Ladies of Letters was first broadcast on Radio 4's Woman’s Hour in December 1997, starring Prunella Scales and Patricia Routledge.

Since then, they have become a legend, with over 5 million listeners and 11 series.

More often than not, Radio 7 repeats the series, check it out from time to time to see what’s currently airing!  All the Ladies’ radio series are available on CD and to download, but alas, are no longer available on cassette to purchase new, though there are many resellers.  The first and second series has been reissued as two separate CDs by BBC Worldwide in March 2009.

To buy any of the titles, click on the pictures below or download via the iTunes link.

To view the CD collections, go to end of the pages.


  • Ladies of Letters Log on (BBC Radio Collection)
    by Carole Hayman, Lou Wakefield

    Series 4

    On/off bosom pals Vera Small and Irene Spencer are battling valiantly to keep up with technology. Having long tidied away their pens and paper in favour of email correspondence, they now find themselves entering another sphere of New media: cable TV. Vera's recent success, in the fly-on-the-wall documentary A Life With Sheep, has led to her bagging the host's seat on new morning chat show Dales Diaries. Needless to say, the enterprise isn't without teething troubles - not least of which is the search for an ideal co-host...
    Meanwhile, Irene's joyful reunion with her long-lost offspring Christopher- and his succession of flashy motor cars- looks set to be soured by one overseas trip too may whilst, over at Sheepdippers Shed, Vera's own beloved son and his partner Anthony are expecting the patter of tiny surrogate feet any time now. But when the big day arrives, who will be on hand to oversee delivery?

    [iTunes download]

  • Ladies of Series 4 (BBC Radio Collection)
    by Carole Hayman, Lou Wakefield

    Series 3

    Vera Small and her bosom buddy Irene Spencer keep up a regular correspondence and now, with the advent of email, the ladies of letters can communicate daily. There are the usual domestic mishaps to fret about: Irene's daughter Lesley is refusing to marry the worthy but boring Brian; Vera's exhausted daughter Karen has abandoned her third baby at the hospital and eloped with a male nurse; and Vera's gay son Howard and his partner Anthony are trying for a baby- with the help of a surrogate mother and a television crew.
    As Irene and Vera fall in and out of friendship they accuse each other of everything from alcoholism to mental illness (but only in a loving, caring way, of course). Their hilarious put-downs and gossip give a wonderful insight into the trials of modern family life.

  • Ladies of More Letters (BBC Audio)
    BBC Audiobooks Ltd

    Series 2

    Prunella Scales and Patricia Routledge star in the second popular BBC Radio 4 series "Ladies of More Letters". After meeting at Irene's daughter Lesley's wedding reception, Irene Spencer and Vera Small became firm - sometimes too firm - friends, and so began their extraordinary correspondence, first recorded in Ladies of Letters. In "Ladies of More Letters", we find Vera installed at Far Shores Trailer Park and Irene living the 'high' life Down Under. In their letters they share all the twists and turns of life's rich tapestry in true acerbic and forthright form - swapping family stories and subtle put-downs with ease and aplomb. The result is a sparkling collection of letters, full of humour and vitriol in equal measures. '"Ladies of More Letters" provides us with an invaluable insight into the mindset of the contemporary British pensioner...It is not only an historical document, it is a fascinating glimpse into the private worlds of two extraordinarily ordinary English women' - Sue Townsend.

  • by Lou Wakefield, Carole Hayman

    Series 1

    Prunella Scales and Patricia Routledge star in this popular BBC Radio 4 series "Ladies of Letters". When Irene Spencer meets Vera Small at her daughter Lesley's wedding reception they embark upon a correspondence that is quite unlike any other in the history of letter-writing. Both Irene and Vera are happily widowed and endowed with errant offspring. They live in a world of church fetes and amateur dramatics, but love nothing more than dipping their pens in the vitriol pot - while remaining the firmest of pen-pals. Feisty, naughty and endlessly funny, Ladies of Letters provides a hilarious insight into suburban friendships as they really are! 'Quite honestly as I laid the last letter aside I felt a better person for having glimpsed behind the net curtains of Mrs. Small's and Mrs. Spencer's life' - Sue Townsend. 'An hilarious double act by Prunella Scales and Patricia Routledge' - "Northern Echo". 'Beautifully scripted and perfectly acted' - "Daily Express".

  • Ladies of Letters (BBC Audiobooks)
    by Wakefield Lou & Hayman Carole

    Collectors Edition Biscuit Tin (Audio CDs)

    The collected 1st to 7th series.

    Unfortunately this collection is no longer available from the publishers.

  • The Ladies of Letters Collection:
  • Ladies of Letters...and More (BBC Radio Collection)
    by Carole Hayman, Lou Wakefield

    Series 1 and 2 combined.

    The ladies of letters first bond whilst tipsy and tangoing at Irene Spencer's daughter's wedding reception. Thereafter, their regular correspondence charts the ups and downs of their daily lives, from Vera Small's home at Far Shores Trailer Park to Irene's trip 'down under' to visit her daughter Lesley. Happily widowed, but perpetually preoccupied by errant offspring, the lives of Irene and Vera are punctuated by church fetes and amateur dramatics, and perpetuated through the pen pot and postal system. Combining domestic disaster with acerbic put-downs, absurdist observation with humorous exclamations, these letters offer a candid communication that only the closest of friends (or should that be 'enemies'?) could sustain!
    Irresistible in its depiction of the foibles of female friendship, Ladies of Letters .. and More is a sparkling collection of letters full of humour and vitriol in equal measure.

    [iTunes Download]