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Summary

The convoluted chronicle of an optimistic crime writer

Gerald C Potter is the proud author of Death in the Arboretum, described by the Bournemouth Echo as 'well-written'. He works hard on his books, and worries about every comma, adjective and unfortunate typo, but somehow, he never seems to get very much done. However, his wife and fellow novelist, Diana (aka Magnolia Badminton), is positively prolific - much to his chagrin.

These four series recount his daily activities and struggles for inspiration, as he tries to solve the mystery of his missing briefcase; goes up against his wife as they compete to publicise their new books; takes a holiday abroad that's far from relaxing and receives a double-edged surprise on United Potter Day. And in special festive episode 'The Cousin', an unexpected message in a Christmas card leaves Gerald and Diana scrambling to prepare for a last-minute visitor....

Written by celebrated humorist Basil Boothroyd, this witty, quick, clever sitcom ran for five years on Radio 4 between 1976 and 1981. It stars Ian Carmichael (The World of Wooster, Lord Peter Wimsey) as Gerald C Potter, with Charlotte Mitchell (Waggoners' Walk, The Adventures of Black Beauty) as Diana.

Production credits

Written by Basil Boothroyd

Produced by Bobby Jaye

Cast

Gerald C Potter - Ian Carmichael

Diana, his wife - Charlotte Mitchell

With Michael McClain, James Thomason, Trader Faulkner, Robin Browne, Michael Deacon, Jo Manning Wilson, Margaret Robertson, Peter Craze, Anthony Smee, Michael Goldie, Penelope Reynolds, Geoffrey Matthews, Edward Kelsey, Betty Huntley-Wright, Fiona Mathieson, Garard Green, Brian Carroll, Danny Schiller, Douglas Blackwell, Patricia Hughes, Margot Boyd, Pauline Letts, Brian Haines, Lolly Cockerell, Jane Knowles, Michael Spice, Preston Lockwood, Charles Colville, Paddy O'Byrne, John Church, Judy Franklin and John McAndrew

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4, 22 March-26 April 1976 (Series 1), 9 November-14 December 1977 (Series 2), 26 December 1977 (Christmas Special, 'The Cousin'), 24 September-29 October 1979 (Series 3), 27 April-1 June 1981 (Series 4)

©2021 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd (P)2021 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

Critic reviews

"Basil Boothroyd's quietly comic classic." (Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph

What listeners say about The Small Intricate Life of Gerald C. Potter

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My favourite radio comedy!

What a treat to hear once more the brilliant Ian Carmichael as Gerald C Potter. All six of this very entertaining series here which will bear listening to over again