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From Fact To Fiction is a BBC Radio 4 series in which playwrights respond to current events through short dramatic pieces, usually 15 minutes in length.

Series

Series One

# Title Author Broadcast Date Summary
1 Rain [[]] 29 April 2006
2 Brave Faces David Edgar 06 May 2006 Celebrated playwright David Edgar takes a mischievous look behind the scenes at this week's local elections. This piece imagines the soundbites you'll never hear as local candidates and senior politicians agonise over their speeches in anticipation of the judgment of the electorate.

Cast: Nicky Henson, David de Keyser, Nisha Nayar, Tracy Wiles, Bertie Carvel, Kim Wall, Elizabeth Bell, Gerard McDermott.

3 [[]] Georgia Fitch 13 May 2006 Playwright Georgia Fitch takes us on the road to the FA Cup Final with a family of West Ham fans. Once they hit problems, it's not long before some of the political battles that raged across Barking and Dagenham recently are being re-fought as they struggle to make it to Cardiff in time for the game.

Cast: Desmond McNamara, Nicola Walker, Damian Lynch, Jamie Kenna.

4 Cleaning the Pipes Michael Symmonds Roberts, Imtiaz Dharker 20 May 2006 Celebrated poets Michael Symmonds Roberts and Imtiaz Dharker combine with composer John Harle to create Cleaning the Pipes, a response to Britain's initiative to bring stability to the Helmand province of Afghanistan. The Commander of the Task Force described their role thus: "We are not here as a colonial force to come and sort out the problems. Our role is to clean the pipes and get things flowing again".
5 [[]] [[]] 27 May 2006
6 [[]] [[]] 03 June 2006
7 [[]] Bettina Gracias 10 June 2006
8 [[]] Colin Teevan 17 June 2006

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Series Two

# Title Author Broadcast Date Summary
1 Just Another Tribe [[]] 21 October 2006
2 United! Mark Lawson 28 October 2006 Writer and broadcaster Mark Lawson sets his drama, United! in a fictional Northern club where, coincidentally, a Romanian and Bulgarian footballer have just been signed. However, problems soon arise when the East European superstars find personal reasons for refusing to play in the forthcoming Friday and Sunday games. Cast includes Struan Rodger and Gerard McDermottt
3 [[]] Alistair Beaton 04 November 2006 The year is 2012, the Kyoto treaty is about to expire and the eyes of the world are on the London Olympics. But one junior minister is so frustrated by the International Community's failure to seriously address the Carbon Emissions crisis, that he decides that a spectacular environmental gesture wiill help focus attention on what really matters.
4 Donald's New Job Guy Browning 11 November 2006 Guy Browning speculates on new employment for former US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Produced by Jonquil Panting.
5 [[]] Lemn Sissay 18 November 2006 The Queen's Speech outlined the Blair government's strategy for the year ahead. But what was the Queen unable to say in the proscribed text?
6 Carry On Boozing and Cruising Harry Venning, Dave Ramsden 25 November 2006 They thought it was the end of the booze cruise, but how wrong can you be? Get onboard the celebratory booze cruise and carry on boozing!
  • Captain/Light - David Fleeshman
  • Number 2/Frankie - James Nickerson
  • Rose/Barmaid - Fiona Clarke
  • Jack/Barman - Mikey North
  • Bromhead - Lloyd Peters
  • Music by Robin Steadman
  • Directed by - Gary Brown
7 [[]] Rommi Smith 02 December 2006 In a week when Tony Blair expressed 'deep sorrow', for Britain's role in the Slave Trade, and the Mayor of London accused the black Chairman of the CRE of 'failing the victims of racism', Jazz Poet Rommi Smith meditates on our legacy of Empire and why sorry always seems the hardest word.
8 [[]] [[]] 09 December 2006

Series Three

# Title Author Broadcast Date Summary
1 Completion Colin Teevan 19 May 2007 With Dexter Fletcher and Noma Dumezweni
2 Authentic Rebecca Lenkiewicz 26 May 2007 Does constant surveillance make us more or less secure?


