Talking Books

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

New Book starts Monday

Himalaya written and read by Michael Palin

In Himalaya, Michael visits the Earth's greatest mountain range - 1800 miles from the borders of Afghanistan to southwest China. He'd covered none of this ground before, let alone milked a dri, washed an elephant or swum at 14,000 feet.

Join him every weekday at 3pm or 10pm for his hardest journey yet, and catch up with all of the episodes to date on the right of this page.



Catch-Up with a whole book!

Wuthering Heights

by Emily Bronte

The wild, passionate story of the intense love between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, a foundling adopted by Catherine's father.

After Mr Earnshaw's death, Heathcliff is bullied and humiliated by Catherine's brother Hindley and wrongly believing that his love for Catherine is not reciprocated, leaves Wuthering Heights, only to return years later as a wealthy and polished man and proceeds to exact a terrible revenge for his former miseries. 

Read by Michael Kitchen it lasts for 14 episodes and you can catch up with EVERY episode by following the links to the right of this page.

Booker Prize

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

Coming Soon

Books to come include Himalaya, Alan Bennett's Writing Home and Jamaica Inn. Suggest a book by emailing or contacting me via Talking_Books on Twitter.

Junior Talking Books

A children's classic, every Saturday morning at 9am and Sunday at 3pm. At the moment it's The Complete Tales of Beatrix Potter. Find out more about our Weekend Children's Show here.

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

Book Week Scotland 2014

A special show from the offices of the Scottish Book Trust, finding all about what the Book Trust do and listening to selections from Scotland's Stories from Home

Book Week Scotland Feature

A short look at Book Week Scotland and the Scottish Book Trust ahead of Friday's special Book Week Show

Lesley Smith

Author Interview - Lesley Smith is a blind journalist turned author, and needs your help to Kickstart her new epic adventure.

Listen Again

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


Talking Books Special

Book Week Scotland

A show recorded at the Scottish Book Trust all about Book Week Scotland

Wuthering Heights

Wuthering Heights 1/14 

Wuthering Heights 2/14

Wuthering Heights 3/14

Wuthering Heights 4/14

Wuthering Heights 5/14 

Wuthering Heights 6/14

Wuthering Heights 7/14

Wuthering Heights 8/14

Wuthering Heights 9/14

Wuthering Heights 10/14

Wuthering Heights 11/14

Wuthering Heights 12/14

Wuthering Heights 13/14

Wuthering Heights 14/14



Weekend Talking Books for Younger Listeners


The Complete Beatrix Potter

Beatrix Potter 1/5

Beatrix Potter 2/5

Beatrix Potter 3/5

Heidi by Johanna Spyri

Heidi 1/7

Heidi 2/7

Heidi 3/7

Heidi 4/7

Heidi 5/7

Heidi 6/7

Heidi 7/7

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

RNIB Surf Right Accessible web site