Episodes

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01Born Brilliant: The Life Of Kenneth Williams20101129

Kenneth Williams was the stand-out comic actor of his generation. Beloved as the manic star of Carry On films and as a peerless raconteur on TV chat shows and radio comedies, he was also acclaimed for serious stage roles.

But he was a complicated character which often showed in his erratic behaviour - he could be affectionate one minute then spiteful the next, ever the extrovert in public he would return to his tiny sparsely decorated flat alone and he turned down more than his fair share of professional opportunities.

Since the publication of edited extracts from his diaries, much controversy has surrounded Williams's personal and professional lives. But journalist and author Christopher Stevens has been granted access by the estate to Williams's complete archive - the forty-three volumes of diaries and hundreds of unseen letters to and from the star. He has also interviewed many of Williams's friends and colleagues (some who have never spoken publicly before about their time with Kenneth).

Born Brilliant: The Life of Kenneth Williams (the first full-length authorised biography) traces the complex contradictions that characterised an extraordinary life.

Abridged by Libby Spurrier

Read by Nicholas Boulton

Producer: Joanna Green

A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

The young Kenneth Williams shows academic promise and an instinct for comedy.

01Born Brilliant: The Life Of Kenneth Williams20101130

The young Kenneth Williams shows academic promise and an instinct for comedy.

02Born Brilliant: The Life Of Kenneth Williams20101130

Now an established star of the Carry On films, Kenneth is offered a role in an exciting new radio comedy series

Kenneth Williams was the stand-out comic actor of his generation. Beloved as the manic star of Carry On films and as a peerless raconteur on TV chat shows and radio comedies, he was also acclaimed for serious stage roles.

Since the publication of edited extracts from his diaries, much controversy has surrounded Williams's personal and professional lives. But journalist and author Christopher Stevens has been granted access by the estate to Williams's complete archive - the forty-three volumes of diaries and hundreds of unseen letters to and from the star.

Born Brilliant: The Life of Kenneth Williams (the first full-length authorised biography) traces the complex contradictions that characterised an extraordinary life.

Abridged by Libby Spurrier

Read by Nicholas Boulton

Producer: Joanna Green

A Pier Production for BBC Radio 4.

Kenneth is offered a role in an exciting new radio comedy series.

02Born Brilliant: The Life Of Kenneth Williams20101201

Kenneth is offered a role in an exciting new radio comedy series.

03Born Brilliant: The Life Of Kenneth Williams20101201

Kenneth meets two young men who become great friends and provide the closest thing Williams ever had to a love affair.

Kenneth Williams was the stand-out comic actor of his generation. Beloved as the manic star of Carry On films and as a peerless raconteur on TV chat shows and radio comedies, he was also acclaimed for serious stage roles.

Since the publication of edited extracts from his diaries, much controversy has surrounded Williams's personal and professional lives. But journalist and author Christopher Stevens has been granted access by the estate to Williams's complete archive - the forty-three volumes of diaries and hundreds of unseen letters to and from the star.

Born Brilliant: The Life of Kenneth Williams (the first full-length authorised biography) traces the complex contradictions that characterised an extraordinary life.

Abridged by Libby Spurrier

Read by Nicholas Boulton

Producer: Joanna Green

A Pier Production for BBC Radio 4.

Kenneth meets two young men who provide the closest thing to a love affair he ever had.

03Born Brilliant: The Life Of Kenneth Williams20101202

Kenneth meets two young men who provide the closest thing to a love affair he ever had.

04Born Brilliant: The Life Of Kenneth Williams20101202

Tom and Clive join Williams on holiday but, as ever, if Kenneth does something he loves every day, he begins to hate it.

Kenneth Williams was the stand-out comic actor of his generation. Beloved as the manic star of Carry On films and as a peerless raconteur on TV chat shows and radio comedies, he was also acclaimed for serious stage roles.

Since the publication of edited extracts from his diaries, much controversy has surrounded Williams's personal and professional lives. But journalist and author Christopher Stevens has been granted access by the estate to Williams's complete archive - the forty-three volumes of diaries and hundreds of unseen letters to and from the star.

Born Brilliant: The Life of Kenneth Williams (the first full-length authorised biography) traces the complex contradictions that characterised an extraordinary life.

Abridged by Libby Spurrier

Read by Nicholas Boulton

Producer: Joanna Green

A Pier Production for BBC Radio 4.

Tom and Clive join Kenneth on holiday but familiarity begins to breed contempt.

04Born Brilliant: The Life Of Kenneth Williams20101203

Tom and Clive join Kenneth on holiday but familiarity begins to breed contempt.

Tom and Clive join Williams on holiday but, as ever, if Kenneth does something he loves every day, he begins to hate it.

Kenneth Williams was the stand-out comic actor of his generation. Beloved as the manic star of Carry On films and as a peerless raconteur on TV chat shows and radio comedies, he was also acclaimed for serious stage roles.

Since the publication of edited extracts from his diaries, much controversy has surrounded Williams's personal and professional lives. But journalist and author Christopher Stevens has been granted access by the estate to Williams's complete archive - the forty-three volumes of diaries and hundreds of unseen letters to and from the star.

Born Brilliant: The Life of Kenneth Williams (the first full-length authorised biography) traces the complex contradictions that characterised an extraordinary life.

Abridged by Libby Spurrier

Read by Nicholas Boulton

Producer: Joanna Green

A Pier Production for BBC Radio 4.

05 LASTBorn Brilliant: The Life Of Kenneth Williams20101203

Now a regular on television chat shows and Radio 4's Just a Minute, Kenneth is invited to direct Joe Orton's play, Loot.

Kenneth Williams was the stand-out comic actor of his generation. Beloved as the manic star of Carry On films and as a peerless raconteur on TV chat shows and radio comedies, he was also acclaimed for serious stage roles.

Since the publication of edited extracts from his diaries, much controversy has surrounded Williams's personal and professional lives. But journalist and author Christopher Stevens has been granted access by the estate to Williams's complete archive - the forty-three volumes of diaries and hundreds of unseen letters to and from the star.

Born Brilliant: The Life of Kenneth Williams (the first full-length authorised biography) traces the complex contradictions that characterised an extraordinary life.

Abridged by Libby Spurrier

Read by Nicholas Boulton

Producer: Joanna Green

A Pier Production for BBC Radio 4.

Now a regular on television chat shows Kenneth is invited to direct Joe Orton's play Loot.

05 LASTBorn Brilliant: The Life Of Kenneth Williams20101204

Now a regular on television chat shows Kenneth is invited to direct Joe Orton's play Loot.