BBC Radio 4 to Adapt Neil Gaiman’s ‘Anansi Boys’

The cast of BBC Radio 4's "Anansi Boys" (Photo: BBC)

Fantasy author Neil Gaiman’s popular American Gods follow-up novel Anansi Boys is getting a star-studded radio adaptation for BBC Radio 4. The six-part drama will air this holiday season.

Anansi Boys isn’t exactly a sequel to Gaiman’s American Gods, but the two are connected in several significant ways, most notably in that they both feature Mr. Nancy, otherwise known as the West African god Anansi.

The story follows the story of Charlie Nancy (otherwise known as “Fat Charlie”) who not only discovers that his recently deceased father was actually a trickster god, but also that he has a heretofore unknown brother named Spider who inherited their dead father’s powers. Shockingly enough, this turns “Fat Charlie’s” life upside down.

Lenny Henry stars as Mr. Nancy, along with Game of Thrones’ Jacob Anderson and Misfits’ Nathan Stewart-Jarrett. The audio drama will also star Adjoa Andoh, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Earl Cameron, Tanya Moodie, Julie Hesmondhalgh, Cecilia Noble, Angela Wynter and more.

BBC Radio 4 released a star-studded radio play adaptation of Gaiman’s Neverwhere back in 2013 that featured such famous voices as Benedict Cumberbatch, James McAvoy and Natalie Dormer. They followed that up with an audio version of the popular Gaiman and Terry Pratchett novel Good Omens in 2014. The BBC has also produced recent audio drama adaptations of Gaiman’s Stardust and the Neverwhere spin-off/companion drama How the Marquis Got His Coat Back.

All of them were excellent, and it’s extremely exciting as a fan of Gaiman’s work to see so even more adaptations of it heading my way in the next year. (Don’t forget, Amazon’s in the process of making a TV version of Good Omens, too.)

Anansi Boys will air in six parts on BBC Radio 4, beginning on Christmas Day at 11:30 p.m. GMT.  It will run through December 30. 

You can listen to Anansi Boys via the BBC Radio 4 website, which streams globally, or use any one of a half-dozen radio apps such as Tune In Radio to get your Gaiman fix. The drama will also stream on the BBC iPlayer Radio for at least a week after its initial broadcast, so you’ll have plenty of time to give it a listen.

Are you a fan of Gaiman’s work? Will you be giving Anansi Boys a try this December? Let’s discuss. 

Lacy Baugher

Lacy's love of British TV is embarrassingly extensive, but primarily centers around evangelizing all things Doctor Who, and watching as many period dramas as possible.

Digital media type by day, she also has a fairly useless degree in British medieval literature, and dearly loves to talk about dream poetry, liminality, and the medieval religious vision. (Sadly, that opportunity presents itself very infrequently.) York apologist, Ninth Doctor enthusiast, and unabashed Ravenclaw. Say hi on Threads or Blue Sky at @LacyMB. 

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