This is another excellent adaptation of one of Simon Brett's Charles Paris Novels for radio, starring Bill Nighy as the dipsomaniac occasional actor with a knack of finding himself in the middle of murder mysteries.
In this one, Paris has found temporary employment on a crimewatch style TV program, playing a suspected murder victim in a reconstruction. It seems to be a one off engagement, but as body parts start turning up his engagement seems set to run and run. Paris is soon convinced that there is something amiss at the TV production company, whose ratings are going through the roof with the ongoing sensationalism, and there is also something a bit fishy about the victim's publicity hungry wife. Paris inebriatedly weaves his way through a clever and sometimes grotesque mystery, whilst simultaneously trying to celebrate a wedding anniversary (or a not getting divorced anniversary) with hilarious results.
Bill Nighy is perfect as the dissolute Paris, and plays the role with suspicious effortlessness. His central performance really carries this entertaining comedy mystery with his brand of world weary cynicism. It's an excellent and entertaining two hours, 5 stars.
There are two one hour episodes, one episode per disc on two discs in a fold out jewel case. Liner notes are down to the BBC's usual poor standard and are limited to a brief biography of Simon Brett.
Following the adventures of Charles Paris is one of life's great pleasures, and this story does not disappoint. It succeeds largely as a result of first-rate writing in the hands of superb actors, headed by the matchless Bill Nighy. The famous voice conveys every nuanced shift of tone, while the self-effacing humour raises frequent smiles. This is radio drama at its very best, with one proviso: if listening whilst driving, take extra care. At one point, I laughed so much that we drove past our turning and missed a train.
These series of updated full cast productions, with Bill Nighy as Charles, are an essential purchase if you want a change from "talking Book" readings. They are full of of great touches (Charles' mobile has the death march as ring tone). I've got all of 'em but one: I've just found ouy that a new one stated last week on R4. Bye for now. I'm of to I player!
An absolute delight! Great cast led by Bill Nighy have a lot of fun with a suitably snappy script involving the ludicrous world of am-dram. This has got me scouring Amazon for more Charles Paris and more Simon Brett.
Loved it, but then anything starring Bill Nighy is okay by me. These productions are excellent, great casting and very humorously delivered by Bill Nighy- even though the subject is murder! I have most of the Charles Paris mysteries and never tire of listening to them.
I consider the Charles Paris radio dramatisations to be amongst the best radio series I have heard. The cast is so strong and the interaction between Charles and his wife is razor sharp and very funny. The rapport Charles has with his agent is another aspect which is very amusing and the quickfire dialogue is a listeners joy. I look forward to the next offering.