  • Sandra - Lizzy McInnerney
  • Clive - Shaun Dooley
  • Frank/Man/Policeman - Lloyd Hutchinson
  • Gary/Manager - Stephen Critchlow
  • Lynne - Jasmine Callan
3 Forget Me Not Sarah Daniels 02 June 2007 Playwright Sarah Daniels imagines the impact of death in action upon a typical soldier's family and its effect on a triangle of women who are left behind.
4 Draining the Pool Stewart Lee 16 June 2007 America is facing its worst summer drought since the Dust Bowl years of the Great Depression while many parts of the world are suffering floods. President Bush, however, is still non-committal in response to climate change. Fervent Democrat Frank has retired to Arizona with his wife, but what is happening to his tranquil poolside lifestyle?
5 Gaza Philip Palmer 23 June 2007 This story imagines what it's like for ordinary people caught up in the violence and in-fighting in Gaza City, as well as the reactions of British nationals working in the region.

Featuring original composition from BBC Radio Drama composer-in-residence Nicolai Abrahamsen.

  • Iman/Alena - Jasmine Callan
  • Fatmah - Souad Faress
  • Billy - John Dougall
  • Daniel - Simon Treves
  • Hamir - Christoper Simon
6 Coming Home Sue Teddern 07 July 2007 In Yorkshire, Reg is coming home. But what's left of his home to come back to?
7 The Brownies Are Ready To Serve John Sergeant 15 July 2007

Series Four

# Title Author Broadcast Date Summary
1 Pundits Christopher William Hill 10 November 2007 As a London-based journalist responds to the state of emergency in Pakistan, she is influenced by the conspiracy theories of a friend in Washington. But is the news from Islamabad darker than anybody dares to imagine?
  • Todd Hagan - Henry Goodman
  • Pippa Reynolds - Haydn Gwynne
  • Saba Iqbal - Priyanga Burford
  • Matt - Simon Treves
  • Zoe - Joannah Tincey
2 To The River Adrian Mitchell, Andy Roberts 17 November 2007 Poet Adrian Mitchell and singer Andy Roberts collaborate on To the River, a surreal journey into the depths of a curious underworld.
3 Fallen Into The Wrong Hands Thomas Crowe 24 November 2007 An imaginative leap from Alistair Darling's reassurance that the mislaid Child Benefit information almost certainly hasn't been misappropriated. With Ewan Bailey.
4 Cash Flow Amanda Bullmore 01 December 2007 Explores some of the absurdities we face when we step into the labyrinthine world of finance. With Julia Davis, Stuart McQuarrie, Anne Rabbit, Simon Treves and Peter Marinker.
5 Left Jamie Harper 08 December 2007 As a man suddenly reappears four years after being declared dead, director and his team of actors create a drama Left, touching on the experience of those left behind when someone goes missing.
6 Girl Power Kate Mosse 15 December 2007 A young woman wants to know what happened to Girl Power.
7 Christmas Recess Jeremy Hardy, Paul B Davies 22 December 2007 A comic play about a crisis of conscience for a backbench MP.
8 Resolution Ryan Craig 29 December 2007 Ryan Craig's comically tender play reflects on a year of political upheaval and tells of a deal between two powerful men who clearly can't bear to be in the same room. He asks what we want from the people who manage us and what we can expect from the year to come. With Gerard Murphy, Robert Bathurst, and Frances Jeater.

