P. G. Wodehouse

Everyman Press Editions

There is no doubt that virtually everyone has either read, heard or seen some of Wodehouse work, and the success of the various series over the years prove that his writings are classics. Although criticised by some of writing material that is out of touch, his answer was to treat his stories as a sort of period piece and ignore that it was only fairly recent. He also beleived that there were two ways of writing novels. His was of making it a sort of musical comedy without the music and ignoring real life, the other was to go deep down into life and not give damn.

Born in 1881 in Guildford, Surrey, Pelham Grenville Wodehouse was the son of a Civil Servant and was educated at Dulwich College (a place he retained affection for until his death in 1975, and has a number of his effects). He started his working life in the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank before giving up the heady heights of finance for writing. And what a writer! He produced around a hundred books (a nightmare for any collector, but a Godsend for any avid reader!), created the characters of Bertie Wooster and his ever-resourceful manservant Jeeves, the environs and inhabitants of Blandings Castle, including the prize porker, The Empress of Blandings, and was also involved in some dozen or so straight plays, and about 250 lyrics for musical comedies.

He married in 1914 and became an American citizen in 1955. Twenty years later he was made a Knight of the British Empire in the New Years Honours list, and in an interview said his ambitions had now been achieved. He died on St Valentines day in the same year.

Whilst this page covers the radio and television adaptation of Wodehouse's work, it would be very remiss of me to not mention the books. There are far too many to cover in depth, but I will say that paperback editons are available from Penguin Books and are generally priced at about 5. For those of you who like the sumptuosness of a good hardback, and I must be ranked among you, then EVERYMAN'S LIBRARY LIMITED is for you. They are just about to publish a further 4 volumes, 'Psmith in the City', 'Summer Lightning', 'Eggs, Beans and Crumpets', and 'Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves' and I beleive that the intention is to release the entire catalogue in this style over the coming years. They are priced at the ludicrously low 9.99 per volume, and I dont' understand how they can do it. To order directly from Everyman, and even set up a standing order, phone 020 7539 7601 or email them. The standing order system not only means that you get the books as they are released, but it also includes free postage in the UK. It is not the same as a bank standing order system and can be cancelled anytime. What it means, basically, is that they process the initial order for the first four books that are out, keep the customer's details on file and then when the next books come out, contact the customer and ask them if they want to continue purchasing the Everyman Wodehouse series. In this way, you will never miss and edition and you also save on postage!



Over the years, Wodehouse's books have been adapted for virtually all mediums, and televison and radio have had their fair share. The radio series on the BBC, from the early seventies, was extremely popular and covered most of the Wooster 'chronicles', whilst the World of Wooster and latterly, Jeeves and Wooster, have made impressions as the definitives (of their times) of both Bertie and Jeeves. Detailed below are programme logs for these three series (where I have the information).

ON RADIO

Over the 8 or so years that the radio series ran on Radio 4, there were numerable characters and what follows is as much information as I have, for the time being, on the entire series. I must point out that THIS IS NOT COMPLETE, and if anyone has additional information, then I would be glad for them to contact me. The number in brackets denote the order in which the actors played the role of that character and do not denote the series or story.

CharacterPlayed by
Bertie WoosterRichard Briers
JeevesMichael Hordern
  
Stiffy ByngMiriam Margolyes (1)
Denise Coffey (2)
Sir Watkyn BassettPatrick Cargill (1)
John Le Mesurier (2)
Aunt DahliaVivian Pickles
Roderick SpodeJames Villiers
Gussie Fink-NottleRex Garner
Madeline BassettBridget Armstrong (1)
Aimi MacDonald (2)
The Rev. Harold PinkerDouglas Blackwell
P.C. OatesTony McEwan (1)
Graham Faulkener (2)
Percy Gorringe
Boko' Fittleworth
Jonathon Cecil
Uncle TomBallard Berkeley
L.G. TrotterNorman Bind
Daphne Dolores Morehead
Emerald Stocker
Ann Davies
Mrs TrotterDiana King
Tuppy GlossopRay Cooney
AngelaJennie Goossens
AnatoleJohn Graham
Florence CraysBronwen Williams
Stilton CheesewrightMichael Kilgarriff (1)
James Villiers (2)
Percy, Lord WorplesdonPeter Woodthorpe
Edwin, the boy ScoutDenise Bryer
Nobby HopwoodRosalind Adams
The SalesmanBruce Bennett
Lord SidcupPaul Eddington
Major PlankRonald Fraser
BartholomewPercy Edwards
  
