Avengers Logo 'The Avengers'
Radio Series

adapted by Tony Jay
and Dennis Folbigge
Jacket Illustration

‘The Avengers’ radio series began transmission in 1972, and was produced by Sonovision Ltd. for the South African Broadcasting Company. The series producer was David Gooden, the owner of Sonovision at the time; Tony Jay adapted and directed the first six months of episodes, and Dennis Folbigge took over for the remainder of the run. It was also sponsored by Lever Brothers, who were credited at the beginning of each episode as ‘the makers of Cold Water Omo.’

The stories were adapted from Emma Peel and Tara King episodes, although the character of Tara was usually replaced by Emma. The length of each serial varied; initially, each story was delivered in five fifteen-minute instalments; later in the series, episode counts per serial would be between five and eight.

The Series were transmitted on Springbok Radio, a commercial station run by the South African Broadcasting Corporation (it is no longer on-air); the episodes were stripped across Mondays to Fridays at 7:15 pm.

Cast as John Steed was English actor Donald Monat, and Emma Peel was played by Diane Appleby. Hugh Rouse, already famous in South Africa as a radio newscaster, contributed the tongue-in-cheek narration for each episode. Mother was played by Colin Fish, and featured in the episodes that were sourced from Tara King stories, and was mentioned by name in many of the other serials.

The series ran for eighteen months, and it is believed that as many as eighty serials may have been produced. Unfortunately, only thirteen of these are currently known to exist, and all of these hail from the later Dennis Folbigge era. They are:

‘Escape in Time’ (Version 1) Eps 1-5
‘The Fantasy Game’ Eps 1-7 (based on ‘Honey For the Prince’)
‘The Quick Quick Slow Death’ Eps 1-6
‘Love All’ Eps 1-6
‘Getaway’ a.k.a. ‘Clean Getaway’ Eps 1-6 (based on ‘Get-a-Way!’)
‘A Deadly Gift’ (based on ‘The Cybernauts’) Eps 1-6 (NB: The Cybernauts are referred to as 'Pabulum Robots'))
‘The Super Secret Cypher Snatch’ Eps 1-6
‘Dial a Deadly Number’ Eps 1-6
‘Not To Be Sneezed At’ Eps 1-7 (based on ‘You'll Catch Your Death’)
‘Who Shot Poor George?'’ Eps 1-7 (based on ‘Whoever Shot Poor George Oblique Stroke XR40?’)
vA Grave Charge’ Eps 1-6 (based on ‘Bizarre')
‘All Done By Mirrors’ Eps 1-7 (based on ‘All Done With Mirrors’)
‘The Morning After’ Eps 1-6
‘The Joker’ Eps 1-6
‘Straight From the Shoulder’ Eps 1-6 (based on ‘Invitation to a Killing’ / ‘Have Guns... Will Haggle’)
‘Stop Me If You've Heard This’ Eps 1-6 (based on ‘Look – (stop me if you’ve heard this one) But There Were These Two Fellers…’)
‘From Venus With Love’ Eps 1-6
vA Case of Interrogation’ Eps 1-7 (based on ‘The Interrogators’)
‘Too Many Olés’ Eps 1-6 (based on ‘They Keep Killing Steed, and set in Spain)
‘Train of Events’ Eps 1-6 (based on ‘A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Station’)

Other stories known to have been made include:
‘Escape in Time’ (remake) Eps 1-5

‘A Sense of History’
‘The Correct Way to Kill’
‘The £50,000 Breakfast’
‘Who’s Who?’
‘Wish You Were Here’

‘The Great Gong Robbery’ (A forty-minute comedy special, written by Donald Monat and June Dixon, to mark the Silver Jubilee of Springbok Radio. The programme was broadcast live from the SABC Variety Theatre in Broadcast House, Johannesburg on 30th April 1975)

Donald Monat (John Steed), Diane Appleby (Mrs. Emma Peel), Colin Fish (Mother), Hugh Rouse (Narrator)

Directed by Tony Jay and Dennis Folbigge


*Featuring John Steed and Mrs. Emma Peel