production for BBC Radio 4.

A comic tale of broken porcelain and a surprising offer of marriage.

AR02Three Stories By Giovanni Verga, Getting To Know The King2009060320111127

It should be an honour taking the King in your wagon, but Cosimo is worried.

Series of stories about farming folk by the Sicilian writer of the 1870s, laced with dry humour.

It should be an honour taking the King in your wagon, but after the fireworks and trumpets die down and the journey beckons, Cosimo begins to worry. Read by Dermot Crowley

Read by Dermot Crowley.

AR02Three Stories By Haruki Murakami, The Year Of Spaghetti20100905

Haruki Murakami was born in Kyoto in 1949. Following the publication of his first novel in Japanese in 1979, he sold the jazz bar he ran with his wife and became a full-time writer. It was with the publication of Norwegian Wood - which has to date sold more than 4 million copies in Japan alone - that the author was truly catapulted into the limelight.

Known for his surrealistic world of mysterious (and often disappearing) women, cats, earlobes, wells, Western culture, music and quirky first-person narratives, he is now Japan's best-known novelist abroad.

Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman is one of his acclaimed collections of short stories. In 'Crabs', 'The Year of Spaghetti' and 'The Mirror', Murakami confronts fundamental emotions: loss, identity, friendship, love; and questions our ability to connect with humanity, and the pain of those connections or the lack of them.

Read by Jack Davenport

Producer: David Roper

A Heavy Entertainment production for BBC Radio 4.

A man reminisces about his gastronomic obsession. Read by Jack Davenport.

AR02Three Stories By Mark Twain, The Experience Of The Mcwilliamses With Menbranous Croup20101110

To accompany Book Of The Week's broadcast of 'Autobiography of Mark Twain', there is a chance to hear three of the author's classic short stories, with their familiar trademarks of high farce and droll insight. His tales bring us eccentric burglars, cosseted children, and a visitor to a theme park obsessed with the making of moccasins. And also torrents of water...

2. The Experience of the McWilliamses With Menbranous Croup

A strange fever is afflicting the neighbourhood, just as little Penelope begins to cough. Though the reason is hardly clear cut...

Reader Stuart Milligan

Producer Duncan Minshull.

A fearful fever spreads through the neighbourhood, which gets Mrs McWilliams agitated.

AR02Three Women In A Motorhome, Rosemary's Story2009072920110227

Part 2 of 3 of stories by Sue Teddern about three women who take a short but eventful trip in a motorhome. Rosemary's story is read by Marcia Warren.

Rosemary is an 84 year old who doesn't care too much for convention. She meets a young hoodie called Gavin in a launderette in Chepstow. Her two travelling companions charge her with looking after 'the smalls' while they stock up at the supermarket. As she gradually wins Gavin's trust, she hits on a very unusual gift idea for her friend back at 'The Beeches' retirement home.

Producer: Sarah Langan.

84-year-old Rosemary befriends a young 'hoodie' in a launderette.

AR02Too Much Happiness, Some Women20091216
AR02Travelling Light, Foreign City20110126

An old man, his memory fading, is on his way to visit his grandson when he breaks his flight at an unknown city. His son has arranged the journey, but the old man becomes confused and events carry him on a different path.

The writer and artist Tove Jansson is best known as the creator of the Moomin stories, which were first published in English 60 years ago and have remained in print ever since. She turned her attention to writing for adults when she was in her fifties.

With the deceptively light prose that is her hallmark, 'Travelling Light' reveals to us the precariousness of a journey and the unease we feel at being placed outside of our milieu.

Read By Timothy West

Producer: Karen Rose

A Sweet Talk production for BBC Radio 4.

The second of three tales by Tove Jansson, each focusing on a journey.

AR02Treasure Island, The Sea Cook20100321
AR02Unaccustomed Earth, Unaccustomed Earth, Part 120100331
AR02Urban Welsh, Twelve Beer Blues20101128

By Tristan Hughes. The morning after the night before brings mixed memories for Dylan.

Stories by Welsh writers. In Tristan Hughes's tale, the morning after the night before brings mixed memories for Dylan. Read by Ian Puleston-Davies.

AR02Walk The Blue Fields, The Parting Gift20090225
AR02We Are Stardust, We Are Golden, Arnold In A Purple Haze20090812
AR02Welsh Accent, St Therese's Bone20100623
AR02Welsh Rarebits, Moving On20090930
AR02What I Learned From The Metaphysical Poets, Get Lost20100411

By Michele Roberts. Grieving over her mother's death, Marie walks through London streets.

