BBC Radio 4 producers have been pleasantly surprised by reaction to their unusual choice for Book At Bedtime this week. The distinctive tones of Stephen Fry reading the Croydon Telephone Directory has had listeners enthralled with many calling for other volumes in the series to be featured.
‘I heard the first one with great excitement,’ said Tom Carter. ‘So may characters were introduced – I can’t wait to find out what’s going to happen to them all!’ Amanda Statham was one of many listeners who praised the therapeutic value of the broadcast. ‘I don’t think I’ve ever slept as well’ she enthused. ‘My head touched the pillow somewhere around A1 cabs and the next thing I remember is waking up the following morning, greatly refreshed, and actually looking forward to going to work at the call centre.’
Producer Pamela Barclay, confirmed that other reference works were being considered following the directory’s enormous success. ‘Among those currently being discussed are Global Acronyms, Codes & Designations Directory, the World-Wide Guide to Massey Ferguson Tractors, and Hansard; The John Major Years.’