Newcomers' Guide

Last updated: 2021/03/07


The first recommendation most people will make for a modern British show is Cabin Pressure, which surrounds the adventures of a four-crew single jet airline which is struggles to stay in business. It is best known for the role of Benedict Cumberbatch, alongside Roger Allam, Stephanie Cole and series writer John Finnemore.

Meet David Sedaris is a BBC show which features American author David Sedaris reading stories and essays, which mostly revolve around his family and life. It is the perfect show to put on before going to bed as David has a remarkably relaxing voice. The show has ran for eight series, and appears to be highly popular.

Situation comedy Trevor's World of Sport ran for three series on the radio, after starting out with a single television series airing on BBC One. The radio version continues off from the television show, though the television version isn't required to catch up with the story. It surrounds Trevor Heslop and the running of his sports agency with Sammy Dobbs, who is his complete opposite in doing business. Trevor is going through relationship troubles, and is dismayed with the seedy world of sports agency, while office staff Heidrun, Barry, and Theresa have to cope with the two owners.

John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme is a sketch show featuring John Finnemore, Carrie Quinlan, Simon Kane, Lawry Lewin, and Margaret Cabourn-Smith. Running for eight series between 2011 and 2019, it features a number of a monologues and songs, and often ended with a fictionalised John narrating a tall tale. The series can possibly be ranked as one of the best sketch shows to have ever been made.

Venture to the country house turned museum that is Plum House, historic home to minor 18th-century poet George Pudding. It is now looked after by an eccentric director and his inept staff, as they try to navigate through financial problems as well as try to improve the venue attractiveness as a tourist destination. The show ran for three series after an initial pilot. To go with the comedic value of the show which is very good, it also has a relaxing air which makes you as the listener feel very much a part of the house.

The Maltby Collection

Party follows the travails of five "empty-headed" idealists who attempt to start a political party while at university. However, their meetings quickly devolve into arguments about policy and who is in charge, with very little being accomplished. The show ran for three series, and ended with a Christmas special. It is a particularly funny show which is certainly believable political-wise.

Babblewick Hall

Ring Around the Bath


Reluctant Persuaders

The Secret Life of Rosewood Avenue

Old Harry's Game

Brian Gulliver's Travels


In and Out of the Kitchen

Science Fiction

Running across six thirty-minute episodes, Orbit One Zero follows a professor working at a radio telescope on an island off the coast of Scotland. However, a disturbance in the waters lead to the discovery of a mysterious cylinder. The professor and his students attempt to discover the purpose and power of the newfound item, and where it came from.

Bradbury 13

Ray Bradbury's Tales of the Bizarre

The Golden Apples of the Sun


CBS Radio Mystery Theater is a 1970s and 1980s anthology show which ran for 1,399 forty-five minute long episodes. It features a range of stories, which revolve around fantasy, horror and mystery, with each show being introduced by narrator E. G. Marshall. The show was similar to Inner Sanctum Mysteries - a show which aired in the 1940s and earlier 1950s.

Anthology show Dark Fantasy aired in America during the early 1940s, and is described as a supernatural thriller. The series has a number of interesting episodes during its thirty-one episode run, and also lead to writer Scott Bishop going on to create the better known show and magazine, 'The Mysterious Traveler'.

Vanishing Point


Imelda Staunton stars as the lead character in Julie Enfield Investigates, which was broadcast over five series. Airing on the BBC, the first four series of the show each surrounded a case spanning the entire series, while the fifth series changed format with a new case for each episode. Julie has to deal with strange murders which prove difficult to solve, all the while dealing with her elderly father and young child at home.


The Man in Black (2009) is the fourth series running on the BBC which features "The Man in Black", who introduces each episode of this anthology. The show ran for twenty episodes in total and features a number of stories which are perfect for Halloween-time.

Canadian horror anthology Nightfall ran for three series totalling one hundred episodes. It features a variety of stories, some written specifically for the show which others being adapted from elsewhere such as novels, short stories and other radio shows. It aired in the mid-1980s before being replaced with Vanishing Point, though is arguably the stronger show of the two.

Weird Tales is a short anthology show consisting of eleven episodes which features scary stories which are prime listening for around Halloween.

The Weird Circle

Vincent Price leads The Price of Fear, an odd show running for twenty-two episodes, with the original intention being a mix of stories introduced by Vincent Price, and others featuring him as part of the plot. However, all but the first show, had Vincent starring as a prominent feature of each show. Nonetheless, it is a good series featuring some chilling tales with intriguing plots.