Kate Chisholm rss

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

What’s the point of BBC Music?

29 August 2015

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… Read more

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

22 August 2015

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… 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

15 August 2015

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… 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?

8 August 2015

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… Read more

Tallulah Bankhead (Photo: Getty)

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

1 August 2015

‘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… 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

25 July 2015

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… 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

18 July 2015

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… Read more

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Listen: the gaffe from Nicola Sturgeon that everyone missed

11 July 2015

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… 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?

4 July 2015

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… Read more

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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

(Photo: Getty)

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