Episodes

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01Rumpole And The Old Boy Net2014032020170921 (BBC7)

Rumpole's new pupil creates trouble in a case of blackmail. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch.

By John Mortimer
Adapted by Richard Stoneman
Starring Benedict Cumberbatch.

We rejoin Rumpole and Hilda in 1964. Hilda is worried about the choice of school for their son, Nicholas. Hilda wants Rumpole to become a Q.C. in order to afford a decent education for Nicholas. Claude Erskine-Brown is also trying to take silk but he's distracted by the arrival in chambers of Rumpole's new pupil, Miss Phillida Trant.

Phillida assists Rumpole in the defence of Mr Napier Lee, who's charged with running a disorderly house near Victoria Station, and with the more serious accusation of blackmail. Mr Lee admits his customers all went to public school. And the alleged victim of the blackmail was at Lawnhurst College with Mr Lee, which is why Lee won't break the unwritten law and sneak on his old school chum.

Erskine-Brown is prosecuting at the Old Bailey, where Phillida recognises a familiar face in the press box. Isobel Vincent was at Bennenden with Phillida, and now works for the Evening Standard. With help from Phillida, Isobel publishes the name of the alleged victim. This public identification leads to Rumpole's successful defence on the charge of blackmail, but also puts Phillida in danger of prosecution for contempt of court.

Phillida works hard to get out of trouble with the law but, instead, finds herself drawn towards Rumpole - and into trouble of a more personal kind.

Directed by Marilyn Imrie.
A Catherine Bailey production for BBC Radio 4.

By John Mortimer

Adapted by Richard Stoneman

Starring Benedict Cumberbatch.

We rejoin Rumpole and Hilda in 1964. Hilda is worried about the choice of school for their son, Nicholas. Hilda wants Rumpole to become a Q.C. in order to afford a decent education for Nicholas. Claude Erskine-Brown is also trying to take silk but he's distracted by the arrival in chambers of Rumpole's new pupil, Miss Phillida Trant.

Phillida assists Rumpole in the defence of Mr Napier Lee, who's charged with running a disorderly house near Victoria Station, and with the more serious accusation of blackmail. Mr Lee admits his customers all went to public school. And the alleged victim of the blackmail was at Lawnhurst College with Mr Lee, which is why Lee won't break the unwritten law and sneak on his old school chum.

Erskine-Brown is prosecuting at the Old Bailey, where Phillida recognises a familiar face in the press box. Isobel Vincent was at Bennenden with Phillida, and now works for the Evening Standard. With help from Phillida, Isobel publishes the name of the alleged victim. This public identification leads to Rumpole's successful defence on the charge of blackmail, but also puts Phillida in danger of prosecution for contempt of court.

Phillida works hard to get out of trouble with the law but, instead, finds herself drawn towards Rumpole - and into trouble of a more personal kind.

Directed by Marilyn Imrie.

A Catherine Bailey production for BBC Radio 4.

02Rumpole And The Sleeping Partners20170922 (BBC7)

Rumpole leaves his wife Hilda, sleeps in chambers and defends a case of attempted murder.

By John Mortimer
Adapted by Richard Stoneman
Starring Benedict Cumberbatch.

After a legal ball in the Savoy Hotel, Rumpole and Hilda argue about Rumpole's drunken behaviour in front of Mr Justice Gwent-Evans. Rumpole can take no more of his wife and jumps out of their taxi. He intends to spend the night in chambers but finds Erskine-Brown in Equity Court, with Phillida Trant, "working late". Rumpole asks Phillida to help him with the defence of Hugo Lutterworth, who's accused of trying to kill the husband of his lover.

Phillida goes home with Erskine-Brown, leaving Rumpole to sleep on his sofa - strictly against the rules of chambers. And this is pointed out to him by Erskine-Brown when he arrives early next morning with Phillida. Did they spend the night together? Rumpole's feelings for his pupil are confusing, so he concentrates on his client.

