How to Build a Supertower



29 October 2020 (released)

29 October 2020

Hidden in plain sight is the best hiding place of all, and Paul Sellar’s meticulously researched radio drama about the financing of a fictional London skyscraper elegantly demonstrates this truth. The superb Robert Glenister voices the character of Mike Silver, an ex-jeweller-turned-landlord-turned-property developer. Mike is a pleasant man who loves his wife, is proud to bring his daughter into his business and takes care of his brother. He is also the intermediary between legitimate London – the planning committees and politicians – and the criminals looking for a place to launder their money.

He begins legally enough by evicting the existing tenants on the site. Well, the buildings happened to fall into disrepair. The neighbours look the other way, delighted that their properties have gone up in value. Everyone wins.

There are minor scuffles with the planning department, but a little light manoeuvring and calling in favours over expensive dinners and ‘the Hourglass’ gets permission to proceed…

The compelling story pulls you along at a cracking pace, with Mike scrambling to patch his rapidly splintering deal with yet more deals involving increasingly dark individuals. But the Mikes of this world always come out on top, admiring the view and standing amongst the cultivated greenery of their graciously ‘donated’ top floor sky parks – no matter the cost. Written before the current crisis, after listening you certainly won’t be feeling sorry for the owners of these now empty offices.

Available on the BBC Sounds app.

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