Category Archives: Radio

JULY 2019 UPDATES

HERE’S WHAT I’VE BEEN UP TO AND WHERE I MIGHT BE LURKING OVER THE NEXT FEW MONTHS…

First up … I’m delighted to announce that for writing work I will now be represented by the Independent Talent Group, an illustrious agency and no mistake. They represent Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Jed Mercurio, Jessica Hynes, Jeremy Dyson, Patrick Harbinson and Harry Hill and so clearly needed to dilute their talent pool with an under-achiever. Onwards!

The Independent Talent Group. My new agent!

I will be be a panellist on Sarah Millican’s new Radio 4 series Elephant in the Room, joining Annabel Giles, Lucy Beaumont and Evelyn Mok and hopefully being funny enough to justify being invited on. I think I’m in episode 3, on July 11th, but am not 100% sure – listen to the whole series anyway as it is very good!

Recording Elephant on the Room at The Lowry with producer Leanne Coop, host Sarah Millican and guests Evelyn Mok, Annabel Giles and Lucy Beaumont.

I will be recording another instalment of the ongoing Radio 4 exploits of Tinsel Girl, inspired by and starring Coronation Street‘s Cherylee Houston –  this month. Not sure when it is going to be on yet.

I have had to write three Guardian obituaries in quick succession recently. We said goodbye to Blake’s 7’s Avon himself, Paul Darrow, who besides being a hugely entertaining actor whose battle-ready pose upon materialising on a planet is one of the best things ever, was also an enjoyably witty raconteur and very good company. A man with a voice that could move mountains and woo angels, Stephen Thorne was a fine actor whose eulogy at Nicholas Courtney’s memorial service was breathtaking – the only time I’ve ever been moved by the sheer quality of a voice irrespective of what it was saying.  I interviewed Stephen for my podcast, and the results can be heard here. Edward Kelsey was an interview subject in my first professionally published piece of writing – best known as Joe Grundy from The Archers he was also the first actor to appear opposite more than one Doctor Who and gave me some great stories from his time on the 1966 adventure Power of the Daleks (and I saw him again when we recorded the DVD commentary for that story a couple of years ago). So I had the privilege of spending time with all three men and enjoyed their company a lot – the acting profession owes them a great deal and I’m lucky to have been in their respective orbits.

Edward Kelsey, whom I photographed as he and Anneke Wills chatted about their memories of working on Power of the Daleks when we recorded the DVD commentary for that story in 2016.

The next Doctor Who Blu-Ray box set has been announced. It is Season 10, and this Jon Pertwee fest will feature a documentary fronted by me called Looking For Lennie in which I try to find out all I can about the late Australian director, who died in tragic circumstances and before Doctor Who fandom had a chance to get to know him. It’ll be released this month.

I go Looking For Lennie on the next Doctor Who Blu-Ray set, but will I find anything?

It’s Edinburgh Preview Season at XS Malarkey. I’ll be MCing them all and there are some really big names trying their fringe entries out before August: Tony Law, Sarah Kendall, Sara Barron,  Catherine Bohart, Adam Hess and Laura Davies are among those taking part in the next few weeks. Listings details are available at  the XS Malarkey Website.

Follow me on Twitter @tobyhadoke and I’m now also on Instagram (though I’m not convinced) at toby.hadoke: it’s currently largely pictures of a bin store I made.

Toby Hadoke – October Updates

LATEST UPDATES (October 2018)

I am still performing regularly at The Comedy Store (every second and last Sunday of the month), XS Malarkey (Tuesdays) and the 99 Club  Leicester square (Wednesdays – but I have opted to do the gig fortnightly from now on). I can’t fit many other gigs in because…

My play Going, Going Goon – part of the the I Told You I Was Ill umbrella, marking the centenary of the birth of Spike Milligan – was performed in front of a live audience in Hull on Saturday 29th September. It will be broadcast on Radio 3 on October 7th at 7.30pm.  It stars Mark Heap (Green Wing, Spaced), Pippa Haywood (Green Wing, Bodyguard, The Brittas Empire), Jonathan Keeble (amazing radio actor with hundreds of credits), Stephen Wight (Olivier nominee for Dealer’s Choice, also starred in McQueen on stage) and, um, me (he knows the writer). The two other plays in the strand were written by Lee Mattinson and Jessica Hynes (who stars in her own piece). The audience loved the show, which is hosted by John Hegley, and I’m really pleased with how it turned out. I hope you give it a listen (as it clashes with Doctor Who perhaps I should point out that it’ll be on iPlayer for a month!).

With Jonathan Keeble, John Hegley and Mark Heap after a successful evening of Spike Milligan plays.