Dramatised byChris Miller


Series one, 25 30 minutes episodes.
SerialEpisodeB/cast date
The Inimitable JeevesJeeves Exerts the Old Cerrebellum5.6.73
The Inimitable JeevesPearl Mean Tears12.6.73
The Inimitable JeevesHonoria Glossop19.6.73
The Inimitable JeevesThe Startling Dressiness of a Lift Attendent26.6.73
The Inimitable JeevesComrade Bingo3.7.73
The Inimitable JeevesThe Great Sermon Handicap10.7.73
The Inimitable JeevesThe Purity of the Turf17.7.73
The Inimitable JeevesThe Metropolitan Touch24.7.73
The Inimitable JeevesThe Delayed Exit of Claude and Eustace31.7.73
The Inimitable JeevesBingo and the Little Woman7.8.73
Right Ho, JeevesJeeves Loses his Grip14.8.73
Right Ho, JeevesAunt Dahlia21.8.73
Right Ho, JeevesAnatole is Insulted28.8.73
Right Ho, JeevesGetting Gussie Going4.9.73
Right Ho, JeevesThe Roasting of Tuppy Glossop11.9.73
Right Ho, JeevesGussies Presents the Prizes18.9.73
Right Ho, JeevesAn Awful Doom25.9.73
Right Ho, JeevesJeeves Finds the Key2.10.73
The Code Of the WoostersThe Silver Cow-Creamer9.10.73
The Code Of the WoostersThe Small Leather-Covered Notebook16.10.73
The Code Of the WoostersThe Plot Thickens23.10.73
The Code Of the WoostersSpode's Fangs are Drawn30.10.73
The Code Of the WoostersStrange Behaviour of a Curate6.11.73
The Code Of the WoostersThe Course of True Love13.11.73
The Code Of the WoostersA Wrongful Arrest20.11.73


Series two, 9 45 minutes episodes.
SerialEpisodeB/cast date
Thank You, JeevesChuffnell Regis2.7.75
Thank You, JeevesSinister Behaviour of a Yacht Owner9.7.75
Thank You, JeevesThe Butter Situation16.7.75
Thank You, JeevesJeeves Finds a Way23.7.75
The Mating SeasonDeverill Hall30.7.75
The Mating SeasonThe Great Web6.8.75
The Mating SeasonAmourousness of a Newt Fancier13.8.75
The Mating SeasonThe Village Concert20.8.75
The Mating SeasonReunited Hearts27.8.75


One off Special, 30 minutes.
EpisodeB/cast date
The Ordeal of Young Tuppy27.12.76


Series three, 7 30 minutes episodes.
SerialEpisodeB/cast date
Joy in the MorningFlorence Craye9.1.78
Joy in the MorningSteeple Bumpleigh16.1.78
Joy in the MorningTribulations of an Uncle by Marraige23.1.78
Joy in the MorningSundry Happenings in a Garden30.1.78
Joy in the MorningSchemes and Ruses6.2.78
Joy in the MorningFancy Dress13.2.78
Joy in the MorningJeeves Sails Into Action20.2.78


Series four, 6 30 minutes episodes.
SerialEpisodeB/cast date
Jeeves and the Fuedal SpiritThe New Moustache21.5.79
Jeeves and the Fuedal SpiritEphrain Gadsby, Jailbird28.5.79
Jeeves and the Fuedal SpiritDark Doings at Brinkley4.6.79
Jeeves and the Fuedal SpiritBedrooms, Burglars and Broken Troths11.6.79
Jeeves and the Fuedal SpiritA Man's Best Friedn is His Cosh18.6.79
Jeeves and the Fuedal SpiritJeeves Mastermind25.6.79


Series five, 6 30 minutes episodes.
SerialEpisodeB/cast date
Stiff Upper Lips, JeevesThe Menace of Totleigh Towers3.12.80
Stiff Upper Lips, JeevesUpstairs, Downstairs and bumps in the night.10.12.80
Stiff Upper Lips, JeevesBartholomew, Blackmail, and Barefaced Lies17.12.80
Stiff Upper Lips, JeevesIn Whcih Spode is Unsuccessful and Gussie Unrepentant24.12.80
Stiff Upper Lips, JeevesBlack Eyes and Bloody Noses31.12.80
Stiff Upper Lips, JeevesGame, Set and Match to Jeeves7.1.81

I would like to thank Penny Fabb for the extensive work that has gone into this log. From this, it can bee seen that the BBC have not only edited the music from the Radio Collection releases, but there are whole episodes that have ended up on the cutting room floor!



ON TELEVISION

P. G. WODEHOUSE'S THE WORLD OF WOOSTER

In the late sixties, BBC Television transmitted a series, well three in fact, of the World of Wooster with Ian Carmichael playing Bertie and Dniis Price as Jeeves. The supporting cast included Derek Nimmo as Bingo Little (for the second series), the Aunts, Dahlia and Agatha were played by Eleanor Summerfield and Fabia Drake respectively, Tracy Reed played Bobbie Wickham, and Paul Whitsun-Jones was Sir Roderick Glossop.

