Neverwhere starring Benedict Cumberbatch and James McAvoy comes to Radio 4 for Christmas

Neil Gaiman’s star-studded fantasy drama gets its first full airing on the station from Christmas Day, RadioTimes.com can reveal

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What better way to see out the final hour of Christmas Day than by turning the lights down low and tuning in to an atmospheric fantasy drama…

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Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere, about the denizens of the magical realm of London Below, returns for its first full airing on Radio 4, starting at 11pm on 25 December and continuing through the week, RadioTimes.com can exclusively reveal.

The star-studded cast boasts Hollywood A-listers including Benedict Cumberbatch, James McAvoy and Sir Christopher Lee, alongside a who’s who of cult TV, including Game of Thrones star Natalie Dormer, Homeland’s David Harewood, Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Anthony Head and Doctor Who alumni Sophie Okonedo and Bernard Cribbins.

McAvoy is Richard Mayhew, a young businessman drawn into the subterranean world of London Below after he comes to the aid of a girl named Door, played by Dormer. In a place where famous landmarks take on a life of their own, Benedict Cumberbatch is the Angel Islington, an actual angel who watches over the city beneath the city.

David Harewood plays trickster the Marquis de Carabas, with Bernard Cribbins as his friend (and debtor) Old Bailey, and Christopher Lee as the Earl of Earl’s Court. Sophie Okonedo is legendary bodyguard Hunter and Anthony Head is ruthless assassin Mr Croup.

First aired in March on Radio 4 and 4 Extra, Neverwhere is adapted from Doctor Who writer Gaiman’s novel by Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy radio producer Dirk Maggs, who also created the evocative sound-effects that bring London Below to life.

Following its initial broadcast, Neverwhere was the most requested radio programme on iPlayer in March, with over half a million people listening online, suggesting the appetite for a re-run is likely to be significant. It was also named the essential radio drama of the year by Radio Times radio editor Jane Anderson.

The six-part adaptation starts with a 60-minute episode at 11pm on Christmas Day, Wednesday 25 December, and continues with five 30-minute instalments on consecutive nights at 11:30pm, Thursday 26 to Monday 30.

Neverwhere review: “If you listen to one radio drama this year, make it this”

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