finding BBC Radio audiobooks

The short answer to finding BBC Radio audiobooks that you can listen to outside the UK, is use BBC – Programmes – Categories: Audiobooks – Available now and then look for only the books that say “BBC Radio” after them.  Books that say “BBC Sounds” are not available outside the UK.

This doesn’t cover all of the things you may consider to be audiobooks, as BBC categorizes many of them as “Drama”.  The BBC website doesn’t provide any way to filter out just drama based on books.  It also doesn’t have any way to filter just drama presented on BBC Radio 4 Extra (which is mostly books).

Dramas are also not consistently named.  Sometimes it’s by author.  Sometimes it’s by author and book title.  Sometimes it’s by character name.  e.g.

  • BBC Radio 4 Extra: Dick Francis (author) – “Adaptations of the popular thrillers by the British steeplechase jockey turned crime writer.”
  • BBC Radio 4 Extra: Jack London – The Sea Wolf (author and title)
  • BBC Radio 4 Extra: Miss Marple (character) – “June Whitfield stars as the iconic sleuth created by the queen of the whodunit, Agatha Christie.”
  • BBC Radio 4 Extra: Sherlock Holmes (character)

The two main audiobook programs are Book of the Week and Book at Bedtime.

  • Book of the Week – BBC Radio 4 – audiobooks, usually in 5 or 10 episodes
    • Note books are only available for a limited time; only books with a speaker icon are actually available online
  • Book at Bedtime – BBC Radio 4 – audiobooks, usually in 5 or 10 episodes

It used to be the case that the multipart BBC Radio 4 audiobooks would be made available on BBC Radio 4 Extra in combined omnibus episodes at the end of the week (on Sundays I think), usually one omnibus for every 5 episodes.  However once the current pandemic crisis got underway, BBC Radio 4 Extra stopped posting omnibus editions, so you will have to listen to the individual episodes for now.

SIDEBAR: Don’t use the very similar BBC Sounds – Category – Audiobooks page as it doesn’t show which books are BBC Radio and which ones are BBC Sounds.  END SIDEBAR

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s