Nicholas McInerny
BBC Radio Plays

Nicholas is a scriptwriter based in London. He was educated at Christ's Hospital, Horsham, Oxford University and St Martin’s College of Art. He has written for radio, television, theatre and film, and is a well-known lecturer and tutor. He is currently organizing the International Radio Drama Festival in Canterbury which takes place in March 2019.

R4 unless indicated otherwise.
27.01.94 THE DEATH OF IVAN ILYICH rpt. 1.1.95
25.12.95 THE NUTCRACKER CHRISTMAS; rpt. 28.12.1996.
29.03.00 NEVERMORE
05.12.01 SIGNS OF LIFE Series 2: BATTLE CRY
25.03.02 EARTH SONG
27.03.02 THE END OF TIME
01.01.03 NOT SO TINY TIM
??.03/04.05 PRISONERSOF ALBION (3 PLAYS/contribution)
30.12.05 EX LIBRIS
04.03.06 GOLD MUFFLER; for THE VERB, Radio 3
21.09.07 WHO WON THE ELECTION? Ep. 3 of NUMBER 10
21.09.09 and 22.09.09 BLAME THE PARENTS Two plays with Jonathan Myerson
12.08.13 HOW TO HAVE A PERFECT MARRIAGE, 5x15m drama
10.08.15 HOW TO HAVE A PERFECT MARRIAGE, 5x15m drama,2
27.06.16 HOW TO HAVE A PERFECT MARRIAGE, 5x15m drama,3
26.06.17 HOW TO HAVE A PERFECT MARRIAGE, 5x15m drama,4


Nicholas McInerny's autobiographical look at modern relationships. This is a revealing look at a situation which must occur many times; a married man with a family gradually comes to the realization that he is gay. What happens next? (Note that I have attempted to give the episodes separate titles outlining the narrative without providing spoilers.) This story of a family surviving an emotional earthquake has been broadcast as 5x15-minute episodes over four series. It has become extremely popular and has struck a chord with the public; Nicholas has even appeared on Woman's Hour to talk about it.

    12-16 Aug 2013 - How to Have a Perfect Marriage
    5 x 15m. Karen is a busy mum with teenage girls; happy in her life. Then she finds an odd text on her husband's phone. Everything starts to change. Jack and Karen are nothing out of the ordinary; they have been happily married for years and are convinced every problem can be worked through. This is until Jack realises he is gay. Karen .... Julia Ford, Naomi .... Katriona Perrett, Ella .... Ellie Bindman, Cecily .... Liza Sadovy, Miranda .... Liza Sadovy, Malcolm ....Toby Sawyer, Jack .... Greg Wise, Ben .... Con O'Neill. Music by Greg Wise; singer Amy Liptrott. Sound design: Eloise Whitmore. Producer: Melanie Harris. Indie (Sparklab).

    1. The text
    2. Denial
    3. Storms and a first date
    4. Turmoil
    5. Wedding anniversary

    10-14 Aug 2015 - How to Have a Perfect Marriage, series 2
    By Nicholas McInerny. 5x15m. Karen knows her much-loved husband of 19 years is gay. A new normality is established. Jack stays with his boyfriend Tom on agreed nights away and slips back into the house before the children get up. Jack has come out to his wife Karen but not to the kids. Now he wants to tell the girls. Karen .... Julia Ford, Jack .... Greg Wise, Naomi .... Katriona Perrett, Ella .... Ellie Bindman, Ben .... John Sessions, Tom .... Daniel Crowder. Music by Greg Wise. Sound designer: Eloise Whitmore. Producer: Melanie Harris. Executive Producer: Jo Meek. Indie (Sparklab).

