BBC World Service

What would you do if you were a Syrian migrant?

1 June 2019 9:00 am

‘Put yourself in their shoes,’ says Zahra Mackaoui, a British-Lebanese journalist who has been following the stories of refugees from…

A blast of restorative air: comedian Mark Steel. Photo: In Pictures Ltd./ Corbis/ Getty Images

The attempt to bring back topicality to Ambridge has been far too effective

2 February 2019 9:00 am

It’s becoming clear that the travails afflicting all the major players in The Archers, Radio 4’s flagship drama, are intended…

Apollo 8 on its launch pad in December 1968. Photo: AP / REX / Shutterstock

Remembering the 1968 Apollo mission – when the world was reaching to the future rather than drawing in

15 December 2018 9:00 am

Take yourself back to (or try to imagine) Christmas 1968; a year full of disturbances, dashed hopes and extreme violence…

The Somme battlefield today. Photo: Peter Macdiarmid / Getty Images

Radio 3 had the most simple yet effective way of reflecting on war’s impact

17 November 2018 9:00 am

Amid all the remembrance, Radio 3 came up with a simple yet effective way of reflecting on war’s impact. Threaded…

A week of extraordinarily direct and honest radio on the World Service

6 October 2018 9:00 am

The most inspiring voice on radio this week belongs to Hetty Werkendam, or rather to her 15-year-old self as she…

Robert Redford turns his hand to radio

11 August 2018 9:00 am

Much ado is being made of the latest listening figures, which have suggested that the percentage of those aged between…

How hospices make you think differently about life

19 May 2018 9:00 am

The timing of the Today programme’s series about hospices could not have been more apt, coming as it did so…

Neil MacGregor’s latest Radio 4 series is exhilarating

28 October 2017 9:00 am

Only Neil MacGregor could do it — take us in a single thread from a blackened copper coin, about the…

If Voyager is powered by 40-year-old computers, why do our PCs last five years?

26 August 2017 9:00 am

Yet another sign that we are living in very strange times: a pair of celebrities, their names made by TV,…

What ‘shareholder value’ really means

29 July 2017 9:00 am

Two programmes this week presented two radically different world views, or rather ways of life. Aditya Chakrabortty’s series for Radio…

Hilary Mantel explains the difference between facts and truths

17 June 2017 9:00 am

‘History is not the past,’ says the writer Hilary Mantel in the first of her Reith Lectures on Radio 4…

Master of dramatic interplay: Jack Rosenthal in 1962

Those of us who rely on radio to keep us sane need to rally round the BBC

6 May 2017 9:00 am

Bashing the BBC often becomes a popular blood sport in times of political instability, and especially if the left is…

Jarvis Cocker: contrived or beguiling?

Why I revel in Jarvis Cocker’s pretentiousness

25 March 2017 9:00 am

When Wireless Nights hit the Radio 4 airwaves in the spring of 2012, I was not at all sure about…

School children listen to a radio broadcast given by Indian prime minister Narendra Modi in 2014

How radio can help refugees integrate

18 February 2017 9:00 am

The Indian Prime Minister has twigged something that President Trump has yet to understand. On Monday, celebrated as World Radio…

Why does sport work so well on radio?

21 January 2017 9:00 am

The purest form of radio is probably sports commentating, creating pictures in the mind purely through language so that by…

Digital is taking away one of the treasured aspects of radio: its serendipity

31 December 2016 9:00 am

It’s been a turbulent year, and not just in the outside world. Inside radio, digital is changing not just when…

The most significant invention of the 20th century? The Haber-Bosch process

19 November 2016 9:00 am

Barbed wire, concrete, razor blades, passports, Bakelite and the sewage system are all crucial to the way we live now…

Will we still have the Reith Lectures in 2026?

29 October 2016 9:00 am

You may not listen to them every year. Or even to every lecture in the current series. But the survival…

I fear it's curtains for The Archers if the editor continues to chase ratings so desperately

10 September 2016 9:00 am

Such a hoo-ha about The Archers this week as Helen faces trial by jury — and, much worse, has to…

The women who were paid to sing for the dead in Ireland

20 August 2016 9:00 am

‘We think we’re in charge of this stuff but we’re not,’ said Quincy Jones, the composer, arranger, jazz trumpeter, musical…

Radio 4’s dramatic disruption of Primo Levi’s The Periodic Table is unforgivable

23 July 2016 9:00 am

It was hard to believe that Monday morning’s introduction to the Italian writer Primo Levi on Radio 4 lasted for…

The man who read the whole of Anna Karenina, letter by letter, to the man next door

25 June 2016 9:00 am

I’d just heard (on catch-up) Jenny Abramsky (a former director of BBC radio) telling Gillian Reynolds (the esteemed radio critic…

The Jodrell Bank Observatory (Photo: Getty)

You can’t forget what Will Self says - even if you wish you could

28 November 2015 9:00 am

It lasted for just a few seconds but was such a graphic illustration of the statistics behind the bombing campaign…

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

15 August 2015 9:00 am

It’s really hard to imagine now a world before 24-hour news, continually and constantly accessible in a never-ending stream of…

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

1 August 2015 9:00 am

‘Bait by Cartier,’ she growls as her priceless diamond bracelet is strapped to a piece of rope and dropped overboard…