Talking Books

Tune in every weekday for a new episode of our unabridged Talking Book, or catch up with every episode here. New episodes every Monday - Friday at 2pm, or if you prefer a book at bedtime it's repeated every night at 10pm.

Talking Book Now Playing ...

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Read by David Brown

'If it were I who was to be always young, and the picture that was to grow oldI would give my soul for that!' The wish uttered by Dorian Gray as he gazes on his portrait forms the basis of this story, of a gilded and spoilt hedonist who is willing to sell his soul for his beauty.

  Tune in every weekday at 2pm, with a repeat at 10pm

Catch Up ...

Here is the News written and read by Richard Baker

Following the death of one of Britian's best loved newsreaders, we're revisiting an autobiography he read for RNIB back in the late 1960's. This book is Richard's behind-the-scenes glimpse at what happened at the BBC Newsdesk before the days of mobile phones and the internet, and before he uttered the phrase, 'Here is the News.'

Catch up now.

Children's Talking Books

A children's classic, every Saturday morning at 9am and Sunday at 3pm and at the moment it's The Water Babies. Catch up on the latest episode or find out more about our Weekend Children's Show here.

Read On

If you're passionate about books and reading, tune in every Friday from 1pm. Author interviews, book news, technology updates and everything you've always wanted to know about the RNIB Library. 

Head to the Read On Page now

Join RNIB Talking Books

Our Talking Books service is absolutely free. Giving you access to over 29,000 titles that you can read to your hearts content.

Join the Talking Books Service

Booker Prize

Every year we feature the Man Booker shortlisted authors, here are the latest and a few from the awards over the past few years - Man Booker Prize authors

Suggest a book to be played on Talking Books by emailing or contacting me via Talking_Books on Twitter. A number of restrictions around rights are involved but we do look at every suggestion.

Listen Again

Catch up with our current featured book, and EVERY EPISODE of the last book featured on the show, both mid-week and children's weekend.

The Picture of Dorian Gray

Dorian Gray 1/12

Dorian Gray 2/12

Dorian Gray 3/12

Dorian Gray 4/12

Dorian Gray 5/12

Dorian Gray 6/12

Dorian Gray 7/12


Here is the News


Here is the News 1/8

Here is the News 2/8

Here is the News 3/8

Here is the News 4/8

Here is the News 5/8

Here is the News 6/8

Here is the News 7/8

Here is the News 8/8


Children's Books


The Water Babies


Water Babies 1/6

Water Babies 2/6

Water Babies 3/6

Water Babies 4/6



The Secret Garden


Secret Garden 1/10

Secret Garden 2/10

Secret Garden 3/10

Secret Garden 4/10

Secret Garden 5/10

Secret Garden 6/10

Secret Garden 7/10

Secret Garden 8/10

Secret Garden 9/10

Secret Garden 10/10


About Talking Books

Robert Kirkwood presents the best of the spoken Word. The famous RNIB Talking Books studios have such a rich and varied history. Authors such as Ruth Rendell, Roald Dahl, P.D. James, A.S. Byatt, Fay Weldon, Doris Lessing, Lady Antonia Fraser and lots of other greats, making up a veritable Who’s Who of UK literature, have all visited us and recorded something.

Narrators over the years have included Joanna Lumley, Richard Baker, Sir John Gielgud, Joss Ackland and Jim Broadbent amongst hundreds of others. In the early days of the RNIB Talking Book service, there was no such thing as commercial audiobooks, so the RNIB library is the only place to hear people such as Peter Cushing and Joyce Grenfel read books aloud.

On Insight Radio's Talking Book show we've featured all of the above! Where else could you hear Peter Cushing read Sherlock Holmes followed by Victoria Coren talking poker, or Cherie Blair reading Postman Pat followed by Frederick Forsyth telling us about cocaine trafficking?

Tune in every day at 2pm (or 10pm or 3am) for exclusive audio, author interviews, behind the scenes features and our featured book or short story of the moment. I'll also keep adding content to the Talking Books podcast feed so make sure you subscribe.

Subscribe to the Talking Books podcast feed on itunes