Sunday, February 22, 2009

Mark Billingham on Highsmith's Tom Ripley

A big date for your diaries is next Saturday, as BBC Radio 4 have a special program on Patricia Highsmith’s existential and amoral 'hero' Tom Ripley, which introduces over the next 5 weeks a new serialised adaptation of all Patricia Highsmith's Tom Ripley novels commencing with the hunt for Dickie Greenleaf in 'The Talented Mr. Ripley'

The Complete Ripley – Looking for Ripley
Saturday 28 February
10.30-11.00am [GMT] BBC RADIO 4

As BBC Radio 4 begins a series of new adaptations of the Ripley novels, the crime writer Mark Billingham is on the trail of Patricia Highsmith's hero-psychopath, Tom Ripley.

In the course of his investigation, Mark delves into the shadows as he tracks down those with a real insight into Ripley's ambiguities. Contributors to the programme include: Jonathan Kent; Professor Dinesh Bhugra; and Highsmith's biographer, Andrew Wilson. Extracts from the Ripley novels are read by Ian Hart, who plays Tom Ripley in the drama series which begins this afternoon. Presenter/Mark Billingham, Producer/Erin Riley

The Complete Ripley – The Talented Mr Ripley Ep 1/5
Saturday 28 February
2.30-3.30pm [GMT] BBC RADIO 4

[Liverpudlian actor Ian Hart as] Tom Ripley detests murder, unless it's absolutely necessary. He prefers someone else to do the dirty work. But, if he's called upon to act, there is no one cooler, cleverer or more calculating. BBC Radio 4 brings all five of Patricia Highsmith's Ripley novels together in a new series for Saturday afternoons.

In the first programme, The Talented Mr Ripley, Tom makes a bid for another man's inheritance. He succeeds but the story ends with him looking over his shoulder. Ian Hart stars as Tom Ripley. Other cast starring in this series include: Nicholas Hoult, William Hope, Barbara Barnes, Stephen Hogan, Philip Fox and Tom Brooke. Producers/Claire Grove and Steven Canny

Read More and remember if you miss the show[s] or live outside the UK the show[s] will be archived for at the BBC Radio 4 I-Player site and can be listened to online
BBC Radio 4 at 1430 Hrs GMT each Saturday will be airing all 5 of their adapatations of Patricia Highsmith's Tom Ripley novels - Wonderful, Wonderful, Wonderful - a real treat


  1. Perhaps what makes Ripley so endearing is that he occaisionally despatches such unsavoury characters to oblivion and because we are veiwing these incidents through the distorted lens of Ripleys own confidentiality in the narrative we are less inclined to pass judgement on his own psychopathic character.

    Geoff Smith

  2. I bought the series on iTunes. I buy a lot of audio books and this is one of the very best. Brilliant acting, well adapted, great sound effects and mood. Ian Hart is amazing - I couldn't believe it was him as his voice sounded so different. Ripley Underwater is my favourite but they're all great. One of the best choices I've made. Wish all audio dramas were this good.