Two-pipe Problem, The Case Of The Missing Meerschaum


02 LAST20110812

Joanna David, James Fleet and Geoffrey Palmer join Richard Briers and Stanley Baxter in this new Two Pipe Problem by Michael Chaplin.

William and Sandy are to appear at a Sherlock Holmes Convention, held at a hotel just around the corner from Holmes' mythical haunts in Baker Street. Sandy isn't keen but succumbs to William's desperate need to be in the spotlight once more.

Sandy finds the display of 'fan-dom' absurd: the packed memorabilia stalls, and one fan's observation that he thought he'd died years before. He also finds the political infighting threatening to tear the Society apart faintly ridiculous. But William is in his bombastic element, to such an extent that he has a very public and painful row with Sandy, who quits the convention and catches the Metropolitan Line back to the Old Beeches.

William occupies centre-stage at that night's dinner flourishing a meerschaum lent to him by a zealous member of the Baker Street Adventurers, which was used by Basil Rathbone in the first Holmes films. During the dinner the society's internal tensions, prior to elections at the AGM next day, spill over, but after a bibulous evening, William rolls into bed, still with the precious pipe in his possession.

He wakes up the following morning and discovers that it's gone. He travels to the Old Beeches in a panic, begging Sandy to return to the Convention to help him, and solve the mystery, which he does, using Holmesian precepts and restoring their friendship in the process.


Sandy Boyle....Stanley Baxter

William Parnes....Richard Briers

Mortimer Tregennis....Geoffrey Palmer

Roger Butterworth....James Fleet

Beryl Butterworth....Joanna David

Underground Worker/Hotel Receptionist....Matt Simandl

Autograph hunter/Souvenir Stall holder....James McGregor

Directed by Marilyn Imrie

Produced by Catherine Bailey

A Catherine Bailey Production for BBC Radio 4.

Retired thespians William and Sandy tackle the theft of a rather famous pipe.