Ray Connolly

There are a multitude of "what if?" stories surrounding the Beatles, with many claiming to have turned down opportunities to work with the world's biggest band. Journalist and author Ray Connolly, who interviewed the band many times, has probably the most tragic: he was due to interview John Lennon the day he was murdered.

But here he's taken a more whimsical hypothesis for this wry comedy: what if the Fab Four failed their audition for George Martin and Parlophone Records in 1962? Seen through the eyes of the teenage secretary of their fan club - soon to be the president of the ex-Beatles fan club - the divergent paths of Paul, John, George and Ringo after their musical dreams are shattered are lovingly drawn. The musical denouement will leave a smile on your face.

David Crawford, Radio Times, 14th November 2013

Ray Connolly's delicately drawn tale of a marriage between a nun and a priest, God Bless Our Love, was a delight, while David Neilson, abandoning his dog collar for a wedding ring, brought to the role the subtle brilliance we see in his playing of Roy Cropper in Coronation Street.

Moira Petty, The Stage, 22nd February 2010

Now, if you missed it you still have time to catch Wednesday's Afternoon Play, Ray Connolly's God Bless Our Love, on the iPlayer. In the promotional material it was described as a comedy. It wasn't at all - unless you find the story of a middle-aged priest and nun who fall in love, leave their orders, marry and then find themselves utterly at odds with the "real" world, particularly the sexual world, hilarious. Connolly didn't. In fact, his characters, in all their gentleness and love, were an advertisement for the simple goodness of people in a cynical, secular age. Roger Hargreaves could have got Mr and Mrs Roman Catholic out of it, but he probably wouldn't have bothered. No money in it.

Chris Campling, The Times, 19th February 2010

In Ray Connolly's play a priest and a nun, Michael and Eleanor, fall in love and marry. Unfortunately, all does not go swimmingly, as you might have predicted given that they choose to honeymoon in north Devon in February. The first problem is the Valentine's Day upgrade emperor-sized four- poster and whirlpool bath. "But why's it made for two?" wonders the ex-nun, innocently. Then there's bedtime. "An early night?" asks Eleanor, as though being asked to stroke a tarantula. An excruciating Chesil Beach-style encounter follows. He wears new blue pyjamas, they kneel to pray. Needless to say, they skip the sex. This was billed as a romantic comedy, though there weren't actually any laughs as far as I could see and quite a lot of it made me squirm. But that's the thing about BBC radio. You pays your £2 a month (which is radio's proportion of the licence fee) and you takes your choice.

Jane Thynne, The Independent, 18th February 2010

Ray Connolly's play is gently comedic, about two middle-aged people who fell in love over a book trolley and married. Both of them were, actually, already married to God, as he was a priest and she was a nun. Leaving their orders was difficult, learning to live in a changed world proves even more so. If you think you recognise the voice of the man, Michael, it's because if you're a Coronation Street fan, you'll know it as that of Roy Cropper, cafe proprietor and train enthusiast. David Neilson, who plays them both, gives a fine performance here.

Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph, 17th February 2010