Raymond Raikes and Stereo Sound

The following is a summary of an article by Gillian Strickland about the radio drama producer Raymond Raikes, which appeared in "Radio Times" in late September 1973.

Raymond Raikes joined the BBC during the war as an announcer on the Forces Programmes. They asked him what he wanted to do, and he said he'd like to be a drama producer.

He is now making stereo broadcasts a speciality. Stereo started experimentally in 1958 with joint transmissions on BBC television sound and Radio 3 on Saturday mornings, and the first production was called "Scenes from Sherlock Holmes".

Raikes says that they were very caught up with gimmicks in those days. He recounted one "Holmes" scene: Professor Moriarty had a girl captive in a gas chamber in Stepney. When Holmes arrived, there was no time to lock the door, so one of the gang fastened it by throwing a knife. It made a marvellous sound as it crossed the room; a great gimmick.

After three years the experimental Saturday morning transmissions were stopped. Then Raikes won the Italia Prize for his production of "The Foundling". After that, the stereo broadcasts started up again.

He was on the 1961 jury for of the Italia Prize when it was won by a Japanese production of "Ondine", which had marvellous music and radiophonics. Now, with an English narrative, it's one of his own four plays broadcast in stereo this week. (w.b.26 Sep 73) It's the story of a water nymph who falls in love with a mortal. The other three plays are a new production of the thriller "Darkness at Pemberley" by T.H.White (29 Sep 73), "Musical Chairs" (Afternoon Theatre, 3 Oct 73), with emotional and physical storms, and Richard Hughes' "Danger" (Monday, R3, 27 Sep 73), the diary of a group of visitors trapped in a Welsh mine. You can hear the water rising.....

summarised by Nigel Deacon / Diversity website

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