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Front Porch Al: Saki's Tobermory read by Alan Maitland

In 1974 Alan Maitland joined CBC Radio's As It Happens as co-host, and during that time he became known affectionately as Fireside Al and Front Porch Al, tempting listeners to pull up a chair to the fire or on the porch (depending on the season) and listen. He read stories by a long list of authors, and they were a delight for audiences, whether the story was a humorous or a poignant one. His reading of The Shepherd, by Frederick Forsythe, has become a Christmas Eve tradition on As It Happens.

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In this clip, Front Porch Al, a.ka. Alan Maitland, reads the story Tobermory, by Saki. Tobermory is a cat whose owner, a society matron, invites a diverse group of friends to her home. Unexpected revelations occur when an experiment in teaching animals to use human speech is demonstrated at her party.

• Saki is the pen name of Scottish writer and journalist Hector Hugh Munro, born Dec. 18, 1870, and killed in action in the Second World War near Beaumont-Hamel, France, on Nov. 14, 1916. 

• Munro worked as a foreign correspondent for The Morning Post, but in 1908 he  moved to London, and wrote short stories, sketches, and a novel, The Unbearable Bassington, published in 1912.  His writing style was satirical, and he often employed surprise endings.

Medium: Radio
Program: As It Happens
Broadcast Date: Aug. 3, 1990
Narrator: Alan Maitland
Duration: 16:30

Last updated: July 23, 2013

Page consulted on September 10, 2014

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