What A Carve Up!. Copyright: Tiger Aspect Productions
What A Carve Up!

What A Carve Up!

  • Radio sitcom
  • BBC Radio 4
  • 2005
  • 8 episodes (1 series)

Jonathan Coe's cult novel, adapted by David Nobbs, is a black comedy inspired by the immorality, greed and ambition of 1980s Britain. Stars Robert Bathurst, Fiona Allen, Gus Brown, Flaminia Cinque, Rebecca Front and more.

Key details

BBC Radio 4
8 (1 series)
Robert Bathurst, Fiona Allen, Gus Brown, Flaminia Cinque, Rebecca Front, Charlie Higson, Geraldine McNulty, Jeff Rawle and more
Jonathan Coe and David Nobbs
Lucy Armitage

Jonathan Coe's What a Carve Up! is a satirical, sharp and melancholy portrait of 1980s Britain. In 2005 it was adapted for radio by one of the UK's most successful exponents of comedy and satire, David Nobbs.

The series is set in 1980s Britain and based around The Winshaw family, an integral part of the British Establishment who are becoming more wealthy and corrupt by the day.

Newspaper columnist Hilary Winshaw gets thousands for telling it like it isn't; Henry is turning hospitals into carparks; Roddy is selling art in return for sex; down on the farm, Dorothy's squealing every last pound from her livestock; Thomas is making a killing on the stock exchange; and Mark is selling arms to dictators.

Michael Pearce, a reclusive novelist (and our narrator), is commissioned to write their biography by a wealthy geriatric who wishes to expose them. Michael is less than successful, but when he unwittingly uncovers their trail of immoral doings, the time seems ripe for their comeuppance. At the same time, Michael's own story becomes a tale-within-a-tale: in striking and sobering contrast to the Winshaw's gruesome antics and their evil ways.

Additional details

The theme music for the series is Manhattan Rumble (49th St. Massacre) composed by Jeff Lynne and performed by E.L.O.

Broadcast details

First broadcast
Tuesday 22nd February 2005 on BBC Radio 4
Most recent repeats
  • Friday 4th November 2016 at 10:30pm on Radio 4 Extra - Episode 8
  • Friday 4th November 2016 at 10:00pm on Radio 4 Extra - Episode 7
  • Thursday 3rd November 2016 at 10:30pm on Radio 4 Extra - Episode 6

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