Still appearing on stage and in films almost up to his death at 96, Sir John Gielgud must rate as one of the century's outstanding figures. Brandreth has created a brilliant tribute larded with anecdotes told to him by Gielgud himself and also by friends ranging from Tony Richardson to Kenneth Branagh. Brandreth remains as discreet about Gielgud's private life as the theatre's premier knight could have wished, but he can't resist the temptation of delivering his hero's witticisms in a cod-Gielgud accent. Some listeners may find this one compliment too many.
Best of the rest
The Maltese Falcon, by Dashiel Hammett, drama, BBC, c2hrs, £18.99. I was doubtful about this – The Maltese Falcon without Bogart or Bacall? – but was converted by the excellent cast: Jane Lapotaire is seductive as Bridget, Tom Wilkinson makes a laconic Sam Spade and Peter Acre is magnificent as "the punk".Reuse content