Series Five

# Title Author Broadcast Date Summary
1 The Ant and the Crocodile Bettina Gracias 26 April 2008 Bettina Gracias explores a personal story behind the vociferous protests around the Olympic torch and the situation in Tibet. With Pik-sen Lim, Jonathan Chan-Pensley and Chooi Beh.
2 [[]] Marcy Kahan 03 May 2008 On election day, Artie has been given an ultimatum by his girlfriend Zoe. Travelling through London to the polling station, he contemplates his love of both Zoe and the city. With Stephen Mangan and Helen Longworth.
3 A Change of Heart Christopher Reason 10 May 2008 A comedy about a disappointed local councillor who has just lost her seat. She wants to radically change her life so that she doesn't have to care any more. With Siobhan Finneran, David Fleeshman, Graeme Hawley and Lloyd Peters.
4 Polar Bear Sean Buckley 17 May 2008 The tragic consequences of crimes of violence perpetrated by young people. With Sally Hawkins, Josef Altin and Joe Prospero.
5 Family Snaps Richard Monks 24 May 2008 In a week when the Bank of England warned of a sharp rise in unemployment and reports of the debt crisis hitting the middle classes have made the headlines, writer Richard Monks looks at the personal cost of a national crisis.
6 A Thousand Times Katie Hims 31 May 2008 Looks at the shattering effects of violence on everyone it touches.
7 The Orchard Lin Coghlan 07 June 2008 As world leaders meet in Rome for a UN-sponsored summit on the world food crisis, writer Lin Coghlan looks at the issues surrounding food shortages through the prism of a modern fairytale.
8 Up On The Roof Colin Shindler 14 June 2008 In the light of rooftop protests and the Commons counter-terrorism vote, Colin Shindler takes a comic look at the politics and practicalities of direct action.

Series Six

# Title Author Broadcast Date Summary
1 Ozymandias Mark Burton 18 October In a week that has seen global economic recession move even closer, Burton's Ozymandias takes a comic look at how the volatile stockmarket at home and in Russia has caused problems even for the oligarchs. With Ewan Bailey and Annabelle Dowler.
2 Magnificent Desolation Kim Revill 25 October 2008 In the week that India launched its first mission to the Moon, Kim Revill discovers slices of life on earth that reveal the ambitions of aspiring superpowers and faltering confidence amongst the old order.
3 Transit PG Morgan 02 November 2008 Behind the lines in the US presidential election.
4 This Is Our Moment Kwame Kwei-armah 08 November 2008 The effects that Barack Obama's message of change message may have on our own communities.
5 Clear Your Desk Laura Solon 15 November 2008 With UK house sales falling to a 30-year low and unemployment figures rising, comedy writer and actor Laura Solon examines the financial crisis through the eyes of two rival estate agents. As their professional relationship turns personal, are they helping or hindering their risk of unemployment?
6 The Gulf Katie Hims 22 November 2008 Trepidation onboard a cargo ship as it approaches the Gulf of Arden, the scene of many recent hijackings.
7 Pins And Needles Jeff Young, Pete Wylie 29 November 2008
8 [[]] Will Self 06 December 2008 Angela's family receive a visit from a social worker.

Series Seven

# Title Author Broadcast Date Summary
1 Coughs and Sneezes Laura Wade 02 May 2009 With a swine flu pandemic increasingly likely, the spotlight is thrown on an anxious couple newly returned from Mexico. With Samuel West, Lucy Akhurst and Benjamin Askew.
2 [[]] Bonnie Greer 09 May 2009 As experts begin the exhumation of up to 400 unknown WWI soldiers in the village of Fromelles, Bonnie Greer imagines the impact upon some of those involved. With Nadine Marshall, Malcolm Tierney, Benjamin Askew.
3 [[]] John Fletcher 16 May 2009
4 [[]] Robin Ince 23 May 2009 As more high-profile politicians lose their jobs because of the Westminster expenses scandal, the comedian Robin Ince tells the story of an ordinary man with no interest in freebies.

With Kevin Eldon, Jeremy Swift and Janice Acquah.

5 Parliament of Rooks Steve Waters 30 May 2009 With a nod to Chaucer, playwright Steve Waters takes us to the Parliament of Rooks, where the birds are having their own crisis of leadership. With David Hargreaves, Alex MacQueen, Sophie Stanton and Paul Rider.
6 I Dreamed A Dream Patrick Neate 06 June 2009 In a week where policies have taken a back seat and the elections became a fight for one man's survival, you may be somewhat disillusioned with British politics.

But if you think you feel that now, wait till you hear the greatest talent show on earth. With Alistair McGowan.

7 The Underdog Tim Key 13 June 2009 Offbeat Poet Tim Key attempts to tackle the burning issues of the day, but gets distracted by England's World Cup qualifier with Andorra. With Tom Basden.
8 Counting April De Angelis 20 June 2009 As Iran waits for election results to be recounted, and in Britain an inquiry is announced into the Iraq War, April De Angelis looks at secrecy in the region.

