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Friday, 18 October, 2002, 13:23 GMT 14:23 UK
McGregor reads bedtime stories
Ewan McGregor
Ewan McGregor has picked five Chekhov stories
Actor Ewan McGregor is to read short stories by Anton Chekhov on BBC Radio 4's Book At Bedtime.

He chose the 19th century Russian author because he said the themes of the five stories were still relevant and each one was "melancholy".

The actor will read five of his favourite short stories on consecutive weeknights.

Chosen Chekhov stories
His Wife (1899)
The Bet (1889)
The Beauty (1888)
Concerning Love (1898)
Vanka (1886)

"These could be contemporary stories as they are about very human things, love and survival," McGregor said.

"What really appealed to me is that there is a huge melancholy running through all his work and there is something nice about melancholy stories, especially at bedtime."

Play plans

He continued: "I was thinking of doing The Seagull as a play either acting in it and then I thought I would quite like to direct it on the radio.

"I think it would quite lend itself to radio and I hope to do that in the future."

He said he had enjoyed the experience of recording the radio programmes.

"In radio really anything is possible. I found it really beautiful and it has made me feel much closer to Chekhov's writing by recording these five stories," he said.

Controversial cloning

Meanwhile actors Michael Gambon and Daniel Craig are to star in a radio version of a new play about human cloning.

Gambon plays a father given the chance to achieve perfection through cloning, in the play A Number by Caryl Churchill.

Craig plays all three of his sons leading to deliberate confusion.

A theatre production by Stephen Daldry is also currently playing at London's Royal Court Theatre.

McGregor will read for Book At Bedtime each weeknight from 28 October - 1 November at 2245 GMT on BBC Radio 4.

A Number produced by Kate Rowland will broadcast on 1 November at 2100 GMT on BBC Radio 4.

See also:

07 May 02 | Entertainment
08 Mar 02 | Scotland
05 Jul 01 | N Ireland
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