The series were produced by Michael Mills, and Peter Cotes, and the adapatations were made, after the Beeb had aquired all the rights to the Jeeves and Wooster saga) by Mills, and Richard Waring (although I have a note that Michael Pertwee, brother to Jon, also assisted with this task). Covering a total of 20 episodes, this was a huge success for the Beeb and it recently turned up on one of the digital channels (and without digital TV I was kicking myself!!!!).

First Series

TitleTX date
Jeeves And The Dog MacIntosh30-5-65
Jeeves, The Aunt And The Sluggard 6-6-65
Jeeves And The Great Sermon Handicap13-6-65
Jeeves And The Song Of Songs20-6-65
Jeeves And The Hero's Reward27-6-65
Jeeves And The Inferiority Complex Of Old Sippy4-6-65

Second Series

TitleTX date
Jeeves And The Delayed Exit Of Claude And Eustace4-1-66
Jeeves And The Change Of Mind11-1-66
Jeeves And The Spot Of Art18-1-66
Jeeves Exerts The Old Cerebellum25-1-66
Jeeves And The Purity Of The Turf1-2-66
Jeeves And The Clustering Round Young Bingo8-2-66
Jeeves And The Indian Summer Of An Uncle15-2-66

Third Series

TitleTX date
Jeeves And The Greasy Bird5-10-67
Jeeves And The Stand-In For Sippy12-10-67
Jeeves And The Old School Chum19-10-67
Jeeves And The Impending Doom26-10-67
Jeeves And The Hard-Boiled Egg2-11-67
Jeeves And The Love That Purifies9-11-67
Jeeves And The Fixing Of Freddie16-11-67



JEEVES AND WOOSTER

The early nineties saw Bertie back on our screens in what is probably now the best known of the adaptations. With Fry and Laurie as the title pair, the comedy was assured to work and the productions, freely adapted from the novels, were excellent. From memory they were broadcast of a weekend (LWT for my area) an usually on a Sunday evening, but they have all been repeated,a nd most recently have turned up againg and again on Granada's own satellite channel. There have been various video releases since the first showings and I believe that mos tof the episodes are now available to buy - will keep you posted. Episodes did not have titles, and these have bee culled from my own notes on the video sleeves and also those that I have found around the net, so they are pretty much the acceptable ones. As before, the number in brackets denote the order in which the actors played the role of that character and do not denote the series.

CharacterPlayed by
Bertie WoosterHugh Laurie
JeevesStephen Fry
Tuppy GlossopRobert Daws
Bingo LittleMichael Siberry (1)
Pip Torrens (2)
Gussie Fink-NottleRichard Garnett (1)
Richard Braine (2)
Barmy Fotheringay-PhippsAdam Blackwood (1)
Martin Clunes (2)
Aunt AgathaMary Wimbush (1)
Elizabeth Spriggs (2)
Aunt DahliaBrenda Bruce (1)
Vivian Pickles (2)
Patricia Lawrence (3)
Jean Heywood (4)
Angela TraversAmanda Elwes
Madeleine BassettFrancesca Folan (1)
Diana Blackburn (2)
Elizabeth Morton (3)

First Series

TitleTX date
Pride Of The Woosters22-4-90
McIntosh the Dog29-4-90
The Purity Of The Turf6-5-90
Right Ho, Jeeves (Pt 1)13-5-90
Right Ho, Jeeves (Pt 2)20-5-90

Second Series

TitleTX date
Code Of The Woosters (Pt 1)14-4-91
Code Of The Woosters (Pt 2)21-4-91
Pearls Mean Tears28-4-91
Thank You, Jeeves (Pt 1)5-5-91
Thank You, Jeeves (Pt 212-5-91
No Wedding Bells For Bingo19-5-91

Third Series

TitleTX date
Jeeves And The Unbidden Guest29-3-92
The Aunt And The Sluggard5-4-92
The Artistic Career Of Corky12-4-92
The Mating Season19-4-92
Jeeves Takes Charge26-4-92
Comrade Bingo3-5-92

Fourth Series

TitleTX date
The Spot Of Art16-May-93
Joy In The Morning23-May-93
Bingo And The Little Woman30-5-93
Jeeves And The Feudal Spirit6-6-93
Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves13-6-93
Much Obliged, Jeeves20-6-93



As a footnote to this page so far, Wodehouse created many characters, and Jeeves and Wooster were only one pair from a large stable. There have been a lot more adaptations over the years both on radio and television and I hope to bring details to you shortly. In the meantime, I am going to mention one of these, HEAVY WEATHER as it is not only brilliant, dealing with life at Blandings Castle, but also available on video from ACORN MEDIA. Originally made for, and broadcast on, BBC Television, this production of the Blandings story stars Peter O'Toole, Richard Briers, Judy Parfitt, Ricahrd Johnson, Sarah Badel, Roy Hudd, and David Bamber. Orignally broadcast in 1995, this is nearly 100 minutes of glorious Wodehouse, and is catalogue number AV01332.