Series Eight

# Title Author Broadcast Date Summary
1 The Man in the Suit Rebecca Lenkiewicz 07 November 2009 Radovan Karadzic's makes his first appearance at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. As Karadzic insisted that he needed more time to prepare his defence and claimed that his fundamental rights had been violated, there were many with other thoughts on their minds. With Nigel Anthony, Annette Crosbie, Adam Kotz and Zoe Waites.
2 [[]] Annie Caulfield 14 November 2009 As the price of gold hit record levels this week, an Australian exploration company publicised its plans for full-scale production at Scotland's first goldmine in 2011.
3 Jam Today? DJ Britton 21 November 2009 In the week in which Transparency International published their Corruption Perceptions Index, citing the MPs' expenses scandal as a key factor in the UK's lowest placing yet, DJ Britton tells the story of a young politician hoping to land a safe seat in the next election.

With Anne-Marie Duff, Rory Kinnear and John Biggins.

4 The Herald in the Sky Glyn Maxwell 28 November 2009 Two nurses tend to a man who has been in a coma for over 20 years. With Claire Rushbrook, Nigel Hastings and Lydia Wilson.
5 Ghost Writing Jeremy Front 05 December 2009 The trial of alleged Nazi guard John Demjanjuk has begun in Munich. Jeremy Front looks at why it's still important to confront one's past. Performed by David Schneider and Geoffrey Hutchings.
6 What Is The Custom Of Your Grief? Timberlake Wertenbaker 12 December 2009 This week witnessed the death of the 100th British soldier to be killed in Afghanistan this year, the 237th since 2002. In What is the Custom of Your Grief? playwright Timberlake Wertenbaker imagines the correspondence between two young girls bereaved by the conflict. Performed by Betsabeh Emran and Emerald O'Hanrahan.
7 The Guilt Season Liz Jensen 19 December 2009 With matters of climate change under international scrutiny, novelist Liz Jensen brings together three characters with wildly differing views in a comic monologue.
8 Chocolate Katie Hims 26 December 2009 Katie Hims responds to the threatened takeover of British confectionary group Cadbury with a bittersweet love story. With Christine Kavanagh and John Biggins

Directed by Abigail le Fleming.

Series Nine

# Title Author Broadcast Date Summary
1 Motorway Man Tony Grounds 01 May 2010 It's the last weekend before polling. The debates are over, and it's 'make your mind up time'. Across the country, barbeques are being primed, lawns are being mown and choices are being mulled over. Somewhere amidst the Home Counties marginals, Motorway Man - this election's successor to Worcestershire Woman and Mondeo Man - has been distracted from his task.
  • Adam - Rhys Thomas
  • Ian - Jude Akuwudike
  • Mikey - Kenneth Cranham
  • Rochelle - Kellie Shirley
  • Directed by Sasha Yevtushenko
2 None Of The Above John Finnemore 08 May 2010 The election is over, and Frank Whitman, Member for Fitton West since 1987, is celebrating. It's been quite a week. Never mind the electorate, Frank's personal swingometer has resembled nothing so much as a metronome.


  • Frank Whitman, MP - James Fleet
  • Verity Whitman - Christine Kavanagh
  • Adrian Foale - John Finnemore
  • Moderator - Vineeta Rishi
  • Questioner - Jude Akuwudike
  • Omnes - David Seddon, Tony Bell
3 Double Dip Neil Brand 15 May 2010 As the Greek economic crisis risks plunging the entire Eurozone into meltdown, an Athens family go to hilarious lengths to conceal their wealth from revenue-hungry tax authorities.


  • Nicholas - Stephen Critchlow
  • Sofia - Anna Savva
  • Illiana - Lydia Leonard
  • Joe - Lloyd Thomas
  • Directed by Peter Kavanagh
4 Menace Kate Clanchy 22 May 2010 When care home residents Dennis and Walter encounter a gang of young boys, they're reminded of their own tearaway youth.


  • Walter - Peter Marinker
  • Dennis - Warren Mitchell
  • Directed by Emma Harding
5 Grounded Terence Blacker 29 May 2010 Mark is at Toulouse airport, usually a pleasant place to be, but the BA strike has caused disruption and he has to get home to Annie, or else! And, hold on, what is he doing there in the first place?


