Gransnet forums

TV, radio, film, Arts

Alan Bennett - a Marmite figure I know - on Radio 4

(32 Posts)
Kathy72 Sat 21-May-22 17:42:55

Whilst driving this afternoon, I heard part of a drama on Radio 4 by Alan Bennett - “Cocktail Sticks”. I shall listen to it in full on BBC Sounds later. Just a heads up for anyone who likes his writing, particularly if he’s narrating. I appreciate that some people are not keen on him.

GagaJo Sat 21-May-22 17:55:00

Me too Kathy72! Love Alan Bennett.

I used to listen to his Talking Heads while hammering up and down the A1 on a monthly basis. Amazing talent.

Grandma70s Sat 21-May-22 18:02:06

I didn’t know he was a controversial figure! He’s very much admired by most people I know. I haven’t come across this particular work, but will follow it up. It seems to be another semi-autobiographical work, like Writing Home and A Life Like Other People’s. They are well worth reading.

Nandalot Sat 21-May-22 18:20:56

Just listened to it on BBC sounds. Very enjoyable. The actor playing him was excellent…I think the same one who played him in The Lady in the Van. Very sad towards the end.

Glorianny Sat 21-May-22 18:25:58

Do people really dislike him? I absolutely adore him. He is so multi-talented. The History Boys, The Madness of George 111, his monologues all his TV stuff and his autobiographical stuff. He's a legend and he's from Yorkshire. Oh I forgot The Lady in the Van one of my favourite films. I'd put him up there with Shakespeare as one of the greatest exponents of the English language

henetha Sat 21-May-22 19:14:53

Me too. I think he's a genius with words and I like everything about the great Alan Bennett.

Sago Sat 21-May-22 19:52:06

Love him and lived very near him in Clapham N.Yorkshire.
He read the eulogy at a funeral in the Church there and had everyone rolling in the aisles.

Jane43 Sat 21-May-22 20:05:41

I love him too. I wouldn’t call him a marmite figure, more of a national treasure.

Urmstongran Sat 21-May-22 20:10:23

Another Alan Bennett fan here!

Aveline Sat 21-May-22 20:12:00

I thought everybody loved Alan Bennett. The cocktail sticks story is so touching and sad. I've only read it but I hear his voice as I read his books.

Woodmouse Sat 21-May-22 20:28:30

I really like his work. I found myself sitting next to him on the Underground once. I was desperate to talk to him but was overcome with shyness. I shall listen to this recommendation. Thank you.

Grannybags Sat 21-May-22 20:56:36

I love him too! Thanks for the heads up

Kathy72 Sat 21-May-22 20:56:59

Oh, I’m glad to hear that maybe I’m wrong that people don’t like him. My MIL doesn’t like his voice, and my next door neighbour wrinkled her nose up when I mentioned this play!

Georgesgran Sat 21-May-22 21:17:35

What’s not to love - a genius with words. Sat near him in Betty’s in Harrogate years ago, a tall figure.

Chrissyoh Sat 21-May-22 21:32:09

Love Alan Bennett .

Chrissyoh Sat 21-May-22 21:40:09

He has a new book out : House Arrest : Pandemic Diaries - I’m saving it for my holidays 🤓.

MerylStreep Sat 21-May-22 21:48:40

I once played a lead roll in Habeus Corpus: Muriel Wicksteed.
Hilariously funny.

lixy Sat 21-May-22 21:50:24

I enjoy listening to Alan Bennet too - but then I also like marmite!

Zoejory Sat 21-May-22 22:00:00

Thanks for the heads up. He's one of my favourites.

Not sure about the Marmite, I don't know a soul that doesn't like him.

Enid101 Sat 21-May-22 22:09:26

chrissyoh I hope you’ve got a short holiday the ‘book’ is only 36 pages of text!

Chrissyoh Sat 21-May-22 22:29:34


chrissyoh I hope you’ve got a short holiday the ‘book’ is only 36 pages of text!

😂😂 Really ?

Enid101 Sat 21-May-22 22:35:18

Yes, very short and some of the reviews are disappointing but I’m sure you will enjoy it

Chrissyoh Sat 21-May-22 22:58:00

Thanks Enid101 - I’ll give it a go anyway 😁.
I’ll get back to you with a “review “ 😁.

Dickens Sat 21-May-22 23:17:38


He has a new book out : House Arrest : Pandemic Diaries - I’m saving it for my holidays 🤓.

... apparently, it's a slender volume - only 64 pages!

According to The Guardian, "His writing remains as deft and seamless as ever"

Thanks for the heads-up.

He's 86 and crippled with arthritis sad

In November 2020 he notices that the Queen, nearly 10 years his senior, is able to walk backwards when laying a wreath at the Cenotaph. The fact that Her Majesty could probably not manage this today is a reminder of how swiftly treacherous advanced old age can be. (The Guardian)

Kathy72 Sun 22-May-22 02:13:36

I have “Pandemic Diaries / House Arrest”. It is extremely slender - I read it in less than an hour - but I keep dipping back in.