In the Red (novel)

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In the Red is a 1989 novel by Mark Tavener, a black comedy revolving around murder, finance, and intrigue in the halls of the BBC. Despite this, it was the BBC that successfully adapted it for both radio and television.

The title comes from the expression "in the red".

In 1995, it was adapted for radio by Tavener and Peter Baynham, and aired on BBC Radio 4 with Michael Williams and Barry Foster in lead roles. The radio version was successful, and was followed by three sequels: In the Balance, In the Chair, and In the End.

In 1998, it was adapted for television by Malcolm Bradbury, and aired on BBC Two. The series included a cast of famous UK television performers including Rik Mayall, Warren Clarke, Richard Griffiths, Alun Armstrong, Stephen Fry, John Sessions and John Bird.

In 2000, a pair of characters, BBC executives played in both the radio and television versions by Stephen Fry and John Bird, were spun off into their own Radio 4 series, Absolute Power, written by Tavener. A television version followed, written by other writers.

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