  • Reader - Paul Ritter
  • Produced by Duncan Minshull
6 I Want My Life Back A.L. Kennedy 05 June 2010 As oil continues to spew into the Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizon explosion, and the cost of the clean-up soars, an office worker on the other side of the world watches BP's live images with mounting despair


  • Written and read by A. L. Kennedy
  • Produced by Justine Willett
7 Fourteen Units A Week Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti 12 June 2010 This week, the Scottish parliament debated a bill that could impose a minimum price on units of alcohol by the end of year. Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti's play traces a week in the life of Jessica, a woman becoming unhealthily interested in the drinking habits of her cleaner.


  • Jessica - Doon Mackichan
  • Kerry - Eliza Caitlin Parkes
  • Felix - Sam Dale
  • Directed by Abigail le Fleming
8 Solitudinem Faciunt Et Pacem Appellant Marina Warner 19 June 2010 In a week that saw the publication of the Saville Report into the Bloody Sunday shootings and Israel announced the setting up of an inquiry into the raid on a Gaza aid flotilla, one family is undergoing its own form of truth and reconciliation. In a fictional country, a retelling of the Salome story by prize-winning author and historian, Marina Warner.


  • Mother - Adjoa Andoh
  • Father - Anthony Calf
  • Jess - Eloise Secker
  • Directed by Gemma Jenkins

Series Ten

# Title Author Broadcast Date Summary
1 Octopus's Garden By The Sea Lavinia Murray 30 October 2010 With a new brand of austerity on the horizon, and the implications of Housing Benefit cuts to inner cities, playwright Lavinia Murray takes a satirical and bizarre look into the future.
  • Exodus Shelfstacker - Kathryn Hunt
  • Bourne Leader - Zara Turner
  • Produced by Pauline Harris
2 Inside the Bonfire Jo Shapcott, Paul Farley 06 November 2010 For Bonfire Night weekend, poets Jo Shapcott and Paul Farley respond in verse to a week of headlines full of bombs, blasts and eruptions.
  • Man - Brendan Coyle
  • Woman - Katharine Rogers
  • Director - Emma Harding
3 Reform Nell Leyshon 13 November 2010 Two years ago Lyn and Tom adopted a vulnerable four year old boy, tonight they must look again at what it means to be a family.
  • Lyn - Claire Rushbrook
  • Tom - Nicholas Gleason
4 House Arrest Will Self 20 November 2010 In this monologue, the novelist Will Self responds to a week of news that has reported the release of various individuals after periods of imprisonment.
5 Carnival Janice Okoh 27 November 2010 In a week that once again saw students protesting on the streets Janice Okoh tells the story of single mother Lorraine and daughter Nicole and how they are affected by the proposed changes to student fees.
  • Lorraine - Clare Perkins
  • Nicole - Deeivya Meir
  • Dean - LLoyd Thomas
  • Produced by David Hunter
6 The Galway Ghost Lizzie Nunnery 04 December 2010 Declan Conway's life was good, spurred on by success he'd bought a stake in his very own horse -the Galway Ghost. Will Declan be a relic from his time or does he have a future?
  • Declan Conway - Jonathan Forbes
  • Produced by Pauline Harris
7 Frozen Linda Marshall Griffiths 11 December 2010 Two strangers in a remote cottage by a frozen lake. One is about to release an incendiary secret video clip on the internet. The other wants to stop him. What are the consequences? A haunting, lyrical drama.
  • Harry- Conrad Nelson
  • Paul - David Fleeshman
  • Produced by Gary Brown
8 Santa's Sit-In Ian McMillan 18 December 2010 Santa protests too much when he hears his local library might close. A festive verse comedy.
  • George - Ian McMillan
  • Steve - Mark Chatterton
  • Produced by Gary Brown

