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Just William: A BBC Radio Collection

Classic Readings from the BBC Archive
Narrated by: Martin Jarvis
Length: 13 hrs and 16 mins
5 out of 5 stars (223 ratings)

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Summary

A stunning collection of Just William stories, selected and read by Martin Jarvis.

Richmal Crompton’s stories featuring irrepressible schoolboy William Brown have been firm favourites with both young and old for decades. Perpetually scruffy, mud-stained and mischievous, he is a lovable scamp whose pranks usually end in disaster – for his harassed elders at least.

With friends Ginger, Douglas and Henry (the Outlaws) and the angelic thorn-in-his-side, the lisping Violet Elizabeth Bott, William has rightly joined the literary, and radio, immortals.

Martin Jarvis, who has been hailed as ‘the wizard of the talking book’ by The Daily Telegraph, has made the voice of William his own, and this collection of 54 laugh-out-loud stories will delight long-standing fans and first-time listeners alike.

Also included are two bonus interviews with Richmal Crompton, recorded in 1965 and 1968.

The stories included in this collection are:

'The Christmas Truce'
'Only Just in Time'
'The Midnight Adventure of Miss Montague'
'William and the Musician'
'William Leads a Better Life'
'William and the Twins'
'William’s Birthday'
'William and the Little Girl'
'The Outlaws and Cousin Percy'
'William and the Princess Goldilocks'
'The Sweet Little Girl in White'
'A Birthday Treat'
'The Outlaws and the Triplets'
'A Bit of Blackmail'
'William Makes a Night of It'
'William and the Lost Tourist'
'The Leopard Hunter'
'The New Neighbour'
'William the Philanthropist'
'William and the Prize Cat'
'William Holds the Stage'
'William and the School Report'
'All the News'
'Aunt Arabelle in Charge'
'William’s Goodbye Present'
'William the Salvage Collector'
'William’s Day Off'
'Entertainment Provided'
'William and the Brains Trust'
'William and the Bomb'
'William Goes Shopping'
'Violet Elizabeth Runs Away'
'William and the Real Laurence'
'The Outlaws and the Hidden Treasure'
'William and the Fairy Daffodil'
'The Best Laid Plans'
'Mrs Bott’s Hat'
'William Starts the Holidays'
'William Plays Santa Claus'
'William and the Snowman'
'Revenge is Sweet'
'William and the Black Cat'
'William and the Russian Prince'
'William’s Busy Day'
'William – The Great Actor'
'William and the White Elephants'
'Finding a School for William'
'William’s Birthday'
'William Clears the Slums'
'Parrots for Ethel'
'William’s Truthful Christmas'
'Boys will be Boys'
'William and the Ebony Hair-Brush'
'William and the Old Man in the Fog '

©2017 BBC Worldwide Ltd (P)2017 BBC Worldwide Ltd

Critic reviews

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What members say

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Floreat William Brown!

This is a superb reading of 'William' in old BBC Home Service style (there can be no higher praise) . I have listened to the stories as I did other things and it has been such a creative, imaginative experience, reviving many memories from decades back before looking dominated listening. Dear William! I am now as old as one of those daffy aunts! He never dates!

12 people found this helpful

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classic bbc radio.

Martin Jarvis is brilliant at these readings. His voices of the different characters is so funny especially of Violet Elizabeth Bott. Each story is about 15 minutes long so perfect for a quick listen. They are laugh out loud funny.

7 people found this helpful

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Classic

Everyone should listen to this, Just William combines good-natured childhood antics with a wry wit. The stories are a perfect length for a commute and it’s hard not to smile as William Brown goes through triumph and disaster, while causing chaos all the way.

5 people found this helpful

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Just William 1-5

I love listening to William the stories are full of fun. It is the original recordings for bbc volumes 1 to 5. It even has Williams birthday in there twice just like the tapes :) happy childhood memories

3 people found this helpful

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A trip down memory lane

I used to read these stories to my children and have had a lovely time listening to them again. Obviously the stories are dated with regards to modern children but still hold the fun and entertainment they always had.

2 people found this helpful

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Irresistible

Martin Jarvis’s narration is perfection. Naturally, he is wonderful as William, and his voice/persona for Violet Elizabeth - who I wasn’t keen on when reading the books as a child, for some reason - is excellent. The stories are as clever, silly and funny as I remembered, and work brilliantly in the audio format. I laughed aloud many times. Highly recommended.

2 people found this helpful

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Pure Nostalgia

I find the William stories endlessly amusing. What Richmal Crompton does, like Agatha Christie, is to recreate a bygone way of life, a bygone era. And William is surely unique, as fresh as ever, though by now he should be thoroughly jaded and faded, being a twenties’ schoolboy. There is no possible reader for these stories other than Martin Jarvis, who brings the characters to life so splendidly that we enjoy the ride as much as he does.

I was very surprised to learn, upon hearing the interview, that the author was a woman!

2 people found this helpful

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Fantastic! Perfect escapism

Having read the Just William books when I was a boy, I thought I’d buy this because I remembered enjoying them.

This may we’ll be my favourite Audiobook that I’ve bought so far. Martin Jarvis gives a wonderful reading of all the stories, and you are transported to a simpler time where nothing is ever really threatening.

If you are questioning whether or not to buy this, my answer is a resounding yes!

1 person found this helpful

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Brilliant🙀

This book is amazing great narration hilarious stories i loved this and is 100% worth buying.

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Perfection

This is a sublime combination - Richmal Crompton's writing is full of wit and insight and Martin Jarvis seems able to give it life. I love it.

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  • Dee Slate
  • 06-08-18

Excellent!

Listening to Martin Jarvis narrate made me remember how much I loved William Brown and his exploits! I t was a joy to listen to.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Matthew
  • 27-03-20

Delightful Nostalgia

I love having these stories again. Especially brought to life by Martin Jarvis. Highly recommend for all Just William fans.

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  • Sameer
  • 06-04-18

Nice!

Reminded me of my childhood reads! Brilliant performance and the interview with the author is a bonus!