Ladies of the Soil

In  2011, ‘Ladies of the Soil’ was chosen by Radio 4 to be read as part of their ‘Opening Lines’ series which gave first-time and emerging short story writers their radio debut.

Philip Jackson read the story, and it was produced by Gemma Jenkins. It was broadcast on Wednesday 27 July 2011.  The official Radio 4 site for this can be found here.

You can hear the story by clicking on play below, or download a copy for free.


Ladies of the Soil is taken from Gill’s first collection of short stories called Split Seconds.

You can click here to buy a copy.


Philip Jackson (born 18 June 1948) is an English actor, known for his many television and film roles, most notably as Chief Inspector Japp in the famous television series Poirot and as Abbot Hugo, one of the recurring adversaries in the cult 1980s series Robin of Sherwood.

Jackson was born in Retford, Nottinghamshire. He started acting while studying Drama and German at the University of Bristol, and has worked in the theatre in Leeds, Liverpool and London. His stage work includes Pozzo in Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot at the Queen’s Theatre in the West End in 1991 and Willy Loman in Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman” at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds in 2010. He was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for his role in Little Voice (1998).

His many television appearances have included Robin of Sherwood. A Touch of Frost, Foyle’s War, Heartbeat, Little Britain, Hamish Macbeth and Last of the Summer Wine. He has also appeared in films, including the 1979 Scum and Paul McCartney’s Give My Regards to Broad Street, ‘Brassed Off”, “Mike Bassett – England Manager”, “Grow Your Own”, and My Week with Marilyn. In 2007 he guest-starred in the Doctor Who audio play “Valhalla”. In 2009 he starred as Gaynor’s father Roy in the BBC 2 sitcom Home Time. In “Night Watch”, he played Commander Vimes and in “Mort”, he played Death’s butler/cook, Albert who is eventually revealed to be Alberto Malich. He Also Voiced Risda Tarkaan on the BBC Radio Drama version of The Last Battle He recently read “Gulliver’s Travels” as an audiobook, and Martin Cruz Smith’s “Three Stations” for Radio 4 Book at Bedtime.

In 2011, Jackson starred as Ron in the three-part BBC comedy drama series Sugartown alongside The Royle Family star Sue Johnston and actor Tom Ellis, who plays Gary in Miranda.

He also appeared in the music video of A-Ha’s Take on Me.

In 2012, he appeared in the twice Oscar nominated film My Week with Marilyn as Marilyn’s security guard.

He is married to actress Sally Baxter, with whom he has two children, George and Amy.


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