Three official web sites in one
The Life & Career of Leonard Rossiter
Radio Performances & Other Media
complete guide to all radio performances of Leonard Rossiter. Also on
this page are the audio cassettes
narrated by Leonard, the books that he wrote and compiled, and the record on which he was credited.
On This Page A - Z:Radio
A Little Music At Night
Close Encounters Of The Worst Kind
| Desert Island Discs
In A Nutshell
Mr. Travers' Nightmare
O Haydon, Haydon!
Paths Of Glory
Steptoe & Son: The Lead Man Cometh
| <>Two In A Room: The Chairman
& The Window Cleaner
With Great Pleasure
27th November 1957, 3pm BBC Home Service Basic
Written by H A Wrenn
Presented as 'Wednesday Matinee presents the Alexandra Repertory Company la ' MR. TRAVERS' NIGHTMARE'
Leonard played the role of Inspector Raven.
James Grout, Michael Barrington, Rex Garner
Written by David Turner
Broadcast on BBC Home Service Basic
One of Leonard's great
theatre performances, Semi-Detached has a special
this web site. Presented in the series 'Repertory In Britain'.
18th January 1965, 8.30pm
Adapted by Barry Bermange, from the novel by Humphrey Cobb
Broadcast on BBC Home Service Basic
Stanley Kubrick had earlier made Paths Of Glory into a successful film starring Kirk Douglas in 1957, and Leonard starred in this radio adaptation. The anti-war story tells of the insanity of war and the politics of privilege. Leonard went on to work with Kubrick himself in 1968's 2001: A Space Odyssey and 1975's Barry Lyndon.
Co-starred Henry Woolf, Malcolm Tierney, Russell Napier, Ronald Baddiley.
Leonard played the role of Colonel Dax
See also: 2001: A Space Odyssey; Barry Lyndon.
Links: Paths Of Glory
And Son: The Lead Man Cometh
11th September 1966, 7pm BBC Light Programme
Written by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson
Leonard repeated his role of Welsh Hughie in this radio adaptation of the hugely successful TV series Steptoe And Son. This episode had been broadcast on TV in January 1964.
See also: Steptoe And Son: The Lead Man Cometh (TV).
Buy this episode from the BBC Radio Collection
Steptoe And Son Appreciation Society
O Haydon, Haydon!13th November 1969, 8.15pm BBC Radio 3
No details available.
Two In A Room: The Chairman And The Window Cleaner
30th December 1977, 8.10pm BBC Radio 4
Written by Leslie Randall
Produced by Bobby Jaye<>Leonard starred with his good friend and Reginald Perrin co-star John Barron in a short radio play. Storyline unknown.
18th July 1979, 2pm BBC Radio 4
Leonard was a guest on today's edition of this long-running radio programme. See also Biography.
22nd December 1979, 9.05am BBC Radio 4
Produced by Jenny Marshall
Edited by Roger Macdonald
Leonard talks about his passion for squash, in an interview during this programme on suggestions for how to spend your leisure hours. Presented by Barry Norman.
Saturday 18th April 1980, 9.05am BBC Radio 4
Hosted by Roy Plumley
was a celebrity guest on this long-running Radio 4 show. Guests talk
about their lives and works and are asked to select eight records, a
book, and a luxury item they would take with them if they were to be
stranded on a desert island.
Leonard's choices are listed below. Listen to the programme in full at the BBC Archive page here - a download option is also available on that page.
1. Benny Goodman
and His Orchestra
3. Franz Schubert
5. Max Miller
6. Robert Preston
7. Ludwig van
8. Rex Harrison
Max At The Met by Max Miller
Leonard read a series
of author Barry Pilton's mercurial musings:
Power Struggles - A breakthrough in 'ecological physics' is scandalously ignored.
An Instant Option - Musings on the effect of slogans on badges, T-shirts, etc.
Dear Mother Of God - If the Son of Man returned, how would Christianity celebrate.
Double Cross Benchers - Musings on the shock of disloyalty in politics.
Einstein Watchmaker - Technological advances in society as seen in the humble wristwatch.
The Back Page - A disastrous foray into journalism is recounted in embarrassment.
New York New York - A snapshot of the unique city.
With Great Pleasure
29th August 1981, 1.10pm BBC Radio 4
Produced by Brian Patten for BBC BRistol
Another long-running Radio 4 celebrity interview show. Leonard was asked to divulge his favourite prose and poetry, with his wife Gillian Raine and good friend and actor James Grout.
Encounters Of The Worst Kind
1st August 1983, 8.43pm BBC Radio 4
Leonard reads this short science fiction story, written by Tim Stout.
A Gentleman's Personal Gentleman
Written by C. Northcote Parkinson
A star-studded recording of one of Northcote-Parkinson's 'Jeeves', narrated by Gerald Harper with Frank Duncan as Jeeves and Keith Alexander as Bertie Wooster. Andrew Sachs, Kenny Lynch, Norris McWhirter, Wilfrid Brambell, Leonard Rossiter, Annie Haslam and others make guest appearances.
Written by Charles Dickens
Leonard narrated an
abridged version of Dickens' classic tale. It was released as a
Released on the Chips label. Catalogue No. CHI101
'Rising Damp' b/w 'Damp Disco'.
Credited as Leonard Rossiter & The Rigsbyettes
Music by Brian Wade
Lyrics by Eric Chappell
This was the theme song
accompanying the closing credits of Rising
Damp: The Movie in
Listen to the song now!
Free As Air
Released on Oriole Records label. Catalogue No. MG20016
This was the Original
Cast Recording on LP of the play Free
As Air at
the Savoy Theatre.
This play was Leonard's London stage debut, in which he appeared with his first wife, Josephine Tewson.
Released on His Master's Voice label. Catalogue No. 7EG 8569
An EP of twelve songs from the Bristol Old Vic performance, released in 1960, featuring Leonard on most tracks, and also Anette Crosbie, Peter Gilmore and Angus Mackay.
Music by Julian Slade,
lyrics by Dorothy Reynolds and Julian Slade.
Bedside Book: A Cynic's Survival Guide
Compiled by Leonard Rossiter
Published by Hamlyn
A resume of Ambrose
Bierce's definitions from his Devils' Dictionary is followed by
Leonard's own definitions for everyday phrases and situations, for
example: abundance - enough for me; business - organised cheating;
and tourist - a foreigner who is not where he belongs. The book also
contains a brilliant guide to laws such as Murphy's law, The Peter
Principle and many lesser-known ones such as Bucy's Law: Nothing is
ever accomplished by being reasonable. Leonard then lists his own
laws, based on experience, including Rossiter's Law Of Darkness:
"Lights only ever fail at night", and Rossiter's Social
Law: "Guests always ask for the alcoholic drink that you have
least, or none, of".
Lowest Form Of Wit
Written by Leonard Rossiter
Published by Michael Joseph
From the jacket cover: "A treasury of biting bon mots and stinging retorts collected by Leonard Rossiter, a prime exponent of the art both on and off stage. By means of anecdote, illustration (by Honeysett) and quotation, this is the definitive guide to the kind of wit that may be the lowest, but also the most satisfying. This is a book that explores the lowest kind of wit in the highest kind of style." It includes such treasures as "I find television very educational. Whenever someone turns it on, I go into the library and read a good book." - Groucho Marx; and "I have never hated a man enough to give his diamonds back." - Zsa Zsa Gabor.
Return To Index Page
Text (c) Paul Fisher
Pictures (c) their respective owners.