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All four series of the murder mystery game played by people whose business is murder.
Chaired by Simon Brett (author of the hugely popular Charles Paris series), this intriguing, interactive panel show challenges professional crime novelists to put their experience and expertise to the test as they try to unravel various mind-bending mysteries.
Each episode features a death and a denouement - with various red herrings and misdirections along the way. As the murder scenario is described and the clues laid out, our writer-detectives take turns cross-examining the suspects. After receiving the latest police updates, it's time to decide whodunit - but will the panellists pick the right perpetrator, or have they been cunningly led astray? We find out in the Foul Play 'Foul Playlet', in which the truth is revealed....
All the victims, suspects, witnesses and police officers are played by actors Lee Simpson and Maria McErlane (who part-improvise their roles based on the information they've been given), while the guest investigators include Val McDermid, Lindsey Davis, HRF Keating, PD James, Reginald Hill, Ruth Dudley Edwards, Frances Fyfield, John Harvey, Stella Duffy, Robert Barnard and Ian Rankin. Among the baffling cases they tackle are a dead Dowager Duchess, a 1930s murder at sea, a pantomime crime, a monastery mystery and an Elizabethan court killing.
Cast and credits
Devised, written and chaired by Simon Brett
Produced by Ann Jobson and Liz Anstee
Actors: Lee Simpson and Maria McErlane
Series 1 panellists: Liza Cody, Susan Moody, John Harvey, Margaret Yorke, Lindsey Davis, Val McDermid, PD James, HRF Keating, Lady Antonia Fraser, Reginald Hill, Ruth Dudley Edwards and Simon Shaw
Series 2 panellists: Tim Heald, Jessica Mann, Frances Fyfield, Minette Walters, Sarah Dunant, Keith Miles, Paula Gosling, Peter N Walker, Robert Barnard, Caroline Graham, Gavin Lyall and Anthony Price
Series 3 panellists: Lady Antonia Fraser, Anthony Price, PD James, HRF Keating, Susan Moody, Simon Shaw, Liza Cody, Reginald Hill, John Harvey, Val McDermid, Frances Fyfield and Peter N Walker
Series 4 panellists: Ruth Dudley Edwards, Robert Richardson, Jean McConnell, Keith Miles, Jessica Mann, James Melville, Tim Heald, Margaret Yorke, Robert Barnard, Lindsey Davis, Ian Rankin and Stella Duffy
First broadcast on BBC Radio 4, 7 November-12 December 1996 (Series 1), 27 February-3 April 1997 (Series 2), 18 December 1997-22 January 1998 (Series 3), 11 September -16 October 1998 (Series 4)