AR02Why, Robot?, Algorithms20100519
AR02Winnie The Pooh20090527
AR02Winter In The Air And Other Stories, Shadwell20110601

Shadwell is selected from Sylvia Townsend Warner's recently republished collection, Winter in the Air. In this story, the death of Mrs Probus threatens a precarious future for her long time servant, Shadwell.

The stories in Winter in the Air were written between 1938 and 1950. They capture the mood and atmosphere of the times, and the lot of women in mid twentieth century England. Sylvia Townsend Warner is less well known today, but in her time was a prolific writer of novels, short stories and poetry. She also wrote a biography of T.H. White. These stories remind us that she was a sharp, insightful, and vivid storyteller.

The reader is Susannah Harker

Abridged by Richard Hamilton

Produced by Elizabeth Allard.

In Shadwell by Sylvia Townsend Warner a domestic servant makes do.

AR02Womanly Wiles, The Weighing Up20110209

Jeremy plainly cares deeply for his family. His business takes him all over the world but when he is home he gives them his full attention.

He calls occasionally at inconvenient hours from various places abroad, though the sound of his voice is never inconvenient.

His comfortably overweight wife, Avril, always gets a decent warning of his actual homecoming, so she can be sure of having ready his favourite food and wine.

But what if, this time, he's been delayed in Tokyo and won't, after all, be back by the weekend? And what if, suddenly, there's a young woman on the line to Avril with some surprising news that could disturb the pattern of a contented family life?

In Angela Huth's cannily observant tale of comfort food and feminine rivalry, which of the two women is likely to come off best when there are no more 'soft centres' left in the chocolate box? Who has the ultimate 'hard-centre'? Will Jeremy leave his wife for a younger, more streamlined, model? Or is there a way to keep him content?

Reader: Gemma Jones

Producer/Director: Martin Jarvis

A Jarvis and Ayres Production for BBC Radio 4.

Angela Huth's tale of female rivalry: what happens when there are no more soft centres?

AR02Wrestling Angels, The Assassin's Mother-in-law2009012120111016

A woman recalls one of the Old Testament's more extraordinary acts of seduction.

A woman recalls one of the Old Testament's more extraordinary acts of seduction, and the friendship forged with the wise old woman who coached her. The second of Fraser Grace's biblical tales.

Read by Numa Dumezweni

Produced by Marilyn Imrie

A Sweet Talk production for BBC Radio 4.

AR02Young Turks, The Smell Of Fish20100414
AR03Alan Howard Reads, The Tipping Point2010042120090414
AR03An Audience With Max Wall, Cracks In The Wall20090823
AR03An Italian Bestiary, The Devil Of Carpasio20100110
AR03Anger, So Many Things20100523

Martina Cole reveals how her anger at injustice inspired her to take direct action.

AR03Be Prepared, Imagine20090215

By Pauline McLynn. A woman shows the most incredible capacity to look on the bright side.

AR03Big Charlie2008123120100815

The five and a half ton elephant is reluctant to enter its crate.

Colonel Williams' amazing story of how in the summer of 1957 the largest elephant in captivity, Big Charlie, was moved from Butlin's in Scotland to Butlin's, Yorkshire.

The Colonel faces an obstacle as the 5-and-a-half ton elephant is reluctant to enter his crate.

Abridged and read by Tony Lidington.

Producer: David Blount

A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

AR03Blake's Doors Of Perception, Waiting For The 'elicopter20090719
AR03Caravan Club, Just Like The Famous Five20090301
AR03Cheltenham Festival Readings, Whisk Me Around20090809

By Julia Blackburn. Bruce takes care of a wealthy old man's unusual final wish.

AR03Cheltenham Literature Festival Stories: Booker 40 Selection2005090520111005 (BBC7)

Penelope Lively.

Five readings from the stage of the Cheltenham Literature Festival by Man Booker winners to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the prize.

AR03Classical Assassins, Gesualdo And Me20100606
AR03Countryman's Cooking, Of Poultry And Poison20090923
AR03Cupid Strikes, Stupid Cupid20100131

By David Threlfall. A woman gives her family a rather unexpected Valentine's surprise.

AR03Dilemmas Of Modern Martyrs, Day To Day Dilemmas Of Modern Martyrs20091018

After a day consoling a stressed-out single mum, Rebecca addresses some issues of her own.

