Bill Nighy stars as Charles Paris in this BBC Radio 4 full-cast adaptation of Simon Brett's comic crime novel An Amateur Corpse. Charles is out of work again, and to make matters worse his mother has come to stay and he's no way of escaping her. So when he's offered some voiceover work by old friend, Hugo, he's delighted to get out of the house. But Hugo's marriage is in trouble: his much younger wife, Ellie, spends all her time at her Amateur Dramatic Group, and Hugo is drinking too much.
When Ellie is found drowned in their swimming pool, it seems Hugo is guilty of murder. It's up to Charles to prove his friend's innocence... Bill Nighy, Suzanne Burden, and Geraldine McEwan are among the star cast in this entertaining mystery, dramatised by Jeremy Front.
©2012 Simon Brett (P)2013 BBC Worldwide Limited
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"Bill Nighy is hysterically funny"
I have enjoyed all of the Charles Paris dramatizations multiple times. Beautifully written with first class actors they are funny and juicy stories. In particular the use of music is worth mentioning as it greatly enhances the drama and comedy.
"Worth Every Minute.."
The casting and direction of this Jeremy Front adapted script is sublime.
Bill Nighy is wonderful, as ever, in the role of Charles Paris but there isn't a bad turn to be found here.
Intelligent, funny, poignant, sharp the one liners flow as the plot follows the hapless Charles as he meanders, sloshed, through life.
The appearance of his Mother, staying with him whilst recuperating from surgery, is a stroke of casting genius......but I won't spoil it by saying any more!
Treat your self and enjoy the surprise!
"WONDERFUL, WITH A FEW RESERVATIONS!"
I am a fan of the Charles Paris stories brought so fabulously to life by Bill Nighy, with the consummate skill of Jeremy Front, and have bought all the series they have done over the last 5 years or so. This one is still very much worth listening to but a little disappointing in a few ways. First it is quite short, at under 2 hours. Second, though it was good to meet his off-beat Mum, the part needed to be taken by someone who's voice was not so obviously famous and so with her face and character coming thriough all the time - she was Miss Marple not Mrs Paris Snr! Thirdly, the music was not taking enough of a role - just about there and not the essential, delightful part of the whole that has become a trade mark of Mr Front's wonderful re-write of Simon Brett's novels. Having said that it is well worth listening to - I recommend it because even with faults, it's good.
Charles never fails to amuse. He is a walking miracle . Cheers Charles. No yarn would be complete with out Maurice and Frances who know Charles better than he knows himself. All round entertainment!
"Standout narration by Bill Nighy."
Yes, without a doubt. Bill Nighy does a wonderful job as Charles Paris. Lightweight plot admittedly but this is a 2 hour comedy romp which I can see myself listening to over and over again. Bill Nighy is the spark here and the wonderful rapport he has with the character who plays his long suffering wife and his agent makes this book sing!Hugely enjoyable. A 2 hour slice of fun.
I have listened to and read many of the Agatha Raisin novels by MC Beaton - these are admittedly lightweight on the crime element but brilliantly humorous yarns. The narration of Penelope Keith brings the character of Agatha alive and the way in which her performance adds something special is very like what Bill Nighy does for Charles Paris.
Perfect as the luckless, hapless perennially drunk and unemployable Charles!
Undoubtedly the moments of biting wit from agent Maurice giving Charles another dressing down! The comedy and banter worked well.
A brilliant production of an easygoing storyline. Comedy crime but Bill Nighy plays this perfectly!
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I love Charles paris. he is so witty, down to earth. great songs. great story
"Just great, an utterly lovable rogue"
The kind of radio drama you wish they get on and film...but are glad they haven't ruined yet. Always great entertainment.
The BBC dramatisation though brings the story forward to today, and with wonderful down to earth dialogue - you're in the heart of the crime, the play, the tangled personal relationships and their history before you know it.
Perfectly poised - captures the dissolute, curious, intelligent Charles Paris bringing him to life with gusto.
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