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Father Baldi BBC Radio 4 Monk Detective Plays



The Radio Franciscan Priest Father Paolo Baldi Episode Guide Actors Actresses and Transmission Dates and how the series was created


BBC Radio 4 Monk Detective Plays


Father Paolo Baldi is a Franciscan priest who solves crimes with the help of Dublin Gardai policewoman Detective Inspector Tina Mahon. A relationship that is frowned upon by Father Troy, Baldi's superior.

Though Baldi solves the causes using his analytical skills, he does not earn the respect of other Gardai officers such as Detective Sergeant Rynne who tries to keep Baldi from the scenes of crime, witnesses and DI Mahon.

The audio books of Baldi are now available to purchase - More Information

Father Baldi is in Ireland on a sabbatical from the Franciscan order where he is a priest. Whilst on his sabbatical he is working as a university lecturer in semiotics. Throughout the series he has conflicting thoughts of his faith and his feelings for DI Mahon.

There are some great humorous scenes between Father Baldi and his house keeper Mrs Reid, such as his inability to sometimes pay the rent and her cooking skills.


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The Actors In Baldi


Father Paolo Baldi is played by David Threlfall who appears on TV as Frank Gallagher in Shameless on Channel 4. He has also starred in the film Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World as Preserved Killick, Captain's Steward.

DI Tina Mahon is played by Tina Kellegher who also appeared in the television series Ballykissangel.

Detective Sergeant Rynne is played by Owen Roe who appears regularly on stage in Ireland's theatres and in TV programmes such as Pride and Joy and Ballykissangel.

Father Troy is played by T P McKenna (Thomas Patrick) a character actor who has appeared in many films and TV programmes such as Straw Dogs, Heartbeat, Lovejoy, Casualty, Doctor Who, Minder and The Saint.

Mrs Reid is played by actress Margaret D’Arcy who has appeared in films and television programmes such as Wild About Harry, Puckoon and Bluebell as Sister Mary.

The series was created by Barry Devlin, originally for BBC Northern Ireland. The writer himself was trained at a Franciscan seminary but left to form the Irish band Horslips, before becoming a writer and director.


Guests have included many of Britain's leading actors and actresses including Martin Clunes, Adrian Dunbar, Michael Maloney, Bill Nighy, Sorcha Cusack, Geraldine James, Niall Toibin, David Kelly, Stephen Moore and Victoria Smurfit.


Baldi Play Episode Guide And Transmission Dates

Series One Baldi

The first series of Baldi was broadcast weekly on BBC Radio 4 in 2000 as part of the Afternoon Play during January and February. It is occasionally repeated on BBC Radio 7.

The Prodigal Son by Barry Devlin
Keepers of the Flame by Simon Brett
Miss Lonelyhearts by Barry Devlin
The Emerald Style by Simon Brett
Death Cap by Simon Brett
Devil Take The Hindmost by Annie Caulfield




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Series Two Baldi

The second series of Baldi was broadcast weekly on BBC Radio 4 in 2001 as part of the Afternoon Play during March and April. It is occasionally repeated on BBC Radio 7.

Three into One by Simon Brett
Twilight of the God by Mark Holloway
Schecter's Knot by Martin Meenan
Not for Life by Simon Brett
Scratching the Surface by Martin Meenan
Early Retirement by Mark Holloway


Series Three Baldi

The third series of Baldi was broadcast weekly on BBC Radio 4 in 2003 as part of the Afternoon Play during March and April. It is occasionally repeated on BBC Radio 7.

Tempus Fugit
The Book Case
The Sick Rose
Settling Scores
The Dig
Far Pavilions


Series Four Baldi

The fourth series of Baldi was broadcast weekly on BBC Radio 4 in 2005 as part of the Afternoon Play during February and March. It is occasionally repeated on BBC Radio 7.

Cross Purposes by Simon Brett
The Devil’s Eye by Bill Murphy
The Smoker by Andrew Martin
No Sin by Martin Meenan
The Empty Vessel by John Murphy
Shelter by Francis Turnly

The series Producer was Lawrence Jackson.


Series Five Baldi

Series five of Baldi started on Monday 10 March 2008 on the Afternoon Play of Radio 4 at 2:15 to 3pm.

The first episode of the fifth series of Father Baldi was Baldi: The Million Dollar Question. This new murder mystery play based in modern day Dublin, Ireland was written by Barry Devlin.

Father Troy and Father Baldi mourn the loss of their favourite publican and the modernisation of his pub at Roscray. But this does not stop Paolo Baldi going in when he hears some live sixties music. The group are called The Sun Boys. After they have finished performing their first set Baldi chats to the band. During the second set one of the musicians, Pete the drummer, is electrocuted.

