Thursday 21 August 2014, 16:02
Tweet of the Day returns with a new series - this time it's global.
Thursday 21 August 2014, 16:02
Editor’s note - There are 10,530 known species of bird in the world, how to choose the 120 species that will make the series? Series producer Andrew Dawes shares his thoughts about choosing the birds and making the programmes.
When Tweet of the Day launched last year, it was only British birds that were chosen to lure the nation into wakefulness. Tweet of the Day returns this September with the most interesting, distinctive and downright peculiar birdsong from around the world.
Some birds instantly came into mind, as they bring wonder and glamour to the natural world. Blue bird of paradise, blue footed booby, emperor penguin, resplendent quetzal slipped under the wire immediately. Others like the unique wrybill, or the blood sucking vampire finch, waited patiently in the wings as encore understudies.
The BBC’s Natural History Unit has been to every corner of the globe but amazingly some birdsong was not included in the back catalogue. What the BBC didn’t have, Macaulay Library in America did. The series had hatched.
I could only choose 120 bird species, therefore many will be missing, yet we hope to bring you the best of what the avian world has to offer around the world; the spectacular...
Friday 8 August 2014, 15:47
Friday 8 August 2014, 15:39
The battles over Scottish independence seem to have dominated my life.
As a child, our family often went to collect mushrooms on
Burgh-by-Sands, about five miles from my home city of Carlisle, and close to
The sands in question are in the estuary of the River Eden where it meets the Solway. It’s the place where the armies of both England and Scotland, and later the hordes of Border Reivers, crossed from one side to the other, bent on destruction and pillage.
For 300 years, until Scotland and England had the same king, it was a truly miserable place.
There was little point building anything other than defensive Pele towers in which to take refuge. Everything else was torched.
St Michael’s Church in Burgh-by-Sands, built on the site of a Roman stronghold near the west end of Hadrian’s Wall, is as much a fort as a place of worship. Churches and Priories were not safe from slaughter.
A few miles away, the Cumbrian monastery at Abbeytown, called Holme Cultram, was where the father of Robert the Bruce was buried. (He owned land on both sides of the border). That did not stop his son torching it. Twenty miles away across the water is Dumfries, where Robert the Bruce killed...
Friday 1 August 2014, 12:32
I met two of my heroes on Feedback this week.
Matthew Parris popped into the studio, en route to the Moral Maze, to discuss his campaign against the overuse of the historic present tense which he says is now rampant in the media.
Matthew is the most polite and charming of guests but he is alarmingly honest about himself as well as about others. (Do have a read of his autobiography if you doubt me. It is a classic.)
His knowledge of grammar is profound and I soon understand why he writes for the Times and I do not. Our interview is one of my less challenging ones. He just knows far more about the subject...
Thursday 31 July 2014, 09:20
BBC Radio has launched a new way to help audiences discover radio - Radio Explorer.
Radio Explorer - Landing
It's not always been easy to find BBC Programmes programmes about the things you love – but now Radio Explorer allows you to search BBC Radio using keywords and topics.
Your passion might be Reggae, Game of Thrones or baking. Once you enter a topic Radio Explorer will create a playlist related to your topic, with programmes and clips from Radio 3, Radio 4 and 5 live.
Radio Explorer - Search
The BBC Radio Explorer was an idea that came about from a Radio 4 Hackday which brought together...
Wednesday 30 July 2014, 16:04
Tuesday 29 July 2014, 13:28
Friday 25 July 2014, 13:49
Thursday 24 July 2014, 16:53
Monday 21 July 2014, 14:08
Editor’s note – Plants: From Roots to Riches is a 25-part series beginning on 21st July, broadcast Monday – Friday at 1.45pm
As an evolutionary biologist, Kew’s director of science, Prof Kathy Willis - knew where she wanted to begin her story for this new Radio 4 series – in front of Kew’s oldest resident - the cycad (Encephalartos altensteinii) in the iconic botanical garden's palm house.
By happy coincidence, the cycad's arrival at Kew in 1775 coincided with the development of Carl Linnaeus’ binomial classification system for plants (and animals). All at once, the chaos of...