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Summary

Maurice Denham stars as John Mortimer's famous comic creation Rumpole of the Bailey.

Defender of the underdog, friend of South London villains and scourge of QCs, much-loved barrister Horace Rumpole was first brought to life on television, and in 1980 BBC Radio 4 introduced him to the airwaves for a 13-episode series.

In these delightful full-cast courtroom dramas, the claret-drinking, poetry-quoting lawyer recalls his colourful career at the Old Bailey while being supported at home by the redoubtable Hilda ('She Who Must Be Obeyed'). From a disputed will case to a GP accused of murder, Rumpole must exercise all his talents as an advocate to fight for justice.

Includes 'Rumpole and the Confession of Guilt', 'Rumpole and the Dear Departed', 'Rumpole and the Gentle Art of Blackmail', 'Rumpole and the Rotten Apple', 'Rumpole and the Man of God', 'Rumpole and the Defence of Guthrie Featherstone', 'Rumpole and the Show Folk', 'Rumpole and the Fascist Beast', 'Rumpole and the Case of Identity', 'Rumpole and the Expert Witness', 'Rumpole and the Course of True Love', 'Rumpole and the Perils of the Sea' and 'Rumpole and the Age for Retirement'.

Among the supporting cast are Margot Boyd, Michael Maloney, Michael Elphick, Angela Thorne, Geoffrey Bayldon and Saeed Jaffrey.

Duration: 6 hours 30 mins.

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

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Maurice Denham is marvellous as Rumpole


Good variety of stories so easy to listen to multiple episodes without boredom. ( 13 episodes x 29 minutes each )

The theme music, well it’s bad, but just like a gift wrapped in newspaper you should not fault the item. Broadcast in 1980 this synthesiser melody probably was pure class back then, though now it sounds awful and doesn’t fit with the drama. Don’t let it put you off, ‘Rumpole’ is excellent.


There are two other Rumpole BBC radio dramas currently available on Audible:

Rumpole and the Primrose Path, starring Timothy West
Rumpole, The Penge Bungalow Murders, starring Benedict Cumberbatch

4 people found this helpful

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RUMPOLE RUMBLES LIKE A THUNDERING BELLY of LAUGHS

What did you like most about Rumpole?

Rumpole is the antitheses of his compatriates and does a dam good job of it. No one will admit to liking Rumpole, but privately inside they admire his gutsy down to earth belief in himself as he does not give a hoot what anyone else thinks of him. Rumpole sticks to his beliefs in humanity, oh yes that word humanity, the philosophical term of life the universe and everything. Listeners are taken on a great road of triump the Rumpole way and he will make you laugh, think, and feel sorry for 'She Who Must Be Obeyed'. There is no one like Rumpole. He will apeal to each individual individually. Yes Rumpole is a paradox who is 'bound to obey and to serve'.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Maurice Denholm gives a good performance for the radio Rumpole, as do the rest of the characters in this unique professional full cast drama. I do not have a favourite scene, this is a great set of storylines for anyone who enjoys court dramas. Everything is here and we are taken on a different journey on each new case.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

"We Who Are Bound to Obey Are We Who Must Be Obeyed"

Any additional comments?

This is BBC Radio at its best. Great storylines and great acting make for several hours of fun intelligent entertainment, with not a computer in sight !

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Always enjoyable!

Maurice Denham is an excellent Rumpole and these are done as drama as opposed to a narration. And is as completely excellent as the narrated version by Robert Hardy. The pleasure of the characters and the clarity with which John Mortimer was able to create such credible personalities is testament to his great abilities. And of course the wonderful wit and humor of Rumpole is a treat and a delight. Although social issues change it is irrelevant to the enjoyable journey the listener is taken on.

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No matter the age Rumpole always pleases.

Superb story, nifty narration, authorative author. To think the Timpsons could have lived next door.

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Love these rumpole stories

Maurice denham brings these stories to life his voice is great great rumpole like Robert hardy whose version I also have I think Leo mc kern who played him on tv should have read these also

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Excellent retelling

Loved it, great escape from normal life with great actors and some wonderful story lines.

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Rumpole

Excellent reading good plots takes you back to the very good TV series which we all used to watch, recommended reading.

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  • Alla
  • 28-02-21

Every RUMPOLE is a good read.

Any Anglophile will like RUMPOLE. He’s like a comfortable pair of warm socks, a cup of tea and a small cigar on a chilly night. One surprise I’ve found out from recently listening to CLINGING TO THE WRECKAGE, an autobiography by Rumpole’s author/doppelgänger John Mortimer is that the much of Rumpole’s somewhat peculiar legal stories are adapted from either Mortimer’s or his father’s actual case files. That gives the distinct air of reality to the curiouser & curiouser exploits of Rumpole of the Bailey, the lovable Old Bailey Hack.