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Simon Russell Beale stars as the intelligence officer George Smiley in a three-part dramatisation by Robert Forrest of John le Carre's classic novel, first published in 1979 and the third in the celebrated 'Karla Trilogy' following 'Tinker, Tailor, Solder, Spy' and 'The Honourable Schoolboy.'

Part 1: At the end of 'The Honourable Schoolboy', in the mid-1970s, as a ruthless new broom swept through the secret corridors of Whitehall, spymaster George Smiley quietly left the Circus and vanished into private life.

But a year or two later, when a veteran Russian emigre general is found dead on Hampstead Heath, Smiley is called out of retirement to exorcise some Cold War ghosts from his clandestine past.

What follows is Smiley the human being at his most vulnerable, and Smiley the case officer at his most brilliant; and it takes to a thrilling conclusion his career-long, serpentine battle with the enigmatic and ruthless Russian spymaster Karla.

Ann Smiley - Anna Chancellor

Oliver Lacon - Alex Jennings

Chief Superintendant - Stephen Critchlow

Lauder Strickland - David Bannerman

Mikhel - Nigel Anthony

Mostyn - David Seddon

Old woman - Joanna Monro

Postman - Michael Shelford

Girl - Keely Beresford

Stella - Alison Pettitt

William - Piers Wehner

Producer Patrick Rayner

This episode is available until 3.00pm on Sunday 2nd May as part of the Series Catch-up Trial.

Smiley investigates when a veteran Russian 退migr退 general is found dead on Hampstead Heath

Simon Russell Beale stars as the intelligence officer George Smiley in a three-part dramatisation by Robert Forrest of John le Carre's classic novel, first published in 1979 and the third in the celebrated 'Karla Trilogy' following 'Tinker, Tailor, Solder, Spy' and 'The Honourable Schoolboy.'

Part 1: At the end of 'The Honourable Schoolboy', in the mid-1970s, as a ruthless new broom swept through the secret corridors of Whitehall, spymaster George Smiley quietly left the Circus and vanished into private life.

But a year or two later, when a veteran Russian emigre general is found dead on Hampstead Heath, Smiley is called out of retirement to exorcise some Cold War ghosts from his clandestine past.

What follows is Smiley the human being at his most vulnerable, and Smiley the case officer at his most brilliant; and it takes to a thrilling conclusion his career-long, serpentine battle with the enigmatic and ruthless Russian spymaster Karla.

Ann Smiley - Anna Chancellor

Oliver Lacon - Alex Jennings

Chief Superintendant - Stephen Critchlow

Lauder Strickland - David Bannerman

Mikhel - Nigel Anthony

Mostyn - David Seddon

Old woman - Joanna Monro

Postman - Michael Shelford

Girl - Keely Beresford

Stella - Alison Pettitt

William - Piers Wehner

Producer Patrick Rayner

This episode is available until 3.00pm on Sunday 2nd May as part of the Series Catch-up Trial.

Smiley investigates when a veteran Russian 退migr退 general is found dead on Hampstead Heath

Simon Russell Beale stars as the intelligence officer George Smiley in a three-part dramatisation by Robert Forrest of John le Carre's classic novel, first published in 1979 and the third in the celebrated 'Karla Trilogy' following 'Tinker, Tailor, Solder, Spy' and 'The Honourable Schoolboy.'

Part 1: At the end of 'The Honourable Schoolboy', in the mid-1970s, as a ruthless new broom swept through the secret corridors of Whitehall, spymaster George Smiley quietly left the Circus and vanished into private life.

But a year or two later, when a veteran Russian emigre general is found dead on Hampstead Heath, Smiley is called out of retirement to exorcise some Cold War ghosts from his clandestine past.

What follows is Smiley the human being at his most vulnerable, and Smiley the case officer at his most brilliant; and it takes to a thrilling conclusion his career-long, serpentine battle with the enigmatic and ruthless Russian spymaster Karla.

Ann Smiley - Anna Chancellor

Oliver Lacon - Alex Jennings

Chief Superintendant - Stephen Critchlow

Lauder Strickland - David Bannerman

Mikhel - Nigel Anthony

Mostyn - David Seddon

Old woman - Joanna Monro

Postman - Michael Shelford

Girl - Keely Beresford

Stella - Alison Pettitt

William - Piers Wehner

Producer Patrick Rayner

This episode is available until 3.00pm on Sunday 2nd May as part of the Series Catch-up Trial.

Smiley investigates when a veteran Russian 退migr退 general is found dead on Hampstead Heath

Simon Russell Beale stars as the intelligence officer George Smiley in a three-part dramatisation by Robert Forrest of John le Carre's classic novel, first published in 1979 and the third in the celebrated 'Karla Trilogy' following 'Tinker, Tailor, Solder, Spy' and 'The Honourable Schoolboy.'

Part 1: At the end of 'The Honourable Schoolboy', in the mid-1970s, as a ruthless new broom swept through the secret corridors of Whitehall, spymaster George Smiley quietly left the Circus and vanished into private life.

But a year or two later, when a veteran Russian emigre general is found dead on Hampstead Heath, Smiley is called out of retirement to exorcise some Cold War ghosts from his clandestine past.

What follows is Smiley the human being at his most vulnerable, and Smiley the case officer at his most brilliant; and it takes to a thrilling conclusion his career-long, serpentine battle with the enigmatic and ruthless Russian spymaster Karla.

Ann Smiley - Anna Chancellor

Oliver Lacon - Alex Jennings

Chief Superintendant - Stephen Critchlow

Lauder Strickland - David Bannerman

Mikhel - Nigel Anthony

Mostyn - David Seddon

Old woman - Joanna Monro

Postman - Michael Shelford

Girl - Keely Beresford

Stella - Alison Pettitt

William - Piers Wehner

Producer Patrick Rayner

This episode is available until 3.00pm on Sunday 2nd May as part of the Series Catch-up Trial.

