Two Pipe Problems. Image shows from L to R: William Parnes (Richard Briers), Sandy Boyle (Stanley Baxter). Copyright: Catherine Bailey Productions Limited.

Two Pipe Problems

BBC Radio 4 comedy drama. 13 episodes (7 series), 2007 - 2013. Stars Stanley Baxter, Richard Briers, Geoffrey Palmer, Jillie Meers and Tracy Wiles.

Series 5, Episode 2 - The Case of the Missing Meerschaum

William and Sandy are to appear at a Sherlock Holmes Convention, held at a hotel just around the corner from Baker Street.

Further details

Sandy isn't keen to attend the Sherlock Holmes Convention but succumbs to William's desperate need to be in the spotlight once more. Sandy finds the display of 'fandom' absurd - the packed memorabilia stalls and one fan's observation that he thought he'd died years before. He also finds the political infighting threatening to tear the Society apart faintly ridiculous. But William is in his bombastic element, to such an extent that he has a very public and painful row with Sandy, who quits the convention and catches the Metropolitan Line back to the Old Beeches.

William occupies centre-stage at that night's dinner, flourishing the Society's prized meerschaum used by Basil Rathbone in the Holmes films. After a bibulous evening, William rolls into bed still with the precious pipe in his possession.

He wakes up the following morning and discovers that it's gone. He travels to the Old Beeches in a panic, begging Sandy to return to the Convention to help him solve the mystery - which he does using Holmesian precepts, and restoring their friendship in the process.


Broadcast in tribute to Richard Briers.

Broadcast details

Friday 12th August 2011
BBC Radio 4
45 minutes

Cast & crew

Regular cast
Stanley Baxter Sandy Boyle
Richard Briers William Parnes
Guest cast
Geoffrey Palmer Mortimer Tregennis
James Fleet Roger Butterworth
Joanna David Beryl Butterworth
Matt Simandl Underground Worker
Matt Simandl Hotel Receptionist
James McGregor Autograph Hunter
James McGregor Souvenir Stallholder
Writing team
Michael Chaplin Writer
Production team
Marilyn Imrie Director
Catherine Bailey Producer

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