Bert Coules

You may well ask “who is Bert Coules?”. He is the writer and dramatiser who set out to dramatise the whole of the Canon for BBC Radio Four. Not only did he manage to achieve this with the same actors playing Holmes (Clive Merrison) and myself (Michael Williams) but he then went on to write new stories based on my passing references to other cases that Holmes was involved in.

Clive Merrison as Holmes, is for me a little too cold and a little too irascible but Michael Williams is the perfect Watson – an intelligent a capable man and not the figure of fun that Nigel Bruce portrayed in those old black and white movies.

The recordings are frequently broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra and are available on CD – The Complete Sherlock Holmes (Radio Collection).

Sadly, Michael Williams passed away after the Canon was completed so when Bert Coules decided to pick up my references to Holmes “other cases” he needed a new Watson and came upon Andrew Sachs (again maybe someone keen to show he could play a serious character!)

Fifteen additional stories were written by Bert Coules and they have all now been released in the four volumes of The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. I have included a reference as to where these previously undocumented cases may be found in the Canon.

Volume 1

  • The Madness of Colonel Warburton [ENGR]
  • The Star of the Adelphi [SECO]
  • The Saviour of Cripplegate Square [SIGN]
  • The Singular Inheritance of Miss Gloria Wilson [THOR]

Volume 2

  • The Abergavenny Murder [PRIO]
  • The Shameful Betrayal of Miss Emily Smith [NORW]
  • The Tragedy of Hanbury Street [GOLD]
  • The Determined Client [GOLD]
  • Interview with Bert Coules.

Volume 3

  • The Striking Success of Miss Franny Blossom [HOUN]
  • The Thirteen Watches [NOBL and The Man With Watches]
  • The Peculiar Persecution of Mr John Vincent Harden [SOLI]
  • The Ferrers Documents [PRIO]

Volume 4

  • The Eyes of Horus [HOUN]
  • The Remarkable Performance of Mr Frederick Merridew [EMPT]
  • The Marlbourne Point Mystery (in two parts) [VEIL]

The Northern Musgraves (a group of Sherlockians living in the North of England) have produced “221 BBC – Writing for the World’s First Complete Dramatised Canon” by Bert Coules about the series with photographs, interviews, reviews, backstage anecdotes and script extracts including some material never broadcast. Sadly the first edition is now sold out and Bert Coules thinks it unlikely that a second edition will be available soon. But although the book was included in the original collection it is sadly now missing from the The Complete Sherlock Holmes (Radio Collection). Bert Coules has produced an updated version which is now with the publishers.


5 Responses

  1. Janet Cox (nee Coules) says:

    I think Bert Coules and I must be related as I was told by my dad (William Henry Coules 1912 – 2004) that “all Coules were related!? My dad came from Walthamstow East London and had one brother George and sisters, Alice, Esther, Elizabeth and Ada! Are we connected? I now live in West Oxfordshire and listen to Radio 4!!

  2. Bert Coules says:

    Janet, I’ve only just seen your comment. If you haven’t already done so, take a look at if all the branches are indeed related (which I suppose is entirely possible) then it’s a very big family indeed.

  3. Dan says:

    Where can i find a download or purchase of these great audio recording? Amazon has some crazy prices…

  4. Bert Coules says:

    Dan, the Amazon UK prices are ludicrous, at least for most of the sets: there are a few third-party sellers whose prices are more reasonable. I’m trying to find out if the BBC has any plans to reissure the CDs, but in the meantime you might like to look on iTunes, where the shows are available as downloads. There are links on the shows’ unofficial site at Thanks for your interest.

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