AR03Granta Stories, Never Never Land20090927
AR03Hay-on-wye Stories 2008, You've Got Everything Now20100502
AR03Jennings' Little Hut, General Sir Melville Merridew20100214
AR03John B Keane Readings, A Tale Of Two Furs20081203

Jack Murphy learns that a woman's affection cannot be bought. Or can it?

AR03Ones To Watch (volume 2), Naked20090705

Henry finds that his anniversary cruise leaves him with cabin fever.

AR03Parlez-vous British?, Lispeth20100711

An Indian child brought up by a missionary couple plans to marry an English naturalist.

A witty tale by Rudyard Kipling, read by Rosalind Ayres.

An Indian child, brought up by a Missionary couple, becomes a strikingly beautiful, independent young woman. Her announcement that she will marry an English naturalist she has 'found' in the mountains results in some unexpected British behaviour.

Producer: Martin Jarvis

A Jarvis and Ayres Production for BBC Radio 4.

AR03Pier Shorts, Don't Turn Around20091227

By Marian Garvey. On a fun weekend, Lexy discovers that all is not quite as it seemed.

AR03Portraits Of East Anglia, Days Of Rest20090405
AR03Sos: Save Our Souls, Ghosts20101128

Short stories to mark the 100th anniversary of the international distress call.

In Colette Paul's tale, a retired woman is jolted out of her comforting routine by the intrusion of a voice from her past.

Read by Barbara Rafferty.

By Colette Paul. A retired woman is jolted out of her routine by a voice from her past.

AR03Sputnik, Drinking Vodka In The Afternoon20091206
AR03Stories From The Bath Literature Festival, Mathilde20091101
AR03Stories With Latitude20090510
AR03Tapertime, The Concert2008121720100711

'Tapertime'

The above is an old Edwardian word meaning dusk, and this series of commissioned stories take place as the light fades. What happens to the visual world as dusk emerges? What happens to make people behave differently, often strangely, as the world starts to blur? Five leading writers explore the possibilities

3.The Concert by Romesh Gunesekera

The man of war doesn't have the support of the locals, so some entertainment in the evening warmth is called for...

Reader Jim Norton

Producer Duncan Minshull.

By Romesh Gunesekera. A newly-arrived army officer must sing for his supper.

AR03Telling The World, Baucis And Philemon20090913

Daniel Morden tells one of Ovid's timeless tales, illustrating the power of enduring love.

AR03The Big Chill, The Sofa20090426

By Salley Vickers. When Nathan inherits a sofa, he finds that history cannot be discarded.

AR03The Closed Door, The Handbag20090614
AR03The Further Adventures Of The First King Of Mars, A Shocking Discovery20110320

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the launch of Sputnik, Nick Walker was commissioned to write the sci-fi adventure 'The First King Of Mars'.

Leonid's funeral is overshadowed by a shocking discovery.

Nick Walker's theatre work has been presented extensively in the UK as well as Europe, and the USA. His plays and short stories are often featured on BBC Radio 4 and 3 series of the late-night show The Bigger Issues. He is the author of two critically acclaimed novels Blackbox and Helloland, published in the UK, US, Australia, Japan and across Europe.

Performed by Peter Capaldi.

Producer: Karen Rose

A Sweet Talk Production for BBC Radio 4.

Our heroes are clinging to the red dust at the edge of the abyss.

AR03The Mission To Brazil20060719

Read by Dermot Crowley.

The hard-living, hard-bitten priest is surprised to learn an inheritance comes his way.

Or does it?

Producer Duncan Minshull

AR03The Mission To Brazil20060719

Read by Dermot Crowley.

The hard-living, hard-bitten priest is surprised to learn an inheritance comes his way.

Or does it?

Producer Duncan Minshull

AR03Treasure Island, The Man Of The Island20100328
AR03Unaccustomed Earth, Unaccustomed Earth, Part 220100401
AR03Urban Welsh, Sorry For The Loss20101205

By Bridget Keehan. The prison chaplain has some news for one of the inmates.

Sorry For The Loss by Bridget Keehan.

The prison chaplain has some news for one of the inmates. This story was a winner in the Rhys Davies Short Story Competition. Read by Eve Myles.

Produced by Kate McAll

A BBC Cymru Wales Production.

