Radio

Lauren Laverne (Photo: Getty)

Late Night Woman’s Hour assumes that all women think about is dating, desire and drinking

Radio

Late Night Woman’s Hour has created a Twitter storm with its twice-weekly (Thursdays and Fridays) doses of ‘mischievous and unbridled conversation’. The 11 p.m.–midnight slot is an ideal opportunity for cardigans to be unbuttoned and tongues unloosed, a chance to… Read more

The BBC's music man: Ben Shennan (Photo: Getty)

What’s the point of BBC Music?

Radio

To Radio 2 to meet Bob Shennan, controller of the BBC’s most popular radio station (the station attracts one third of all listening hours) and now also head of the newish monolith that is BBC Music. Why corral all of… Read more

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If we all got drunk like Jeffrey Bernard, we could save the NHS a lot of money

Radio

Just back from a few nights in Sweden to find the perfect programme on Radio 3. It was one of those interval shorts that are always such a nightly bonus during the Proms season. That 20-minute space between concert halves… Read more

The Hindenburg disaster at Lakehurst, New Jersey, which marked the end of the era of passenger-carrying airships.   (Photo: Sam Shere/Getty Images)

As the Hindenburg burned, you could hear radio news being born

Radio

It’s really hard to imagine now a world before 24-hour news, continually and constantly accessible in a never-ending stream of on-the-spot, up-to-the-minute reports. What, then, would it be like to have no news summaries on the quarter-hour, no ‘live’ bulletins,… Read more

American bomber pilot Paul W. Tibbets Jr. (centre) stands with the ground crew of the bomber 'Enola Gay' which Tibbets flew in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima (Photo: AFP/Getty)

Why are we so silent over Hiroshima?

Radio

It’s 70 years since the bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and yet there has been no rush to commemorate this anniversary. It’s perhaps not surprising. Who would choose to recall the events of 6 August 1945 when the… Read more

Tallulah Bankhead (Photo: Getty)

If the government have their way, will Radio 4’s dramas be broken up by ads for dentures?

Radio

‘Bait by Cartier,’ she growls as her priceless diamond bracelet is strapped to a piece of rope and dropped overboard in the hope it might lure a fish on to the line. She’s stuck on a boat with a group… Read more

Pluto (right) and Charon (Photo: Getty)

Why it would be absurd to sell off Radio 2 - even if it could do with a refresh

Radio

The idea that Radio 2 should be sold off by the BBC to a commercial rival is as nonsensical as BBC1 losing Strictly Come Dancing, or Heinz giving up on baked beans. The station, in its former incarnation as the… Read more

Seth McFarlane returns to the Proms to celebrate Frank Sinatra with the John Wilson Orchestra

The Proms is taxpayers’ money well spent: it’s a national asset like fish and chips and the royal baby

Radio

Make no mistake: the Proms, whose 2015 season was launched last night, would not, could not, exist without the BBC, or the licence fee. Just under half the cost of putting on such an ambitious nightly series of concerts throughout… Read more

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Listen: the gaffe from Nicola Sturgeon that everyone missed

Radio

It’s not surprising that politicians have such an on-off relationship with the broadcast media. One slip. One casual comment. One lapse of memory. Even the immaculate, armour-plated Nicola Sturgeon was caught out by Jane Garvey last Wednesday as the Woman’s… Read more

American troops on the march during the First World War, 1917 (Photo: Getty)

Does history provide the answer to what happened in Tunisia?

Radio

There’s a part of me that thinks OK, we’ve heard enough now, one year on from the beginning of the centenary commemorations, about the first world war. Do we really need any more programmes (on radio or television) about Ypres,… Read more

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Why sound beats image when it comes to memory

Radio

It’s often not visual images that stimulate memory but a smell, a taste, the sound of pebbles crashing on to the beach, ice cream being scooped into a cone, seagulls circling overhead. Where was I when I first heard that… Read more

The Bottom Line's Evan Davis (Photo: Getty)

Why I love The Bottom Line

Radio

Evan Davis’s series on business life, The Bottom Line (made in conjunction with the Open University), has become one of those Radio 4 staples, something that’s just there in the schedule and all too easily taken for granted. Productivity, contracts… Read more

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Just writing about this radio programme makes me feel nauseous

Radio

If you’re in the least bit squeamish you’d better stop reading now. What follows is not for those who blanch at Casualty and come over all faint at the sight of blood. I’m told it’s a first for radio —… Read more

Dr Samuel Johnson (Photo: Getty)

When Dr Johnson went to Tahrir Square

Radio

Goodness knows what the Great Cham would have made of Radio 4 airing an adapted version of his philosophical fable, Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia, on Sunday afternoon. Perhaps he would be surprised to see it done at all: the works… Read more

Prof. Sunil Khilnani (Photo: Getty)

The history of India in 50 personalities

Radio

The idea of using objects — salt, cod, nutmeg, silk — to turn history lessons into something popular and accessible has been around for at least a generation. It’s a great way to avoid complicated chronologies and the need to… Read more

(Photo: Getty)

What happened to the children who survived the Holocaust?

