|Lewis on the set of 'Get Carter' - August, 1970|
Lewis’s Return Home is a new BBC Radio 4 documentary about the life and work of Ted Lewis.
For the uninitiated, Lewis was a crime-writing pioneer. In a relatively short writing life between 1965 and 1980, he honed a series of tough, non-metropolitan crime noir novels which owe as much to the uncomfortable realism of Sillitoe and Storey as they do to his own hardboiled heroes – Chandler and Spillane.
Produced for BBC Radio 4 by Beaty Rubens, Lewis’s Return Home is presented by acclaimed poet, critic, novelist and playwright, Sean O'Brien. The programme will focus on Lewis’s writing and his enduring relationship with the landscape of northern Lincolnshire, the city of Hull, and the town of Barton Upon Humber where he grew up.
The 30-minute programme features a range of contributors, including members of Lewis's family, friends, and his former literary agent, Toby Eady. I was invited to give a biographical perspective on Lewis's life and the development of his writing, as well as acting as a guide to some of the locations that appear in the novels.
Fellow noir author Derek Raymond once said that Lewis’s work was an example of how dangerous writing could really be when done properly. It looks as though some long-overdue recognition is heading his way.
Lewis’s Return Home is on BBC Radio 4 at 4pm, Monday 27th August. The programme is timed to coincide with a new radio adaptation of Jack’s Return Home, based on Lewis’s novel and written for radio by Nick Perry.