Rumpole discusses the case again with Phillida, who seems out of sorts. She tells Rumpole to go home to Hilda but he ignores her advice and is caught having supper at his desk by Erskine-Brown, who accidentally invites Rumpole to stay at his flat - which does not go well.

Directed by Marilyn Imrie
A Catherine Bailey production for BBC Radio 4.

Rumpole And Hilda20180223

By John Mortimer. Adapted for radio by Richard Stoneman.

Following in the footsteps of several distinguished former Rumpoles - Leo McKern, Maurice Denham, Timothy West and Benedict Cumberbatch - Julian Rhind-Tutt, one of Radio 4's most popular actors and much loved star of TV's Green Wing and The Hour, now dons the wig and white bands of the most erudite, astute, and seldom defeated of barristers in the annals of the Old Bailey.

Rumpole's long-suffering wife Hilda - She Who Must Be Obeyed - narrates a fascinating tale of murder and romance that Horace would prefer to remain untold.

An instructing solicitor, Daniel Newcombe, asks Rumpole to defend a young man, Michael Skelton, who's accused of bludgeoning his father to death with a golf club. Hilda finds Daniel to be everything that Horace is not - well-groomed, charming, sensitive and complimentary.

After being wooed over lunch, she agrees to act as Daniel's 'spy', reporting back on Rumpole's defence preparations. However, when Hilda realises that Daniel is hiding the truth from her, and from everyone involved in the murder case, she's forced to consider whose side she ought to be on.

Hilda narrates the whole story with a refreshing honesty and witty candour that we thought only her husband could manage, and reveals a passionate and frustrated side, as Rumpole catches a glimpse of the true nature of his wife.

Cast:
Horace Rumpole....Julian Rhind-Tutt
Hilda Rumpole....Jasmine Hyde
Daniel Newcombe....Stuart McQuarrie
Claude Erskine-Brown....Nigel Anthony
Mr Justice Graves....Stephen Critchlow
Mrs Beazley....Cathy Sara

Directed by Marilyn Imrie
A Catherine Bailey production for BBC Radio 4.

She Who Must Be Obeyed tells us the truth about a case her husband would prefer to forget.

Rumpole And Memories Of Christmas Past20161225

Rumpole shares some of his favourite yuletide poetry, carols, and pantomime stories as he recounts seasonal legal cases which reveal, as always, the true nature of men, women, children - and She Who Must Be Obeyed!

Directed by Marilyn Imrie

A Catherine Bailey production for BBC Radio 4.

Rumpole and the Golden Thread20180507

Rumpole's arrested in Africa. Phillida arrives to rescue him, and their love is rekindled.

Radio 4 drama

In Africa defending an old pupil in a murder trial, Rumpole is arrested and Phillida arrives to bail him out. A spark between them is rekindled and burns throughout the final episodes of this long running Radio 4 series.

For fifteen years and 33 episodes, Rumpole has fought, won and, very rarely, lost myriad cases - and fallen in and out of love with his wife Hilda and
"the Portia of our Chambers", Phillida Trant, who adores him, and probably always will. These three final episodes leave us guessing until the very end - will Rumpole finally leave his wife Hilda, "She who must be obeyed", for Phillida?

Adapted by Richard Stoneman
Directed by Marilyn Imrie

A Catherine Bailey production for BBC Radio 4.

Rumpole And The New Year's Resolutions20161227
Rumpole and the Official Secret20180508

Rumpole defends in a dubious espionage trial and gets embroiled in a dodgy wine fraud.

Radio 4 drama

Rumpole defends a civil servant accused of selling secrets and is embroiled in a wine fraud. Phillida tells Rumpole she plans to leave her husband and asks him to keep it a secret. Rumpole considers just what that might mean.

For fifteen years and 33 episodes, Rumpole has fought, won and, very rarely, lost myriad cases - and fallen in and out of love with his wife Hilda and
"the Portia of our Chambers", Phillida Trant, who adores him, and probably always will. These three final episodes leave us guessing until the very end - will Rumpole finally leave his wife Hilda, "She who must be obeyed", for Phillida?

