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Podcast: ‘Fake Heiress’ – The Rise and Fall of Anna Delvey

Updated: Jan 22, 2020

BBC Radio 4 brings its trademark playful experimentation to the rise and fall of a distinctly 21st century con artist.

Image 1: Bella Dayne portrays Anna Delvey in "Fake Heiress." (Photo: Bella Dayne Instagram)

Image 2: The real Anna Delvey. (Photo: Anna Delvey Instagram)

If you’re looking for your next can’t-stop-listening podcast, you’ve found it. BBC Radio 4’s “Fake Heiress” has it all: glamor, money, a fascinating real-life personality at the heart of its drama, and some stellar reporting to back it all up. (Download all six episodes here while you can.)

In just 6 short episodes, we follow the rise and fall of Anna Delvey (née Sorokin), the twentysomething daughter of Russian emigres in Germany who acquired a taste for the good life and never looked back, despite a lack of funds to pay for it all.

The ace up “Fake Heiress’" sleeve is Bella Dayne in the title role. A dead-ringer voice-wise for Mila Kunis during her “That ‘70s Show” days, the actress juggles a (purposefully) all-over-the-place accent, Delvey’s own antisocial behavior, and a super-smart script to present us with a character we should hate, but can’t help sympathizing with, if only a little. However much she uses people, it’s hard to completely fault a Millennial raised on Instagram and a reality-TV society that worships wealth and ostentatiousness over all else doing what she could to grab a little bit of sparkling society for herself.

In telling its story Radio 4 does what it so often does best – it takes an experimental approach. In this case that means interweaving dramatized scenes with interviews featuring the real-life people who encountered Delvey, and frequently wound up with a huge credit card bill as a result. (The success of this unusual fact/fiction hybrid is doubtlessly down to the close collaboration between journalist Vicky Baker and playwright Chloe Moss.)

True, Netflix and HBO are both reportedly developing productions based on Delvey’s exploits, but it’s hard to imagine they’ll be able to top “Fake Heiress.”

– Cast –

Anna.....Bella Dayne

Other parts are played by:

Chris Lew Kum Hoi, Heather Craney, Will Kirk, Scarlett Courtney, Neil McCaul, Clive Hayward, Ian Conningham, Lucy Reynolds, Adam Courting, Greg Jones, Laura Christy, Jessica Turner, Ikky Elyas, Sinead MacInnes

- Writer -

Chloe Moss

- Director -

Sasha Yevtushenko

- Original Air Date -

Dec. 16, 2019

Availablity (As of Jan. 15, 2020): BBC Radio 4

Further information

  • "Maybe She Had So Much Money She Just Lost Track of It." Pressler, Jessica. The Cut. 5/28/19 {link

  • "My Friend Anna," DeLoache Williams, Rachel. {excerpt

  • Anna Delvey Instagram {link

This radio drama database is a work in progress. Please note any inaccuracies in the comments section.




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