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Turn off the TV: radio choices, November 27-December 3

It’s been too long since I’ve looked at what’s coming up over the next week in the world of radio. To try and ensure that I can be more regular in providing these previews, I’m going to try and be a little more selective in what I preview. If there’s anything you feel I’ve missed and are looking forward to, please do share with the group in the comments below!

Saturday Play: The Caretaker Radio 4, Saturday 2.30pm
Harold Pinter’s 1960 play was his sixth, but the first that can be said to have gained true commercial success. David Warner plays Davies, a tramp who is rescued from a fight in a cafĂ© by the mentally damaged Aston (Tony Bell) to the concern of Aston’s brother Mick (Daniel Mays).

Drama on 3: Migrant Mother Radio 3, Sunday 8pm
Photograph Dorothea Lange’s image of a destitute pea-picker, Florence Owens Thompson, and her children became one of the most iconic images of the Great Depression in 1930s America. This drama by Michael Symmons Roberts follows Lange as she observes the workers in their makeshift camps.

Classic Serial: I, Claudius Radio 4, Sunday 3pm
Tom Goodman-Hill stars as Claudius in this new adaptation, by Robin Brooks, of Robert Graves’s novel about the lives of the Roman emperors. A lavish cast including Harriet Walter and Tim McInnerny have a lot to live up to, especialy as the 1976 TV adaptation starring Derek Jacobi is burned in the retinas of generations of broadcast drama fans. Jacobi himself is featured here, in the role of Augustus.

Afternoon Play: The No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency Radio 4, Thursday and Friday 2.15pm
Another couple of adaptations by Alexander McCall Smith of stories from his successful series of novels. Janice Acquah and Nadine Marshall reprise their roles as Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi as they search for a safari guide who has been bequeathed an inheritance from a wealthy American.

Friday Night is Music Night: Soaps Special Radio 2, Friday 8.00pm
Mike Dixon conducts the BBC Concert Orchestra as they perform the theme tunes to some of TV and radio’s longest running serials, to tie in with the 50th anniversary of Coronation Street (as well as the 25th of EastEnders earlier this year, and the 60th of The Archers). Tony Hatch pops up to conduct some of his own compositions from Crossroads to Neighbours, and the cast of an anniversary Coronation Street album perform as well.


I know that I'll be listening to Born Brilliant: The Life of Kenneth Williams ( - this week's Book of the Week.

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