The Reluctant Spy

A three-part thriller from writer/director JOHN DRYDEN set in Egypt. Starring NIGEL LINDSAY.

“Writer and director John Dryden very rarely puts a foot wrong and here, yet again, he has crafted a superbly intricate thriller, set in modern-day Cairo… It bears favourable comparison to the work of Graham Greene in the tale of an innocent abroad amid a society in flux…” David Crawford, Radio Times

17th -19th November 2014

BBC Radio 4

Hard-up Coptic art expert Duncan Kavanagh (Nigel Lindsay) scrapes a living as a private English language tutor and by showing tourists around the ancient churches of Cairo.  He lives with his feisty, fifteen-year-old daughter Ola (Aiysha Hart), in a modest flat they can barely afford. Since the revolution, work has dried up for Duncan with tourists in short supply. When approached by seductive Canadian student Tara (Sarah Goldberg), to deliver a letter – for money – to a prominent Egyptian politician, he accepts. It’s a decision that embroils him in a murky world of espionage. Caught between his love for his daughter, his increasing infatuation with Tara, and a desperate need to escape his past, Duncan navigates his way through a complex web of secrets and misinformation that threaten to destroy him, as a new Egypt struggles to realign itself in the world.


Duncan – Nigel Lindsay, Ola –  Aiysha Hart, Tara – Sarah Goldberg, Al-Basiri – Philip Arditti, Dr Zacoutte – Raad Rawi, Amr – Jonathan Bonnici, Hameed – Karim Saleh, Randa – Sirene Saba, Kamal – Jude Edriss, Karl – Rufus Wright, Mrs Darwish – Baris Cerliloglu, Mrs Zacoutte – Myriam Acharki, Policeman – Nayef Rashed

Other parts: Zayden Khalaf, Jumaan Short, Albert Welling, Omar Mustafa


Casting -  Toby Whale, Production Manager – Russell Owen, Publicity Image – Teresa Ferreira, Script Editor – Mike Walker, Sound design – Steve Bond

Music – Sacha Puttnam

Produced, Written and  Directed by John Dryden

A Goldhawk Production for BBC Radio 4

Originally broadcast on 2-4 January 2013 on BBC Radio 4






  1. Me says:

    I heard the first two episodes but managed to miss listening to the third and just missed being able to listen on the BBC R4 web site. Is there any place to download/listen to this? It was great!

  2. chris belsten says:

    Re: BBC Radio 4 – Afternoon Drama – John Dryden – Reluctant Spy – Excellent work, loved every minute of it.

    Where can I purchase this?

  3. Paul kestenbaum says:

    Thank you for another gripping ,edgy, multi threaded and thoroughly enjoyable trilogy – radio drama at its best.

    I greatly admire your work – the direction, production values, plotting, location recording and acting are first rate.

  4. Adam Tandy says:

    Was gripped. Excellent stuff. Beautiful sound design. Thank you.

  5. Yevor says:

    From Barcelona,
    your radio drama are very good for those who are studing english.
    Any option to download the episodes ?

    Many thanks,


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