My small and, until now, closed circle of actors that I would enjoy just hearing read the phone book has just expanded. Originally, only founding members Bill Nighy and Patrick Stewart were part of this exclusive club. Now, Benedict Cumberbatch has just entered the small, but growing circle. Cumberbatch, along with his Sherlock co-star, Louise Brealey, have recorded a Radio 4 reading of love letters sent between Second World War soldier Chris Barker and his girlfriend Bessie Moore. My Dear Bessie.
The reading of the love letters, which first appeared in Simon Garfield’s book “To The Letter”, is not new to the actor, having last read a selection of the correspondence at the Hay Literary Festival last May with actress Lisa Dwan taking the part of Bessie Moore. In the upcoming special, which will air on BBC Radio 4 on Monday 20th April at 2:15pm (9:15a ET/8:15a CT), the Sherlock star will read the part of young serviceman Chris, a signalman stationed in Cairo, while Brealey, who plays mortician Molly Hooper in Sherlock, will play the part of Bessie. Bessie was a Morse code interpreter at the Foreign Office in London.
While it is more than frustrating to not be able to access the BBC iPlayer outside the UK, access to BBC Radio, including Radio4, is possible through apps for both iPhone and Android. Definitely think about a quick visit to the App Store between now and April 20. Or, you can always listen online by going to the BBC Radio 4 homepage. Aside from a well deserved bit of a Benedict Cumberbatch fix, it sounds like an absolutely glorious way to spend a Monday morning.