The buddies for whom life is one long senior moment find themselves bonded by babysitting, as Carole Hayman and Lou Wakefield's zesty comedy continues. Already rearing granddaughter Sabrina on her police no-go area of a trailer park, Vera is now lumbered with a neighbour's offspring. In some fetching sponge earmuffs and red jimjams, V makes light of the local disturbances. But it doesn't stop her having a near miss with a nail-gun when trying to attach planks to the window. Irene, meanwhile, dotes on Karen's newborn son, emails Vera some ineptly taken snaps of 'Baby Boy Small', and cunningly adapts one of V's capacious hand-me-downs. There's ingenious visual trickery and some sharp satirical barbs, while this week's malapropism prize goes to Irene for "effervacious".

Mark Braxton, Radio Times, 4th November 2010

The buddies for whom life is one long senior moment find themselves bonded by babysitting, as Carole Hayman and Lou Wakefield's zesty comedy continues. Already rearing granddaughter Sabrina on her police no-go area of a trailer park, Vera is now lumbered with a neighbour's offspring. In some fetching sponge earmuffs and red jimjams, V makes light of the local disturbances. But it doesn't stop her having a near miss with a nail-gun when trying to attach planks to the window. Irene, meanwhile, dotes on Karen's newborn son, emails Vera some ineptly taken snaps of 'Baby Boy Small', and cunningly adapts one of V's capacious hand-me-downs. There's ingenious visual trickery and some sharp satirical barbs, while this week's malapropism prize goes to Irene for "effervacious".

Mark Braxton, Radio Times, 2nd November 2010

The Ladies behind "the Letters"

What started out as a simple game of written improvisation from the brilliant minds of writers Lou Wakefield and Carole Hayman, blossomed into four books, ten radio series and now a television series that's getting ready to enter its second season. Tellyspotting recently caught up with both Lou and Carole for an exclusive interview.

(Part 2 of the interview)

Tellyspotting, 10th April 2010

Lou Wakefield and Carole Hayman's gloriously comic creations Vera and Irene return, exchanging missives and misunderstandings that produce some glorious comedy. Patricia Routledge and Prunella Scales return to the roles - ITV3's versions in the form of Anne Reid and Maureen Lipman were fun, but pale shadows of the original.

Scott Matthewman, The Stage, 1st May 2009

The comic exchange of letters between bitter widows has been a Radio 4 highlight for years and that's where it works best. However, this version did make a success of bringing Lou Wakefield and Carole Hayman's marvellous material to the screen.

The Custard TV, 4th February 2009

Ladies of Letters Get It Wrong

Oh dear. I really wanted to like last night's first episode of the TV adaptation of Lou Wakefield and Carole Hayman's popular Ladies of Letters series. I really did. But this transfer to television mis-fired on just about every level.

Mark Wright, The Stage, 4th February 2009

ITV3, never previously a destination channel, looked as if it might have a hit on its hands with Ladies of Letters, a TV adaptation of Carole Hayman and Lou Wakefield's popular series of books of the same name consisting of letters between two fictional friends. It had previously been made into a popular Radio 4 series starring Prunella Scales and Patricia Routledge, and the television version had secured the equally redoubtable Anne Reid and Maureen Lipman. But, sadly, the transition proved an unhappy one.

During yesterday's opener, the sight of the two actresses speaking the letters to camera while engaged in a bit of cooking or a surreptitious sherry was far from enough to hold the attention. The letters bore only the minimum of narrative momentum and the subtleties of the occasional malapropism and shift in tone were overwhelmed by one's sheer desperation to see an actual event take place on screen. Perhaps the prosaic lesson of it all is that Ladies of Letters may be very jolly and wry on the radio but when it comes to TV, unless you've got a writer of the calibre of Alan Bennett on board, it's just too boring to watch talking heads for half an hour.

Serena Davies, The Telegraph, 3rd February 2009

Maureen Lipman and Anne Reid pull off something of a triumph in this wonderfully observed adaptation of the books by Lou Wakefield and Carole Hayman. Previously a hit on Radio 4 (with Patricia Routledge and Prunella Scales), the series revolves around the chaotic, indiscreet and often very funny lives of Irene (Lipman) and Vera (Reid), two elderly widows who met at the wedding of Irene's daughter. Revealing their exploits - and dodgy recipes - to each other in caustic letters, they begin by speculating as to what really did happen at the wedding.

Simon Horsford, The Telegraph, 3rd February 2009