Paolo goes to the chapel to pray and stays in the area to hear the inquest which delivers a verdict of death by misadventure. When chatting to Chuck and Angela after the inquest they tell Father Baldi that it is the third member of the Sun Boys to die since Tuohy joined the band. Both were stage accidents - one died when a lighting rig fell on his head.

Detective Inspector Tina Mahon of the Garda comes to investigate the accident and asks Paolo to stay in the area as he was a witness.
Paolo Baldi the Franciscan priest, academic and amateur sleuth sets out to investigate the mysterious deaths of the members of a rockabilly band. he chats to Tuohy and he tells Father Baldi to check out the pub. The fire safety inspectors find that the wiring had been reversed.

During his investigation Father Baldi draws squares and triangles to help find a pattern of the deaths of the band. Paolo finds a pattern similar to the anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley. He is anticipating another death.

Tuohy tells Father Baldi about the pub owned by The Sun Boys. Under the terms of their agreement the last man standing gets ownership of the pub. Has Chuck been killing off the band members so that he can own the bar outright?

But the pub was sold at a loss years ago and Chuck reveals that the other musician, Clem, did not die in an accident, he committed suicide on September 23rd. The birthday of Jerry Lee Lewis. The square falls into place and Paolo tries to find Clem's widow Lisa.

Clem was sacked from The Sun Boys and he had been having affairs. He goes with Tina to Culcullin where the group are playing live. They find Angela tampering with the mains board. She wanted to kill Chuck for driving Clem to suicide, they had been having an affair. She doesn't listen to Baldi and Tina pleas that he was depressed and that was why he ended his life. Angela threatens to electrocute herself and if anyone steps nearer she will take them with her. Baldi tries to talk her out of it and walks towards her...

The cast list of Baldi: The Million Dollar Question was:
Baldi - David Threlfall
Tina - Tara Flynn
Rynne - Owen Roe
Troy - TP McKenna
Angela - Diana Quick
Chuck - Gerry O'Brien
Tuohy - Frank O'Sullivan
Dr Graham - Kieran Lagan
Anto - Patrick Fitzsymons
The Sun Boys - The Sabre Jets

The Producer and Director of Paulo Baldi: The Million Dollar Question was Lawrence Jackson.


The second episode of series five of Baldi was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Monday 17 March 2008. A Very Neglected Fish: Father Baldi is a bad flier and encounters turbulence during the flight. His fellow passenger talks to him to take his mind off flying. He is a cook called Gavin Farley and he is a TV chef. When the air hostess sees who he is she upgrades him and he makes sure that Father Baldi comes too. He invites Father Baldi and a guest to his restaurant.

Paoli takes Tina and she recognises the waiter. Father Baldi gets talking to some other celebrity chefs and food critics whilst Tina gets to try Gavin's new secret recipe dish. He has to get back to the kitchen but hopes to see more of Tina later.

The chefs and critics become more drunk and Tom Harrington is asked to leave. The next day he phones Father Baldi to apologise and arranges to meet up for lunch. But he never arrives: he was murdered in his kitchen after the phone call.

The review of Gavin's new dish is found in Tom Harrington's diary. It is bad and the Garda wonder if this is why he was murdered.

Paoli Bardi goes to see Gavin at the La Rosa restaurant where an edition of Gavin's Feat of Food is being filmed. This leads to Father Baldi appearing live on television where he samples his new dish. Another taster thinks it is a long lost Italian recipe and starts to get angry with the chef. The producers cut to the commercial break.

Tina remembers where she knows Martin from, he was a burglar. Gavin tells Tina that he knew this because he burgled the kitchen and cooked a fine meal whilst there and when Gavin found out he gave him a chance. He tells Tina that Tom Harrington was taking bribes for good reviews. Even the producer has a chequered past of egging the truth on other shows.

It is Tina's birthday on Saturday and Father Baldi is invited to the do at La Rosa.

Lucy gate crasher and films the party with all the police as a publicity stunt until she is ordered to stop by Gavin. Later Father Baldi goes to the kitchen to thank Gavin and finds Gavin and Tina kissing.

Lucy arranges a meeting with Paolo and she tries to get him to help her find Tom Harrington's killer. She envisages a Father Baldi Investigates TV programme. She thinks that Gavin Farley has been stealing recipes. Father Baldi declines.

Father Baldi goes to the restaurant of the chef who accused Gavin of stealing a recipe. He is trying to find out more about the rare Italian sauce.

Martin's fingerprints are found at the scene of the crime and he goes on the run.

Tina is called to La Rosa by Baldi in the middle of the night. He thinks he knows where Martin can be found. When Tina goes to arrest Martin Giorgio appears with a knife. He is an Italian murderer on the run and once a famous chef. Paoli Baldi knows he was protecting his lover, Rosa, and fled and changed his identity. He killed Tom Harrington the same way when he was blackmailing Gavin for a good review.

