Love Virtually with David Tennant

Not what you might be thinking πŸ˜‰ I’m actually going to suggest another radio adaptation which the BBC are thankfully replaying today and tomorrow on Radio4extra. This is one of David’s many appearances on radio and it is a different take on Valentine’s day listening:

Today at 2.14pm UK time, tomorrow at 2.15am! UK time. It should be available on BBCiPlayer radio after that for 30 days to listen to:


Starring David Tennant and Emilia Fox, Love Virtually by Austrian novelist Daniel Glattauer is a thoroughly modern epistolary novel with one difference – its protagonists Emmi Rothner and Leo Leike communicate exclusively by email.

The European answer to You’ve got Mail.

Two million copies sold in Germany to date. And bought by thirty-five publishers around the world, Love Virtually by Austrian novelist Daniel Glattauer, is well on the way to becoming a global publishing phenomenon.

They “meet” when Emmi mistakenly sends an e-mail to Leo’s inbox. A romance ensues that allows them to live out a shared secret life far removed from their day-to-day existences. But to what extent does it rely on fantasy and escapism, and will it survive a real-life meeting?

The problem is…Emmi (a modern Madame Bovary) is married….

Have email, Facebook, texting and the like created a generation of isolated young people who prefer to communicate remotely – who may be in fact afraid to engage in face to face contact to find love? Is it possible to fall in love with someone you’ve never met? Does a virtual affair ‘count’ as adultery? What are the implications of the fact that we can pretend to be anyone in cyberspace?

Adapted by Eileen Horne.

29 thoughts on “Love Virtually with David Tennant

  1. After finishing Clarissa this morning, I am now a fan of radio plays – especially those with an epistolary take on things. So your recommendation couldn’t have come at a better time. Half an hour to go till then. I better get TuneIn ready and switch on BBC4. Thanks!

    Liked by 2 people

    • it is BBC 4 extra πŸ™‚ different radio station from R4, but the link hopefully should take you to the right one πŸ™‚ This is a much loved thing by DT fans, haven’t listened yet myself. You’ll have to tell me about Clarissa, too shocking or definitely worth it? Off to kitchen and then will listen to this too this afternoon πŸ™‚


      • Yep, have located BBC 4 Extra on my app.
        Clarissa – absolutely fabulous. No comparison to audio books! I loved every second of it. It is very effective – I had tears streaming down my face several times. The acting was fantastic, Armitage masterful, but also the other main characters. And I wouldn’t call it shocking, but it was distressing at times. I felt quite affected by it and filled several pages of notes in my notebook.

        Liked by 1 person

          • It really depends on the actors, I am convinced. Clarissa was absolutely brilliant, you can look forward to great entertainment – and lots of food for thought. Both in terms of the character’s trajectories, but also in terms of the historic situation of women/society it describes.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. O-M-G – that was heart-breaking. What a story! And way, way too close to the bone. Loved it, felt with the two people, was surprised at a few twists, and boy, did not expect the ending. Tennant’s Scottish twinge was sexy, of course, and Fox’s English just beautiful. I am sitting here, slightly heart-broken. Sigh. So glad you brought this to my attention, Hari! Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh God, i thought i’d put in on while food gets ready and continue at a later time when i’d have more time and now i just finished it. It was not what i expected though you kind of knew how it couldn’t go or end…
      Don’t think i shouted so often no, oh no! in my head when reading something. It is incredibly real and of our time… It feels very close to the bone indeed and leaves one very unsettled. Does make one wonder what the future holds for communication. We all say real world is out there but this is part of our real world, unless we go live in a forest isolated somewhere…
      I don’t think i was that surprised by the ending… and i have a feeling he knew it would be this…
      Even though in my head i told her to stop like a thousand times throughout i can’t really bring myself to say it should never have happened, you know? Strange, isn’t it.
      PS I was wondering how he would fare voice only. He really is a wonderful actor. It’s sort of the same thing that reaches me when he’s on stage, the emotions, he seems to access them and let them flow so easily.
      I liked her a lot too, so vivid and breathless..
      Very thoughtful.


