Radio Detective Story Hour Episode 99 – The Big Story

Ernest ChappellThe reporter as investigator! This series was based upon real-life incidents in which a newspaper reporter played an important part in solving a crime. The reporter was presented with the Pall Mall Award at the end of the show. These reporters showed the best side of their investigative skills – something shared by the radio detectives featured in this podcast series. The series began in April 1947 sponsored by the American Tobacco Company, which made Lucky Strike and Pall Mall Cigarettes. While the series was anthologized with no single starring actor, it did feature a regular announcer – Ernest Chappell (right) who would later be heard on the Wyllis Cooper series, Quiet, Please.

The idea developed from an article written in Newsweek and read by producer Bernard Prockter. He envisioned a program in which real stories would be dramatized and star an actor portraying the reporter who helped solve the crime he was reporting. It would follow a more real approach, though truncated, on the reporter looking at bits and pieces of evidence from the crime and doing some investigative reporting and ultimately coming up with some fact that helps break the case or solves it.

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