Talking Books

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

Now Playing

All Quiet on the Western Front

In 1914, at the age of 18, the author went straight from school into the army. This book, played during the 2014 – 2018 centenary commemorations of World War 1, tells of the sacrifice of a generation.

Read by Robert Gladwell it lasts for 9 episodes until Monday the 2nd of February.

Catch-Up with ...

Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie

The tranquillity of a cruise along the Nile is shattered by the discovery that Linnet Ridgeway has been shot through the head. She was young, stylish and beautiful, a girl who had everything – until she lost her life.

Hercule Poirot recalls an earlier outburst by a fellow passenger: ‘I’d like to put my dear little pistol against her head and just press the trigger.’ Yet in this exotic setting’ nothing is ever quite what it seems…

Read by Gabriel Woolf, catch up with all of the episodes on the right of this page.

Junior Talking Books

A children's classic, every Saturday morning at 9am and Sunday at 3pm. At the moment it's Black Beauty. Find out more about our Weekend Children's Show here.

Coming Soon

Books to come include Alan Bennett's Lady in the Van, A Pelican at Blandings by P.G. Wodehouse and One Hit Wonderland by Tony Hawks. 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 this years 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

Overdrive Interview - Kevin Beesting

Robert Kirkwood chats to Overdrive user Kevin Beesting to get his thoughts on RNIB's new digital download service

Christmas Talking Books on RNIB OverDrive

A list of festive reads you can download right now from RNIB's new digital service

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

Listen Again

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


All Quiet on the Western Front

All Quiet on the Western Front 1/9

All Quiet on the Western Front 2/9

All Quiet on the Western Front 3/9

All Quiet on the Western Front 4/9

All Quiet on the Western Front 5/9

All Quiet on the Western Front 6/9

All Quiet on the Western Front 7/9

All Quiet on the Western Front 8/9

Death on the Nile

(Last chance to Listen, will be removed on Monday)

Death on the Nile 1/10

Death on the Nile 2/10

Death on the Nile 3/10

Death on the Nile 4/10

Death on the Nile 5/10

Death on the Nile 6/10

Death on the Nile 7/10

Death on the Nile 8/10

Death on the Nile 9/10

Death on the Nile 10/10

Black Beauty

Black Beauty 1/7

Professor Branestawm

Branestawm 1/5

Branestawm 2/5

Branestawm 3/5

Branestawm 4/5

Branestawm 5/5

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