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Summary

Stephen Mangan and Claire Skinner star in all four series of the popular BBC Radio 4 comedy drama.

Bill works as an economist in a right-wing institute giving succour to bankers and businessmen. Bella teaches yoga, waters the plants in Canary Wharf and holds Proust seminars for retirees. Years ago they shared a flat before Bill got married and moved to America. Now he's back and feeling a little off-kilter, so he decides to rekindle his friendship with Bella.

Once a month they get together for lunch, where they talk about everything from politics to Proust, parenting and the perils of online dating. The only thing they never discuss is how much they love each other....

In Marcy Kahan's delightful "platonic romantic comedy", we join Bill and Bella as they meet, eat and disagree about everything; and over the course of four series, we learn their hopes and dreams and listen in as their lives change direction.

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

Critic reviews

"A wise and witty feast for the senses." (Gillian Reynolds, The Daily Telegraph)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Hilarious and captivating!

A brilliant audiobook which keeps you entertained and unable to 'put down' as not being able to wait to hear the next 'episode'.
Great narration, great book!
Highly recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Different, but entertaining

Really enjoyed this series. Stephen Mangan and Claire Skinner are old friends who get back in touch and decide to meet once a month for lunch and we get to listen to the travails of their lives. The episodes are in 15 minute chunks so are easy to listen to. As you would expect from two great actors like Mangan and Skinner the characters are interesting and you can't help but want to learn more about the two characters. Overall if you like well written character comedy then this is definitely worth your time.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A Slow Burning Comedy

I wasn't entirely sure about this during episode one but stuck with it. A delightful comedy about two friends with different values.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

charming series of quick listens

I didn't find it too comical at first, but entertaining enough to keep listening. As the series went on I found it seemed to get funnier and having downloaded it thinking it would be convenient to have some quick-plays to dip in and out of, I ended up listening to it all very quickly. The biggest negative was the title music but otherwise a very enjoyable listen.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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Loved it!

I loved the whole idea of a lunch based drama in small sections (even though I ended up listening in bulk!). The performances were excellent and believable. The only downside was the annoying music at beginning and end of each chapter, it got grating as I listened to the whole audiobook in 3 sittings. It might not annoy those who listen to each bit separately! Overall a fantastic piece of writing and performance! Can’t wait for the next season!

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Enjoyable, but incomplete - where is series 5?

A very pleasant, series of short episodes that let you get a glimpse at the lives of two friends who 'lunch'. Well acted and endearing, but the end feels very unresolved. Turns out there is another series not available here. Worth a listen anyway, but I'll not be able to rest until I find a way to hear the next series!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Easy listening

such a calming listen, i've listened a few times now.
lovely duo.
has helped me to relax

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • s
  • Chiswick, United Kingdom
  • 12-04-18

I want to live in this world

Would you listen to Lunch: Complete Series 1-4 again? Why?

The only bad thing about this book is the fact it will end. You come to this conclusion within a few minutes. The end of the series took me by surprise when it didn't roll on to the next episode. Not unlike the sensation of lying on a sunbed and the timer runs out - you go from a warm, light (if somewhat sweaty world), back into the slightly dim real world.

What other book might you compare Lunch: Complete Series 1-4 to, and why?

Frasier - for wit and charm perhaps, Gogglebox - for intimacy at a push...

What does Stephen Mangan and Claire Skinner bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

They are both utterly charming.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes but I restrained myself as much as possible

Any additional comments?

Marcy, Claire, Stephen..take me to Lunch.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Nigel
  • Berkshire, UK
  • 12-06-17

Pleasant, but forgettable

20 x 14 minute episodes of Bill and Bella’s monthly luncheon

A pleasant listen, but felt it lacked something. Maybe it was because the scenario, having lunch, was all the same. And having just two characters made it sound like a verbal tennis match.

If you haven’t already listened to it, I would recommend getting BBC Radio 4’s ‘Love in Recovery’ which really does grow on you with each episode

0 of 1 people found this review helpful