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Six BBC radio dramas following the political swings of the Republican Party, through the personal stories of its presidents.
Focussing on three of the best known Republican presidents of the 20th century, Jonathan Myerson’s riveting drama series looks at how their triumphs and disasters drove the party’s electoral fortunes. Closely based on accounts by those who were there, this political trilogy reimagines the pivotal moments that changed history and the part played by these famous and controversial leaders.
‘Ronald Reagan: Death Valley Days’
- Barry Goldwater’s presidential campaign against LBJ has crashed and burned, and the Republicans need a fresh, new face – someone with TV appeal. Inspired by his down-home style and easygoing charm, they turn to fading movie star and Western hero Ronnie Reagan, and ask him to play a different kind of role.
‘Richard Nixon: Searchlight Has Left the Building’
- President Nixon has invaded Cambodia, sparking student protests across the US. At Kent State University, the National Guardsmen have shot four dead, and Washington is on high alert. But when the insomniac president wakes at 4 a.m. to see rebellious students assembling at the Lincoln Memorial, he goes out to meet them, taking his White House valet with him. As the Secret Service struggles to catch up, the night takes a bizarre turn….
‘Gerald Ford: Fascist Insect’
- Nixon has resigned, and new president Gerald Ford is fighting for his political survival. The country is in chaos, his party is disintegrating, and challenger Ronald Reagan is attacking with weekly radio broadcasts and the catchy slogan ‘Make America Great Again’. Saigon has fallen, the Panama Canal is under threat and political fervour is everywhere – even celebrity rich-girl kidnap victim Patty Hearst seems to have turned terrorist. Then ex-FBI informant Sara Jane Moore decides to trigger the revolution. She buys a gun – and aims it at the president….
‘Ronald Reagan: Hanging by Our Thumbs’
- Hold on tight for a knockabout journey through the crazy stories of the notorious Iran-Contra affair.
Ronald Reagan’s landslide second term is on the ropes. Congress is investigating evidence that the US has illegally been selling arms to Iran and secretly diverting the proceeds to fund Contra guerrilla fighters in Nicaragua – all with the president’s knowledge.
But when NATO ambassador David Abshire is recalled to try to get the facts straight, he discovers it all depends on what you believe….
‘George W Bush: A Higher Father’
- As George W Bush scrapes into the White House, his surprise journey to the presidency doesn’t just follow in his father’s footsteps.
According to US Marine Gunnery Sergeant Louella Harkrader – a storyteller with her own peculiar angle – Dubya’s political steps have been guided all along by a Higher Father, now exerting His influence on US politics.
‘Donald Trump: This Isn’t Happening’
- At a campaign rally, Donald Trump declares: ‘I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.’
But when President Trump loses his temper on his Scottish golf course one day, things work out very differently….
Among the casts of these entertaining radio plays are Kerry Shale, Madeleine Potter, Jonathan Hyde, Sian Thomas and Nathan Osgood.
- E01 – Ronald Reagan Death Valley Days
- E02 – Richard Nixon Searchlight Has Left the Building
- E03 – Gerald Ford Fascist Insect
- E04 – Ronald Reagan Hanging By Our Thumbs
- E05 – George W Bush A Higher Father
- E06 – Donald Trump This Isn’t Happening