David Tennant - Radio 5 Pic: BBC

More details have been released about the new Richard Wilson comedy series Believe It! which begins on BBC Radio 4 next Wednesday.

David Tennant is one of a small supporting cast who play a number of different roles. Written by Jon Canter, the four-episode show is a fictional biography ostensibly based on Wilson’s own life.

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The first episode is called Drink and asks the question of why Richard Wilson gets drunk on the 25th November each year. It can be heard on BBC Radio 4 at 11.30am on Wednesday 9th May


From the BBC programme page:

Believe it!

Celebrity autobiographies are everywhere. Richard Wilson has always said he’d never write one.
Based on glimmers of truth, BELIEVE IT is the hilarious, bizarre, revealing (and, most importantly, untrue) celebrity radiography of Richard Wilson.

He narrates the series, weaving in and out of dramatised scenes from his fictional life-story. He plays a heavily exaggerated version of himself: a Scots actor and national treasure, unmarried, private, passionate about politics, theatre and Manchester United (all true), who’s a confidant of the powerful and has survived childhood poverty, a drunken father, years of fruitless grind, too much success, monstrosity, addiction, charity work, secret work for governments and fierce rivalry with Sean Connery (not true). All the melodramatic staples of celebrity-autobiography are wonderfully undercut by Richard’s deadpan delivery.
(The title – in case you hadn’t spotted – is an unashamed reference to his famous catchphrase.)
Richard is supported by a small core cast viz:
David Tennant
John Sessions
Lewis Macleod
Arabella Weir
And Jane Slavin
Who play anyone and everyone!

Produced by: Clive Brill

A Pacificus Production for BBC Radio 4.

Review by Stuart Manning in the Radio Times:

Fact meets fiction as Richard Wilson narrates this personal “radiography”, taking listeners on a semi-fictional odyssey through milestone moments in his life. Featuring childhood secrets, a decades-long quest for a lone glove and a cameo from an acting legend of yesteryear, it’s whimsical and gently charming.
The wry script is more likely to inspire smirks than all-out laughter, but in Wilson it has a bona fide trump card. Delivered matter-of-factly in his lugubrious drawl, even the most outrageous flights of fancy can seem plausible. He might struggle to convince the listener that he truly coached George Best to football triumph, but for a moment we do wonder — and therein lies the true joy of this play. Like all the best tall tales, it’s difficult to tell where the truth really ends.


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