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The Iguanodon

Radio 4
1997 (three episodes)

An offbeat comic adventure by Paul Lucas.  Paul Haigh (of BBC1’s Preston Front) played Sam Varley, a stranded lighthouse-keeper in need of a lift back to the mainland, picked up by the Iguanodon, a rusting hulk crewed by drunken, incompetent mariner Don O’Reilly (Dermot Crowley), which is also carrying a bizarre assortment of mismatched would-be travellers including Mr Brook (Bernard Cribbins), the rather simple-minded owner of a custard factory.  With no halfway-decent navigation, the boat is sucked into the mysterious Woe-Betides, an accursed and apparently haunted region from which, it is said, no ship has ever returned…  Various frankly silly happenings ensued, some of them revolving around a superb appearance from Kevin Eldon as an irritating pirate captain, before the series closed with an oddly unsettling ending.  The strong cast also included Rosemary Leach, Patsy Byrne, john Arthur and Sally Phillips.

© JB Sumner 1998