Playing for His Life

45 min. BBC Radio drama from 2011 about mid-20th Century German tennis champion Gottfried Von Cramm (Geoffrey Streatfeild) whose fame and success allowed him to rebuff efforts to make him join the Nazi Party, and made the Nazis turn a blind eye to his friendship with Jews and his homosexuality — but such freedom was incumbent only upon his propaganda value and his continued international success on the tennis court!

Very well acted and an effective look at a historical figure, and a time, and an intriguing dramatic tension (winning or losing a match could have serious consequences for him personally) without maybe being more than a look at a historical figure and a period well-mined by dramatists over the years. Based more-or-less on fact (funnily, I think Von Cramm was married a few times, so I


The hugely successful Wingfield plays (beginning with Letters from Wingfield Farm and numbering four or five sequels) tell the story of a big city stock broker, Walt Wingfield, who decides to chuck the fast lane and buy a small town farm — relating his adventures (and misadventures) in letters written to the local paper. Written by Dan Needles, they


Paul Temple appeared in novels and a series of popular radio serials by Francis Durbridge decades ago. In some respects they seemed like the ideal marriage of the kind of breezily sophisticated manor house mystery, ala Lord Peter Wimsey and the like, with a more pulpy, action flavour ala, say, Bulldog Drummond, the stories involving a little more shooting and cliff hangers than the simple arm chair detective mystery.

Paul Temple and his wife Steve are the usual upper middle class sophisticates (with a butler, yet!) — he writes mystery novels, but also acts as a consulting detective and is friends with the Police Commissioner. Many of the old serials are still rerun on BBC Radio and available on CD (with various actors essaying the role, though Paul Coke is often regarded as the definitive Paul). As well, in 2007-2009, the BBC decided to re-do some old serials for which the original recordings were lost. So they used the old scripts, but with new actors (and apparently, even restricting themselves to technology that would