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Summary

All four series of the BBC Radio 4 comedy impressions show following the imagined private lives of the rich and powerful

The Secret World is an impressions show with a difference – it shines a light on the imaginary alternative lives of famous folk. Each episode takes place over one day, with stories unfolding and overlapping from morning to night.

In these 22 episodes, we hear about the bizarre habits of celebrities from Lady Gaga to Keith Harris and Orville. Al Pacino reveals his alternative life as a balloon twister, Barack Obama becomes a Pearly King; Professor Brian Cox finds himself stalked by various women, including the Queen; and the Archbishop of Canterbury tries tweeting for the first time – with disastrous results.

We also find out what Sean Connery, Griff Rhys Jones, Pam Ayres, Kirsty Young and Peter Sallis have in common (they all enjoy nothing more than meeting up for a spot of bare-knuckle fighting), discover Princess Anne’s secret passion for trainspotting and learn about Russell Crowe’s strange fixation with sprouts. And there are sinister revelations about Alan Titchmarsh’s dark side when his career is threatened.

Winner of the Gold Award for Best Comedy at the 2014 Radio Academy Awards, this richly imaginative satirical comedy stars Dead Ringers alumni Jon Culshaw, Lewis MacLeod, Duncan Wisbey and Debra Stephenson, as well as acclaimed comedy performers Margaret Cabourn-Smith, Julian Dutton, Sarah Hadland and Jess Robinson.

We also peer into the lives of Al Pacino, Miranda Hart, Prince Charles, Lady Gaga and the Queen, to name a few. 

The cast are: Jon Culshaw, Lewis MacLeod, Duncan Wisbey, Margaret Cabourn Smith, Julian Dutton, Sarah Hadland, Jess Robinson and Debrea Stephenson

©2020 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd (P)2020 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

What listeners say about The Secret World: Inside the Private Lives of the Famous

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Alright but some impressions are dodgy

The idea of this is great and I did sit through all 22 episodes. It's just a version of dead ringers with 2 good impressions and the rest are rubbish. Anything that Culshore does is tripe, so we're left with some good voice work from the women. I'm not returning it because the concept is good in itself.

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Hugely enjoyable.

I loved this audio book. Quirky, funny and brilliantly performed. My only disappointment is now I have finished it.

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A sneak through the keyhole

Here is mere mortals can eavesdrop on the glamorous lives of the rich and famous, on their secret phone calls and meetings in the corridors of power. It is well acted forced gets a little samey after a while.