A 100 years of BBC radio drama

Celebrating 100 years of radio drama

My Top Ten

sitcom & comedy drama series

BBC Radio 4 celebrates 100 years of audio drama . The  BBC, an early pioneer of the form, and today the biggest broadcaster of audio drama globally.

The three magic ingredients:

the best writers,  the funniest scripts,  the best voices


Conversations From A Long Marriage. Image shows from L to R: Joanna (Joanna Lumley), Roger (Roger Allam)

Conversations of a Long Marriage by Jan Etherington. 5 series 2018- 2024. Roger Allam and Joanna Lumley play a couple who have been married for over 40 years. Children of the Sixties, they’re still free spirits, drawn together by their passion for music – and each other. Awards: Voice of the Listener & Viewer Award for Best Radio Comedy in 2020, was nominated for a Writers’ Guild Award in 2022 and a British Comedy Guide award in 2024.

How Does That Make You Feel? 2010 – 2019,55 -15-minute episodes, written by Shelagh Stephenson., with Frances Tomelty as the psychotherapist dealing with Roger Allam (a hopeless MP), Tim McInnerny  and others.

King’s Street Junior, Jim Eldridge, 1985-98. 10 series + Revisited 2002 “An unassuming Radio 4 institution, this character sitcom-cum-light drama serial followed the working lives of a group of teachers at a small junior school in a multiracial area, and came from the pen of Jim Eldridge, himself a former teacher.”

Charles Paris: A Third BBC Radio Collection cover art

Charles Parris Mystery comedy drama series 2006-2023 Adaptations by Jeremy Front of Simon Brett crime books, with Bill Nighy as the often out-of-work actor who always stumbles across a dead body when he does actually get an acting job and a role to play  – detective.


Ed Rearden’s Week 2005-2023 – 15 series. Written by Chris Douglas (who pays Ed, the writer ) and Andrew Nickolds. Ed Reardon’s Week. Awards:  twice been voted Best Radio Programme by the Broadcasting Press Guild, at their 32nd Annual Television and Radio Awards in 2006 and at the 37th in 2011.

Clare in the Community, 2004-2019 12 series, 72 episodes. Written by Harry Venning and David Ramsden Sally Phillips as Clare everyone’s favourite social worker!! Ha,ha!

Cabin Pressure, – 2012-2015,  25 episodes, (each named after the flight destination) written by John Finnemore, also a cast member, along with Roger Allam, Stephanie Cole and Benedict Cumberbatch. Awards:  John Finnemore won the Best Radio Comedy 2011, awarded by the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain. It was nominated for the Best Scripted Comedy category at the 2012 BBC Audio Drama Awards.

Lunch, 2013-2017 – 5 series, 25 episodes, written by Marcy Kahan, cast Stephen Mangan and Claire Skinner as two old friends Bill and Bella who meet every month for lunch.

No Commitments 13 series 1992-2007, written by Simon Brett, Three very different sisters: Anna, eldest played by Rosemary Leach, Victoria by Nicola Pagett and Angela Thorne,  hanging around as her husband Roger, played by Bill Nighy; and Charlotte – the not very successful actress played by Celia Imrie and Felicity Montagu.

Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy  1978-2018. 32 episodes, 6 series.  written by  Douglas Adams with Geoffrey Perkins,  I can still hear the voices of Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect played by Simon Jones and Geoffrey McGivern. And wonderful Peter Jones as ‘The Book’. The BBC Radiophonic Workshop really came into its own with sound effects and music, creating their own ‘other world’ version of the Galaxy.


I love them all and have listened to them many time as some repeated regularly. I  can say no more than to head your way to BBC SOUNDS on your phone or iPad and see what the archives currently hold.