My adaptation of Nigel Kneale’s lost television play The Road will be broadcast on Radio 4 on October 27th. It was recorded at Maida Vale studios and stars Mark Gatiss and Adrian Scarborough who play, respectively,  a philosopher and an inventor who are investigating reports of a haunting in a wood in the late 18th century. It’s a spooky piece with a sting in the tale (don’t read up on it – avoid spoilers) and I know it is eagerly awaited in some quarters (many have tried and failed to get a remake off the ground in the past). We used some sound effects from the original production (which were themselves recorded ay Maida Vale) and the stellar cast is completed by Hattie Morahan (whose father directed the original), Colin McFarlane, Susan Wokoma, Francis Magee, and Ralph Ineson. I will be hosting a listening event at Home in Manchester which will play the broadcast as it goes out (start time, 2.30pm) and will take part in a Q and A afterwards. Tickets are free (but you need to have come to another event at home in their Film Fear season): details here.

Adrian Scarborough and Mark Gatiss star in The Road on Radio 4. They’re not alone in the woods…

 

I am going to be one of the guests on Richard Herring’s Leicester Square Theatre Podcast (except this edition is being recorded at the Manchester Dancehouse) on October 5th. The podcast has an illustrious roster of past guests s I’m extremely flattered to have been asked. The recording is sold out, but it will, of course, be available online afterwards if you go here.

Quatermass and the Pit comes to Blu-Ray soon, and I have been working on the release, donating a large amount of photographic and audio material, as well as presenting the commentaries on all six episodes. Not many cast and crew survive, but if they do, we got them, and they have been spliced in with some recordings of my chats with those who are no longer with us. The film sequences have been remastered and they look extraordinary. It’s going to be a terrific release considering the age of the source material and is well worth a look.

I filmed a role in the Eddie Izzard/Judi Dench/Jim Broadbent film 6 Minutes to Midnight at the end of last month: it’s directed by The Next Doctor‘s Andy Goddard. Most details are still under wraps but you can read a little bit about what I got up to on it here. 

The Quatermass book grows by the day. It’s pretty much my sole focus between now and Christmas. These past few months have found my securing contributions form David Tennant, John Carpenter, Barbara Kellermann, Indira Varma and Toyah Willcox. So it’s going to be pretty detailed! More info soon…

 XS Malarkey is now 21. What a run, and it continues this month with appearances from Chris Lynam and Danny McLoughlin amongst others.  More details are available at  the XS Malarkey Website.

I have had the sad duty of writing two obituaries this month. Both have been published by The Guardian and are for Jacqueline Pearce and Zienia Merton.

I have also made another documentary for the Doctor Who Blu-Ray range. More news soon…

Performing on stage in Hull with Pippa Haywood, Mark Heap, Jonathan Keeble and Stephen Wight.
With fellow writer Jessica Hynes

 

 

Toby Hadoke – June Updates

LATEST UPDATES (June 2018)

How did it get to be June? It can’t be June. The year’s only just started. Oh well, as we trudge ever onwards towards inevitable collapse and decay… (actually there’ve been some quite exciting developments, such as…) 

I interviewed this bloke – for an hour! – for my Quatermass book last month. Oh, and some guy named John Carpenter…

I have uncovered an astonishing amount of new information and material (not to mention ace interviews!) about Quatermass, so much so that it’s likely that my forthcoming book will now be a two volume affair. The first volume is due by the end of the year but guess what? More info soon…

I am still gigging regularly at The Comedy Store, XS Malarkey until around mid July and the 99 Club until the end of June but one-offs will be scarce or non-existent for the next few months because (and sorry this is all a bit vague, much of it is caught in that limbo between me knowing it’s happening and me being allowed to actually tell anyone that it is)…

I will be spending the summer doing Shakespeare in the open air again: so make sure you’re heading down to Heaton Park sometime around the end of July/beginning of August. Full details will be out shortly. 

I have been commissioned to write a comedy piece for Radio 3 which will be going out live at the end of September. It’s part of a special evening celebrating a comedy legend and I’m in some pretty hefty company so I’ll have to bring my A Game. More details to follow.

I’m back presenting The 7th Dimension on Radio 4 extra for a three weekend stint at the end of June. I’m also recording some more Fantom Films Who Talk CDs.

The mighty Hal Cruttenden makes his first visit to XS Malarkey after about 15 years of trying to get him!

This month at XS Malarkey it’s the beginning of our Edinburgh preview season which includes such impressive names as Ed Gamble,  Dan Nightingale, Hal Cruttenden, Catherine Bohart, Brennan Reece, John Hastings, Rob Rouse, Laura Davis, Ahir Shah and many more. What a line up! More details are available now (yes, now! Not soon, not to follow, not shortly, but right now!) at  the XS Malarkey Website.