AR03Walk The Blue Fields, Dark Horses20090226
AR03What I Learned From The Metaphysical Poets, Instant Fires20100418

By Joe Dunthorne. Grappling with her own emotions, young Anna finds much that resonates.

AR03Working From Home20060621

By Iris Woodford, read by David Fleeshman.

A travelling drover comes across an injured highwayman and decides to help, rather than turn him in.

AR03Working From Home20060621

By Iris Woodford, read by David Fleeshman.

A travelling drover comes across an injured highwayman and decides to help, rather than turn him in.

AR03 LAST1989: Writing On The Wall, Place Of Birth: Berlin20091008
AR03 LASTA Few More Actors' Words, The Scent Of Washing Powder And Care20110224

The latest series of short stories by actors features James Wilby, Sarah Winman and Kerry Shale reading their own work. From the jungles of 1970s Sri Lanka (when it was Ceylon) to a luxury boutique hotel in Seville, from the devastation a death causes - and comfortable lives confronted by something shocking - to the adventure of following a wild elephant, these stories are as varied as the performers who have written and read them.

Producer: David Roper

A Heavy Entertainment production for BBC Radio 4.

In Sarah Winman's new story, a death leaves a father and son alone.

AR03 LASTA Friend Of The Family, Going To Ireland2009050720110213

A Friend of the Family 3/3

Going to Ireland

A new story for radio

Written and read by Frank Dunne

Marcia the cleaner is brilliant for her employer's writer's block but brings disaster in her wake.

Producer Christine Hall

He is a novelist with a brilliant future behind him and a bad case of writer's block. She is a cleaning lady with a dud marriage and a knack of getting to the heart of a problem. They share coffee and an occasional sherry. Then he comes up with the idea of showing her his boyhood home - which turns out to be a very bad plan indeed.

By Frank Dunne. Marcia does a writer's cleaning and also shifts his writer's block.

AR03 LASTA Georgian Trilogy, The Soul Is Missing Fairy Tales!20100204
AR03 LASTA Glimpse Of Stocking, A Silly Gigolo20091022
AR03 LASTA Little More Love In The Afternoon, Thursdays20100715

Series in which leading romantic novelists write short stories inspired by the four word brief: Love in the Afternoon.

"Thursdays" by Adele Parks.

Read by Francesca Dymond.

Produced by Kirsteen Cameron.

Celebrating her thirty-first birthday eating shepherd's pie in the company of her whining young children and disinterested husband, Ginny longs to find a way to make her life thrilling again.

Adele Parks worked in advertising until she published her first novel, "Playing Away", in 2000. She has gone on to publish nine novels in nine years, all of which have been top ten bestsellers. Since 2006, she has been an official spokeswoman for World Book Day. She spent her adult life in Italy, Botswana and London until 2005, when she moved to Guildford, where she now lives with her husband and son.

By Adele Parks. A single friend's advice leads Ginny to make a startling decision.

AR03 LASTA Little More Love In The Afternoon, Thursdays20111216

Written by Adele Parks.

Read by Francesca Dymond.

As she celebrates her thirty-first birthday eating left-over shepherd's pie in the company of her whining young children and disinterested husband, Ginny longs to find a way to make her life thrilling again.

Produced by Kirsteen Cameron.

By Adele Parks. A young wife seeks escape from her domestic responsibilities.

AR03 LASTA Poet's Year, The Turning Of The Year20110203

National Poet of Wales, Gillian Clarke, who has recently been awarded The Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry 2010, reads from her journal about life on her small holding in rural West Wales. The autumn crops of potatoes, beetroot, apple and blackberries are gathered and stored, and the honey is harvested. The pond has a mysterious nocturnal visitor.

The Welsh landscape and the healing power of nature are both driving forces in Gillian Clarke's poetry and prose. These readings are adapted from At the Source: Prose Writings by Gillian Clarke, published by Carcanet. The music is Clowns by Goldfrapp.

Producer: Willa King

BBC Cymru Wales.

Potatoes, beetroot, and apples are gathered in, and the honey is harvested.

AR03 LASTAbroad, The Conversation20090312
AR03 LASTAgatha Christie's Mysterious Mr Quin, At The Bells And Motley2009091720110113

Martin Jarvis reads another story concerning investigations by the mysterious Mr Quin. For Mr Satterthwaite, a punctured car tyre on a cold winter's evening is the start of another mystery-solving encounter with the enigmatic Mr Harley Quin.

