Nancy Mitford: Pursuit of Love, Love in a Cold Climate & More

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What to expect

BBC Radio adaptations of Nancy Mitford’s most famous novels and acclaimed biography of Madame de Pompadour plus bonus programmes

The eldest of the notorious Mitford sisters, Nancy Mitford was renowned for her comic novels of upper-class life. An aristocrat and socialite, she mingled with the ‘Bright Young Things’ in interwar London, and went on to satirise their foibles in razor-sharp, wickedly funny prose. Collected here are adaptations of her two bestsellers, the semi-autobiographical The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate; her delightful biography of Louis XV’s chief mistress; and a pair of fascinating programmes exploring her own unconventional life.

The Pursuit of Love
This bittersweet tale follows the fortunes of Fanny Logan and her eccentric aristocratic cousins, the Radletts, as they embark on disastrous love affairs and misconceived marriages while searching for Mr Right.

Cast
Lord Radlett – Rolf Lefebvre
Lady Radlett – Joan Matheson
Fanny – Susan Maudslay
Linda – Jane Knowles
Matt – Brian Hewlett
Captain Davey Warbeck – Godfrey Kenton
Emily – Joan Hart
Tony Kroesig – Michael Spice
Lord Merlin – John Rye
Bessie – Olwen Griffiths
Mrs Fletcher – Barbara Mitchell
The Bolter – Cecile Chevreau
Other parts played by Sion Probert, George Raistrick, Alan Rowe and William Sleigh.
Adapted by Alan Melville. Produced by Norman Wright.
First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 23 February 1974

Love in a Cold Climate
A glamorous invitation to a grand party at Hampton – home of the fantastically rich Montdores and their beautiful daughter Polly – brings Fanny into the world of 1920s high society: and in and out of love when the temperature drops… Amanda Root stars in this sparkling sequel to The Pursuit of Love.

Cast
Fanny – Amanda Root
Lady Montdore – Barbara Jefford
Polly – Teresa Gallagher
Veronica – Jenny Howe
Uncle Davey – Jon Strickland
Aunt Emily – Patience Tomlinson
Aunt Sadie – Tessa Worsley
Uncle Matthew – Ioan Meredith
Boy Dougdale – Stephen Critchlow
Jassy – Sarah-Jane Holm
Victoria – Tilly Gaunt
Cedric – William Hope
Alfred – Tom Beard
Dramatised by Claire Luckham. Directed by Marion Nancarrow.
First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 3 May 1999

The King’s Favourite
Based on Mitford’s Madame de Pompadour, this three-part drama vividly evokes the colourful atmosphere of 18th Century Versailles, and Louis XV’s tempestuous relationship with his adored mistress, Jeanne Antoinette Poisson, Marquise de Pompadour.

Cast
Narrator – Alan Melville
Duc d’Orléans – Patrick Tull
Madame de Ventadour – Katherine Parr
Infanta Maria of Spain – Elizabeth Proud
Louis XV (as a youth) – Nigel Anthony
Duc de Bourbon – James Thomason
The Queen – Pauline Letts
Louis XV – Edward de Souza
Lebel, concierge – Robin Browne
Marquise de la Ferté – Margot Boyd
Monsieur Poisson – Harold Kasket
Madame d’Etioles – Moira Lister
Monsieur d’Etioles – John Gabriel
Lasmartre, a huntsman – David Timson
Lady of the Court – Olwen Griffiths
Produced by Norman Wright.
First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 10-24 December 1971

Dearest Evelyn, Darling Nancy

Adapted from the witty correspondence of lifelong literary friends Evelyn Waugh and Nancy Mitford, this entertaining, gossipy ‘conversation in letters’ stars Timothy West and Prunella Scales.

Cast
Evelyn Waugh – Timothy West
Nancy Mitford – Prunella Scales
Adapted by Alan Bell. Produced by Pete Atkin.
First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 30 December 1993

Greatest Lives – Nancy Mitford

Grace Dent loves Nancy Mitford for her wit, and for the way in which she showed women that it was possible to live your life fully and unconventionally. Matthew Parris asks what it is about Nancy that so inspires Grace, with the aid of Mitford biographer Lisa Hilton.
Produced by Beth O’Dea.
First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 22 January 2013

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