Episodes

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01Romance20180924Stig Abell delves into the BBC archive to celebrate the short story.

As part of his role as Chair of the judges for the BBC National Short Story Award 2018, Stig Abell delves into the delights of the archive. Here he introduces some of the best, most enduring and intriguing stories broadcast on the BBC.

In this first programme, three romantic tales. The stories have it all: jealousy, regret and, in Jackie Kay's wonderful evocation of a wedding, genuine love. There's a classic from the master of the short story, William Trevor - The Ballroom of Romance, and a Parisienne mother and daughter look back in Dimanche by Irene Nemirovsky.

The readers are Niamh Cusack, Emma Fielding, Phyllis Logan and Siobhan Redmond.

Produced by Belinda Naylor.

02Suspense20180925A showcase of some of the best short stories from the BBC Archive.

Stig Abell delves into the BBC archive to celebrate the short story.

Stig Abell, chair of the judges for the BBC National Short Story Award 2018, introduces three tales which share a sense of suspense, something the short story can evoke so brilliantly.

Deborah Findlay voices a magnificent re-telling of Beauty and the Beast in Angela Carter's The Courtship of Mr Lyon, a contemporary take on that classic fairytale.

In Daphne du Maurier's Tame Cat, we hear a rather creepy account of a love triangle involving a young woman, an older man and her mother.

And in Louise Welsh's Summer Ghosts: The Queen of Carigielee, strange things happen on a condemned estate in Glasgow. Morven Christie adds just the right tone of intrigue.

Produced by Belinda Naylor.

And in Louise Welsh's Summer Ghosts: The Queen of Craigielee, strange things happen on a condemned estate in Glasgow. Tracy Wiles adds just the right tone of intrigue.

03Regret20180926Stig Abell introduces great short stories from the past.

Stig Abell delves into the BBC archive to celebrate the short story.

More short story delights from the BBC Archive chosen by Stig Abell, chair of the BBC National Short Story Award 2018 panel.

In this programme, three stories about regret. There are rueful thoughts in A Woman Without A Country by John Cheever; Mouche by Guy de Maupassent and Hell Heaven by Jhumpa Lahiri.

The readers are Bill Nighy, Nina Wadia and Nathan Osgood.

Produced by Belinda Naylor.

04Americana20180927Stig Abell introduces a selection of Americana gems from the archive.

Stig Abell delves into the BBC archive to celebrate the short story.

Stig Abell, chair of the BBC National Short Story Award 2018 introduces more gems from the archive.

This selection looks at America, with its rich tradition of short story writing, allowing writers to experiment with and stretch the form.

Featuring three very different American greats: Jack London, Jennifer Egan and Truman Capote.

Read by Stuart Milligan, Andrew Scott and Lorelei King, we hear themes of shattered dreams, the petty preoccupations of the wealthy and not so wealthy, and the dangers of the frozen wastes of North America.

Produced by Belinda Naylor.

05Brief Encounters20181001Stig Abell plunders the archive for radio treasures.

Stig Abell delves into the BBC archive to celebrate the short story.

As part of his role as Chair of the judges for the BBC National Short Story Award 2018, Stig Abell dips into the archive to pick three from the world's great short story writers, celebrating Brief Encounters - those unexpected meetings that can be life changing: a painful reminder of things past or a sudden return to a moment of joy.

Elizabeth Taylor - Goodbye, Goodbye is read by Amanda Root.
Jane Gardam's The Tribute, is read by Miriam Margoyles and
Susannah Harker reads A Dill Pickle, from New Zealand's Katherine Mansfield.

Produced by Belinda Naylor.