BBC Beekeeper

Several years ago, BBC Radio 4 did an adaptation of The Beekeeper’s Apprentice.  If you don’t know Radio Four, this is the radio station that covers not music, but the word: dramas, comedies, in-depth reports on news and history, it’s a genius source of wit and wisdom the like of which does not really exist in the US.

For a while, the CDs of Beekeeper and similar works could be bought in the BBC shops, but then they went out of stock, and the 2000 recording went back into the dim recesses of the Beeb’s archives.

Until now.p01l9f8l

Adapted by Shaun Prendergast, starring Pendergast, James Fox, Monica Dolan, and Sian Thomas, these four episodes were re-broadcast a couple of weeks ago, and are being streamed for the next two weeks on the Radio 4 site, here.

Let me know what you think of them!


  1. Merrily Taylor on June 24, 2015 at 7:14 am

    I listened to it several days ago and really enjoyed it. Obviously it’s considerably condensed from the book, but I still enjoyed hearing my favorite book brought to life. Thought the confrontation with Donleavy was very well performed!

  2. Guy Roberts on June 24, 2015 at 7:29 am

    Looking forward to hearing the adaptation. I’m glad you’re a BBC Radio 4 fan – It’s a real institution on this side of the pond. Thanks to the internet, it’s available round the world and I really recommend it for shows such as Desert Island Discs, comedies like Sorry I Haven’t a Clue and probably the best radio news in the world. The Today programme in the early morning is the agenda setter for British news coverage.

  3. Janis Kiehl Harrison on June 24, 2015 at 10:06 am

    Thank you! I have bookmarked BBC Radio 4 and will enjoy listening as I iron a few things, etc. Looking forward to exploring their offerings.

    • Janis Kiehl Harrison on July 6, 2015 at 7:00 pm

      I was able to listen to the first story, and loved it. But then I could not get the others to open! I’m a techno-idiot, so sometimes these things happen, but I’m still disappointed.

      • Laurie King on July 6, 2015 at 7:51 pm

        The episodes should be available for another couple of days, so maybe try again?
        Good luck!

  4. Madonna Smith on June 24, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    Thanks for posting the information. Enjoying the episodes.

  5. Madeline Quinones on June 25, 2015 at 7:07 am

    I listened to the whole thing almost in one go and loved it! Holmes’s voice actor took some getting used to at first but then I really enjoyed him.
    Will this show ever be sold again by the BBC? I would really like to have my own copy!

    • Laurie King on June 25, 2015 at 7:58 am

      At present, there are no plans for selling this, but if it changes, I’ll announce it, probably in the newsletter. (If you need to sign up for that I, it’s at

      • Madeline Quinones on June 25, 2015 at 10:36 am

        Aw, pity. Thank you, though! I guess I’ll just have to keep my fingers crossed! 🙂

  6. Elizabeth on June 25, 2015 at 7:45 am

    This is fantastic. Thank you so much for the link to this site. I’m an instant fan.

  7. Deborah on July 1, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    My husband and I so enjoyed these radio plays. I especially like how the violin was used to good effect between scenes.

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