Talking Books

Talking Books with Robert Kirkwood, weekdays from 3pm and 10pm

Read On

If you're passionate about books and reading, tune in every Friday from 3pm. Author interviews, book news, technology updates and everything you've always wanted to know about the RNIB Talking Book and National Library Service. 

Head to the Read On Page now

Now Playing ...

Stamp Album written and read by Terence Stamp

In this enchanting memoir, Terence Stamp takes readers with him on his unlikely journey from pre-war London’s East End, where his birth heralded the unification of two Cockney clans, to the beginnings of the stardom that would transform his life. 

A born storyteller, Terence looks back on his life with humor and affection for everyone from his beloved mother—whose unswerving conviction that he was special instilled in Terence a belief that his life would be different—to the teacher who informed him that he “would make a good manager at Woolworth’s.” 

That was not to be. After winning a scholarship to the Webber Douglas Academy, Terence teamed up with another struggling actor, fellow Londoner Michael Caine. The two shared a mews house, running their lines together and sharing one suit for auditions. But the lean times were about to end. 

Played with the kind permission of Terence Stamp and of

Read by Terence Stamp it lasts for 13 episodes until the 12th of August.

Catch-Up with ...

4.50 from Paddington by Agatha Christie

For an instant the two trains ran together, side by side. In that frozen moment, Elspeth witnessed a murder. Helplessly, she stared out of her carriage window as a man remorselessly tightened his grip around a woman’s throat. The body crumpled. Then the other train drew away.

But who, apart from Miss Marple, would take her story seriously? After all, there were no suspects, no other witnesses… and no corpse.

Read by Diana Bishop, catch up now.

Junior Talking Books

A children's classic, every Saturday morning at 9am and Sunday at 3pm and at the moment it's Matilda by Roald Dahl. Catch up on the latest episode or find out more about our Weekend Children's Show here.

Coming Soon

Books to come include The 4.50 from Paddington and Stamp Album written and read by Terence Stamp. Suggest a book by emailing or contacting me via Talking_Books on Twitter.

Booker Prize

Every year we feature the Man Booker shortlisted authors, here are the latest and a few from the awards in 2013 and 2012 - Man Booker Prize authors

Podcast Shows

Author interviews, special shows, documentaries and more, all available to listen online or download as a podcast. Includes chats with Michael Palin, Bill Bryson, Michael Bond (the creator of Paddington Bear as pictured below), James Herbert's last ever interview, a full short story by Denise Mina and the man behind Parker and Brains in Thunderbirds and co-inventor of the voice of the Daleks. 

Podcast shows here.

Most recent podcasts for Talking Books

Alexander McCall Smith

Author Interview - Alexander McCall Smith, author of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, the Scotland Street novels and much more, talks to me about audiobooks, accents and Austen.

Straight White Male

Special Feature - The RNIB recording of Straight White Male by John Niven wins an award at the New York Radio Festival. Robert Kirkwood talks to the producers and narrator.

Irvine Welsh

Author Interview - The Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh talks about his new book, 'A Decent Ride' featuring the inimitable Juice Terry

Listen Again


Catch up with EVERY EPISODE of the latest Talking Book featured on Insight Radio


Stamp Album

Stamp Album 1/14

Stamp Album 2/14

Stamp Album 3/14

4.50 From Paddington

4.50 From Paddington 1/8

4.50 From Paddington 2/8

4.50 From Paddington 3/8

4.50 From Paddington 4/8

4.50 From Paddington 5/8

4.50 From Paddington 6/8

4.50 From Paddington 7/8

4.50 From Paddington 8/8


Coming Soon

Charlotte's Web

Charlotte's Web 1/4

Charlotte's Web 2/4

Charlotte's Web 3/4

Charlotte's Web 4/4

About Talking Books

Robert Kirkwood presents the best of the spoken Word. The famous RNIB Talking Books studios have such a rich and varied history. Authors such as Ruth Rendell, Roald Dahl, P.D. James, A.S. Byatt, Fay Weldon, Doris Lessing, Lady Antonia Fraser and lots of other greats, making up a veritable Who’s Who of UK literature, have all visited us and recorded something.

Narrators over the years have included Joanna Lumley, Richard Baker, Sir John Gielgud, Joss Ackland and Jim Broadbent amongst hundreds of others. In the early days of the RNIB Talking Book service, there was no such thing as commercial audiobooks, so the RNIB library is the only place to hear people such as Peter Cushing and Joyce Grenfel read books aloud.

On Insight Radio's Talking Book show we've featured all of the above! Where else could you hear Peter Cushing read Sherlock Holmes followed by Victoria Coren talking poker, or Cherie Blair reading Postman Pat followed by Frederick Forsyth telling us about cocaine trafficking?

Tune in every day at 3pm (or 10pm or 3am) for exclusive audio, author interviews, behind the scenes features and our featured book or short story of the moment. I'll also keep adding content to the Talking Books podcast feed so make sure you subscribe.

Subscribe to the Talking Books podcast feed on itunes

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