Taking refuge at a country inn Mr Satterthwaite discovers his friend Mr Quin, who invites him to re-examine the strange case of a wealthy young local woman and her new husband's disappearance. Was it murder? Or is there some other game afoot?

Producer/Director : Rosalind Ayres

A Jarvis and Ayres Production for BBC Radio 4.

Mr Satterthwaite invites Mr Quin to re-examine the disappearance of a young local woman.

AR03 LASTAgatha Christie's Mysterious Mr Quin, Harlequin's Lane20110908

Written by Agatha Christie. Adapted by Archie Scottney.

Martin Jarvis performs this riveting 1920s story. Mr Satterthwaite is staying at the Denman's country home. There's to be a performance in the grounds of a neighbouring mansion that evening - a 'masquerade' and a ballet.

But a motor accident means that two new dancers have to be found to replace the visiting professionals. There seem to be unresolved mysteries here. Does Anna Denman harbour a secret? Is there a secret, too, concerning her husband? Why is Mr Harley Quin staying in the country house? And then, during the performance, Mr Satterthwaite begins to perceive the truth of what is happening. But the revelations which follow concerning Mr Quin are surprising and frightening. Mr Satterthwaite has never had to deal with anything quite like this before.

Producer/Director: Rosalind Ayres

A Jarvis and Ayres Production for BBC Radio 4.

Mr Harley Quin at last reveals a devastating secret about himself.

AR03 LASTAgatha Christie's Mysterious Mr Quin, The Sign In The Sky20100916

Following the success of the first series of The Mysterious Mr Quin, Martin Jarvis reads three more stories about Agatha Christie's personal favourite character.

Mr Quin assists his friend Mr Satterthwaite to investigate mysteries. But one mystery remains - who is Mr Harley Quin himself?

Mr Satterthwaite, and Mr Quin discuss the outcome of a trial. Martin Wylde has been found guilty of the murder of Vivian Barnaby. Satterthwaite knew the victim and her husband Sir George, and thinks Wylde is an unlikely murderer but the evidence seems convincing.

Younger than her husband, Vivian formed a relationship with Wylde, but he became anxious to end the liaison to pursue a romance with a local girl, Sylvia Dale.

At trial, Wylde admitted that, in answer to her letter, he had gone to the Hall for a final meeting. He then went home, accidentally leaving his shotgun behind. The household staff heard a shot and found Vivian dead in the music room. All the evidence was highly dependent on the time-lines of everyone's story.

Quin encourages Satterthwaite to visit the only member of the household who was present on the day of the murder but had not given evidence, a housekeeper who had taken up a lucrative job in Canada. She has one piece of new information. Just before she heard the shot she saw the smoke from the local train which seemed to be forming the shape of a giant hand in the sky. She felt that - given it was also Friday the 13th - it was 'a sign'.

With the help of Mr Quin will Satterthwaite be able find the murderer and save a possibly innocent man?

Producer: Rosalind Ayres

A Jarvis and Ayres Production for BBC Radio 4.

Mr Quin and Mr Satterthwaite investigate a possible miscarriage of justice.

AR03 LASTAn Elegy For Easterly, Our Man In Geneva Wins A Million Euros2010031820110714

Our Man in Geneva Wins a Million Euros is the next selected story from An Elegy for Easterly, Zimbabwean writer Petina Gappah's debut collection and winner of the Guardian First Book Award for 2009.

Today an embassy official posted to Geneva sets out to claim his lottery winnings.

Each of the three stories selected from An Elegy For Easterly are acutely observed, powerful and poignant. They are populated by characters struggling to live in Mugabe's Zimbabwe, who despite the hardships of their everyday lives, are also resilient and imaginative, and not without a wry sense of humour.

Writer: Petina Gappah is a Zimbabwean writer with law degrees from Cambridge, Graz University and the University of Zimbabwe. Her short fiction and essays have been published in eight countries.

Reader: Lucian Msamati has been appearing in Clybourne Park in London's West End.

An embassy official posted to Geneva sets out to claim his lottery winnings.

AR03 LASTAn Important Passenger, Death By Elocution20091126
AR03 LASTArthur Miller Stories, Beavers20101125

Directed by Martin Jarvis, award-winning American actor Hector Elizondo reads Miller's canny tale of a man trying to rid his pond of beavers.

