Arts > A Life of Bliss

10 July 2014 | by D.J. Taylor

A Life of Bliss

BBC Radio 4 Extra

Dredged up from the vault by some enterprising BBC archivist, A Life of Bliss (from 6 July), scripted by Geoffrey Harrison, turns out to have run for a mammoth 118 episodes in its original 1953 incarnation. If the current transmission restricts the listener to a mere six, thenit also allows a splendid opportunity not only to examine old-style radio comedy in all its prelapsarian glory, but to track the early careers of one or two performers who went on to much greater things.Social historians frequently harp on the extraordinary gentility of the 1950s radio voice. Here, an absurdly youthful George Cole, playing the absent-minded bachelor hero, seems to have walked straight out of an elocution lesson, while the female cast members – with the exception of the cockney daily Mrs Griffin


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