Crackanory Series 4 stories revealed

Wednesday 21st December 2016, 12:49pm

Crackanory. Image shows from L to R: Bob Mortimer, Dara O Briain, Ben Bailey Smith, Mackenzie Crook, Anna Friel, Sheridan Smith, Miriam Margolyes, Mel Giedroyc. Copyright: Tiger Aspect Productions

British Comedy Guide can now reveal more details about the new fourth series of comic storytelling show Crackanory.

Digital channel Dave's storytelling comedy format will return at the end of January 2017, with readers Doc Brown, Sheridan Smith, Mel Giedroyc, Bob Mortimer, Dara O Briain, Mackenzie Crook, Miriam Margolyes and Anna Friel already confirmed to be taking part.

Now, the stories they will be recounting, the writers, and the episode order have all been confirmed, and first pictures from the series released.

In a change from the previous series, each episode of Crackanory will now feature just one narrator, who will present a half-hour tale. The new series, which will still feature live action scenes mixed with the storyteller, has been extended to eight episodes in length.

Speaking at the time of the commission, producer Arnold Widdowson explained: "Crackanory is possibly the most addictive show to work on - each series provides a blank slate from which we can transport the viewer into any world we want. From a barbershop competition in 1940s New York to bloodthirsty ancient Rome, every episode we stretch ourselves to create increasingly twisted and exciting original stories.

"The longer format for this series allows us time to delve into each world even more deeply, creating a truly captivating half hour of storytelling for the audience. What other show gives you cryogenically frozen men, lies that come to life, deranged dictators, and Edwardian magicians? I'm thrilled and incredibly lucky to be working with such imaginative writers and brilliant storytellers."

Here are details of the new episodes, in the expected broadcast order.

A Close Slave

Crackanory. Dara O Briain. Copyright: Tiger Aspect Productions

Dara O Briain narrated Tony Way's story set in ancient Rome. A slave who works in a playwright's household helps him finish his latest opus. Little does he know he's effectively conceived his own death.

Living With A Lie

Crackanory. Sheridan Smith. Copyright: Tiger Aspect Productions

Sheridan Smith reads Nico Tatarowicz's story. A frustrated writer fabricates an elderly relative to get time off work to start his novel. But when the doorbell goes and 'Aunt Janet' is standing on his doorstep, he realises his lie has come to life and he's got to deal with the old battle-axe for real.

The Despot Of Tea

Crackanory. Bob Mortimer. Copyright: Tiger Aspect Productions

Narrated by Bob Mortimer, this episode was written by Arnold Widdowson. An out of work actor makes an advert for tea in an isolated former Soviet state, only to return years later to find that his character Sir Slurpington-Boots is a national treasure.

The Survivor

Crackanory. Anna Friel. Copyright: Tiger Aspect Productions

In 1850, a man wakes after a long illness and he finds he's being cared for by a group of strangers and a beautiful woman. If he is really their 'guest' as they keep insisting, why isn't he allowed out of the house? Alex Kirk's creation is narrated by Anna Friel.

Proxy Lady

Crackanory. Mel Giedroyc. Copyright: Tiger Aspect Productions

Beth is contacted out of the blue by a reclusive girl who used her picture on a dating website and has now met the love of her life. Is Beth willing to go and meet him in her place? Narrated by Mel Giedroyc, this episode was written by Katherine Jakeways.

Devil's Haircut

Crackanory. Ben Bailey Smith. Copyright: Tiger Aspect Productions

Doc Brown presents this story set in 1940s New York. A baritone in a barbershop quartet unwittingly sells his soul to the devil to ensure his group wins the national finals. Devil's Haircut was scripted by Sarah Morgan.

The Disappearance

Crackanory. Mackenzie Crook. Copyright: Tiger Aspect Productions

A tale set in London in 1910, read by Mackenzie Crook, and written by Toby Davies. An illusionist performs his 'the lady vanishes' act, only to find that she disappears without a trace. So he begins to wonder if he's acquired genuine magic powers.


Crackanory. Miriam Margolyes. Copyright: Tiger Aspect Productions

Miriam Margolyes is set to be the final narrator of the series, presenting a story created by Kevin Eldon. A down on his luck former aristocrat who squanders away his fortune stumbles upon an old house with a mysterious inhabitant.

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