Cast:
Horace Rumpole ... Julian Rhind-Tutt
Hilda Rumpole ... Jasmine Hyde
Sam Ballard ... Michael Cochrane
Claude Erskine-Brown/Hugh Timson ... Nigel Anthony
Phillida Erskine-Brown/Tina Bradbury ... Cathy Sara
Oliver Bowling/Kenneth Eastham ... Ben Crowe
Rosemary Tuttle/Honoria Bird ... Deborah Findlay
Liz Probert ... Amy Morgan
Judge Bullingham/Martyn Vanberry ... Ewan Bailey

Adapted by Richard Stoneman
Directed by Marilyn Imrie

A Catherine Bailey production for BBC Radio 4.

Rumpole And The Official Secret20180508

Rumpole defends in a dubious espionage trial and gets embroiled in a dodgy wine fraud.

Radio 4 drama

Rumpole defends a civil servant accused of selling secrets and is embroiled in a wine fraud. Phillida tells Rumpole she plans to leave her husband and asks him to keep it a secret. Rumpole considers just what that might mean.

For fifteen years and 33 episodes, Rumpole has fought, won and, very rarely, lost myriad cases - and fallen in and out of love with his wife Hilda and
"the Portia of our Chambers", Phillida Trant, who adores him, and probably always will. These three final episodes leave us guessing until the very end - will Rumpole finally leave his wife Hilda, "She who must be obeyed", for Phillida?

Cast:
Horace Rumpole... Julian Rhind-Tutt
Hilda Rumpole... Jasmine Hyde
Sam Ballard... Michael Cochrane
Claude Erskine-Brown/Hugh Timson... Nigel Anthony
Phillida Erskine-Brown/Tina Bradbury... Cathy Sara
Oliver Bowling/Kenneth Eastham... Ben Crowe
Rosemary Tuttle/Honoria Bird... Deborah Findlay
Liz Probert... Amy Morgan
Judge Bullingham/Martyn Vanberry... Ewan Bailey

Adapted by Richard Stoneman
Directed by Marilyn Imrie

A Catherine Bailey production for BBC Radio 4.

Rumpole And The Quacks20170920

It is 1966, and Rumpole meets an admirable doctor who unexpectedly needs his help.

It's 1966, and Rumpole meets a delightful, wise and kindly Asian Doctor who, unexpectedly accused of unprofessional conduct, needs his help.

The case involves both Rumpole and Phyllid, Rumpole's dear friend and his "Portia of the Chambers", as they learn about the shadowy behaviour of some unscrupulous drug companies and the correct way to diagnose glandular fever.

Their friendship also becomes just a tad more ambiguous as both their marriages prove irksome.

Adapted for radio by Richard Stoneman
Directed by Marilyn Imrie
A Catherine Bailey production for BBC Radio 4.

Rumpole and the Quality of Life20180509

Ballard's wedding looms as Rumpole faces a life-changing decision about his own marriage.

Radio 4 drama

Ballard's wedding looms and Rumpole faces a life changing decision about his own marriage. Hilda expects him to join her in Cornwall, and Phillida hopes he will leave to be with her at last.

For fifteen years and 33 episodes, Rumpole has fought, won and, very rarely, lost myriad cases - and fallen in and out of love with his wife Hilda and
"the Portia of our Chambers", Phillida Trant, who adores him, and probably always will. These final three episodes leave us guessing until the very end - will Rumpole finally leave his wife Hilda, "She who must be obeyed", for Phillida?

Adapted by Richard Stoneman
Directed by Marilyn Imrie

A Catherine Bailey production for BBC Radio 4.

Rumpole And The Way Through The Woods20170918

Rumpole discovers he is a dog lover at heart and defends a man who insists he is guilty.

Rumpole's surprised when he discovers he's a dog lover at heart - and perplexed as he defends a man who insists he's guilty of murder.

