Monday 30 March 2009

Deighton returns to the airwaves...and the bookshelves

The 80th birthday of thriller writer Len Deighton is to be commemorated in a radio programme to be broadcast on Radio 4 on 26 May, I've just learned via the BookBrunch website. The programme is to be written and presented by Patrick Humphries. This good news for fans follows on from the news earlier in February that there is also to be a worldwide re-issue programme of Deighton's novels.

The notoriously reclusive Deighton, who turned 80 last month, talked to Humphries for two hours about his life, and a writing career stretching back to 1962 and the publication of The Ipcress File, which changed the face of spy fiction and went on to make a successful transfer to the big screen - the first and arguably best of Michael Caine's Harry Palmer outings. Contributors to the programme include food writer Henrietta Green, talking about Deighton’s Action Cook Book, which Fourth Estate will reissue in May with a new introduction, and historian Sir Max Hastings, who speaks about Deighton’s non-fiction work, such as Fighter and Blitzkrieg.

The story also suggests a TV remake of the Game, Set and Match Trilogy (not just a reissuing of the 1988 ITV series, which Deighton disliked) and a new book, The Anatomy of a Fountain Pen, which will be of a limited print run. The latter is interesting news, but all I have at the moment is an intriguing title.

More exciting, though, is the great news about Game Set and Match; it will be interesting to hear how the two compare, and also how the producers recreate cold war Berlin now that most of the wall has gone! Another factor will be the budget; will it allow for sufficient locations and CGI to recreate cold war Berlin. The timing is propitious, with November being the 20th anniversary of the fall of 'die Mauer'.

Of course, keep linking to this blog as more news arises.

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