      • Yes, it is very much “of our time”, and it rang very true in many respects. The story was believable, and the voices seemed real, in the sense that they were distinct people, fictional, but they *could* exist. As with Clarissa, I thought here, too, that it is interesting how many possibilities there are to say a sentence. How you can put a spin on it, just with the intonation, the volume, whether you whisper or shout. In retrospect, I actually think that an epistolary novel isn’t really ideal material for an audio dramatisation because written exchange is a different sort of dialogue than what we actually *hear*. (Applies to Clarissa, too.) Having said that, it still worked, it was touching, and it made me think.
        Both of the actors were great – I really “saw” them in my mind’s eye, and the story was compelling – you *really* needed to know how it would all go on. I swore and cursed, when my computer suddenly started buffering at 35 minutes – exactly at the point where there is a pause in the text because they have just decided to meet up. Inadvertent cliffhanger.
        Interestingly, I had a completely different reaction to yours. I kept telling them “go, do it”. I wanted it to work out, and I hoped for a happy end (for *them*). Interesting, how we bring our own lives to everything we read or hear…

        Liked by 2 people

        • You’re right, epistolary novels are a strange thing.. we rarely write the way we speak, probably today less than ever. I might see if i can borrow the book from a library, i am curious how it would read. But i’d now forever hear their voices when i read it πŸ™‚ It came alive because the voices and portrayals had so much personality, I’m not sure i would have been as invested reading..
          I think back in the day where the only form of written communication were letters on paper, which took time to write, they said much more about the personality of the writer than emails these days.
          Happy Valentine Sunday πŸ™‚
          I’ve dug out my usual contrast-program thing πŸ˜‰ I had recorded ‘And then there were none’ and finally watched it, utterly brilliant! I love a good crime drama! And what a great cast πŸ™‚ I hope AT gets to do a real baddie on screen sometime, i could see the potential.


          • I love epistolary novels, btw. (The first one I ever read was a romantic story set in Bremen, which was based on a RL story and which was later dramatised into a TV series. “Sommer in Lesmona”) And I agree with you – the voices and the audio dramatisation brought it to life in a much different way than the written format would’ve allowed. I do wonder, though, what else was in the book. They must have left a good bit out to squeeze it into 45 minutes…

            Liked by 1 person

            • yes i was thinking the same as at time i thought it was fast.. i’d like to borrow the original but unlikely i’ll find it in German in a library here..
              I love letters, not read many books entirely written in that form but love it when i do, the always feel so much more personal.


            • It’s the first person narrative – from two people, which is so compelling. I love reading epistolary novels – or RL letters. I remember reading the correspondence between Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels when I was 16 – loved the insights into the private lives of those two political thinkers.

              Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you enjoyed it! it’s interesting how much emotion they manage to get into barely 45 min. I need to remember to keep an eye out for things as there is constantly some radio drama or other being aired but hard to find time to follow all πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, I saw I had a bit of time while it is available so after testing whether it would play (it does) I left it there. I’ll get to it. I could tell by the comments that it wasn’t probably going to end happily, so I deliberately avoided it (not in the mood for sad endings this weekend!)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve listened to it now… Sniff 😰

    I do love David Tennant (though not quite as much as a certain other gentleman πŸ˜‰)

    Many thanks for the recommendation!


  4. This sounds amazing. It’s an odd coincidence, I was just writing the intro to one of my serialized chapters, and musing on whether someone can fall in love by mail. My answer is a definite yes. I was reminded, a bit, of 84 Charing Cross Road, a charming epistolary novel with a vein of sadness.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Danke das hΓΆrt sich wirklich gut an, werde morgen mal reinhΓΆren ❀ ΓΌber Deinen Link. Die BBC kΓΆnnen wir eigentlich im Internetradio hΓΆren πŸ™‚ habs jetzt aber erstmal verpasst….


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