Kate Chisholm rss

Jarvis Cocker Photo: Getty

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


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

"Gulf Stream" by Winslow Homer Photo: Getty

Why radio is a surprisingly good medium for talking about art

22 November 2014

You might think it a fool’s errand to attempt programmes about art on the wireless. How can you talk about pictures or sculptures or any other visual form without being… Read more

Indian troops during the  First World War Photo: Getty

The voices of Indian PoWs captured in the first world war

15 November 2014

At six o’clock on 31 May 1916, an Indian soldier who had been captured on the Western Front alongside British troops and held in a German PoW camp stepped up… Read more

The gate of Buchenwald concentration camp on which it is written "Jedem das seine" (To each his just deserts) Photo: Getty

Many more Germans were displaced in 1945 than Indians during partition

8 November 2014

What Radio 3 needs is a musical version of Neil MacGregor. The director of the British Museum and now a stalwart of Radio 4 is an intellectual powerhouse but his… Read more

Alana Valentine praises the BBC's World Service Photo: Getty

Kate Chisholm on what makes the BBC World Service so special

1 November 2014

‘Don’t take it for granted,’ she warned. ‘It’s one of the few places where you can hear diverse voices, different points of view; where you can understand that the world… Read more

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai

What it's like being a scarily talented teenager

25 October 2014

It was when she said how she loved ‘watching the computer do exactly what you wanted it to do’ that I realised how exceptional she must be. To be so… Read more

The man in charge: Alan Davey

Can Radio 3 escape the digital squeeze?

18 October 2014

The new controller of Radio 3 has at last been appointed. Alan Davey (not to be confused with the former bassist from Hawkwind) comes to the BBC from the Arts… Read more

Mary Beard vs Jeremy Paxman Photo: Getty

Mary Beard vs Jeremy Paxman

11 October 2014

‘Did you find it a good read?’ asked Harrriett Gilbert. An incredibly long drawn-out sigh from Mr Paxman. ‘I think it’s really unsatisfactory,’ he at last replied. ‘But Jeremy,’ retorted… Read more


The sofa that became a work of art

20 September 2014

Last week on Front Row (Radio 4) the singer Joyce DiDonato recalled the advice she gave the new graduates of the Juilliard School, just about to embark on their professional… Read more

Andy Warhol, Time Capsule 262 Photo: courtesy of The Andy Warhol Museum

Warhol’s ‘time capsules’ contain everything from toenails to previously unseen paintings worth millions

13 September 2014

‘I don’t know what I think,’ says Lenny Henry, echoing what many of us who were listening were probably also puzzling over. ‘Part of me thinks it’s art by the… Read more


Radio 4 deserts the British bird. Shame on them!

6 September 2014

A strange coincidence on Saturday night to come back from the cinema, having seen a film about a woman fighting to save her job while suffering from depression and thoughts… Read more


Even near the front line, there were flowers on the ward

6 September 2014

It’s the tub of bright red geraniums at the heart of the picture that startles. How did anyone have time (or energy) to water these bright, hopeful flowers amid the… Read more


Who needs drugs when you have Radio 3?

30 August 2014

I’m willing to bet it’s only on the BBC’s Radio 3 that you’ll find yourself listening to a programme quite like Words and Music (Sunday evenings). You might want to… Read more

A technician mends the broken glass of a landing light at Tempelhof Airport in Berlin, during the Berlin Airlift, 1949 Photo: Getty

Ambridge recovers its sense of humour — finally

23 August 2014

‘Isn’t that charming!’ Carol declares at the height of the great Home Farm cocktail party, after being subjected to Jennifer’s somewhat over-enthusiastic description of her wine storage unit. Just three… Read more

6 Music's success can be attributed to seasons from Bob Dylan, visitations from Jarvis Cocker, Alex James and more recently Iggy Pop

Why is Radio 3 still leaderless?

16 August 2014

It’s happened almost by stealth but the number of listeners to 6 Music has now overtaken Radio 3, creeping up to 1.89 million per week (just .05 million more than… Read more


Two lessons in listening

9 August 2014

Our hearing is the first of our senses to develop while we are in the womb. It’s the first connection we make to the life around us, and to other… Read more


Home Front: Radio 4's first world war drama will fight out the full four years

2 August 2014

In a studio in Birmingham, there’s an air of excitement. Jessica Dromgoole and her team are recording new scenes for Home Front, Radio 4’s specially commissioned drama commemorating the first… Read more


Glasgow and the Commonwealth go back a long way; Radio 4 explores a murky past

2 August 2014

What’s been missing from the schedules during the Commonwealth Games has been a straightforward reminder about who makes up the roster of nations and why. When, for instance, did it… Read more

Roger Wright Photo: Getty

Does Radio 3 need a new controller?

26 July 2014

Where next for Radio 3? Last Friday was the First Night of this year’s Proms season but it was the last night at the Proms for Roger Wright, who for… Read more

The Bay City Rollers (Photo: Getty)

The two men who walked barefoot to the capitals of the four nuclear powers on a peace pilgrimage

19 July 2014

You might (if you’re over a certain age) still think it pretty amazing that TV not only allows you to watch Mario Götze put in that amazing goal, live, as… Read more


The next new presenter of Woman's Hour should be a man

12 July 2014

It seems incredible now but when the BBC’s youth station, Radio 1, was launched in 1967 there were no female presenters. That’s right. Not a single woman’s voice to leaven… Read more

Bob and Roberta (Patrick Brill) at the RA Photo: Benedict Johnson

Why I'm switching to Danish radio

5 July 2014

Out there in the great ether there’s a whole new world of radio beyond the stations of the BBC and the FM dial. This week I found myself listening to… Read more

Soil arrives for Flanders Fields Memorial Photo: Laura Lean/PA

The gardener-soldiers of the First World War

28 June 2014

First, a confession. Even an ardent radio addict can enjoy a fortnight away from the airwaves, disconnected, switched off, unlistening. On return even the programmes that are usually ignored because… Read more