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Charles Paris: A Decent Interval

A BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation
Length: 1 hr and 52 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (158 ratings)

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Summary

A BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation of Simon Brett's entertaining crime novel, starring Bill Nighy. 

Charles Paris has been 'resting' for quite a while, so he's relieved when he is cast as Ghost of Hamlet's Father and First Gravedigger in a touring production of Hamlet. But rehearsals are a little tense - the lead roles of Hamlet and Ophelia are played by a reality TV contestant and TV talent show winner respectively, and their opinions on celebrity and the theatre differ somewhat from those of the more experienced members of the cast. 

The show is barely on the road before tragedy strikes - just before opening night, part of the set collapses, seriously injuring one of the actors. Then another member of the cast is found dead. It's up to Charles Paris to turn detective and investigate the mystery, but with almost everyone having a motive for murder, will he ever track down the real killer? 

Bill Nighy stars as Charles Paris, with Suzanne Burden as Frances, in this dramatisation by Jeremy Front. 

Written by Jeremy Front, based on the novel by Simon Brett.

©2016 BBC Worldwide Ltd (P)2016 BBC Worldwide Ltd

What members say

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Perfectly narrated by Bill Night

Very entertaining but a bit too short. Audible should sell two or three of these complete plays for one credit.. The cast of the plays worked well together and the script flowed like golden nectar with appropriate music welding it all together. Listened to each play twice to get all the humour out. My cup overflowith.

8 people found this helpful

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Updated (thank God)

By now Charles Paris would be 87, and probably pinching care assistant's bottoms, if he hadn't been reborn, like Dr Who, in the person of Bill Nighy. He's much funnier, less sexually predatory, sexist, uncomfortable with LGBT people, (people of colour aren't in his universe) snobbish and suspicious than his original avatar.
This version is self aware humorous and capable of love, even though he's not good at it. His relationship with Frances has two sides; she's not the stooge of the novels, but a fully rounded woman capable of refusing his advances or accepting them on her own terms.

12 people found this helpful

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Cabin pressure meets Agatha Christie!

A modern classic from the BBC!
Keep taking the risks it is worth it in the end!

2 people found this helpful

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Another winner

I really enjoy the Charles Paris mysteries. Uncomplicated, humourous, easy to listen to, great casting.

2 people found this helpful

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Not in the mood for clever.

What to say?
It's Bill Nighy with a full cast in a BBC radio production of one of Simon Brett's funny tales of Charles Paris, aging and often unemployed actor. Always superb, this adaptation is no exception, from the glorious performance of Bill Nighy himself, the deliciously funny situations, the self satisfied agent with the death March ring tone on Charles' monile, bursts of nostalgic mix 20th century music and, of course, a murder mystery.
Too short but very sweet.
Love this series

1 person found this helpful

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good fun!

great series. perfect for listening to on my commute. all the cast are brilliant! top marks

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Shame it wasn’t better

Kind of run of the mile radio play. Bit pedestrian in places and the flow felt quite staccato.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 25-04-16

Another excellent dramatization

I was really happy to find this as I love all the Simon Brett stories about Charles Paris. Bill Nighy does an excellent job with the rest of the cast to bring these amusing murder mysteries to life. The sounds of London are spot on and the production values excellent.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-04-16

Fantastic Production

The cast is superb, the writing is sharp and funny and the production values are the best that you can get. I highly recommend.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Cliente Amazon
  • 13-02-20

Absolutely great

Witty, clever, hilarious, laugh out loud at times, intriguing, BBC at it's best, acting stupendous, loved it.

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  • CC
  • 12-05-18

Bill nighy!

What a delightful way to pass a few hours on long cross- country drive ... bill nighy was, of course, delightful .., fun British murder mystery .. well done all around - loved it!

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  • E. Kress
  • 20-05-17

love, love, love this series!

with a terrific cast, a great story. it's incredibly funny. more, please! and oh, bill nighy!!!

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  • Heath
  • 05-05-16

I love this series!!

Would you listen to Charles Paris: A Decent Interval again? Why?

Yes!! Great acting from the entire cast and fantastic production values overall. The stories are just the right mix of drama/mystery and humor.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Yes. Another clever plot (and you gotta love the acknowledgement that trouble follows Charles wherever he goes).

Which character – as performed by Bill Nighy – was your favorite?

You gotta love Charles Paris. Bill Nighy plays the aging alcoholic actor/ladies man turned amateur sleuth just right, in my opinion. He's the poor man's Poirot!!

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No extreme reactions. It's a light mystery with just the right mix of drama and humor.

Any additional comments?

I own every episode of this series. I've listened to each episode multiple times (great for background at work). I hope the series continues!!!