Radio

‘I call Zelma Cacik who may be living in London,’ says the announcer, in the clipped RP accent of the BBC in the 1940s. ‘I call her on behalf of her 16-year-old cousin…’ The voice betrays no emotion, no feeling,… Read more

Prince Alemayehu (Photo: Getty)

This radio programme almost made me like Piers Morgan

Radio

An extraordinary black-and-white photograph of a young black boy taken on the Isle of Wight by Julia Margaret Cameron in 1868 shows him in exotic clothes and a heavy silver-bead necklace, like a chain-of-office or a prisoner’s collar. He looks… Read more

Linda Miller, Crossrail project manager for the Connaught tunnel. Photo: ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images

Britain has the lowest percentage of women engineers in Europe. Why?

Radio

‘It’s hard to know how to tell this story,’ she said as she began. ‘Because it’s so loaded. It’s so heavy-duty.’ Lore Wolfson was talking about the death of her husband, Paul, or rather about the onset of the illness… Read more

Alan Davey: the new controller of Radio 3 (Photo: Getty)

‘Ratings aren’t a pressure for me,’ says the new controller of Radio Three

Radio

The new controller of Radio Three, Alan Davey, was on Feedback this week (Radio Four) talking to listeners about his plans for the network. Roger Bolton, who presents, wondered if Davey was worried about ratings — Radio Three hovers around… Read more

Bette Davis, 1940 (Photo: STF/AFP/Getty)

Why Bette Davis loathed theatre

Radio

It was called Frankly Speaking and by golly it was. The great screen actress Bette Davis was being interviewed by not one but two men: George Coulouris, with whom she co-starred in Hollywood, and a BBC producer. ‘It’s a little… Read more

The Reverend Libby Lane with Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu Photo: Getty

Why wasn’t there more about the other faiths over Easter on the BBC?

Radio

There was no shortage of Easter music and talks across the BBC networks with a sunrise service on Radio 4 followed by much fuss and fanfare for the ‘live’ relay of Libby Lane’s first Easter sermon as Bishop. A significant… Read more

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Did Radio 4 have to deal with the Germanwings disaster as it did?

Radio

‘You can hear pretty clearly the sound of one of the helicopters and you can see it in the darkness,’ yelled James Reynolds over the noise of helicopters, police sirens, vehicles on the move. It was 8.10 a.m., the Today… Read more

Serial producer Dana Chivvis Photo: Meredith Heuer

Does the future of radio really lie in podcasts?

Radio

To a debate on the future of radio at the BBC where it turns out not to be a discussion on who’s listening now but how they’re listening. The Reithian ambition to inform, educate and entertain needs to change, says… Read more

Mikhail Bulgakov Photo: Getty

Radio is the best way to mug up on the classics

Radio

If ever I found myself at a pretentious literary party obliged to play David Lodge’s ‘Humiliation’ game and to confess to the great books I’ve never read, I’d only escape the ignominy of winning (by being the most ignorant) because… Read more

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What it’s really like to live in India today - stressful

Radio

After a month cooped up in a Scottish castle, no internet, no TV, and no radio, watching hectic snowflakes billowing through the wooded hillside opposite my window, I realise that what I’ve missed most about this supposed deprivation has not… Read more

Recording sound effects Photo: Getty

All radio drama should be as good as this Conrad adaptation

Radio

The aching hum of crickets. The susurrus of reeds. The lapping of waves. The unmistakable noise of a sound technician ripping a duster in two as the heroine’s dress was torn, thuggishly, by a character in the heat of passion…… Read more

US President Theodore Roosevelt's teddy bear Photo: Getty

The pleasures and perils of podcast listening

Radio

No phrase is better calculated to tense the neck muscles of a regular podcast listener than ‘We have something special for you now.’ Having your radio shows downloaded to your phone, music player or computer, rather than plucked out of… Read more

Cinema For Peace Gala 2012 - Inside Ceremony

Why Putin is even less of a human than Stalin was

Radio

LBC likes to tell us it’s ‘Leading Britain’s Conversation’, though in the case of weekday pre-lunch presenter James O’Brien you’ll have to sit through a series of bombastic monologues from the host before any punters get a word in edgeways.… Read more