The cast list of Baldi: A Very Neglected Fish was:
Baldi - David Threlfall
Tina - Tara Flynn
Rynne - Owen Roe
Gavin Farley - James D'Arcy
Giorgio the Sous Chef - Paolo Tullio
Lucy Frost - Amanda Root
Martin Barratt - Paul Reid
Franco Palametti - Nick Dunning
Tom Harrington the Food Critic - Niall Buggy
Air hostess - Bronagh Taggart

A Very Neglected Fish was written by John Murphy. The producer and director Mark Lambert.



Episode three of series five of Baldi was broadcast on BBC Radio4 on Monday 24 March 2008 at 2:15pm after The Archers. A Green Murder: Father Baldi is out hill walking in the Wicklow Mountains with Phillip Lawlor a former priest who left the priesthood in 1975 to become an environmentalist in Dublin. They discuss theology over a drink on the mountain.

The next day Phillip Lawlor is found dead on the mountain with empty water bottles and a bruised head. It is thought he died from dehydration but Tina thinks it was murder. He was protesting against new developments that would harm the environment. Paolo Baldi sets out to investigate his murder and finds himself at a book launch which Tina talks to an environmentalist with a love of dry cleaning.

The cast list of Father Baldi: A Green Murder was:

Father Baldi - David Threlfall
Tina - Tara Flynn
Mrs Reid - Margaret D'Arcy
Philip Lawlor - John Kavanagh
Wilkinson - Stephen Mangan
Dean - Mark Lambert
Gallagher - Richard Dormer
Nicola Mason - Marion O'Dwyer
Bookseller - John Hewitt
Builder and Junior Garda - Patrick Fitzsymons
Gallagher's Asst and TV Assistance - Genevieve Swift

The Director of A Green Murder was Lawrence Jackson.


The last episode of Baldi was broadcast as the Afternoon Play on Monday 31 March 2008 at 14:15pm for 45 minutes. Food of the Blue by James McAleavey: Paolo Baldi is trying to keep fit and goes out jogging. He thinks his sabbatical is making him put on weight and asks Father Troy for an academic retreat at Cranolly House. Father Baldi tries to book a room and is not put off when the manager tells him that it could be noisy because it is the 500th anniversary celebrations at Cranolly House. He books under his academic name of Dr Baldi.

Doctor Baldi arrives as the governing council vote about the proposal to sell the building and land to a property developer who wants to build a golf course.

At the entrance to the maze he meets Mr Deborger the gardener, the main opponent to the developers. He has forgotten his secateurs and heads into the maze to find them whilst Dr Baldi heads off to the house. During the evening meal Dr Baldi is introduced to the other members of the Cranolly House governing council. He is told of the Food of the Blue meals which is only served every 100 years. It is just one of the many customs still surviving at Cranolly House.

As Dr Baldi tries to start his studies there is a commotion outside. There has been an accident. Professor Lojek is lying on the ground with a piece of glass through his chest. The others think he was drinking secretly on the roof and feel. Dr Baldi thinks otherwise and phones Detective Inspector Tina Mahon of the Guardia. She wants her to read the Coroner’s report of a previous suicide of another academic at Cranolly House.

Both deaths of the Professors were from excessive strangulation. Tina wants to help him with his investigation but women are not welcome. Instead her superior Superintendent Rynne goes undercover as Gerald Rynne , a poet. All is well until the Bard has to recite his poem. He starts There was a young man from... - which goes down well with the drunk Professors!

Dr Baldi goes to practice golf on the grounds driving range and gets some help with his swing. When paying for his golf balls he notices that the ball boy checks his ten euros note with an ultraviolet light and Paola Baldi gets thinking.

During the next meal a Professor dies from choking on a bone, although the Coroner finds out that he had an anaphylactic shock from his allergy to shellfish.

Rynne and Baldi discover that the secret ballot papers of the vote about the property developer were marked with a UV pen.

The chef reports being given last minute instructions to use lobster in his food preparation.

Can Paolo Baldi crack the mystery of The Book of the Few and the relevance of the tree symbol before there is another murder.


The cast list of Baldi: Food of the Blue was:
Baldi - David Threlfall
Tina - Tara Flynn
Rynne - Owen Roe
De Burca - Dermot Crowley
Troy - TP McKenna
Baldwin - David Kelly
Edmonds - Alan Stamford
O’Byrne - Don Wycherley
Lojek - Richard Dormer
Don 1 - Kieran Lagan
Girl in Dublin ...... Bronagh Taggart

The Director of Food of the Blue was Mark Lambert.


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