Occupation: Spy: Eight Full-Cast BBC Radio Spy Thrillers
Release Date
September 2024
17 hours 42 minutes
A collection of full-cast dramatisations and original radio plays from master storyteller Ted Allbeury – plus bonus programmes

Described by Len Deighton as ‘a classic writer of espionage fiction’, Ted Allbeury based his many acclaimed spy novels on his own real-life experiences. In World War II, he served as an intelligence officer with Special Operations Executive, and subsequently ran agents across the border between East and West Germany during the Cold War. He began writing in his fifties, and went on to pen over 40 bestselling books, five of which are dramatised here alongside three plays specially written for BBC Radio and two bonus documentaries.

The Lonely Margins tells the story of James Harmer, parachuted into France in 1944 on a secret mission. Christian Rodska and Kim Thomson star in this tense tale of danger and deceit.

Inspired by actual events, The Other Side of Silence sees MI6 agent John Powell tasked with finding out why notorious traitor Kim Philby wants to return to England from Russia. James Bolam stars as Powell, with Nigel Hawthorne as Philby.

In Long Ago and Far Away, starring David McAlister and Kate Binchy, two ex-SOE operatives find the past returning to haunt them when a voice on the radio brings back memories best left dormant.

In Pay Any Price, a Presidential assassination sparks trouble for the CIA and SIS, as they deal with the consequences of a sinister programme known as MKUltra… Starring Barry Foster, Robert Beatty, Susannah Fellows and Michael J. Shannon.

The Way We Live finds Andrew Collins discovering the unexpected repercussions of being ‘positively vetted’ by the Security Service, starring John Forbes-Robertson.

Time Spent in Reconnaissance sees Peter Harvey finding out how an old military adage applies to his professional and private lives. This thrilling radio play stars Michael Cochrane.

No Place to Hide centres around John Rennie (James Kerry), a secret agent whose loyalty is tested when he is ordered to do something he considers abhorrent.

Meanwhile, in Deep Purple, starring Michael Melia, Louise Germain and Steve Hodson, the fates of a Secret Intelligence Service officer, a Russian defector and a prostitute are inextricably linked.

We conclude with the fascinating two-parter Occupation: Spy, in which Ted Allbeury gives us his unique perspective on the shadowy world of spies and spying.

NB: The language in these programmes reflects the era in which they were first broadcast

Due to the age of these archive recordings, the sound quality may vary

Text copyright © Ted Allbeury 1981 (The Lonely Margins, The Other Side of Silence), 1982 (Long Ago and Far Away), 1983 (Pay Any Price, The Way We Live, Time Spent in Reconnaissance), 1984 (No Place to Hide), 1989 (Deep Purple)

© 2024 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd (p)2024 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd
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