My Year Off

In 1995 Robert McCrum was an admired novelist and editorial director at Faber and Faber.

He was also a reporter who had travelled to some of the most dangerous war-torn places in the world.

42 and married barely two months to New York Times journalist Sarah Lyall, the future looked great.

But overnight his world shifted.

With a war correspondent's intrepidness and a writer's desire to communicate his experience to others, Robert chose to chronicle what quickly became a surreal and extraordinary new journey into a parallel world of the sick and helpless.

This programme is a bold and intimate account of McCrum's experience of having a stroke.

In this adaptation McCrum's narrative is interpolated with extracts from diaries that he and Sarah Lyall kept during his long and difficult convalescence.

What follows is terrifying, heartbreaking, intimate, funny and ultimately life affirming.

Cast:

Robert McCrum - Alex Jennings

Sarah Lyall - Madeline Potter

Doctor/Dentist/Occupational Therapist - Richard Laing

Paramedic/Speech Physiotherapist - Rachel Atkins

Sound Design - David Thomas

Adapted by Karen Rose

Producer: Karen Rose

A Sweet Talk Production for BBC Radio 4.

A searingly honest account of Robert McCrum's stroke at the age of 42.

Dramatisation of the writer and war reporter Robert McCrum's intimate account of his recovery from a stroke, suffered in 1995 at the age of just 42.

McCrum's narrative is interspersed with extracts from the diaries kept by himself and his wife Sarah Lyall, whom he married just two months before he fell ill, throughout his long and difficult convalescence.

Sarah Lyall....Madeleine Potter

Paramedic/Speech Therapist/Physiotherapist....Rachel Atkins

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In 1995 Robert McCrum was an admired novelist and editorial director at Faber and Faber.

He was also a reporter who had travelled to some of the most dangerous war-torn places in the world.

42 and married barely two months to New York Times journalist Sarah Lyall, the future looked great.

But overnight his world shifted.

With a war correspondent's intrepidness and a writer's desire to communicate his experience to others, Robert chose to chronicle what quickly became a surreal and extraordinary new journey into a parallel world of the sick and helpless.

This programme is a bold and intimate account of McCrum's experience of having a stroke.

In this adaptation McCrum's narrative is interpolated with extracts from diaries that he and Sarah Lyall kept during his long and difficult convalescence.

What follows is terrifying, heartbreaking, intimate, funny and ultimately life affirming.

Cast:

Robert McCrum - Alex Jennings

Sarah Lyall - Madeline Potter

Doctor/Dentist/Occupational Therapist - Richard Laing

Paramedic/Speech Physiotherapist - Rachel Atkins

Sound Design - David Thomas

Adapted by Karen Rose

Producer: Karen Rose

A Sweet Talk Production for BBC Radio 4.

A searingly honest account of Robert McCrum's stroke at the age of 42.

Dramatisation of the writer and war reporter Robert McCrum's intimate account of his recovery from a stroke, suffered in 1995 at the age of just 42.

McCrum's narrative is interspersed with extracts from the diaries kept by himself and his wife Sarah Lyall, whom he married just two months before he fell ill, throughout his long and difficult convalescence.

Sarah Lyall....Madeleine Potter

Paramedic/Speech Therapist/Physiotherapist....Rachel Atkins