The Terror Ears

BBC Radio 4 extra is a digital radio station that broadcasts a fair amount of drama that fits into the horror genre – starting this Monday will be a new series in which  Christopher Lee reads a series of ghost stories for Christmas, and past months have seen  radio versions of both Duel and The Birds, but there is one show that all fans of horror should be tuning into – The Man in Black is an anthology of full cast radio dramas dealing with the supernatural, horror and things that go bump in the night. Many of the shows can be listened to worldwide at the show’s website HERE. Each story is introduced by The Man in Black, currently played by Mark Gatis.


The show has a long history –

The Man in Black is British Broadcasting Corporation’s continuation of a
tradition of horror shows dating back to 1943. Back then, the BBC
offered APPOINTMENT WITH FEAR, the title given to ten series of
programs running from 1943 to 1955. These are the most famous BBC
horror series in it’s history. The stories were introduced by The
Man in Black, played by Valentine Dyall. In 1949, The Man In Black
was given his own series, called THE MAN IN BLACK, again featuring
Valentine Dyall. Unfortunately, only four shows from APPOINTMENT
WITH FEAR are known to have survived. None of THE MAN IN BLACK shows
are known to exist.

The original man in black

The Man in Black returned to radio again in 1988, this time played by
Edward de Souza. FEAR ON 4, airing on BBC Radio Four, continued in
the tradition of its predecessors. Four series were produced from
1988 through 1993 with a fifth series in 1997. In 1999, one new show
and 2 repeats aired under the banner of “Fear on 4” on BBC Radio 4’s
LATE NIGHT ON 4 series. The shows are a mix of adaptations of short

The original man in black

stories and original radio plays. All shows from these series exist.


The show is often repeated on Radio 4 extra and in the new year the show will broadcast episodes hosted by past host Edward De Souza – I’m looking forward to these as I remember originally listening as a child, curled up under the bedclothes, my tiny transistor radio held to my ear. Visit the BBC Radio 4 Extra website and select drama/horror and supernatural to listen to the Man in Black and other genre material. You’ll be glad you did.



the current Black dude

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