Mark Tavener

High Table, Lower Orders: The Complete Series 1 and 2
  • High Table, Lower Orders: The Complete Series 1 and 2

  • Mark Tavener

    The complete first and second series of Mark Tavener’s BBC Radio 4 comedy thriller set in a crisis-ridden Cambridge college

    When prominent don and celebrity TV historian Peter Devanti dies after dining at High Table, his colleague Gilbert suspects foul play and invites his former student Simon Harrison, a disillusioned health and safety officer, to investigate. Meanwhile, Simon’s former girlfriend Zoe, a freelance journalist, arrives to write an article about Devanti’s death: reopening old wounds for Simon. After another college member dies, more skullduggery is uncovered, and Simon must find out which of the many suspects is a murderer – while also trying to get back with Zoe and keep his day job...

    A year later, the college is recovering from the Devanti affair, but struggling for cash and riven by arguments between traditionalists and modernisers. Simon, now bereft of a job, jumps at the chance to become a don – but soon finds himself embarking on another murder investigation after a student is caught cheating and his accuser is found hanged. Can Simon unmask the killer before they strike again?

    Written by Mark Tavener (In the Red, Absolute Power), this brilliant black comedy stars Geoffrey Palmer as Gilbert, Samuel West as Simon and Sharon Small as Zoe, with Rebecca Front as Patricia, Michelle Fairley as Roisin, Michael Maloney as the Dean and Jonathan Coy as Bernard.

Mark Tavener was a British novelist who wrote mostly for radio but also for television. His 1989 satirical novel In the Red was adapted for radio (with Peter Baynham) in 1995, and television in 1998. Further radio shows using the same characters followed: In the Red, In the Balance, In the Chair, and In the End. A spin-off series, Absolute Power, appeared in 2000, starring Stephen Fry and John Bird as a pair of spin doctors, both of whom were recently fired from the BBC managerial roles they hold in In the Red and its sequels. After four series on BBC Radio 4 it was transferred to television.Other radio show credits include High Table, Lower Orders, featuring Geoffrey Palmer and Rebecca Front, and His Master's Voice.