    1. A new normality
    2. Unravelling
    3. Karen's new date
    4. Trouble at School
    5. United in Adversity

    27 Jun - 1 Jul 2016 - How to Have a Perfect Marriage, series 3
    By Nicholas McInerny. 5x15m. Can Karen and Jack stay married, even though he's openly gay? Two years after he came out, they're still close, have a regular date night each week and are both involved in steering their girls through their teenage years.Then Jack says he wants to buy his own flat. This means the family house must be sold. Jack .... Greg Wise, Karen .... Julia Ford, Ella .... Izzy Watts, Tom .... Daniel Crowder, Miranda .... Mary Doherty, Naomi .... Katriona Perrett. Producer: Melanie Harris. Executive Producer: Jo Meek. Indie (Sparklab).

    1. Crossroads
    2. The new book
    3. Health scare
    4. Fun
    5. Possible Futures

    26-30 Jun 2017 - How to Have a Perfect Marriage, series 4
    By Nicholas McInerny. 5x15m. Karen and gay husband Jack are called to account by their surprisingly grown-up teenagers. In the first episode, Naomi and Ella receive a legacy of £10,000 from Ben, Jack's best friend. Naomi (18) and Ella (16) have had to deal with seismic changes to their lives inflicted on them by their gay dad. Under the circumstances, they are remarkably sane. Now we explore the next chapter, which is mainly about them. Jack .... Greg Wise, Karen .... Julia Ford, Ella .... Izzy Watts, Naomi .... Katriona Perrett, Miranda .... Dona Croll. Sound Designer: Eloise Whitmore. Producer: Melanie Harris. Executive Producer ..... Jo Meek. Indie (Sparklab).

    1. Legacy
    2. The Big Spend
    3. Naomi's Party
    4. Online Buddy and an arrest
    5. Pulling together

Blame the Parents Episode 1 ....2009
21 Sep 09. Drama by Nicholas McInerny and Jonathan Myerson about teenagers caught up in a violent crime outside their school. How much do parents really know about what their teenagers are up to? As far as the parents of Ben; Rory and Kris are concerned; their children have the world at their feet. But behind the promise of university and sporting achievement lies a much darker reality. Lekha Balaji ...... Bharti Patel, Nitin Balaji ...... Paul Bhattacharjee, Kris Balaji ...... Ashwin Bolar, Millie Balaji ...... Chandeep Uppal, Shona Peattie ...... Deborah McAndrew, Malcolm Peattie ...... Tom Roberts, Rory Peattie ...... James Rastall, Linda Swann ...... Claire Benedict, Ben Swann ...... Daniel Anderson. Directed by Steven Canny and Peter Leslie Wild.

Blame the Parents Episode 2....2009
22 Sep 09. By Nicholas McInerny and Jonathan Myerson. In the days after the knifing; the three sets of parents try to comprehend how their children could have become involved. Cast - as Ep. 1.

A Good Read....2009
17 Feb 09. Discussion programme: Kate Mosse talks to director and playwright Jonathan Holloway and playwright Nicholas McInerny about their favourite books.

Friday Play, 'Number 10', episode 3 of 5: Series of plays depicting life inside Downing Street. As the government prepares for a major cancer screening initiative with a private American company, a leaked letter between the Prince and the Prime Minister appears to advocate legalising cannabis. Prime Minister ...... Antony Sher, Polly Cairns ...... Haydn Gwynne, Monica Smith ...... Sasha Behar, Steve McKie ...... Stephen Mangan, Colin Brenner ...... Colin McFarlane, Lord Cairns ...... James Laurenson, Jasmine ...... Elizabeth McGovern, Hannah ...... Kelly Hunter, Norman Johnson ...... Shaun Prendergast, George ...... Nicholas Grace, Giles ...... Nicholas Woodeson, Anita ...... Carol McReady, Chrissie ...... Marcella Riordan. Producer - Clive Brill. Indie: Pacificus.

    Background: A drama series for BBC Radio 4 about a fictional British Prime Minister and his staff. Series created by Jonathan Myerson and produced by Clive Brill of Pacificus Productions; Peter Hyman as Political Adviser. Another series went out in 2008.

