Bill Nighy stars as Charles Paris with Martine McCutcheon as Jodie Ricks in this BBC Radio 4 comedy detective drama. Charles finds himself uncharacteristically employed in a film, having landed the part of Szabec, a middle management vampire in 'The Wreathing'. His co-star is swimwear model turned actress Jodie Ricks and before long, Jodie is using Charles as a confidant. Poor Jodie is in terrible trouble - not only is she being blackmailed over some compromising photos, but she is also carrying the baby of the film's producer, Elliot Roth, who now wants nothing to do with her. Then things take an even nastier turn when it appears that someone is trying to kill Jodie. Always keen to help a damsel in distress, Charles sets about trying to solve the mystery... Starring Bill Nighy and Martine McCutcheon and dramatized by Jeremy Front.
©2001 Simon Brett (P)2011 AudioGO Ltd
Simon Brett keeps us liking Charles Paris, a well-meaning cad whose acting career never goes so high up the ladder that murder cannot reach him...
I've never read a print version of a Charles Paris Mystery. However, the BBC Radio Crimes productions of the Paris mysteries (this is the second one I've heard) are so well done and enjoyable I'm sure I would prefer listening to reading.
Well, not on the edge of my seat, but the storyline, characters, performances, and overall production quality were excellent and kept me going. Ultimately the solution wasn't as good as I had hoped but the trip to get there was most enjoyable.
This is the second one I've heard and I've thoroughly enjoyed them both. The other had a more satisfying solution, but this had even more entertaining dialogue than the other, and both have been most enjoyable in that regard.
Simon Brett, the author, would probably do better with that than me. The title of this book is clever enough -- just go with that.
Great entertainment -- keep the Charles Paris productions coming!
Hilarious! Hilarious! Hilarious!
I love the dynamic between Charles and Maurice. And also the love/hate relationship between Charles and Frances.
Well, I would have to say that they brought a 'realness' to the characters. I thought that Jodie was a bit whiny to me at first but became more geniune as the story progress. I started to like her. The dynamic between her and Charles was similar to a father/daughter relationship although he was not much of a Dad to his own daughter.
It made me laugh so much, I had to listen to it again!
"Charles Paris deserves better roles..."
And I don't mean this in a bad way!
Bill Nighy just makes this character perfect. His style and narration are perfect for the louche, alcoholic actor who never quite gets the break.
Once again, there is a theatrical murder and once again Charles is on the scene - and as is usually the case both his (ex-)wife and a beautiful girl are there to complicate his life further, and to ease him towards his next double, or double-double "Bells".
Once again, his agent seems to be doing a poor job of promoting his talent and/or mis-feeding him with titbits of promising jobs.
Simon Brett has the background to know what a radio crime drama needs to deliver, and I always find that the Charles Paris mystery scenarios, based in the world of thesps, luvvies, impresarios, etc deliver a jolly fun ride for their money!
I'm not going to claim to be a "Miss Marple" myself, but I usually find I can guess some of the plot before the end, but I rarely manage to get it all. However, even being able to (because these types of radio plays don't often have significant depth) doesn't detract from a really good yarn, and I lay a lot of this at the feet of Bill Nighy, as I said at the beginning.
Even when the book isn't narrated by him, or when reading a "dead tree" edition, I find it so easy to imagine the Bill Nighy characterisation, since it fits so well.
Its not a 5-star review, because (a) I am stingy and (b) this isn't a deep piece of fiction, but it is a nice way to pass time in the car or on the train, all the same!
Charles Paris as played by Bill Nighy is having a tricky time. Delighted to be in work, he is stuggling to be inspired by the plot of the film (or his fellow 'actors'). However before long he is caught up in the tangled love life of his co-star Jodie (played by Martine McCutcheon) as well as the tangled love life of his daughter. A great cast and an equally good script (a modern update by Jeremy Front turns Simon Brett's enjoyable novel into an enjoyable radio drama) combine to make a really entertaining listen - undemanding but funny and engaging. I really enjoyed this.
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