- 30 Minutes
Super sleuth Steve Punt turns super sleuth, taking possession of the keys to Radio 4's very own detective bureau, bringing mystery and intrigue back to Saturday mornings.Steve Punt turns private investigator, examining little mysteries that perplex, amuse and beguile.
|Steve Punt turns private investigator, examining little mysteries that perplex, amuse and beguile. He explores the case of a couple who found 400 false legs hidden under their floorboards.|
He explores the case of a couple who found 400 false legs hidden under their floorboards.
|Steve Punt turns private investigator, examining little mysteries that perplex, amuse and beguile.|
He explores the case of the missing steam trains supposedly hidden away ready to keep the country running in case of nuclear war. Steve tracks down former railwaymen, combs through declassified government documents and even visits the secret government bunker where it has been claimed the so-called Strategic Steam Reserve was kept.
He explores the case of the missing steam trains supposedly hidden away ready to keep the country running in case of nuclear war.
Steve tracks down former railwaymen, combs through declassified government documents and even visits the secret government bunker where it has been claimed the so-called Strategic Steam Reserve was kept.
|01||03 LAST||20080517||20080517 (BBC7)|
|He explores the area around Dark Peak in the Peak District, which can claim to be Britain's own Bermuda Triangle.|
Over 50 aircraft crashed there in a space of 30 years.
Steve Punt turns private investigator, examining little mysteries that perplex, amuse and beguile.
He explores the area around Dark Peak in the Peak District, which can claim to be Britain's own Bermuda Triangle. Over 50 aircraft crashed there in a space of 30 years.
|02||01||20090606||20100802||Steve examines persistent rumours that Hitler was intending to set up his command headquarters in the most unlikely of places - the south London suburb of Balham.|
For years, the corridors of the large residential block Du Cane Court have echoed to whispered claims of dubious links.
At first glance, it all seems to stack up - not only was the building spared bombing by the Luftwaffe, but many say it was a hotbed of German spies who were busily laying the groundwork for Hitler's triumphant arrival.
But the picture soon becomes confused as Steve discovers that Balham is not alone in claiming a Nazi pedigree.
Steve speaks to Balham locals, including Radio 4 favourite Arthur Smith, and tracks down experts.
He explores the reality behind the Nazis' spy operation and their plans for invasion, gaining privileged access to the original documentation detailing the Third Reich's designs on Britain.
|02||02||20090613||20100803||Steve goes on the trail of TV detector vans, investigating rumours that the vehicles are little more than a myth.|
Some people are utterly convinced that the vans are empty and that it is simply not possible to detect a television set.
Faced with a wall of official silence, Steve travels hundreds of miles to track down one of the vehicles for himself.
He searches out those who were once involved in the TV licensing business and wades through the post office archives to get the lowdown on the history of this very British phenomenon.
And he turns to the scientific boffins to establish once and for all whether the technology really does exist, mounting a controlled experiment to find out if it is possible to see into the living rooms of TV licence evaders.
But just when Steve thinks that the case is closed, a witness comes forward who throws the entire investigation into confusion.
|02||03 LAST||20090620||20100804||Steve turns the spotlight on mind control.|
Thanks to works of fiction, the idea that government agencies have the ability to brianwash people to commit dastardly acts has firmly lodged itself in the public imagination.
Punt is assigned to sort fact from fiction, entering a murky work of government intelligence, military secrecy and wild speculation.
From hypnosis to narcotics and now microwave technology, Punt calls in expert witnesses to ascertain whether it really is possible to get people to act against their free will.
Can our wily PI track down the real Manchurian Candidate?
|03||01||20100918||Steve Punt turns super sleuth, once again taking possession of the keys to Radio 4's very own detective bureau, bringing mystery and intrigue back to Saturday mornings.|
In the first programme, Punt looks into the phantom settlement of Argleton.
Search the web for this quintessentially English placename and internet maps show that it lies just outside the town of Ormskirk in Lancashire.
But when our super sleuth travels to locate it on the ground, all he finds is an empty field.
It turns out that Argleton doesn't actually exist.
Punt sets out to crack the mystery of how a non-existent place can appear in online maps.