    7 sep 07 Good News Day, by Jonathan Myerson
    14 sep 07 And raise them to Eternal Life, by Jonathan Myerson
    21 Sep 07 Who won the Election? by Nicholas McInerny
    28 Sep 07 Rule of Law, by Mike Harris
    5 Oct 07 Home & Away, by Jonathan Myerson

Ex Libris....2005
30 December 2005,14:15 hrs,45m, Saskia Reeves / Nick Sayce / Janet Maw.

    By Nicholas McInerny, R4 1415, 31 Jan 06. A woman receives a legacy: a cottage previously inhabited by her aunt, an academic. She finds a bundle of old letters. That’s where the story begins.

    The play attracted interesting comments on the Radio 4 messageboard. “It was a gripping journey through a matrix of affairs of the heart; it didn't wallow or focus on grief but took the reader on a fantastic journey through a huge gamut of emotional experiences. The academic context was spot-on, too, and readily accessible to the average listener.” (C.H.)

    “From the opening strands of Bach´s cello suites to the last this drama had class written all over it”. …just the tonic I needed clearing up after last night's New Years´Eve bash. Lets hope this sets the trend for the year ahead. (‘penguin’, a frequent contributor to the R4 messageboard).

      Summary of Philip Daoust's review, Guardian:
      ......... a drama about love, life and literature. Lavinia, an Oxford lecturer and expert on the Romantic poets, dies leaving everything to a distant relative, who knows little about the dead woman, but that changes as she goes through Lavinia's possessions. There's a bundle of passionate letters from a much younger undergraduate, and notes scribbled in the margins of poetry books. Might they be Lavinia's replies? Cast: Jennifer ...... Saskia Reeves, Lavinia ...... Janet Maw, Gabriel ...... Nick Sayce. Producer Peter Leslie Wild.

Out of the Mould 3/3 Jacob and the Angel....2005
16 Mar 05. 45m. A series of drama-documentaries about famous sculptures. This one written by Nicholas McInerny. Commentary by Antony Gormley and Richard Cork. As the clouds of war gathered over London, Jacob Epstein was working on a dramatic depiction of the Old Testament story of Jacob wrestling with God. The play imagines a meeting between Epstein's wife, his lover and himself, during which emotions run high and the artist reveals his motives behind the creation of the sculpture. Epstein ...... Nicholas Le Prevost, Margaret ...... Janet Maw, Kathleen ...... Helen Longworth. Not sure who produced this.

Resurrecting Schubert....2004
8 Dec 04,14:15. Afternoon play. By Nicholas McInerny, with a commentary by Levon Chilingirian. As a young girl, Katarina nursed the dying Schubert. On his deathbed he asked to hear Beethoven's C sharp minor String Quartet. The musicians duly arrived and played it at the foot of his bed. Schubert died five days later, but for Katarina, the memory of the music lived on. Schubert ...... Julian Rhind-Tutt, Katarina ...... Barbara Flynn, Matthias ...... Simon Chandler, Young Katarina ...... Cathy Sara. Music played by the Coull String Quartet. Producer Rosie Boulton.

Not So Tiny Tim....2003
1 Jan 03. In the second of two sequels to Dickens' A Christmas Carol, we return to the firm of Scrooge and Marley fifteen years after the events of the book. Tiny Tim has grown up and become the ruthless manager of the company and is poised to become the most powerful businessman in London. Until he receives the first of three disturbing visitors. Tim Cratchit ...... Ian Pepperell, Bob Cratchit ...... Richard Derrington, Mary ...... Gillian Goodman, Ellen ...... Cathy Sara. Producer ...... Peter Leslie Wild.

Scrooge Blues ....2002 25 Dec 02, 11pm. Sequel to Charles Dickens's classic tale. A year after his transformation, Ebenezer Scrooge has become the most generous man in London.

Making Space ....2002
25 Mar 02. Three drama documentaries. 1: `Earth Song' by Nicholas McInerny. Dr Donald Mitchell analyses Gustav Mahler's great song cycle, created the summer after his elder daughter died.

26 Mar 02. Drama-documentary 2: `The Language of Flowers' by Tim Jackson. Dr Chris Mouncey examines 18th-century religious poet Christopher Smart's `Jubilate Agno'.