Smiley investigates when a veteran Russian 退migr退 general is found dead on Hampstead Heath

Simon Russell Beale stars as the intelligence officer George Smiley in a three-part dramatisation by Robert Forrest of John le Carre's classic novel, first published in 1979 and the third in the celebrated 'Karla Trilogy' following 'Tinker, Tailor, Solder, Spy' and 'The Honourable Schoolboy.'

Part 1: At the end of 'The Honourable Schoolboy', in the mid-1970s, as a ruthless new broom swept through the secret corridors of Whitehall, spymaster George Smiley quietly left the Circus and vanished into private life.

But a year or two later, when a veteran Russian emigre general is found dead on Hampstead Heath, Smiley is called out of retirement to exorcise some Cold War ghosts from his clandestine past.

What follows is Smiley the human being at his most vulnerable, and Smiley the case officer at his most brilliant; and it takes to a thrilling conclusion his career-long, serpentine battle with the enigmatic and ruthless Russian spymaster Karla.

Ann Smiley - Anna Chancellor

Oliver Lacon - Alex Jennings

Chief Superintendant - Stephen Critchlow

Lauder Strickland - David Bannerman

Mikhel - Nigel Anthony

Mostyn - David Seddon

Old woman - Joanna Monro

Postman - Michael Shelford

Girl - Keely Beresford

Stella - Alison Pettitt

William - Piers Wehner

Producer Patrick Rayner

This episode is available until 3:00pm on Sunday 2nd May as part of the Series Catch-up Trial.

Smiley investigates when a veteran Russian 退migr退 general is found dead on Hampstead Heath

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Simon Russell Beale stars as the intelligence officer George Smiley in a three-part dramatisation by Robert Forrest of John le Carre's classic novel, first published in 1979 and the third in the celebrated 'Karla Trilogy' following 'Tinker, Tailor, Solder, Spy' and 'The Honourable Schoolboy.'

Part 2: Smiley has glimpsed the possibility of bringing down his life-long Russian adversary Karla.

He turns to former colleagues in the Circus for vital information before taking off alone into hostile territory.

Ann Smiley - Anna Chancellor

Oliver Lacon - Alex Jennings

Ostrakova - Lindsay Duncan

Connie Sachs - Maggie Steed

Toby Esterhase - Sam Dale

Hilary - Alison Pettitt

Claus Kretzschmar - Bruce Alexander

Frau Kretzschmar - Joanna Monro

Girl - Keely Beresford

Walther - Nigel Hastings

Producer Patrick Rayner

This episode is available until 3.00pm on Sunday 2nd May as part of the Series Catch-up Trial.

Smiley turns to former colleagues in the Circus before taking off into hostile territory.

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Simon Russell Beale stars as the intelligence officer George Smiley in a three-part dramatisation by Robert Forrest of John le Carre's classic novel, first published in 1979 and the third in the celebrated 'Karla Trilogy' following 'Tinker, Tailor, Solder, Spy' and 'The Honourable Schoolboy.'

Part 3: Smiley is ready to spring the trap on his life-long Russian adversary Karla.

With Toby Esterhase watching his back, he now moves the operation to Berne in Switzerland.

But can he be certain he's the hunter, not the hunted?

Ann - Anna Chancellor

Ostrakova - Lindsay Duncan

Peter Guillam - Richard Dillane

Saul Enderby - James Laurenson

Inspector Mendel - Kenneth Cranham

Toby Esterhase - Sam Dale

Grigoriev - Finlay Welsh

Night Registrar/Sister - Joanna Monro

Karla - Philip Fox

Tatiana - Alison Pettitt

Producer Patrick Rayner

This production continues BBC Radio 4's major undertaking of dramatising all of the eight novels that feature the spymaster George Smiley, played throughout by Simon Russell Beale.

'a radio triumph...

Simon Russell Beale's pitch-perfect master spy.' (Financial Times)

The Smiley Books:

The bespectacled, tubby, eternally middle-aged, deceptively ordinary, constantly cuckolded, morally perplexed and steel-trap-minded George Smiley - a man said to possess 'the cunning of Satan and the conscience of a virgin' - is one of the most brilliantly realised characters in British fiction, and one of the very few to have an iconic status comparable to Sherlock Holmes.

Gripping as they are as sophisticated thrillers - le Carre is first and foremost a master storyteller - the eight novels are also profound studies of the British governing class and its institutions over the long years of the Cold War.

What the critics have said of The Complete Smiley:

'A cracking adaptation' (Financial Times)

'promised to be delicious, and it was.' (Guardian)

'radio drama at its best.

Chillingly good.' (Daily Mail)

'Another utterly gorgeous adaptation.' (Time Out)

The eight and final novel in the Smiley sequence, 'The Secret Pilgrim', will be broadcast in June.

Simon Russell Beale's distinguished career has been concentrated almost entirely on the classical stage, where his parts include Hamlet, Iago and Macbeth.

He won the Best Actor Olivier for his performance as Vanya in Uncle Vanya in 2003.

He was awarded a CBE the same year.

Robert Forrest has written extensively for radio, where his work has won three sony Awards.

He has dramatised works by, among others, Leo Tolstoy, George Eliot, Robert Louis Stevenson, Conan Doyle, Ford Madox Ford and Vladimir Nabokov.

His stage play for children Jason and the Argonauts has toured internationally and on Broadway.

He lives in Strathaven, Lanarkshire.

This episode is available until 3.00pm on Sunday 2nd May as part of the Series Catch-up Trial.

Smiley moves the operation to Berne.

But can he be sure he's the hunter, not the hunted?