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Summary

Fine Time Fontayne stars as pitman-turned-private eye Stephen J Blackburn in this whimsical detective series.

When he’s made redundant from his job at a South Yorkshire pit, Stephen J Blackburn sets out to forge a new career as a private investigator. With his trainee assistant Tracey, he looks into a series of complicated cases ranging from plagiarism to missing persons. 

In Series 1, the duo are confronted with Hungarian exiles, a philandering husband, a long-lost brother, a purloined TV script and a time-share cash con. Series 2 finds them faced with seven stolen sculptures, a ransomed Filofax, a husband who reappears after 30 years and a routine marital case that starts to look like their final investigation. And in Series 3, Steven and Tracey get digging in the murky world of flowers, crack a pub quiz fraud scam, look into the theft of a ventriloquist’s dummy and track down an Irish labourer - a case which turns out to be far more complex than expected.... 

Starring Fine Time Fontayne (Coronation Street) as Stephen J Blackburn and Judy Flynn (The Brittas Empire) as Tracey Duggan.

Written by Ian McMillan, Martyn Wiley and Dave Sheasby
Directed by Dave Sheasby

First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 18 July-15 August 1989 (Series 1), 20 June-11 July 1991 (Series 2), 18 March-8 April 1993 (Series 3)

Cast

Stephen J Blackburn……………………Fine Time Fontayne
Tracey Duggan……………………Judy Flynn
Mam……………………Rita May
Dad……………………John Branwell

©2019 BBC Worldwide Ltd (P)2019 BBC Worldwide Ltd

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What listeners say about The Blackburn Files: The Complete Series 1-3

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  • KH
  • 23-12-19

I love this

We used to listen to this on the radio but now we can listen to it when ever we wish. It is even funnier than I remembered, well worth a credit.

7 people found this helpful

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Takes getting used to - then it's brilliant

I hadn't heard this series when it was originally on the radio but reviews indicated it was right up my street. I was therefore quite sad when I first started listening because I really did struggle to engage with it during the first couple of stories. I was even contemplating abandonment - and then something obviously clicked! This really is a thoroughly enjoyable listen - well written and read - and the phrase 'down else off' will stay with me forever! If like me you struggle at the start bear with it - it's well worth it.

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

"It's barathea this kid"

An old radio series about a redundant miner turned private eye who, with the help of his YTS secretary, tackles a series of small investigations. Good Northern humour, light situations and excellent performances from the two leads made this a very enjoyable listening experience. Shame the powers that be never thought to transfer it to the telly really.

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Very enjoyable

I loved this, very sharp humour, the one liners come fast and then gone...needs time to sit and enjoy. Best line re current boyfriend "I'll put him in the keep net and throw him back later" . I will certainty listen to the series again.

2 people found this helpful

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Quick-fire Northern humour with a heart

Brilliant writing and fantastic performances. This is so much fun, and even though it’s set in the 80s a lot of the (hilarious) social commentary is still relatable. I could listen to this again and again!

2 people found this helpful

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Story to nowhere!

I found this book “interruptive reading where every one talks over everyone else and, virtually every sentence is a riddle! Not for me I’m sorry! I find the narrative “grates” on me.

1 person found this helpful

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Brilliant, very funny

Although, there were some terrible puns and the humour at times surreal, I thoroughly enjoyed these stories. On occasion I laughed out loud and often had to jot down a line or two, for future use. I wish there were more.

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  • LadyGem
  • 07-01-20

Lively Characters

These actors make wish this was a TV show. I first heard this show on BBC Radio 4 and now I own it thru Audible. I enjoy this show and highly recommend it!

1 person found this helpful