Many audio dramatisations are premiered on the air, a happy synergy which bolsters profits and makes higher quality possible. One of the most exciting of recent productions is Mutiny on the Bounty (Mr Punch, 160mins, pounds 9.99), which tells the story from a variety of points of view and is as crisply cut as a screenplay. Starring Oliver Reed as an intelligent as well as menacing Captain Bligh, it won the 1997 Talkies Award for dramatisation.

The daisy-fresh voice of Emily Mortimer as Natasha and the rich rasp of Leo McKern as Kutuzov are only the most outstanding of a whole bouquet of good performances in War and Peace (BBC, 9hrs 15mins, pounds 30.99). Excellent special effects and a haunting theme tune make it compulsive listening, although there is only room for the crudest presentation of Tolstoy's big ideas.