Charles Paris is his own worst enemy, a louche lush who can resist anything except temptation - especially in the form of women and alcohol. He’s been out of work so long now he feels he may never get a job and he’s driving Frances, his semi-ex-wife, mad. So when he’s offered a small role in a play, she nearly pushes him out of the door. But it seems that ‘The Message is Murder’ is such a terrible production that someone wants to kill off the cast. First there is a series of nasty accidents, then someone attempts to stab Charles. Can he find the murderer before they strike again? Bill Nighy stars as Charles Paris in this entertaining dramatisation by Jeremy Front.
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"Another BBC Value Performance"
BBC Radio Drama rates usual kudoes!
Soundtrack mimics Golden Oldies of Charles Paris's past, reminding us of his age. Dialogue is sparkling.
All Bill Nighy's performances as Charles Paris are delightful, well worth the modest cost...
Yes, and I did so twice...
Only the Colonial Radio Theater performances come close to matching the BBC Radio Crime dramas. Both troupes are well worth snapping up every offering.
As it was made for radio I thought they did a fair job of bringing the characters to life in the short time available; it took a bit of imagination to fill in the blanks but that's what radio is about and why we have the gift of imagination.
Yes, I quickly came to know who the characters were and how their idiosyncrasies made up their personalities
I don't know....too much realism has hit our screens; I'm not sure this would make it past the first season.
This radio drama is a great listen when doing those humdrum chores around the house.
"Charles Paris Rules!"
These radio plays are good mysteries but Bill Nighy as Charles Paris makes them great. He is witty, unbearable, sexy, hilarious, and mostly drunk. Suzanne Glover as his long suffering wife Frances is absolutely perfect. It's easy to see why they achieved 35 years of "divorce avoidance." They have great vocal chemistry. The rock and roll sound tracks are a big plus. More, please.
"Fantastic entertainment for travel or a rainy day"
I never tire of the Charles Paris . The mix of louche behavior, contemporary music and exquisite performances makes me feel as though I am in the room watching the comedy undold. Perfect for when you want a great story, well told.
"Great performance unnecessarily interrupted"
Love Simon Brett and his Charles Parris character, but, oh why did the recordist not edit out every single cast list and introduction from the original BBC serial. These breaks in the story were really irritating.
"My guilty secret..."
Terrible enough to admit listening to this series on Radio 4 or 4 Extra but imagine the ignominy of downloading them! I can't help it though - if I'm ever a bit gloomy (one does have these moments), a dose of Charles Paris with a strong cup of tea is the very thing to set me right. Bill Nighy is just so wonderful in this role and the supporting cast give their all so that the ludicrous plots slip by almost unnoticed.
"Wry and languid - just right!"
The wry Brett observation, delivered in Bill Nighy's languid tones, finds a near-perfect balance. The plot is just about sufficiently interesting to provide an entertaining background to a motorway or rail journey.
"Lightweight but great fun"
I love the interaction with Frances his wife
I think it is Bill Nighy that makes this series - he just makes me laugh
Fun murders with Charles Paris and some hilarious dialogue with his wife and her Italian lodger... Cutting edge drama rehearsals very wry.
Bill nighy lend himself naturally to these lighthearted detective stories, excellent series, first came across them on BBC4 EXTRA, collecting them all
"A Joy to Listen to"
If you have not yet discovered the Charles Paris stories on the BBC then you are in for a treat. They are based upon the novels of Simon Brett but brilliant adapted by Jeremy Front.
Charles Paris is a struggling actor, alcoholic and misogynist. He lives sometimes with his long suffering wife although they are Semi-Detached. Bill Nighy plays the part to perfection and is perfect for the role. The rest of the cast are superb though, particularly Morris Glover who plays his agent.
The thing that makes these dramas work so well is the music that is added. Every song is a classic and usually has some relevance to the story.
The story revolves around Charles' appearance in provincial repertory theatre and as usual there is a murder and being the scenes dodgy dealings. Charles becomes sleuth and soon finds himself up to his eyes in it.
I listen to this again and again and it still makes me laugh out loud.
"Great as always."
Definitely. 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.
Bill Nighy is fabulous as the dissolute actor detective.
Love hearing radio plays so this is a delight.
The humour linked with a good story.
The dry, laid back performance.
This makes you laugh out loud.
Went online and purchased two more Charles Paris dramatised books with Bill Nighy when I finished listening.
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