Series Eleven

# Title Author Broadcast Date Summary
1 The Farewell Rebecca Lenkiewicz 30 April 2011 Cal, an offbeat space afficionado, lives in the Mojave desert as the busy space programme there enters a new era. He communes with Nadezhda, a true-life woman Russian astronaut, and in his imagination, a close friend. She knows what this new development will mean for the hard-working astronauts involved...
  • Cal - Toby Jones
  • Nadezhda - Dina Lorzun
  • Directed by Peter Kavanagh
2 In Order of Preference Hugh Costello 07 May 2011 Paul Weeks is a "NO" man - he thinks AV is expensive and flawed and not the British way. In the week of Bin Laden's killing, he finds the AV referendum an embarrassing sideshow. But his wife, Sophie, has been actively campaigning for a YES vote, with a vigour that has surprised Paul. Now, as polling day arrives, and as the fault lines are exposed in the coalition's facade of unity, Paul and Sophie's marriage also starts to unravel. Does Sophie's passion for change have as much to do with their relationship as with electoral reform..?
3 Artefacts Christopher William Hill 14 May 2011 Kirsten and Patrick have very different opinions about how Osama Bin Laden should be represented in an exhibition.
  • Kirsten - Madeleine Potter
  • Patrick - Christopher Naylor
  • Akif - Adeel Akhtar
  • Directed by Mary Peate
4 Belgian Waffle Lionel Shriver 21 May 2011 In the week that Dominique Strauss-Kahn has resigned as head of the IMF - following his arrest on sexual assault charges - award-winning novelist Lionel Shriver (We Need To Talk About Kevin, So Much For That) imagines the reaction of a Brussels-based bureaucrat - and his no-nonsense wife.
  • Rupert - Alex Jennings
  • Fiona - Anna Chancellor
  • Produced by Emma Harding
5 Superinjunctions David Baddiel 28 May 2011 A whirlwind of events is unleashed by one man's attempts to protect his privacy. With:
  • Lucy Montgomery
  • Peter Polycarpou
  • Sean Baker
  • Alan Raglan
  • Susie Riddell
  • David Baddiel
  • Directed by James Robinson
6 Winners and Losers Ed Jones 04 June 2011 With the governance of international football being so much in the news this week, Ed Jones takes a look at how morality plays out at a more local level. Two football dads meet over a pint and discuss their lads.
  • Jonah - Greg Wood
  • Robbie - Will Ash
  • Directed by Gary Brown
7 The City is at Standstill Nick Payne 11 June 2011 In the week that the Prime Minister said that he would welcome cross-party talks on funding care for the elderly, playwright Nick Payne looks at the preparations taking place this weekend for a very special birthday party.
  • Donald - John Rowe
  • Robin - Carl Prekopp
  • Amy - Alex Tregear
  • Mum - Elaine Claxton
  • Dad - Gerard McDermott
  • Directed by Sasha Yevtushenko
  • Production Co-ordinators: Emma Hearn and Matilda James
  • Studio Managers: Mike Etherden and Victoria Kent
  • Editor: Mike Etherden
  • Executive Producer: Sally Avens
8 The Gotcha Moment Terence Blacker 18 June 2011 Terence Blacker responds to the Sarah Palin emails leak, when 24,000 pages of her missives appeared in the public domain. He imagines how a newspaper editor would deal with such a mountain of stuff, if it came his way. Would he rise to the challenge of making something of it all, or would he sink without trace!
  • Gary Wells - Adrian Scarborough
  • Produced by Duncan Minshull

Series Twelve

# Title Author Broadcast Date Summary
1 [[]] Snoo Wilson 14 January 2012 The wife of a city financier, fed up with his cheating, decides on a tuneful revenge: a musical called 'Fat Cats'. But if his bonus goes, who's going to fund it?
  • Gloria - Tracy Wiles
  • Sneep - Stephen Critchlow
  • Tom - Orlando Seale
  • Pianist - Neil Brand
  • Produced by Peter Kavanagh
2 Pandamonium Peter Souter 21 January 2012 We view Scotland's fight for independence from the perspective of two new and rather unusual Edinburgh residents.
  • Sweetie - Juliet Stevenson
  • Sunshine - Tim McInnerny
  • Produced by Helen Perry
3 [[]] Adam Thorpe 28 January 2012
4 [[]] [[]]
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References

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