Radio: Nothing but Noel

In a barnlike recording studio in London, a trim, middle-aged actor in a fawn-colored Savile Row suit sat down last week before a microphone. Adjusting his horn-rimmed glasses, he spoke to a technician in the crisp Mayfair accent that is known to theatergoers the world over: "All I want is lots and lots of water to drink and to have a frightful fuss made over me." Noel Coward, 47, was taking his first serious crack at radio.

For the last 36 years Coward has been getting impressive applause and profits in almost every other form of show business; he has been...

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