From the Domesday Book to Google Headquarters, Punt's quest takes him through a thousand years of history and into the murky world of plagiarism.
He questions all the key players - and as he zeroes in on the truth discovers that in the cartographic realm nothing is quite as it seems.
Also in this series, Punt travels to the Polish-Czech border to investigate one man's theory that the Nazis had developed flying saucer technology.
And he scrutinises a wax cylinder which is reputed to carry the only recording of Queen Victoria's voice.
Producer: Laurence Grissell.
Steve Punt examines the curious case of Argleton, a place only existing on internet maps.
|03||02||20100925||Steve Punt turns super sleuth, investigating a range of curious cases.|
Today, Punt probes the curious claim that the Nazis developed flying saucers.
This initially bizarre theory starts to carry a ring of truth as our gumshoe delves deeper into the evidence.
Punt assesses sightings of strange lights in wartime skies - so-called foo fighters - and pores through CIA dossiers and old newspaper cuttings in search of the facts.
Following the paper trail across Europe, Punt is led to Poland and to a mysterious site dubbed The Henge where his contact, Igor, promises to spill the beans on top secret Nazi research apparently conducted there.
Producer: Laurence Grissell.
Did the Nazis develop flying saucer technology?
|03||03||20101002||Steve Punt turns super sleuth and goes in search of a most unusual royal relic: Queen Victoria's voice.|
He embarks on a journey to the dawn of recorded sound as he tracks down a wax cylinder which may contain the voice, the only suspected recording of Victoria in existence.
Via sound archives, strong rooms, forensic audiologists, royal voice coaches, the Queen's apartments and Palace letters he pieces together the story of the lost recording of Queen Victoria and tries to get to the bottom of any message she left for her subjects.
Steve Punt goes in search of a recording of Queen Victoria's voice.
|03||04 LAST||20101009||Steve Punt turns private eye, investigating the supposed curse of the Crying Boy paintings.|
The pictures became a tabloid sensation in the 1980s when in a spate of house fires the portraits were often the only items to survive unscathed.
25 years after the story hit the headlines, Punt attempts to get to the bottom of why the paintings didn't perish.
Radio 4's dogged detective tracks down one of the mysterious portraits and speaks to former owners, an occultist and fire investigator as well as former Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie who broke the story nationwide.
Finally, Punt sets fire to the the portrait he's acquired - can he make it catch light?
Producer: Laurence Grissell.
Steve Punt turns gumshoe, investigating the supposed curse of the Crying Boy paintings.
|04||01||20110903||Steve Punt returns for a fourth series as Radio 4's very own gumshoe, re-opening a case of murder by poisoned partridge in 1931.|
Steve embarks on a historical whodunnit, examining the bizarre death in Deepcut, Surrey of an army lieutenant, Hubert Chevis, who died after eating a partridge laced with strychnine.
80 years on, the Chevis case remains unsolved and nobody was ever been charged with his murder.
To add to the mystery, Chevis' father received a sinister telegram which read "Hooray, hooray, hooray" and a follow-up postcard from the same unknown sender which stated "it is a mystery they will never solve".
Steve marshals the facts, reopens the coroner's file and locates a relative with important evidence to share.
Was it the wife, her ex-husband, the batman or the cook?
|04||02||20110910||This week our detective|
has to find out whether the British inventor of a 'Death Ray' was really trying to sell it to the Nazis.
His leads take him via the valleys of South Wales, Croydon Airport, the River Severn and records offices piecing together the story of Harry Grindell Matthews.
Matthews, maverick scientist and showman, earned many friends and was celebrated as he came up with his remarkable inventions which included mobile phones, talking pictures, remote control craft and 'night writing'.
But upon the creation of his 'death ray', designed to shoot down enemy aircraft in the 1920's, he stirred controversy, fell foul of the establishment and became a recluse.
As an arms and technology race developed between the wars what was to happen to Matthews and his infamous death ray?
Producer: Neil McCarthy.
|04||03||20110917||Steve Punt turns gumshoe, investigating the mysterious disappearance of a silent film about Prime Minister David Lloyd George just after the First World War.|
The Life Story of David Lloyd George was the first ever biopic of a living Prime Minister.
