To mark 50 years since the Home Service became Radio 4 [30 September 1967] the station has announced a special, Monday 25 September.
In the year that Adrian Mole also turns 50, Radio 4 is returning to his early years in a brand new serialisation of his first Secret Diary for Book At Bedtime. The character first appeared as ‘Nigel’ on BBC Radio 4 in 1982 and was originally played by the actor Nicholas Barnes.
In Sue Townsend’s hilarious and heart-breaking chronicle of a teenager growing up in the Midlands in the 1980s, Adrian Mole will be read by Harry McEntire. It’s 1981 and Margaret Thatcher is in power, Britain is at war in the Falklands and teenagers are growing up in a world without mobile phones or computer games. While his parents are downstairs, drinking, smoking and arguing about their failing marriage, Adrian is upstairs in his bedroom listening to Abba, reading great works of literature, writing poems, and penning letters to the BBC.
Despite the many challenges that life throws at him – including regular beatings from the school bully, unrequited love, raging hormones, a severe case of acne and numerous rejection letters – Adrian soldiers on bravely and wins a place in our hearts with his charming naïveté.
Radio 4 plans to broadcast new serialisations of all the Adrian Mole books in the coming years, reflecting some of the major social changes of the last 50 years through the satirical prism of this much-loved character.
The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 ¾
Monday 25 September, 10.45pm-11pm (1/10 – until Friday 6 October)
Reader: Harry McEntire
Abridger: Sara Davies
Producer: Alexa Moore for Pier Productions
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