Listen in terror

British horror radio from the advent of broadcasting to the digital age

By Richard Hand

Listen in terror


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-8148-4
  • Pages: 232
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £85.00
  • Published Date: April 2014
  • BIC Category: Film and Media, Radio, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Popular Culture, PERFORMING ARTS / Radio / History & Criticism, Society & social sciences / Popular culture, The arts / Radio


This groundbreaking book is the first full-length study of British horror radio from the pioneering days of recording and broadcasting right through to the digital audio cultures of our own time. The book offers an historical, critical and theoretical exploration of horror radio and audio performance examining key areas such as writing, narrative, performance practice and reception throughout the history of that most unjustly neglected of popular art forms: radio drama and 'spoken word' auditory cultures.

The volume draws on extensive archival research as well as insightful interviews with significant writers, producers and actors. The book offers detailed analysis of major radio series such as Appointment with Fear, The Man in Black, The Price of Fear and Fear on Four as well as one-off horror plays, comedy-horror and experimental uses of binaural and digital technology in producing uncanny audio.


"Listen in Terror provides a lively, enjoyable and in places provocative overview of its subject. One hopes that others will be encouraged to explore further what has been established here as a rich seam in British popular culture."

(Peter Hutchings, Times Higher Education, 19/06/2014)


Introduction: Listening in terror
1. Are you sitting (un)comfortably? Sound, horror and radio
2. The quintessence of British horror radio: Appointment with Fear
3. 'This is your story-teller, the man in black': Hosting horror
4. Horror radio in the 1950s
5. The 1960s and 1970s: Parodies and price
6. The man in black returns: Fear on four
7. Terror tales for the twenty-first century: The man in black
8. Adaption and twenty-first century horror radio
9. Multifarious terrors: Horror audio in the digital age
Conclusion: Closing thoughts


Professor of Theatre and Media Drama at the University of South Wales

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