Oluwale Jeremy Sandford and Radio Drama

Writing Audio Drama by Tim Crook published by Routledge 31st March 2023

Book Description

Writing Audio Drama offers a comprehensive and intelligent guide to writing sound drama for broadcasting and online. This book uses original research on the history of writing radio plays in the UK and USA to explore how this has informed and developed the art form for more than 100 years.

Audio drama in the context of podcasting is now experiencing a global and exponential expansion. Through analysis of examples of past and present writing, the author explains how to create drama which can explore deeply psychological and intimate themes and achieve emotional, truthful, entertaining and thought-provoking impact. Practical analysis of the key factors required to write successful audio drama is covered in chapters focusing on audio play beginnings and openings, sound story dialogue, sustaining the sound story, plotting for sound drama, and the best ways of ending audio plays. Chapters are supported by online resources which expand visually on subjects discussed and point to exemplary sound dramas referenced in the chapters.

This textbook will be an important resource for advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students taking courses such as Podcasting, Radio, Audio Drama, Scriptwriting, and Media Writing.


The content of all the companion web-pages for this project is in the process of development, and completion is expected 31st December 2023 following the publication of the printed book 31st March 2023. Many thanks for your patience and consideration.


Oluwale by Jeremy Sandford was first broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in 1972 and repeated the following year.

Oluwale BBC Radio 3 First broadcast: Sun 26th Nov 1972, 18:25 on BBC Radio 3 A new play for radio by Jeremy Sandford

Specially commissioned by BBC Radio Brighton in association with the 1972 Festival
This is a dramatisation of the story of David Oluwale, a Nigerian who came to Britain in 1949 full of hope. and who died tragically in 1969 in the river Aire in Leeds.
Those taking part:
Edward Chapman, Peter Cleal, David Collings, Rita Davies, Mona Hammond, Ram John Holder, Zara Jaber, Horace James, Desmond Newling, Bob Okenedo, Peter Pacey, Renu Setna, Madhav Sharma, Pamela Made, Eddie Tagoe, Lockwood West
The song written and sung by Ram John Holder
Producer Keith Slade of BBC Radio Brighton
(David Collings is in “Move Over Mrs Markham” at the Vaudeville Theatre, London)

Repeated Drama Now BBC Radio 3 Tue 29th May 1973, 21:15 on BBC Radio 3


The most comprehensive and informative broadcast documentary on the life of David Oluwale and the story of what happened to him in Leeds was an Archive on 4 programmes presented by Tony Phillips and produced by Overtone production in 2021 for BBC Radio 4. It includes extracts from Jeremy Sandford’s 1972 radio play.

Remember Oluwale. Archive on 4. BBC Radio 4 Broadcast Saturday 16 Oct 2021 20:00

BBC Sounds/Listen again at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0010n8c

‘Two police officers stood trial in 1971 accused of the manslaughter of Nigerian vagrant David Oluwale. Few questions were asked about the circumstances of his death, until a whistleblowing young police cadet implicated two senior policemen. The trial shook and shamed Leeds.

Not far away, Tony Phillips was growing up in the only black family on his Leeds estate. The name David Oluwale reaches far back into his childhood memory of becoming black, black and Yorkshire, and black and British.

In Remember Oluwale, Tony reflects on the impact of David’s story, exposing the lasting importance and relevance of the story today.

He uses archive and face to face interviews with people who knew Oluwale – Gabriel Adams who, like David, stowed away, arriving in the UK from Nigeria in the late 1940s, and Tom Booth who knew Oluwale after he was sent to Menston Pauper’s asylum in 1953.

Tony examines a particular altercation with the police that year which appears to have catapulted David on the road to decline, and his ultimate death in the River Aire.

We meet defence lawyer Ronnie Teeman who argues that race had nothing to do with Oluwale’s death, and use archive of the late Donald Herrod, for the prosecution, who was convinced the two officers killed David – although they were only ever convicted of assault.

With cross-bench peer Victor Adebowale, Tony highlights the inequalities in mental health and policing that continue to adversely affect black people in this country, while Joe Williams, who runs the Black History Tours in Leeds and remembers Oluwale as a frightening figure on Leeds streets, puts the whole story in the context of colonialism.

With contributions from Linton Kwesi Johnson and music by Ellen Smith, David Oluwale’s story becomes social history and political statement – examining how a constellation of public issues impacted on one man’s body, how we so easily forget our inglorious past, and how misunderstood the deep, underlying problems of racism are.

An Overtone production for BBC Radio 4′


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