What's more, it's clear to Rumpole that the guilty party is among the hunting fraternity and not among the hunt saboteurs who, in 1966, are making their presence felt and their beliefs known on the hunting fields of Britain.

Adapted for radio by Richard Stoneman
Directed by Marilyn Imrie
A Catherine Bailey production for BBC Radio 4.

Rumpole For The Prosecution20170919

Horace Rumpole's client asks him to do something he has always sworn he will not do.

Horace Rumpole's client asks him to do something he's always sworn he will not do - appear for the prosecution. It's a case where the injured party is dead and cannot speak for herself.

There's a piece of evidence that just doesn't add up and a literary reference which only Rumpole recognises as a clue.

Adapted for radio by Richard Stoneman
Directed by Marilyn Imrie
A Catherine Bailey production for BBC Radio 4.

Rumpole On Trial20180222

By John Mortimer. Adapted for radio by Richard Stoneman.

Following in the footsteps of several distinguished former Rumpoles - Leo McKern, Maurice Denham, Timothy West and Benedict Cumberbatch - Julian Rhind-Tutt, one of Radio 4's most popular actors and much loved star of TV's Green Wing and The Hour, now dons the wig and white bands of the most erudite, astute, and seldom defeated of barristers in the annals of the Old Bailey.

After waking up with a raging tooth-ache, Rumpole finds himself in no mood to listen to his boring client Reginald Tring, who's accused of the manslaughter of his wife. As Reginald drones on with his mind-numbing evidence, Rumpole suffers throughout the trial, and argues even more angrily than usual with Mr Justice Gwent-Evans. And, when Rumpole accuses the judge of deliberately misleading the jury, Gwent-Evans warns him in no uncertain terms about his future conduct.

Rumpole finds himself on trial, with the end of his career in sight.

But, luckily for Horace, he has Phillida on his side. She goes searching for the truth, and galvanises not only Rumpole's defending counsel - Soapy Sam Ballard QC - but also Rumpole's wife.

Directed by Marilyn Imrie
A Catherine Bailey production for BBC Radio 4.

Horace Rumpole's toothache provokes an outburst in court that could end his career.

012012121820141211 (R4)

By John Mortimer.

Adapted for radio by Richard Stoneman.

Benedict Cumberbatch and Timothy West star as the younger and elder Rumpole in this new story.

In 1964, Rumpole returns to Oxford, where he studied law, to defend a young gardener, Peter Vernon, accused of blackmailing the Master of St Joseph's College, Sir Michael Tuffnell.

Peter and Sir Michael had enjoyed a friendship that provoked rumours of homosexuality - still illegal in those days. Sir Michael has gone to the police alleging Peter was about to accuse him publicly of sodomy. Peter denies the charge and, indeed, is engaged to be married to his solicitor - a young woman by the name of Sue Galton. Rumpole sees through a plot to depose the Master and, sensing Peter's underlying honesty, he defends his client. But, in doing so, he's forced to re-assess the choices he's made in his career and his marriage to She Who Must Be Obeyed.

Director: Marilyn Imrie

A Catherine Bailey production for BBC Radio 4.

02 LASTRumpole And The Expert Witness2012122520141212 (R4)

Written by by John Mortimer. Adapted for radio by Richard Stoneman.

Benedict Cumberbatch and Timothy West star in this new Rumpole story.

It's 1964. Rumpole is asked to defend a GP, Dr Ned Dacre, who is accused of murdering his wife, Sally. Dr Ned Dacre's father is also a GP, Dr Henry Dacre, and it is he who asks Rumpole to take on the case.

Dr Henry met Rumpole during the Penge Bungalow Murder trial and believes Rumpole's the man to get his son off this trumped-up charge. The plot thickens when the local pathologist, Pamela Gall, turns out to be an old flame of Dr Ned's. It seems that Pamela never forgave Dr Ned for dumping her and marrying Sally instead.

Director: Marilyn Imrie

A Catherine Bailey production for BBC Radio 4.

Rumpole defends a doctor accused of murdering his wife.