Oh, and if by any chance you’re flying to Albania anytime soon and you recognise the voice telling you to fasten your seat belts,  well… you might think that but I couldn’t possibly comment….

Ongoing news but good news …

My dramatisation of Nigel Kneale’s famous lost television play, The Road, for Radio 4 was recorded in Maida Vale at the beginning of February. The cast is phenomenal : Mark Gatiss, Adrian Scarborough, Hattie Morahan, Colin McFarlane, Susan Wokoma, Francis Magee and Ralph Ineson.  It will be the Halloween Fright Night production for BBC Radio 4 on October 27th.  It is one of my proudest achievements.      STOP PRESS: There will be a tie in event on the night (I’ll say it again – October 27th) in Manchester – so don’t go making any plans! More details to follow…

What a team – and they look like they’ve enjoyed going along The Road!
 

Agatha Christie – The Lost Plays

ag_lost_stories_600As I am apparently the BBC’s Man Who Interviews Elderly Actors in residence I was fortunate enough, earlier in the year, to participate in a fascinating archive release that will be available very soon. Agatha Christie – The Lost Plays is a triple bill of audio productions from the mistress of murder. I had the pleasure of chatting to their last surviving cast member Ian Whittaker, whose career took him from 27-year-old-actor-who-plays-teenagers to Oscar winning set decorator and production designer whose artistry has been seen on Alien, Howard’s End, Remains Of The Day and many, many more. He was delighted and slightly taken aback to revisit the production but, like all of these often underheard voices, full of fascinating insights about those halcyon days of broadcasting. His episode, Murder In The Mews, stars Richard Williams as Hercule Poirot and also features Monica Grey, whom I had the pleasure of visiting at home many years ago when I was a teenager and she invited me round to tell me all about her lead role in Quatermass II.

With veteran actor Ian Whittaker remembering a case for Poirot in 1955.
With veteran actor Ian Whittaker remembering a case for Poirot in 1955.

The set also features Williams playing a different role in a 1948 piece written especially for radio, Butter In A Lorldy Dish and another bespoke commission, Personal Call, which stars Barbara Lott (as it happens, a very close friend of Monica Grey’s). There are also various archival snippets and treats on the CD, including a bit of an on air disaster involving Ms Christie herself. It has been put together with loving attention to detail by Charles Norton and it was a pleasure to meet him and producer Michael Stevens after years of them being names in the “Sender” column of my inbox.

Anyone who likes vintage broadcasting and hearing things that were until recently thought lost might want to invest in this enjoyable package, which is available here.

HG AND THE H-BOMB

HG AND THE H-BOMB

Examining the extraordinary role of HG Wells in the creation of the nuclear bomb 70 years ago –  how a simple, devastating idea led to the world we know today.

In his 1914 novel The World Set Free, Wells imagined bombs that destroy civilisation and lead to a new world order. But his “atomic bombs” – a name he conceived – are grenades that keep on exploding.

How did this idea become a reality?

The very talented (and sunniest, most charming fellow) Simon Guerrier asked me to provide a few voices for this documentary presented by Samira Ahmed and co-produced by another talented and charming Guerrier (there must be something in the family porridge), Simon’s brother Tom.

It’s quite an eclectic array from Yours Truly but hopefully they don’t all sound like me – and if they do I hope it doesn’t detract from what is a fascinating documentary which can be heard here until early August.

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THE DAD WHO FELL TO EARTH

THE DAD WHO FELL TO EARTH

As I type this you have just over three weeks to catch The Dad Who Fell To Earth on iPlayer. It is a play I wrote for Radio 4 about a man who discovers that his recently deceased father wasn’t a door-to-door salesman as he thought but in fact an alien from a  distant world charged with preventing the destruction of mankind. It’s about grief and loss and a purple planet with clever cats.

dadwhofelltoearth

The play stars Ronald Pickup as Russ, Cherylee Houston as Jan, Alexandra Mathie as Wendy, Lee Fenwick and Pete/Steve, and Zoe Iqbal and Chelsea. Oh, and me. The producer os the fabulous Charlotte Riches. Most of us are pictures below.

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I can honestly say that is has been the most rewarding engagement of my professional life so far – the writing process was smooth, the cast are fabulous and Charlotte has done an amazing job with the edit (Sound by Sue Stonestreet, one of the unsung heroes of the radio department at the BBC in Salford). I’m delighted to say the the play received Pick Of The Week in The Independent, The Observer, The Telegraph and The Mail.

Daily Mail copy

You can listen on it here (depending on what date you read this):