Kate Chisholm rss

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Why sound beats image when it comes to memory

27 June 2015

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… Read more

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

Why I love The Bottom Line

13 June 2015

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… Read more

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Just writing about this radio programme makes me feel nauseous

6 June 2015

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… Read more

Dr Samuel Johnson (Photo: Getty)

When Dr Johnson went to Tahrir Square

30 May 2015

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… Read more

Prof. Sunil Khilnani (Photo: Getty)

The history of India in 50 personalities

23 May 2015

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… Read more

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What happened to the children who survived the Holocaust?

16 May 2015

‘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… Read more

Prince Alemayehu (Photo: Getty)

This radio programme almost made me like Piers Morgan

9 May 2015

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… 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?

2 May 2015

‘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… 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

25 April 2015

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… Read more

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

Why Bette Davis loathed theatre

18 April 2015

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… 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?

11 April 2015

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… Read more

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

4 April 2015

‘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,… Read more

Serial producer Dana Chivvis Photo: Meredith Heuer

Does the future of radio really lie in podcasts?

28 March 2015

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… Read more

Mikhail Bulgakov Photo: Getty

Radio is the best way to mug up on the classics

21 March 2015

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… Read more

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

14 March 2015

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… Read more

Andrew Heptinstall and blind photographer Rosita McKenzie. Photo: Andrew Heptinstall

The amazing story of the blind photographer

14 February 2015

Perhaps the news that Radio 5 live will be the only BBC station (under the new broadcasting rights agreements) to broadcast ‘live’ golf will ensure that its audience stays above… Read more

Names of BBC Arabic, Qatar-based Al-Jaze

Why BBC Arabic is booming

7 February 2015

Last weekend BBC Arabic celebrated 77 years since John Reith (as he then was) launched the first foreign-language service of the fledgling BBC Empire Service with an announcement (in English)… Read more

Professor Peter Piot Photo: Getty

The man who discovered Ebola

31 January 2015

By some quirk of fate, just as news reached the papers that the Scottish nurse who had contracted Ebola while working in Sierra Leone was now recovered, the guest on… Read more

Leo Tolstoy

Radio 4’s War and Peace: almost as good as the book

24 January 2015

To have listened to Radio 4’s marathon ten-hour adaptation of Tolstoy’s War and Peace as it was being broadcast on New Year’s Day must have been both wonderful and a… Read more

Ludwig Van Beethoven Photo: Getty

Was Beethoven influenced by yoga?

17 January 2015

How many digital radios have you bought over the years? How many are still working? Of the four I used to have, only two are now working and those only… Read more

Actor, playwright and broadcaster, Alan Bennett Photo: Getty

Without childhood traumas, how did Alan Bennett ever become a writer?

10 January 2015

‘So — take heart,’ said Alan Bennett, sending us out from his play, Cocktail Sticks, on a cheery note. The treatment for cancer had been gruelling, but that was 15… Read more

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Why Serial is the future of radio

3 January 2015

The fuss may now be over, the last episode of Serial revealed. But if the global success of WBEZ Chicago’s latest weekly podcast is a portent, then the future of… Read more

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Children’s radio was once at the core of the BBC - now it’s all but disappeared

13 December 2014

It was a bit of a surprise to hear Jarvis Cocker, the embodiment of cool and former frontman of Pulp, confessing to a love of Singing Together, a BBC programme… Read more

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Why you have to listen to this year's Reith Lectures

6 December 2014

Each year the Reith Lectures come round as Radio 4’s annual assertion of intellectual authority, fulfilling the BBC’s original aspiration to inform and educate (although not always to also entertain).… Read more

Sister Aimee Semple McPherson Photo: Getty

Was this Christian pioneer of radio evangelism a fraud?

29 November 2014

She was the sequinned star of the airwaves back in the 1920s, the first preacher to realise the potential of the wireless, long before Billy Graham and co. But who… Read more