Rumpole

Benedict Cumberbatch Returns for a New Series of 'Rumpole' Radio Plays

Excellent news for Benedict Cumberbatch fans – a new series of radio plays based on Rumple of the Bailey are slated to air this summer on BBC Radio 4!

This is good news for those of us who feel like we maybe have been going through a bit of Cumberbatch withdrawal of late. Yes, a new Sherlock special is headed our way later this year, Marvel’s Doctor Strange is on the horizon and his West End turn in Hamlet is slated for later this summer, but since the Oscar campaign for The Imitation Game wrapped in February, there’s been much less Cumberbatch to go around. Happily, we seem to be done with that for a bit.

The first installment of this four-part series will be Rumpole and the Portia of Our Chambers and will air on Friday, July 3 at 2:15pm. The series will once again be based on the Rumpole of the Bailey books written John Mortimer, adapted by Richard Stoneman and produced by Marilyn Imrie.

Listen: 'Sherlock's' Benedict Cumberbatch as Young Rumpole in Two Radio Plays for BBC Radio 4

The one nice thing about the fact that Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch never seems to stop working ever (or sleep, possibly) is that even when we’re faced with marathon delays between new seasons of the popular mystery drama, we only really ever have to go a few weeks without seeing the actor somehow involved in something or other.

This time, he’s playing a lead character from another beloved literary mystery series, and, even if it is just audio-only, these dramas are still more then worth your time. Cumberbatch plays the younger version of Horace Rumpole, the barrister known generally as Rumpole of the Bailey, the star of a long-running courtroom TV series, which was followed by series of books and several radio plays.

Cumberbatch has been serving as the voice of young Rumpole since 2009 and has recorded 7 previous adaptations to date, all of which also featured Timothy West as an older version of the character. These two new installments however, are basically all Cumberbatch all the time, so that should make a lot of fans out there very happy.