Will Self in talks with Radio 4

Will Self Will Self is known for being outspoken

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Radio 4 controller Gwyneth Williams is understood to be in negotiations with Will Self about becoming the network's first writer in residence.

The Guardian named the writer as her top choice for the role at the weekend.

Williams first announced that she was looking for a writer in residence last week at a briefing about bolstering Radio 4's arts and culture output.

The controller said she wanted to 'throw some fireworks into the network' with an independent and creative voice who would work for an open-ended period of time.

The writer would be expected to forge a dialogue with the Radio 4 audience through specific projects which would reflect the world we live in. It would almost certainly include blogging for the station and appearing on some of its programmes.

There would be a 'small' amount of remuneration, Williams confirmed.

World writer

It's not the first time that Williams has sought and appointed a writer in residence. When she was director of the World Service in English, she appointed Uzbek writer Hamid Ismailov to the post. The Radio 4 boss said he had made 'substantial impact' on the output including writing a popular blog.

The writer-in-residence role is part of a repositioning of Radio 4 as a 'playground for creative minds'. Williams announced that she wanted to shift away from doom-and-gloom stories focused on the economy and instead 'highlight Radio 4's cultural heart'.

As part of this, the network has announced a £1m partnership with Artangel to find UK artists working on ambitious projects.

It is also launching So You Want To Be A Writer, a talent search to find original voices working in fiction. The unpublished writers will be given pointers to develop their skills and launch careers in the cutthroat publishing industry.

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