Tony Sarchet

Delve Special: The Complete Series 1-4

Delve Special: The Complete Series 1-4


Stephen Fry stars as spoof investigative journalist David Lander in all four series of the BBC radio comedy

Delve Special ran for four series on BBC Radio 4 from 1984-1987, later transferring to TV as This is David Lander. A parody of the popular genre of investigative reporting, it stars Stephen Fry as inept crusader David Lander, alongside some of the biggest names in comedy including Tony Robinson, Andrew Sachs, Jan Ravens, Felicity Montagu, Harry Enfield and Dawn French.

In the first series, Lander presents a four-part exposé into irregularities over plans to site a new London airport near Birmingham. Series 2 finds him reopening the investigation into the Archibald Gallery (was the key suspect framed?), reporting on revolutionary methods of baby production, probing MI5 about dirty tricks, purple herrings and mauve sheep and interviewing a double agent in his luxury home in Bulgaria. In Series 3, Lander examines the new ‘Sea Snake’ torpedo, looks into Britain’s cowboy builders, investigates an alarming new food additive, and exposes shady shenanigans in London's Square Mile. Finally, Series 4 sees the intrepid reporter looking at unorthodox religions, asking if farming is in crisis, wondering why the police believe crooked informers and charting the rise and fall of a Caribbean despot.

Consumer champion, seeker of justice and turner of unturned stones, he confronts conmen, uncovers dodgy dealings and exposes the naked truth by fearlessly whipping the towel of falsehood away and pointing. There is truly no other journalist quite like David Lander ...

Written by Tony Sarchet
Produced by Paul Mayhew-Archer

Starring Stephen Fry
With Tony Robinson, Jack Klaff, Brenda Blethyn, Mark Arden, Steve Frost, Peter Wear, James Griffiths, Hilda Schroder, Monica Grey, Jon Strickland, Scott Cherry, Andrew Sachs, Moray Watson, Jan Ravens, Phil Nice, Felicity Montagu, Brett Usher, Colin Starkey, Arthur Smith, Robert Bathurst, Carole Boyd, John Bott, Julia Hills, Harry Enfield, Dawn French, Philip Pope, Janine Duvitski, Clive Mantle

First broadcast BBC Radio 4: 3-24 August 1984 (Series 1), 6-27 September 1985 (Series 2), 5-29 September 1986 (Series 3), 28 August-18 September 1987 (Series 4)