Talking Books

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

Now Playing ...

Born Free

By Joy Adamson

Starts Monday, details soon

Catch-Up with ...

The Return of Sherlock Holmes

By Arthur Conan Doyle and read by Peter Cushing.


'"Holmes!" I cried. "Is it really you? Can it indeed be that you are alive? Is it possible that you succeeded in climbing out of that awful abyss?'

Three years have passed since Sherlock Holmes’s apparently fatal encounter with his nemesis, Professor Moriarty. But after the seemingly motiveless killing of a high colonial official, Dr Watson meets a mysterious book collector who reveals the truth behind that final conflict at the Reichenbach Falls.

The world's greatest sleuth is back from the dead, and once more on the trail of London’s criminal underworld in new tales of mystery and deduction.

A classic recording from RNIB, read by Peter Cushing, it has 13 stories over 15 episodes, with a full breakdown below.

Ep 01 ‘The Empty House’

Ep 02 The start of ‘The Norwood Builder’

Ep 03 The conclusion of ‘The Norwood Builder and the start of ‘The Dancing Men’

Ep 04 The conclusion of ‘The Dancing Men’ and the start of ‘The Solitary Cyclist’ 

Ep 05 The conclusion of ‘The Solitary Cyclist’ and the start of ‘The Priory School’ 

Ep 06 The conclusion of ‘The Priory School’  

Ep 07 The start of ‘Black Peter’ 

Ep 08 The conclusion of ‘Black Peter’ and ‘Charles Augustus Milverton’ 

Ep 09 ‘The Six Napoleons’ 

Ep 10 ‘The Three Students’ and the start of ‘The Golden Pince-Nez’  

Ep 11 The conclusion of ‘The Golden Pince-Nez’  

Ep 12 'The Missing Three Quarter' 

Ep 13 The start of 'The Abbey Grange' 

Ep 14  The conclusion of 'The Abbey Grange' and the start of 'The Second Stain' 

Ep 15 The conclusion of 'The Second Stain'

Junior Talking Books

A children's classic, every Saturday morning at 9am and Sunday at 3pm. At the moment it's The Adventures of the Little Wooden Horse. Catch up on the latest episode or find out more about our Weekend Children's Show here.

Coming Soon

Books to come include Born Free by Joy Adamson 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

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


The Return of Sherlock Holmes

The Return of Sherlock Holmes 1/15

The Return of Sherlock Holmes 2/15

The Return of Sherlock Holmes 3/15

The Return of Sherlock Holmes 4/15

The Return of Sherlock Holmes 5/15

The Return of Sherlock Holmes 6/15

The Return of Sherlock Holmes 7/15

The Return of Sherlock Holmes 8/15

The Return of Sherlock Holmes 9/15

The Return of Sherlock Holmes 10/15

The Return of Sherlock Holmes 11/15

The Return of Sherlock Holmes 12/15

The Return of Sherlock Holmes 13/15

The Return of Sherlock Holmes 14/15

The Return of Sherlock Holmes 15/15

Adventures of the Little Wooden Horse

Wooden Horse 1/5

Wooden Horse 2/5

Black Beauty

Black Beauty 1/7

Black Beauty 2/7

Black Beauty 3/7

Black Beauty 4/7

Black Beauty 5/7

Black Beauty 6/7

Black Beauty 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