Friday 31 October 2014, 08:25
From mangel wurzels to 'Trick or Treat', some little-known facts about Hallowe'en.
Friday 31 October 2014, 14:25
When I first read Blake Morrison’s memoir, And When Did You Last See your Father?, I felt a strong kinship with the author, because we are only a year apart in age and his evocation of a boy’s life in the 50s and 60s was eerily familiar. Dinky toys, the Rover and Wizard, even Dan Dare’s Eagle, the boys’ books, the gradual dawning of the television age. When he describes days out with his parents in North Yorkshire it reminds me powerfully of my own rural upbringing. The backdrop is different, but the scene is the same. His memoir, however, is not meant to conjure up a childhood idyll. It was begun as a consequence of his father’s diagnosis of untreatable illness and his death not long afterwards, and then became even more than an account of a son’s feelings during those days. Blake took a journey into his own family’s past, and discovered that it took him down some dark byways. So why, and who was it for?
‘It sounds terrible, but I suspect I was writing it for myself first and foremost. The book did serve for me in the year after my...
Friday 31 October 2014, 09:09
Friday 31 October 2014, 08:25
Editor's Note: Halloween. It’s the night of the year where ghouls rule; a spooky affair that’s HUGE in the US. This year alone Americans are expected to spend $350 million on costumes – and that’s just for their pets.
On BBC Radio 4 Extra, Andrew Maxwell delves into the origins of Halloween. His producer, Moy McGowan, shares some little-known facts about a tradition that goes back centuries and has its roots in the British Isles….
The ancient Celtic feast of Samhain was the hinge point between summer and winter, a spooky time when the veil between the worlds became thin and supernatural beings could cross over. It’s one of many such festivals that became Christianized into All Hallows. The night before – when celebrations often began – became known as All Hallows Eve... Hallowe’en.
Corpses or Kisses?
The Christian church encouraged the remembrance of the dead at All Hallows and All Souls.The original customs and superstitions of Hallowe’en were more to do with romance! Apples, nuts, cabbages and mirrors were used in fortune-telling games to divine whom you might wed.
Instead of pumpkins, the Irish and Scots traditionally carved...
Friday 24 October 2014, 09:04
Editor's Note: You can listen to Feedback online or download it here.
As a proud Cumbrian I was naturally delighted when, this week, St Bees was voted the best village in Britain in which to live. However I’m not sure I would want to live there myself as it is so small and isolated on the wild west Cumbrian coast. The media industry is virtually non- existent, apart from Eric Robson’s operation in nearby Wasdale, where the Gardeners’ Question Time host , entrepreneur and Chairman of the Cumbrian Tourist Board, produces mountain-climbing videos amongst much else.
On the other hand the village...
Friday 4 July 2014, 09:10Radio 4's forum for comments, queries, criticisms and congratulations
On this week’s Feedback we featured Jonathan Dimbleby making an unusual, and, perhaps for him, unique mistake on Radio 4's Any Questions. He attributed to a member of the panel a quote which was not theirs.
Here is the mistake in all its gory glory:
Friday 17 October 2014, 13:20
Thursday 16 October 2014, 10:06
Monday 13 October 2014, 17:20
Friday 10 October 2014, 08:37
This blog is usually concerned with concerns or controversy about BBC radio, so I thought I’d start this week with some praise, for the often maligned Radio 4 comedy output, well, for some of it.
I was just about to switch the radio off at 11pm on Monday night, and settle down to sleep after a particularly grey and gloomy day, when Fresh From The Fringe came on. It showcased new comedy talent from the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe, was hosted by Jason Cook, and featured award winners Alex Edelman and Funz and Gamz. There were a few...
Monday 6 October 2014, 15:00
Author Peter Jukes on the challenges of condensing 130 days of testimony into a 45 minute Afternoon Drama© Olivia Beasley
It was the strangest sensation of deja vu. As Neil Pearson (a hero of mine ever since Drop the Dead Donkey and Between the Lines) pulled the velcro fastener of my satchel and then started typing away on my iPad keyboard, I was taken back to the 8 months I spent at the Old Bailey, tweeting out half a million words from the phone hacking trial.
Condensing the 130 days of testimony from the ‘trial of the century’, with witnesses ranging from archbishops to Hollywood...