“Radio fixes the person but frees the imagination.”
This might be the first time this ghost story has been viewed publicly in 36 years. I watched it on BBC, but a couple of people have pointed out (below) that it was made by an independent company, BAC films Dublin. The graphics are credited to Radio Times. A number of people across the net remember the story, and I’ve seen requests for it. The quality isn’t terrific as I transferred my home video recording to DVD more than 10 years ago – and it’s now converted to Flash. T P McKenna stars, playing Ainsley Rupert MacCready, a radio storyteller who writes his own stories (making his character probably not a million miles removed from A J Alan) in this creepy story by David Thomson.
Borrowing a synopsis from IMDB: “It is a well worked traditional Ghost story about a DJ of a radio station who broadcasts a horror story concerning a Magician who enlists the help of a child to perform the “disappearing ” act on stage.
“Each night the DJ Narrates a chapter of this story to the listeners as he sits in his darkened studio with just his producer in the control room. After the first night’s broadcast, the DJ goes home to his nightcap but is disturbed by the phone ringing, and upon answering hears a child’s voice asking him not to continue with the story as it is too frightening.”
Of course, he doesn’t take the hint…
The film is narrated by Valentine Dyall of whom Tony Lang writes: “Back in what many regard as the golden age of radio, before TV and films had started to produce the spine-chilling programmes for which they are now well known, BBC Radio produced one of its most famous horror series, Appointment With Fear. A weekly half hour show introduced by Valentine Dyall, Old Harrovian actor who had made his radio debut in 1936, as The Man In Black, a sinister character who has been recently described by Edward de Souza as “a sort of darker Somerset Maughham, a creepy raconteur who picks up news of the spooky bits of life”. He introduced the story, made comments afterwards and sometimes provided short narrative links.”
The cast includes Stephen Brennan, R.D. Smith. The voice of the child was provided by June Tobin. David Thomson directed his own story.
Title graphics from Radio Times.
The IMDB link is below:
And the Tony Lang quote can be found in full at the link below: