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Past, present and future shows from Absolutely.


Baggage Series 4


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  • Series 1 first broadcast December 2007
  • BBC Radio 4
  • 6 x 30 minute episodes

Radio 4 from Tuesday 13th April
at 6:30pm for six weeks

Written by and starring Hilary Lyon, ‘Baggage’ is set in the capital of Scotland and centres on the lives of Caroline and Ruth, two (40-ish) friends of preposterous long-standing. Life certainly hasn’t turned out quite as it was supposed to for the celtic pair as they navigate their way through grief and joy in the most surprising situations, but they battle on having moved their original baggage from substantial trunks into roomier skips….. and finally to a more commodious landfill site in the borders.

The end of Series 3 found the women reeling from their best friend Fiona’s death from breast cancer which was diagnosed shortly after giving birth to her daughter, April. Series 4 finds them valiantly picking up the pieces and rising to the challenge of bringing up toddler April, whilst dealing with Fiona’s grief-stricken estranged husband, Roddy, and demented mother Gladys (not to mention their respective continuing quests for the perfect work/life balance, blissful relationship and the answer to that tricky minor question ‘What’s it all about anyway?’).

Caroline and Roddy are catapulted into co-parenting and have a fair bit of negotiating to do in terms of their relationship to each other and to April’s birth father, Church of Scotland minister, Nicholas. Ruth struggles with loss and change in her own inimitable fashion and falls in love in the most unexpected of circumstances. Throw in Caroline’s exuberant father, Hector, suddenly appearing on the doorstep grappling with his own demons and secrets and you have a fascinating portrait of 21st century family life and all its attendant complexity...

‘Baggage’ embraces and celebrates the absurdity and richness of life; the humour, the sadness, the nonsense, the sexy nights in and bitterly cold Edinburgh nights out; the complaining (those cobbles, those hills, that weather) and the relishing (the views, the culture, the chip shops) of life in one of Europe’s most beautiful capital cities.

‘Baggage’ is funny and poignant and seriously ridiculous; a bit like life really.


“This series has been a breakthrough for Radio 4: at last a comedy drama that brings together some real laugh-out-loud moments with high quality poignant writing”
(Jane Anderson - Radio Times)



Hilary Lyon: Creator, Writer and Co-star of Baggage

I was delighted when ‘Baggage’ was commissioned for a 4th series by BBC Radio 4. The first 3 series’ had been my first proper job as a writer (having been, exclusively, an actor for an alarming 2 decades) and so to be asked to write another 6 episodes was extremely gratifying, not to mention challenging, in the light of having killed a major character off.

I think the old adage about writing about what you know is probably very sound, certainly as a new-ish writer, so ‘Baggage’ came about as I do know something about women hitting 40. It’s unlikely that by this age one has not experienced some fairly major ‘stuff’; death, divorce, children or no children, career crisis blah, blah, blah, etc, etc, etc.

It’s fascinating to look at a group of people who have known each other for a verrry long time; how they cope with bridging the gap between expectation and reality; how they grow up, grow apart or grow together. Most importantly, however, I marvel at people’s resilience to get through the ‘stuff’ and still have a sense of humour and a seriously good laugh along the way.























Check back each week to hear a taster of what's coming up in the next episode.  Don't forget to let us know what you thought of the latest episode. 

Janice Forsyth interview with David Rintoul:

Listen to David Rintoul in coversation with Janice Forsyth about his work and his new role in Baggage. You can also visit the Janice Forsyth profile on the BBC Scotland site.


Listen again with BBC iPlayer



Videos: Watch exclusive interviews with Hilary Lyon & Moray Hunter


A chat with the Series Creator
The Writing Team on...



All episodes:
Caroline: Hilary Lyon
Ruth: Adie Allen
Roddy: Robin Cameron

Episode 1:
Nicholas: Moray Hunter
Gladys: June Watson
Fiona: Phyllis Logan

Episode 2:
Hector: David Rintoul
Fiona: Phyllis Logan
Polly: Nicola Grier

Episode 3:
Hector: David Rintoul
Gladys: June Watson
Fiona: Phyllis Logan

Episode 4:
Hector: David Rintoul
Nicholas: Moray Hunter
Fiona: Phyllis Logan
Miriam: Nicola Grier
Wifie: Nicola Grier
Waiter: Gordon Kennedy

Episode 5:
Hector: David Rintoul
Fiona: Phyllis Logan
Nicholas: Moray Hunter

Episode 6:
Hector: David Rintoul
Gladys: June Watson
Nicholas: Moray Hunter

Series Creator and Writer: Hilary Lyon
Director: Marilyn Imrie
BBC Commissioning Editor: Caroline Raphael
Co-producer & Script Editor: Moray Hunter
Broadcast Assistant: Sarah Tombling
Sound Engineer: Phil Horne
Studio Manager: Alison McKenzie
Facilities: The Soundhouse
Edinburgh Location Sound Recording: Lee McPhail
Producers: Gordon Kennedy & Moray Hunter
Production Company: Absolutely Productions Ltd

Theme song by Nusa. You can buy their album from,
or listen to a clip here...



