Delve Special. David Lander (Stephen Fry). Copyright: BBC.

Delve Special

BBC Radio 4 comedy satirising investigative journalism. 16 episodes (4 series), 1984 - 1987. Stars Stephen Fry, Jack Klaff, Brenda Blethyn, Mark Arden and others.

Delve Special

Stephen Fry stars as investigative reporter David Lander

1984 - 1987
BBC Radio 4
16   (4 series)
Stephen Fry, Jack Klaff, Brenda Blethyn, Mark Arden, Felicity Montagu, Robert Bathurst, Phil Nice, Stephen Frost and others
Tony Sarchet
Paul Mayhew-Archer

A parody of the popular genre of investigative reporting, it stars Stephen Fry as inept crusader David Lander, a spoof of investigative journalists of the time such as Roger Cook and John Waite.

In the first series, Lander presents a four-part exposé into irregularities over plans to site a new London airport near Birmingham.

Series 2 finds him reopening the investigation into the Archibald Gallery (was the key suspect framed?), reporting on revolutionary methods of baby production, probing MI5 about dirty tricks, purple herrings and mauve sheep and interviewing a double agent in his luxury home in Bulgaria.

In Series 3, Lander examines the new 'Sea Snake' torpedo, looks into Britain's cowboy builders, investigates an alarming new food additive, and exposes shady shenanigans in London's Square Mile.

Finally, Series 4 sees the intrepid reporter looking at unorthodox religions, asking if farming is in crisis, wondering why the police believe crooked informers and charting the rise and fall of a Caribbean despot.

Consumer champion, seeker of justice and turner of unturned stones, he confronts con men, uncovers dodgy dealings and exposes the naked truth by fearlessly whipping the towel of falsehood away and pointing. There is truly no other journalist quite like David Lander....

Production Details

Production company
Theme music is Crunch by Soft Machine
Laugh track

Broadcast details

First broadcast
Friday 3rd August 1984 on BBC Radio 4 at 11:30pm
Last new broadcast
Friday 18th September 1987 on BBC Radio 4 at 11:30pm
Length of episodes
30 minutes
Last repeat
Thursday 3rd September 2020 at 11:30pm on Radio 4 Extra

Website links