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James Bond to return to radio as Goldfinger is adapted for BBC

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Ian Fleming’s James Bond novel Goldfinger is to be adapted for radio, in what is thought to be just the fourth time a story featuring the famous spy has been reworked for the medium.

The adaptation of the novel will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 early next year, and is being made by independent production company Jarvis and Ayres, which is owned and run by actors Martin Jarvis and Rosalind Ayres.

It follows last year’s BBC Radio 4 production of Dr No, which was also made by Jarvis and Ayres and was broadcast as part of celebrations marking Fleming’s centenary.

Jarvis told The Stage he had initially been given approval from film company Eon Productions, which makes the Bond films, to produce Dr No on a “special one-off” basis. However, he said they had been so impressed with the reworking of Dr No, which starred Toby Stephens as 007 and David Suchet as Dr No, that they approached Jarvis and Ayres to ask them to make another.

He said Goldfinger would be similar in style to Dr No, which featured narrations from a Fleming character, played by Jarvis. Casting was yet to be confirmed but he said he was keen to secure Stephens to reprise the role of Bond.

Earlier Bond radio adaptations have seen Bob Holness star in an adaptation of Moonraker for South African radio in the fifties, while Michael Jayston starred as 007 in a 1990 production of You Only Live Twice for Radio 4.

* Samuel Barnett, best known for appearing in the National Theatre’s production of The History Boys and in BBC2’s Desperate Romantics, is to star in an audio drama about Enigma code breaker Alan Turing, which will be premiered and available to download on the website of The Independent newspaper.

The 30-minute drama, called Turing’s Test, is being made by production company Made in Manchester. Ashley Byrne, creative director, claimed actors, writers and directors have become “frustrated by the conventional commissioning processes in TV and radio”, and said he hoped Turing’s Test would mark the start of finding new ways to bring short-form radio drama to audiences.

The play, written by Phil Collinge and Andy Lord, will be available to download from The Independent’s website from October 24.

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