A lavishly filmed silent movie, it charted the rise of the wartime leader from the Welsh Valleys.
Just after the close of the Great War - as the film was destined for the big screen - lawyers paid £20,000 to cancel the movie's release.
To this day, nobody knows why.
Steve examines the evidence and asks whether it's a case of political shenanigans or personal peccadilloes.
Among those called in for questioning are biographer of Lloyd George, Lord Hattersley, and Ffion Hague, who's studied the war leader's affair with Frances Stevenson.
Producer: Laurence Grissell.
Steve Punt probes the mysterious disappearance of a film about Lloyd George after WWI.
|04||04 LAST||20110924||20111231||Steve Punt turns detective and searches for the true site of the Battle of Watling Street where tens of thousands of ancient Britons were massacred by the occupying Roman army but the exact location is unknown. Setting off in a hire car shaped chariot, Punt travels up Watling Street, now known as the A5, which runs all the way from London to Holyhead. Applying his guile and unwavering intuition, he visits three separate sites in the Midlands to examine the evidence. In what becomes an unexpected odyssey, he enlists the help of a pagan psychic, a spiritualist and a military agent to determine where Britain's most epic battle took place.|
Producer: Neil McCarthy.
Steve Punt searches for the site of the epic Battle of Watling Street.
Steve Punt turns private investigator, examining little mysteries that amuse and beguile.
This week he turns the clock back two thousand years and goes in search of the most epic battle to have taken place on British soil.
The Battle of Watling Street, when the ancient Britons (led by Queen Boudicca) clashed with the Romans (led by Suetonius) resulted in a crushing defeat for the native peoples.
According to the chronicler of the day, Tacitus, 80,000 Britons were killed.
Watling Street is an old Roman road, now known as the A5.
But the exact site of the battle is still hotly contested.
Our intrepid detective gathers evidence on the main contenders and then, via psychics, soldiers, farmers and fields, he homes in on the real site of the Battle of Watling Street.
Steve searches for the site of the epic Battle of Watling Street.
|05||01||A Very Strange Stash||20120908||Steve Punt turns private investigator, with a brand new series of weird cases.|
1. A Very Strange Stash. Punt is called on to investigate a dead pensioner's secret stash of arms.
When 74 year old Kris Ruddjers died in 2010, he left behind a very bizarre legacy. The retired nurse anaesthetist had placed 13 trunks in storage supposedly containing household effects. But when the owners of the removals firm prised them open they discovered handguns, surveillance equipment and bomb making materials.
Ruddjers seemed to all intents and purposes just your average pensioner - but what was the reason behind his strange stash? For starters, Ruddjers was an alias... Punt embarks on a quest to find out more about an intriguing senior citizen.
Also in this series: the mysteries of the 1928 Charfield Rail Crash and the lost American colony of Roanoke.
Producer: Laurence Grissell.
Steve Punt is called on to investigate a dead pensioner's secret stash of arms.
|05||02||The Woman In Black||20120915||Steve Punt turns private investigator, investigating bizarre rumours surrounding the 1928 Charfield rail crash.|
2. The Woman in Black. For 25 years following the 1928 Charfield rail crash in Gloucestershire, a woman in black laid flowers at the memorial to the accident. Arriving in a chauffeur driven car, she never revealed her identity but locals have assumed she was in some way related to two young unknown victims of the accident.
The means of this rich woman's arrival has led to feverish speculation - most notably that the was a member of royalty and the children were illegitimate offspring. Add to that questions over the cause of the crash and you have a field day for conspiracy theorists.
Punt sets to work sorting fact from fiction, calling in the experts and cross-examining locals. He gets to grips to with the cause of the crash and gets tantalisingly close to the the possible identity of the woman in black and the two unknown victims.
Producer: Laurence Grissell.
For 25 years following the 1928 Charfield rail crash in Gloucestershire, a woman in black laid flowers at the memorial to the accident. Arriving in a chauffeur driven car, she never revealed her identity but locals have assumed she was in some way related to two young unknown victims of the accident.
|05||03 LAST||The Lost Colonists||20120922||Punt is called on to examine a map which may hold clues to the mystery of the first English colonists to America who disappeared without trace.|
In 1587, Sir Walter Raleigh assembled a group of 118 men women and children to establish a settlement in modern day North Carolina. One of them, John White, shortly came back to England for supplies and when he returned to the island of Roanoke where he'd left them, they had completely vanished. A mysterious sign on a tree offered a clue to their whereabouts but they were never found. John White was also the map draughtsman for the expedition and an intriguing patch has recently been discovered on the map close to Roanoke. Could they be under the patch? Or could this be a very Elizabethan cover-up? Punt sheds gabardine and dons ruff and codpiece to get to the bottom of this 400 year old missing persons case.
|06||01||The Case Of The Vanishing Machine Gun Maker||20130817||Another perplexing case for our best loved, though slightly unusual PI, Steve Punt.|
His methods may be unconventional but this time Steve is hot on the trail of two gun makers, William Cantelo and Hiram Maxim, and the story begins in Southampton.
Late in the 19th century strange noises could be heard from a cellar beneath a pub near the Southampton docks. It was rumoured that gun maker William Cantelo was inventing a rapid firing gun, capable of destroying the enemy and certain to make its inventor very rich.
Eventually William Cantelo emerged from his cellar with the news that his invention was complete and that he was going to take a much needed holiday, which he did, taking his new invention with him. But that was the last his family saw of him, "he simply vanished into the void."
Eventually his two sons began a search to find out what had happened to their father. When they saw a picture of the American inventor Hiram Maxim in a national paper with his new invention, a rapid firing machine gun, they were shocked; he was the spitting image of their own father William Cantello. The sons both tried in vain to talk to Maxim, on one occasion at Victoria station as Maxim was catching a train, but to no avail. They were convinced that this Maxim was their father and that gun was the same gun that Cantelo had invented but they were never able to prove it.
Maxim died a very rich man having made millions from the invention which slaughtered millions in the Great War. Cantelo's last movements were traced to America, how and where he died is a mystery.
Clearly this story throws up more questions than answers: What happened to William Cantelo? Was Cantelo impersonating Maxim, if so why? Did Maxim steal Cantelo's invention and pay Cantello to go away? Did one man murder the other, if so who murdered who?
Producer Neil George.
|06||02||The Hollinwell Incident||20130824||Steve Punt turns private investigator to reopen a mysterious case of collapsing children.|
One summer's day in 1980, at a junior jazz band festival in Nottinghamshire, hundreds of children were suddenly taken ill and fainted. They fell like dominoes; the showground was littered with bodies, the arena like a battlefield.
Many of the children feel they never got answers as to what really happened that morning.
Steve investigates, to find out if it was food poisoning or something a little more sinister.
Producer: Sarah Bowen.
|06||03||Pitchfork Murder - Lower Quinton||20130831||In 1945 on St Valentine's Day the elderly farmworker Charles Walton was found murdered. A pitchfork pinned him to the ground and horrible wounds had been inflicted on person. But seemingly Walton had no enemies and there appeared to be no motive. Who could be the murderer and why?|
Various suspects came into the frame: a boot maker, a Nazi, a "swarthy" Italian prisoner of War, and a local farmer.
None of the motives seem credible: a stolen watch, a small amount of money, or could it have been because of witchcraft?
But why had the farmer deliberately left his finger prints on the murder weapon when he discovered the body in front of witnesses? Why was the Italian POW covered in blood? Why had Walton been murdered with a pitchfork, could it have been a copycat witchcraft murder? Even the famous detective Fabian of Scotland Yard was baffled, so will Steve Punt PI do any better?
With the help of Betty Smith, Warwickshire's answer to Miss Marple, Steve unpicks one clue after another and believes he may have an answer.
|06||04 LAST||Who Killed The Bears?||20130907||Steve Punt investigates the killing of two performing bears by a mob in the Forest of Dean in 1889, following unfounded rumours that the animals had killed a child.|
For years, the people of Ruardean took the blame for the brutal slaying of the bears but always protested their innocence. Punt examines the evidence, asking if those convicted were victims of a miscarriage of justice.
Punt explores the documents, questions the locals and calls in the experts - aiming to establish the truth once and for all.
Producer: Laurence Grissell