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Our Man At Wembley

Radio 4
1998 (four episodes)

Bill Matthews’ comic drama, set in 1947, was basically a vehicle for the chameleonic vocal talents of impressionist Alistair McGowan.  Our hero, Eric Halliday (McGowan), is a working-class Lancastrian living in London, whose ability to mimic perfectly the strangulated Oxford-English accent of a BBC announcer unexpectedly lands him a plum job as a radio sports commentator. Various complications ensue as Halliday vainly attempts to hide the nature of his work from his sister Dora (Jane Whittenshaw), a staunch defender of Lancashire pride, and the nature of his upbringing from resentful colleague Gordon McKay (Jon Glover, a man of no small vocal range himself, who also played a number of minor roles). Jeremy Child appeared as a sympathetic BBC executive, John Salthouse as Eric's brother-in-law (who struggled to make a living from his shop selling the unpopular electrical device known as a television set), and Melanie Hudson as the beautiful Chantal, love of Eric's life.

© JB Sumner 1998, 1999.  Created 9/4/99