Between 1980 and 1988 on BBC television and radio, the exploits of the Rt Hon Jim Hacker MP (Paul Eddington) - later Prime Minister - kept the British nation enthralled. Helped - and hampered - by his diligent Permanent Secretary Sir Humphrey Appleby (Nigel Hawthorne) and his Principle Private Secretary Bernard Woolley (Derek Fowlds), Hacker and his department became synonymous with government bureaucracy and administrative double dealing.
"Does this work as an audiobook? Yes, Minister ..."
This classic comedy is set in the charming country home of Charles Condomine, a remarried widower. A witty and convivial evening party among friends is transformed when a seance conjures the ghost of Elvira, Charles' first wife, who delights in wreaking havoc among the living. An enchanting Coward comedy!
"Ms Geeson at her finest"
The one thing that could be expected to disturb the peace of life at Blandings is the incursion of imposters. Blandings has imposters like other houses have mice. On this occasion there are two of them--both intent on a dangerous enterprise.
"Great Story. Well Read. but. . ."
Four classic BBC TV episodes featuring a newly-added interview with John Cleese.
"If You're Serious about Funny!"
Six phenomenally sophisticated Noël Coward comedies: Fallen Angels, Hay Fever, Private Lives, Design for Living, Blithe Spirit, Present Laughter.
"Bravo Mr. Coward"
In 'The Weaver's Tale' (1 May 1977) Barbara isn't happy when Tom spends all their money on a second-hand loom, and Jerry bravely decides to rein in Margo's spending - just after she's been shopping. In 'Suit Yourself' (8 May 1977) Tom and Barbara are making a suit for Tom using sheeps' wool and dye from stinging nettles, while Margo and Jerry have a dinner where 'Sir' announces his retirement. But who will take over the company?
The show that grabs listeners by the waist, swirls them round in time to a Strauss waltz, and then trips over the banana skins of convention.
Ellis Parker Butler (1869-1937) was an American author of more than 30 books and more than 2,000 stories and essays. He is best known for his famous short story "Pigs Is Pigs", in which a bureaucratic stationmaster insists on levying the livestock rate for a shipment of two pet guinea pigs, which soon start proliferating exponentially.
"The narrator's accent ruins this"
The show that holds a mirror up to nature and then proceeds to give it a rather embarrassing haircut.
GO ON, but watch out for flying Christmas puddings. It's the time of goodwill and custard so join the festive fun with Scrooge and Neddie Scratchit in A Christmas Carol (by kind permission) and follow the lost chords of The Mighty Wurlitzer hot foot across the Sahara. Or take a bow in the panto with Neddie Hood and soothing Friar Balsam and mix it with the military as the Goons make a patriotic pudding for a Combined Services overseas special.
Mark Twain's classic satire on the German language. A must read for anybody learning German or living in a German-speaking country. "The Germans have another kind of parenthesis, which they make by splitting a verb in two and putting half of it at the beginning of an exciting chapter and the other half at the end of it. Can anyone conceive of anything more confusing than that?"
"This is a terrific piece of writing!"
Here's the classic TV comedy sketch show that launched the careers of Rowan Atkinson, Griff Rhys Jones, Mel Smith, and Pamela Stephenson. Written by some of Britain's finest comedy writers, including Richard Curtis, Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin, and David Renwick, the show was groundbreaking, irreverent, outrageous, innovative, and rude.
"A classic from the BBC"
"The Greatest !"
Diehard Dad's Army fan Phill Jupitus has chosen four of his favourite episodes of the radio sitcom that captured the heart of the nation. "There are episodes here you will be familiar with and some you may never have heard," he says. "But what I can promise is that they are all achingly funny."
Estate Agents, mail-order lingerie, and the invention of central heating: this is medieval England seen from a 21st-century comedy perspective. With an all-star cast, Pozzitive bring you a roisteringly funny new sitcom from the pen of Kim Fuller, who's CV is as long as a really long arm, and includes Spitting Image, Red Dwarf, Badly Dubbed Porn, Rory Bremner, Lenny Henry, and Spiceworld: The Movie.
Julia and Fred and Willy and Jane are happily married and the best of friends, until a postcard arrives with news of the imminent arrival of a certain handsome Frenchman. Gay, debonair, and utterly sophisticated.
"Very good job!"
Prunella Scales and Patricia Routledge take on the world in another hilarious series of the BBC Radio 4 comedy hit. The intrepid grandmothers are back and at loggerheads with their respective families. Vera decides to take a break in Ibiza, and invites Irene to join her.
"Our heroines Jump the Shark"
Sally Phillips stars as Clare in the first series of the acclaimed BBC Radio 4 comedy. Like plenty before her, social worker Clare Barker has entered a caring profession so that she can sort out other people's problems rather than deal with her own. A control freak, she is entirely lacking in self-awareness, making her encounters with colleagues, family, and her partner, Brian, wonderfully entertaining and richly comic.
"Not bad, just not laugh-out-loud funny"
Twenty remastered episodes of the legendary series plus bonus material. Immensely popular and hugely influential, the groundbreaking radio series changed the face of British comedy. Now, for the first time, this collection presents the available episodes in chronological order as they were scheduled to be broadcast. In addition, there are some rare bonus archive items.
In the cheapest room of a big block of furnished apartments Stepan Klotchkov, a medical student in his third year, was walking to and fro, zealously conning his anatomy. In the window, covered by patterns of frost, sat Anyuta, a thin little brunette of five-and-twenty, very pale with mild grey eyes. Sitting with bent back she was busy embroidering with red thread the collar of a man's shirt. She was working against time....
Polinka, a thin fair little person whose mother is the head of a dressmaking establishment, is standing in the middle of the shop looking about for some one. Nikolay Timofeitch, a graceful dark young man, fashionably dressed, with frizzled hair and a big pin in his cravat, has already cleared a place on the counter and is craning forward, looking at Polinka with a smile.
Yegor could not imagine his future works, but he could see distinctly how the papers would talk of him, how the shops would sell his photographs, with what envy his friends would look after him.
Between five and six in the evening. A fairly well-known man of learning is sitting in his study nervously biting his nails. ''It's positively revolting,'' he says, continually looking at his watch. ''It shows the utmost disrespect for another man's time and work. In England such a person would not earn a farthing, he would die of hunger. You wait a minute, when you do come....'' The short story is read in English, and unabridged.