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Previous Comments

Name: steveDate: 2009-07-08
really love the music played at the start and end of this program, can you tell me who the band are and if their music is available?

Name: Absolutely TeamDate: 2009-07-09
Thanks for your comment. The Band is "Nusa" and we think the track is also called "Nusa".

Name: MarieDate: 2009-07-10
Just wondered if there was any plans to release Baggage on audio books?

Name: Absolutely TeamDate: 2009-07-10
There are no plans to release the show on audio books but we are going to talk to BBC about some sort of download service either through our site or via iTunes as this will be the most cost effective way of doing this. There is a good deal of work to do on this in terms of contracts and agreements but it is something that we are extremely keen to pursue. Check the web site or subscribe to Absolutely News to keep up to date with developments.

Name: Malcolm DoigDate: 2009-07-11
Hi Hil, Remember me from school days? Glad to see you're having some fun, and considerable success with your show! It's not been broadcast yet in Australia, hence my lack of awareness. Drop me an email it would be great to hear from you. Malcolm

Name: jackie chambersDate: 2009-07-17
one of the most intelligent, well written and absorbing dramas on radio .... a gem in the radio 4 output. i caught soe of the previous series and was waiting to find out if there'd be more. R4 is not very good at lettling listeners know what's coming up and when/if there'll be a new seires .... they could make more of the web, of texting, or other messaging systems. many like me now 'listen again' as it fits life better. let us know when stuff is on - we need more than trails - if we listen again - we don't really hear many trails .... can't we susbscribe when we like a series so hat we get a text update when it's coming back?

Name: lindaDate: 2009-07-22
such a shame there are no plans for audio books but v pleased to hear there is serious intention to find a way to download/itunes the series - back catalogue too please.

Name: SueDate: 2009-07-22
A quick note to say I love the program, one of the best, and I try not to miss an episode. I would be great to see pics of all the cast.

Name: Celia Date: 2009-07-25
I was so pleased to hear episode 3 this week as I loved this drama when I heard lots of episodes last year. So much so that I've come to the web to see if I could catch up on the parts I'd obviously missed... because I didn't know it was on. Oh.. how I want you to take notice of Jackie Chambers comments and make it ALL available in some form. It is really great writing, I'm transported to Scotland, in the flat with them, whereas, I've never get to Ambrige and I'm a southern counties woman. All bests.

Name: NickDate: 2009-08-06
A genuinely inspiring series - if you can get four series of this on radio four then there is hope for us all.

Name: Dave CDate: 2009-08-12
An absolutely brilliant show and I'm sad there are no plans to release the back catalogue on CD/Tape. Nusa are on vertical record and the artist is Rory Campbell. There are clips from the album Nusa on foot stomping's website. I am looking forward to news on the release download or otherwise in the near future.

Name: Angus HepburnDate: 2009-08-18
As an Edinburgh born Scot living in New York, I have thoroughly enjoyed Baggage since the series started. Unfortunately, it looks like I will not get to hear the final episode since the BBC listen again link does not function- it times out, and I can't get the Radio4 technogeeks to fix it - very sad.

Name: ClaireDate: 2009-08-19
I heard some episodes of series 3 and 4, but sadly missed many of them. I really enjoyed what I did hear - hope you do manage to sort out something on the download side (all the episodes, please - pretty please?) I'd love to be able to enjoy it all!

Name: Gordon JacksonDate: 2010-04-14
Had never heard this programme before until it was on on Sunday. It's the only time I've ever stopped what I was doing, sat down, and listened to a show. Really enjoyed it, very good acting and fantastic writing. Amazed I'd never heard this before - now got to find the first 3 series to catch up. Great stuff.

Name: michael mcdowellDate: 2010-04-19
any thoughts of transfer to tv? must have a home on bbc four??

Name: KirstenDate: 2010-04-24
I love this series and think it would be great to be able to buy it as an audio book. Please please can something be done. I haven't heard all 4 series so would love to be able to hear it from the beginning.

Name: SoniaDate: 2010-04-29
Congratulations on such a well written entertaining production.Like so many of your other listeners I am very sorry to learn I have missed 3 previous Series of Baggage.Please Please can you make the complete 4 Series of programs available for us to buy on Audio Cd.So I can enjoy the whole story.

Name: Elaine RumneyDate: 2010-05-04
I too have only just stumbled on the new series of Baggage, and would very much like to catch up on the episodes I have missed in some form or other. Podcast perhaps, as audio books seem out of the question? It's a great series for looking at serious issues without being maudlin.

Name: eshieDate: 2010-05-11
Is Baggage available to download or on CD?

Name: thomas nicholsonDate: 2011-05-04
I'd very much like to see/hear this released in some format or another. Podcast, CD, Downloadable via itunes I don't mind...please....pretty please...