At first he's baffled by their behaviour. Miller uses the idea to examine the mystery of knowing (and perhaps understanding) another creature's motives. Perplexed, the man considers this enigma. The conventional analysis is that beaver dam-building has, as its purpose, the blocking of a small stream with a dam, in order to create a pond in which the beaver can build its lodge and raise its family, safe from predators. But this fellow already has a deep pond in which to build its lodge. Indeed, it has already built one. So why does it need to stuff the overflow pipe, and thereby raise the pond level? Why is the beaver creating a pond where a perfect one already exists?

Soon the man feels himself weakening before such absolute dedication. He comes to a surprising conclusion which forces him to admire the beavers' complexity, to respect their intelligence - compared to his own doubting nature, his fractured convictions.

Reader: Hector Elizondo

Director: Martin Jarvis

A Jarvis and Ayres Production for BBC Radio 4.

Hector Elizondo reads Miller's canny tale of a man trying to rid his pond of beavers.

AR03 LASTBackwards And In High Heels, Sharing The Joke20110407

Stories of women quietly outperforming the men in their lives. Commissioned to mark 100 years since the birth of Ginger Rogers, who famously did everything that Fred Astaire did - only backwards and in high heels.

'Sharing the Joke' by Reginald Hill. A chief constable remembers her big break as she looks back over her career at her retirement dinner. Read by Wendy Seager.

Acclaimed novelist and CWA Diamond Dagger winner Reginald Hill is the author of series including the 'Dalziel and Pascoe' novels.

By Reginald Hill. A chief constable looks back on her career at her retirement dinner.

AR03 LASTBallads Of Thin Men, People Carry Roses20110519

Bob Dylan - one of the most significant and influential cultural figures of the late 20th and early 21st century - is 70 on 24 May 2011. The three stories in Ballads Of Thin Men have been commissioned specially to mark the occasion.

Written by Toby Litt

It's 1985. A fifteen-year-old boy finds his entire LP collection vandalised after his sister's eighteenth birthday party. All except one - his only Bob Dylan record - which he'd lent out. But who has it? He goes all over the village to track it down, but his reasons for doing so aren't what they might seem...

Toby Litt was born in 1968 and grew up in Bedfordshire. In 2003, he was named one of Grant's Best of Young British Novelists. His most recent novel, King Death,was published in 2010. His story, The Melancholy, formed part of the Sweet Talk series Why, Robot? for the Afternoon Reading in 2010.

Producer: Jeremy Osborne

A Sweet Talk Production for BBC Radio 4.

By Toby Litt. A teenager searches for his missing Bob Dylan record all over the village.

AR03 LASTBath Festival Stories By Candlelight, The Whisper2010030420111113

By Diana Evans. Rachel is a burden to her neighbours, but she carries a burden of her own.

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Bath Festival Stories by Candlelight

The last in a series of supernatural tales commissioned by Radio 4 for last year's Bath Literature Festival.

3/3 : The Whisper by Diana Evans read by Syan Blake

Rachel is a burden to her neighbours, but she carries her own burden too.

Producer Christine Hall.

AR03 LASTBath Festival Stories, The Deal20110303

Three writers read their own stories in front of an audience at the Bath Festival of Literature. 3. Salley Vickers reads The Deal.

Salley Vickers is a novelist whose works include the word-of-mouth bestseller Miss Garnet's Angel, Mr. Golightly's Holiday, The Other Side of You and Where Three Roads Meet.

Alice is a very determined six year old. She doesn't just want a cat - she wants a marmalade girl cat. The fact of her father's allergy won't deter her in her quest. Not a natural vegetable lover, she forms an unlikely alliance with Mr Job from the allotments. From him she picks up not only a completely new lexicon of choice phrases to be stored up for future use, but also one or two lessons in guile and cunning. Now if only she can get her hands on a bottle of beer.

Producer: Sarah Langan.

Salley Vickers reads her own story to an audience at the Bath Festival of Literature.

AR03 LASTBears Of England, Sewer Bears2009070920110311

Series of three eccentric stories by Mick Jackson, which mix fantasy with folk tale and myth with history.

For many years in the 19th century, several dozen bears were held in London's sewers, where they served as the city's unpaid flushers and toshers.

Read by Ian Holm.

A Sweet Talk production for BBC Radio 4.

For many years in the 19th century, several dozen bears were held in London's sewers.

AR03 LASTBright Young Things, Bernice Bobs Her Hair2009123120110724

And now the second of our stories celebrating the riotous, cocktail-swilling, 'Bright Young Thing