Maugham's Eye View: The Facts of Life, adapted by Neville Teller

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BBC Radio 7, 15 August 2009
Henry Garrett (Robert Lang) is a worried man. Fate has decreed that his son Nicky (Paul Rhys) is a genius in embryo, who sails through his Cambridge education. The only snag is that Nicky is also very good at tennis - so good, in fact, that he has been selected for the British team to play in a tournament in Monte Carlo. Henry doesn't want his son to go, for fear that the experience might affect his studies; but Nicky eventually persuades him to give his consent. Before Nicky leaves, Henry solemnly warns him not to do three things - to gamble, to lend money and to get involved with members of the opposite sex.
Needless to say Nicky takes no notice; this is what causes Henry such pain. However the older man need have no cause for worry; what makes Nicky so special is that he seems to have been born with the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth. He always seems to fall on his feet. Although becoming involved with a high-class whore Melanie (Melanie Hudson), who takes money off him, then brings him back to her hotel for a night of pleasure before fleecing him of all his valuables, Nicky manages to steal the money back. In fact, he makes a profit on the deal, as he not only recovers all of his own money but steals Melanie's savings as well. While acquiring knowledge about the facts of life, he also benefits from them.
This short story, focusing once again on the idea of the worm turning (as with many tales in this series) was narrated with amused detachment by Dirk Bogarde, who sounded not unlike Rhys himself. Both actors adopted a nonchalant, devil-may-care tone that seemed to stand them in good stead.