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Publisher's Summary

All six series of the BBC radio comedy centred around a village hairdressing salon - plus pilot episode.

Based in the little town of Bridgeford, High-Lites salon boasts the most misanthropic hairdresser in Britain: sharp-tongued, mean-minded Bev. With the help of her soft-hearted (though slightly dim) assistant, Shirley, she tends to the tresses of a motley crew of local characters. As she cuts their hair, she finds out everything that's going on in their lives - and wastes no time in spreading some gossip of her own....

In the pilot episode, one of her little lies takes on a life of its own - and a dodgy dryer nearly spells disaster. Series one finds the salon on the brink of bankruptcy, forcing Bev to take desperate measures to keep it afloat. In HighLites: Retouched, the two stylists go mobile when their premises are shut down by Environmental Health, and in HighLites: Split Ends, Bev tries to undercut her rival, Anton, to secure a lucrative wedding hair gig.

HighLites: Wash and Blow finds the hairdressing duo heading out on a cruise, hoping to drum up a little business below deck. But it's not all plain sailing.... In HighLites: Dye Another Day, Bev and Shirl are faced with a huge tax bill, and connive to inherit from a wealthy old man's will. And in HighLites: Natural Bounce, the world's worst hairdressers discover that there's money to be made in fitness, and decide to open a gym above the salon - but is this an expansion too far? 

Co-written by Steve Chambers and Phil Nodding, this fast-paced, farcical comedy stars Lorraine Ashbourne as Bev and Rosie Cavaliero as Shirley, with a supporting cast including Marlene Sidaway, Sheila Reid, Angela Lonsdale, Adjoa Andoh, Adam Nagaitis and Joel MacCormack.

Production credits

Written by Steve Chambers and Phil Nodding

Produced by Jessica Dromgoole

Directed by Colin Guthrie and Liz Webb

First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 15 December 2009 (Pilot), 13-17 February 2012 (HighLites), 8-12 October 2012 (HighLites: Retouched), 2-6 December 2013 (HighLites: Split Ends), 5-9 May 2014 (HighLites: Wash and Blow), 8-12 June 2015 (HighLites: Dye Another Day), 25-29 July 2016 (HighLites: Natural Bounce)


Beverley - Lorraine Ashbourne

Shirley - Rosie Cavaliero

Matthew - Rhys Jennings/Owen Pullar

Alice - Emerald O'Hanrahan/Marlene Sidaway

Enid - Kate Layden/Nicola Sloane/Sheila Reid/Susan Jameson

Nigel - John Biggins/Simon Bubb/John Norton/Chris Pavlo

Lois - Joannah Tincey/Stephanie Racine

Butt - Ewan Hooper/James Lailey/Robert Blythe/Sean Murray

Paramedic - Joseph Cohen-Cole

John - Carl Prekopp

Henry - Gerard McDermott

Melvin - Adam Billington

Diane - Alex Rivers/Angela Lonsdale

Wendy - Victoria Inez Hardy/Eleanor Crooks/Rhiannon Neads/Nicola Ferguson

Harriet - Adjoa Andoh/Carolyn Pickles

Hilary - Nicola Sloane

Belinda - Stephanie Racine

Satnav/Nurse/Tannoy - Sarah Thom

Antony - Adam Nagaitis

Gordon - Ben Crowe

Lucinda - Liza Sadovy

Ronnie - Michael Bertenshaw

Liz - Christine Absalom

Tess - Priyanga Burford

Captain Andersen - Joel MacCormack

Julie - Carys Eleri

Doug - Stephen Critchlow

Annabeth - Jane Slavin

Daz/Tony - Sam Rix

Beryl - Melanie Kilburn

With Adie Allen and Scarlett Brookes

©2021 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd (P)2021 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

What listeners say about HighLites: Series 1-6

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  • M Ryan
  • 08-19-21

Easy listening

Really easy listening with a good cast I wouldn’t say it’s “hilarious” but they are very easy to listen to. Each series is one episode split into 15 minutes.

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  • Fiona
  • 11-21-21


Wonderful writing and great performances. I hope Beverley and Shirl have more adventures in the future.

1 person found this helpful