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Five podcasts for the weekend: 18 November 2011

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Paul Murphy Paul Murphy 18:45, Friday, 18 November 2011


Oscar and Al Pacino: Pacino talks about his obsession with the work of Oscar Wilde

The preamble

Here are some of the many radio podcasts available from the BBC. I've picked out a selection for your weekend's pleasure. (Actually the eagle-eyed will notice there are six this week - it seemed better to let you choose the final five yourselves.)

You can listen online or download to keep, or put onto your phone or MP3 player. This being the Radio 4 blog I'd also like to direct you to the Radio 4 podcast page.

Some podcasts are available for only seven days (eg Comedy of the Week; Friday Night Comedy) but others do have a huge archive you can download at any time (eg Desert Island Discs; In Our Time). If you haven't used podcasts from the BBC before there's some podcast help here.

This week's selection

1. Documentary of the Week: Oscar and Al Pacino
Al Pacino talks about his obsession with the work of Oscar Wilde and his decision to stage Wilde's Salome - he first saw the play performed by Steven Berkoff, and says that he was 'bitten by the rub of love' - in Los Angeles, and to film the process of putting it on stage.
Download here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/r4choice
More info: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0174dzr

2. The Media Show
The Leveson Inquiry into the culture, ethics and practices of the media started this week. Meanwhile, on Monday, print editors gathered in a hotel in Surrey to discuss how they could address the perceived problems of self-regulation, at the Society of Editors conference.
Download here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/media
More info: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0174hrr

3. Brain Culture Part 1
Matthew Taylor explores how neuroscience will change society, asking how the justice system will change now that we can scan criminal brains.
Download here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/moreorless
More info: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b017n523

4. Open Book: Penelope Lively, Terry Jones, John Sessions (go to Sun, 13 Nov 11)
Ex-Python and Chaucer-enthusiast Terry Jones is joined by Professor John Mullan to discuss medieval bawdy humour. And kicking off the series, John Sessions defends his pick for Open Book's Funniest Book.
Download here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/openbook
More info: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01724z4

5. Play of the week: The Thank You Present
You can get a play every week to download and keep, usually from Radio 4 or Radio 3. There's only one available at any time and it's changed every Friday. This week from Radio 3: A drama centring on a man's search for the truth behind his old friend's suicide.
Download here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/ptw
More info: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01755p0

6. Comedy of the Week: Listen Against
Listen Against is the comedy that takes the back off your radio and television, fiddles round with the programmes inside and then puts them all back the wrong way round. Starring Jon Holmes and Alice Arnold, with Kevin Eldon (Brass Eye, Big Train), Justin Edwards (The Thick of It), Sarah Hadland (Miranda) and more.
Download here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/comedy
More info: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00fgt18

Paul Murphy is the editor of the Radio 4 blog


  • Comment number 1.

    A comment on BBC podcasts generally rather than just this weeks selection.
    As you say "Some podcasts are available for only seven days ... but others do have a huge archive you can download at any time". There's also podcasts labelled as being available for 30 days and herein lies the rub. When 'Life and Fate' was broadcast on Radio 4 all episodes where podcast and shown as being available for 30 days. As I was away during the time it was being broadcast I decided to wait till I was back and download then all at once.
    Imagine my shock when I went to do this and found only the most recent podcasts where available. It seems that in fact availability was only for 14 days and the earlier ones had been removed. If the availability had been shown as 14 days I would have taken this on board and downloaded the earlier ones in time. Now I am left missing the earlier podcasts.
    One other thing: I realize there are such things as rights restrictions which prevent programmes being podcast but that aside how do you choose what to podcast? Can I make a plea for a podcast of 'Frontiers'? If the World Service can podcast all their science programmes how about Radio 4 doing the same?

  • Comment number 2.

    Great Podcasts how can i subscribe to get more ? John Peters


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