Originally broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2008

Patrick Humphries explores the life and career of an author whose works are household names but about whom little is known. Paul Brickhill wrote three of the most famous novels centred on the Second World War  – “The Great Escape”, “Reach for the Sky” and “The Dambusters”, all of which were made into iconic films. Shot down over North Africa, Brickhill was imprisoned in the notorious Stalag Luft III – scene of the the great escape itself – but claustrophobia prevented his own escape. A journalist and writer, Brickhill stopped writing in 1962 and never published anything again – the programme asks why?

Produced by Neil Rosser & Ladbroke Productions (Radio) Ltd for BBC Radio 4



N.B. Some audio has been edited from the original broadcast version due to copyright restrictions


Patrick Humphries


Neil Rosser


Neil Rosser




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