Five Seconds to Spare
is the feature film adaptation of The Dwarves of Death produced in 1999 and starring Ray Winstone, Max Beesley, Valentina Cervi and Anastasia Hille. Jonathan wrote the early drafts of the screenplay himself, but the final version was written by the film's director, Tom Connolly. It is perhaps most notable now for featuring the only acting performance by the legendary British DJ John Peel. The film did not receive a theatrical release in the UK, although it is available on DVD.

  • DVD cover
  • DVD cover


A special 12-inch record sleeve of ‘Insomnia’ by The Dwarves of Death was designed for the film:

  • 12 inch cover art
  • 12 inch cover art


What a Carve Up!
In 2004, BBC Radio 4 broadcast an eight-part adaptation of What A Carve Up!. The script was by David Nobbs, the brilliant comic novelist and creator of the classic television series The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin, whose work Jonathan has frequently cited as one of his main inspirations. The cast included Geoffrey Palmer, Charlie Higson, Rebecca Front, Fiona Allen, Alan Davies, Lucy Punch, Jeff Rawle, and Robert Bathurst as Michael.

You can listen to the first few minutes of Episode One on the audio page.


The Rotters’ Club
was also adapted for BBC Radio, in 2003, starring James Bradshaw as Benjamin Trotter, and featuring an early performance by the future Doctor Who David Tennant as Bill Anderton. Two years later, it was adapted for BBC television. At Jonathan’s suggestion the adaptation, in three hour-long episodes, was written by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, famous in Britain for their successful television series The Likely Lads, Porridge and Auf Wiedersehen, Pet. Full cast and production details can be found here on the imdb.

Sadly the series has never been repeated or issued on DVD. However, there are some brief YouTube clips available here:

Clip one

Clip two

Clip three

Clip four

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jonathan coe portrait imageJonathan Coe was born on 19 August 1961 in Lickey, a suburb of south-west Birmingham. His father worked in the motor industry as a research physicist; his mother was a music and PE teacher.
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