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Radio Continued

Although radio has been researched to an extent, television and currently theatre have been the priorities to date. The intention is to look further into the area of radio at a later date when we hope to expand on the information provided on the Radio Listings page.

The first radio production with Peter that we currently have details of is from July 1964, however, I am fairly certain he had already been heard on the radio several times before this. Love In A Village, a comedy with music, was broadcast on the BBC’s Third programme. In this Peter took the part of Mr Jack Eustace and sang two duets.

Moonstrike was a series on the work of wartime agents on special operations in Occupied France. Peter was in the eighth episode as André, broadcast on the Light programme in April 1965.

In August the same year he had a one-off role in Marriage Lines. This was a series “based on the mutual love and mistrust of two newly-weds” played by Richard Briers and Prunella Scales, which also became a popular television series.

Then there is a gap in our knowledge until Easter 1973 when Peter appeared in two very different programmes on consecutive days. He was the narrator in Assassinations, a drama about the 1882 Phoenix Park Murders in Dublin. In complete contrast, the following day Peter and Jan Waters did some readings in an entertainment show called Easter Monday. Many well-known names appeared in this, including Ronnie Barker, John Cleese, Ken Dodd, Sheila Hancock, June Whitfield, to name only a few.

At some point, probably in 1972 or 1973 and almost certainly in connection with The Onedin Line, Peter was interviewed on Pete Murray’s weekday Open House on Radio 2.

Country Kate, first broadcast in December 1974, won it’s author, Sheila Stewart, the Writers’ Guild Best Radio Feature award. It told the events in the young life of Kate Walker, born in a Cotswold village at the turn of the century. Peter played Will Walker.

The recording which I would most like to hear is Peter’s role as Detective Inspector Patrick Petrella. Four episodes were broadcast in September 1976 and a fifth in June 1979 on Radio 4, and he may well have done more. As can be guessed from his character, the plays are about a detective and were specially written for radio by Michael Gilbert.

We have details of two plays broadcast in 1982. The first, The Daughter Of Time, is from the novel by Josephine Tey.  Peter played Alan Grant, another policeman. The synopsis of the dramatisation is as follows:

Laid up in hospital with a broken leg, Inspector Grant decides to fill his days by trying to solve the riddle of the murder of the two princes in the Tower. Richard III’s name has become a synonym for evil, but did the hated hunchback really murder his two nephews?  Or did they in fact outlive him?

© Radio Times

Secondly, Café Society, recorded for BBC Wales and broadcast in the Thirty-Minute Theatre slot on a Saturday afternoon, in which Peter played opposite Jill Bennett.

One thing we would love to know is whether Peter has ever featured on Desert Island Discs.  I wonder which pieces of music he would choose?

The last radio play Peter recorded that we are aware of is Agatha Christie’s The Murder of Roger Ackroyd which was broadcast as part of the 1987 Crime At Christmas season. The play is available to purchase on audio tape (see Amazon, etc.).

DR, April 2004


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