Books: Spoken word

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Indy Lifestyle Online
I am not an Archers fan, but I know a man who is, and he tells me that the series of three double cassettes of long-lost episodes which have just been released as Vintage Archers (BBC, each volume 2hrs 30mins, pounds 8.99) is an event as important as the finding of the Dead Sea Scrolls as far as Archer-enthusiasts are concerned. Even I could enjoy the period feel of the first musical arrangements, the archly enunciated BBC English accents of what is now the longest running radio series in the world.

Mark Taverner's hilarious and brilliantly produced In the Red (BBC, 3hrs, pounds 8.99) shows just how far radio has come since then. Starring Stephen Fry and John Bird as the Controllers of Radio 4 and Radio 2 respectively, it is a glorious spoof on the new wave of BBC management as well as a subtle thriller, with all parts excellently played.

Christina Hardyment

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