Radio

Listening to The Everywoman (BBC Radio 4)

Listening to The Everywoman (BBC Radio 4)We’re currently listening to The Everywoman (BBC Radio 4) and BBC Sounds. This neat two-part documentary poses the question:

If there is an ‘Everyman’ in literature, can the experiences of a female character also be universal?

Novelist Sarah Hall (Burntcoat, Sudden Traveller, Madame Zero, The Wolf Border and others) goes in search of the Everywoman. …

Review: Front Row – Do we publish too many books?


Front Row - Do we publish too many books?BBC Radio 4, Front Row Hay Festival debate: “Do we publish too many books?”

Podcast Fri, 29 May 2015, duration 29 mins

From the Hay Literary Festival, BBC Radio 4’s arts show Front Row asks the question “Do we publish too many books?” In a lively panel discussion, Samira Ahmed heads a panel of publishers, journalists and authors: Philip Jones editor of the trade journal The Bookseller, Crystal Mahey-Morgan Digital Sales and Marketing Director at Zed Books, Alexandra Pringle, the group editor in chief of Bloomsbury and Ali Sparks author of 41 books for children. …

Review: The History of the Future BBC Radio4


Illustration from "Illustrerad verldshistoria utgifven av E. Wallis. volume I": Phytia giving an answerJuliet Gardiner looks at how cultures of the past viewed the possibilities of the future, and what these visions say about the pre-occupations of the time.

Or as I like to call it – Where’s My Jetpack?

Here’s a curious thing; a BBC Radio 4 documentary series that doesn’t appear to exist on iPlayer, Listen Again or as a podcast. I caught the tail end of this series which finished in September, just the last couple of episodes. I’d like to hear the rest, but I can’t find them. Even though the show’s homepage is still up on the BBC website.

Review: The Man Who Saves Life Stories BBC Radio4


The Great Diaries Project - image (C) BBC 2012“Irving Finkel collects ordinary people’s lives. He hoards their life stories in diary form and has amassed a collection of hundreds of handwritten volumes. But Irving has a problem. What should he do with them? The diaries are crammed onto shelves and piled up in corners of his small office. Irving’s day job is Assistant Keeper in the Department of the Middle East at the British Museum.”

The Man Who Saves Life Stories was one of those little gems that Radio 4 produces; the story of a museum curator and British eccentric who fell into collecting diaries and is now trying to house that collection as a ‘people’s history’ thing. …

Review: Don’t Log Off, BBC Radio 4


Review: Don't Log Off, BBC Radio 4Don’t Log Off, BBC Radio 4
“Alan Dein discovers the real life stories behind on-line profiles via Facebook and Skype. Alan locks himself away for a week to talk to people on the Internet. He starts with nothing, just an on-line profile which says ‘talk to me’. The results are intriguing, funny and often very moving.”

Asked to review this, I almost said no;  Dein crosses continents and time-zones to engage new Internet ‘friends’ on Skype and by telephone. Previously, Dein presented Don’t Hang Up, in which he called public phone boxes around the world to see who picked up.

This programme didn’t do anything to change the view of the Internet as a home for the sad, the lonely, the isolated and counter to the objective, the disconnected. It didn’t move me much further than to depress me. …

Review: Exit Through the Gift Shop

Movie Catch-Up: Exit Through the Gift ShopThere’s a 1966 Peter Sellars movie, After the Fox, in which Sellars’ master criminal Aldo Vanucci (aka the Fox), posing as a famous director, persuades the entire population of a  coastal village that they are the stars of his latest art-house movie, the cover story for smuggling the “gold of Cairo” abroad.

Exit Through the Gift Shop is a documentary centred on the apparent friendship between British street artist ‘Banksy’ and obsessive super-fan Thierry Guetta, an LA-based Frenchman with a lucrative ‘retro’ clothing business and a compulsion for videoing his life. …