27 Mar 02. Drama-documentary 3: `The End of Time' by Nicholas McInerny. How, in a WWII prison camp bathroom, Olivier Messiaen managed to compose `The Quartet for the End of Time'.

Signs Of Life....2001
03 to 17-01-2001. A series of three docudramas which explores the metaphors of illness. (Wed 9:00pm; 30m)

1: Mapping The World: Alzheimer's Disease
(with documentary from Dr Richard Harvey, Winn Harris and Margaret Benson) Two cartographers each claim that they have the true map of the world.

2: The Wrong Target: Multiple Sclerosis
(with documentary from Dr Giles Ellrington and Wendy Tindall-Shepherd) Agent 1 is debriefing Agent 3 after a seemingly successful assignment. So why is Agent 2 watching from behind a mirror?

3: The New Controller: Anorexia Nervosa
(with documentary from Dr Jill Welbourne and Esther Gluck) A new controller has taken over the factory. She is beautiful, fascinating and inspiring - so why does everything start going wrong?

Victorian Marriage Beds (R4, 1415, beginning 22 Jan 01) was a series of three drama-documentaries about sexuality and how the Victorians coped with it. One hopes that the marriages described (of Edward Benson, August Strindberg and George Eliot) were not typical. Some of the scenes were upsetting but horribly fascinating. Nicholas McInerny wrote two of the plays Geoffrey Beevers wrote the other, and Rosie Boulton and Peter Leslie Wild did the production. ......ND, VPRCC Review, Apr 2001...

    BBC Blurb:

    29 Jan: Singleheart
    By Nicholas McInerny, with commentary by Prof John Tosh. As part of a series about Victorian sexuality, this drama documentary about the engagement and marriage of the future Archbishop of Canterbury, Edward Benson, explores the codes of conduct between an older man and a younger woman more than 100 years ago. With Samuel West, Amy Shindler and Lexi Rose.

    22 Jan A Proper Woman
    By Geoffrey Beevers, with commentary by Dr Lesley Hall. As part of a series about Victorian sexuality, this drama documentary about 60-year-old novelist George Eliot's honeymoon with John Cross explores the codes of sexual conduct between an older woman and a younger man more than 100 years ago. With Anna Massey, William Gaminara, Bella Hamblin and Luca Pusceddu.

    5 Feb A Madman's Defence
    By Nicholas McInerny, with commentary by Asa Bergenheim and Margaretha Fahlgren. Part of a series about Victorian sexuality, this drama documentary about the marriage of Swedish playwright August Strindberg and his second wife, Frida Uhl, explores the issue of women's rights and attitudes to sexuality in Europe more than a century ago. With Anton Lesser, Annabelle Dowler and Teresa Gallagher.

Beyond the Canvas....2000
29 Mar 00. Three drama documentaries about the creation of paintings. 3: `Nevermore'. The drama tells the story of Gauguin's painting, a response to the death of his wife's baby. Gauguin responded with one of his most striking paintings, depicting his wife as a nude Venus in a tropical setting, with a raven gazing over the scene. With Anton Lesser and Inika Leigh Wright. The painting is discussed by Prof John House.

The Sicilian Fairy and the Irish Giant ....2000
4 Jan 00. In 1824, the skeleton of the smallest girl in the world is exhibited beside that of the tallest man. How did she come to be in the Museum of Anatomy? With Siriol Jenkins, Denys Hawthorne and Richard Elfyn. Producer: Alison Hindell.

Drawing the Devil on the Wall....1991
15.7.1991 19:45 - The Monday Play. Tania waits for the verdict on her husband who's accused of multiple sex murders. If it's true, how could she not have known? Is her innocence worse than guilt? Written by Nicholas Mclnerny. Tania: Helen Griffin, Mary Jo: Rachel Atkins, Willis: Gareth Morris, Da: Brinley Jenkins, Marjory: Annest Wiliam, journalist: Bill Bellamy, Child: Ryan Simpson. Director Alison Hindell. Stereo/Binaural.

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