The good news keeps coming for fans of classic Australian radio serials because another batch of gems has just been liberated from the Grace Gibson archives.

A near perfect crime unravels in Walk a Crooked Mile.

Walk a Crooked Mile was written in London by Lindsay Hardy and introduces us to David Beckett (Guy Doleman) who is a reckless and impatient man. David is attractive to women but we soon discover that he is surprisingly naïve and that most of his problems are of his own making. After finding himself financially crippled by outrageous death duties he will become embroiled with a cunning crime syndicate boss called Beau Sutton (Allan Trevor) and agrees to take Sutton’s gang along with their stolen hoard of gold bullion from England to Tangiers aboard his ocean-going yacht. A near perfect crime will soon begin to unravel when a rival gang comes onto the scene and when Richard Beatty (Walter Sullivan) of the Special Branch becomes totally obsessed with bringing the perpetrators to justice.

David’s life is further complicated when he finds himself torn between his ex-wife and his girlfriend who is a gold digging popsy. There is plenty of action, mystery and suspense, along with murder and betrayal in this thrilling adventure. The all-star cast includes Rupert Chance, Janette Craig, Max Osbiston, June Salter, Joe McCormick, Peter Williams, Grant Taylor, Leon Thaw and Ben Gabriel as the narrator.

A girl is kidnapped in Lady in Distress which was sponsored by Street’s Ice Cream when it aired on 2UW in Australia.

Squad Room transports us back to the days of radio detective drama.

Guy Doleman fans will also enjoy the fast moving mystery thriller Lady In Distress which was adapted for radio by Kathleen Carroll from a story by Octavus Roy Cohen.  The plot follows Gail Barrie who has inherited a million dollars from her father, when she is kidnapped we are left on the edge of our seats as we follow the terrifying plight she finds herself in. The impressive cast includes Charles Tingwell (from the television series Homicide), Lou Vernon, Lynne Murphy, Dinah Shearing, Alan Trevor, and Wendy Playfair.

If you enjoy a good police drama then you’ll love Squad Room which was adapted from the original American scripts to suit Australian tastes. Each self-contained episode opens the door to the Police Precinct Headquarters and transports us to the front line where we meet the men who are in a constant battle to protect us. The action revolves around detectives R J Scanlon and Jim Brady as they sort the guilty from the innocent. They have to investigate an avalanche of dreadful crimes including a case of homicide in which a man’s lifeless body is found spread-eagled across a set of railroad tracks. The impressive cast list includes John Meillon and Stewart Ginn.

There’s more derring-do in Volume 2 of Dangerous Assignment which continues the adventures of undercover agent Steve Mitchell (Lloyd Berrell) as he conducts top-secret government assignments in the ceaseless war against the enemies of freedom. We follow Steve as he meets spies, murderers and members of the secret police in the Far East and in brutal Iron Curtain countries. If you fancy hearing a cross section of taster episodes from a range of vintage crime and mystery serials then the third volume of Grace Gibson Radio Classics (Crime & Mystery) will hit the mark and take you on a crime-filled journey down memory lane.

The action hots up in Volume 2 of Dangerous Assignment.

A plethora of detective drama can be found on Grace Gibson Radio Classics (Crime & Mystery) Volume 3.

I know that many ATV Today readers are avid listeners of the hit Grace Gibson satirical comedy How Green Was My Cactus, which is now the longest-running serial in Australian radio history. The newly released How Green Was My Cactus – The Best of 2017 stars Keith Scott and Robyn Moore in 100 tracks overflowing with political satire.  Highlights include the Bogan family receiving an unwanted visit from a pack of Mormons, a terrorist called Osama bin Wheelie attacks Parliament House using a crack team of highly trained wombats, there is fake news, and even a look at Brexit from an Australian perspective. The team also delve into the high drama of the same-sex marriage plebiscite which had those on both sides of the fence whipped up into a lather.

Keith Scott can also be heard in The Voices In My Head Won’t Stop. This fast moving show was recorded live and will have you in stitches as Australia’s top impressionist blends comedy, satire and nostalgia through a huge cast of characters including legendary actors, singers, and politicians. Keith’s voice will be familiar to television and film audiences through his work on animated hits such as Skippy: Adventures in Bushtown, Flipper and Lopaka, George of the Jungle, and The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle.

The Best of How Green Was My Cactus 2017 is now available.
Keith Scott’s one-man show The Voices In My Head Won’t Stop is now on CD.

More light relief is available courtesy of Volume 14 of Yes, What? “aka Greenbottle.” In this edition of the rollicking schoolroom farce a visiting road worker comes in for some stick from the naughty schoolboys, mischievous Bottomly receives another lash of the cane, and there is mayhem in the chemistry lab. Meanwhile, Greenbottle finds himself in a muddle with his arithmetic, and the father of time-wasting Standforth threatens to remove the boy from St Percy’s unless he finally learns something.

Meanwhile, Volumes 17 and 18 of The Passing Parade narrated by the American announcer John Doremus are now available. These volumes give us an insight into another cross section of fascinating lives and historical events including The Mystery of Oak Island, The Terrible Tongs, we learn of The White Savages, and get the inside scoop on ballerina Fanny Elssler. Other fascinating lives explored include those of the playwright and novelist W. Somerset Maugham and national heroes including Horatio Nelson and Cecil Rhodes.

All of these thrilling productions and a wealth of others are available to listeners worldwide on CD and as digital downloads exclusively from the Grace Gibson Productions website.

Left: You’ll be laughing like a drain with Yes, What Volume 14. Right: Two more volumes of The Passing Parade are out now.

All images copyright IRS Grace Gibson Productions.
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