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  1. Bookclub: Blake Morrison

    Friday 31 October 2014, 14:25

    Jim Naughtie Jim Naughtie Jim Naughtie presents Bookclub on BBC Radio 4

    Editor's note: This episode of Bookclub is available from Sunday 2 November and will be available to listen online or for download.

    Blake Morrisson

    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...

    Read more about Bookclub: Blake Morrison

  2. Feedback: Binaural Sound

    Friday 31 October 2014, 09:09

    Roger Bolton Roger Bolton

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    FEEDBACK BLOG  31st October 2015
    This week I headed down to Wood Lane in West London to visit the BBC’s Research and Development user testing lab for our feature on binaural sound.
    I travelled there by tube, and, as I came out of White City station, looked across at the now largely deserted Television Centre, surrounded by scaffolding. It is being transformed into flats, a retail park and updated studios, while retaining its iconic doughnut appearance.
    For decades, it was at the centre of my life.
    In the BBC club in the 70s and 80s, I gazed at the Gods of Light Entertainment who went there at lunchtime, before visiting the viewing galleries of their studios from where, apparently unaffected by the alcohol they had just consumed, they delighted the nation.
    I remember Marty Feldman and the Python crowd and legendary producers like Dennis Main Wilson, who had produced Hancock. I sometimes wished I had the gift of making people laugh instead of telling them what they should be worried about.
    It was there that I met leading international figures like President Nixon, Governor George Wallace and, of course, the handbag swinging Margaret Thatcher.
    My main base was down the road in the inappropriately...

    Read more about Feedback: Binaural Sound

  3. The Early Beginnings of Hallowe’en

    Friday 31 October 2014, 08:25

    Moy McGowan Moy McGowan Producer

    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….

    Andrew Maxwell Halloween 2

    Early Beginnings
    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...

    Read more about The Early Beginnings of Hallowe’en

  4. Feedback - Black and Minority Ethnic Representation

    Friday 24 October 2014, 09:04

    Roger Bolton Roger Bolton

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    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...

    Read more about Feedback - Black and Minority Ethnic Representation

  5. Feedback

    Friday 4 July 2014, 09:10

    Roger Bolton Roger Bolton

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    Editor's Note: You can listen to Feedback online or download it here

    Feedback Radio 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:

    In order to see this content you need to have both Javascript enabled and Flash Installed. Visit BBC Webwise for full instructions. If you're reading via RSS, you'll need to visit the blog to access this content

    Why did Any Questions presenter Jonathan Dimbleby have to apologise to MP Chris Bryant?

    Now when a fellow presenter hears something like that there is often a moment of malicious glee, followed by a familiar...

    Read more about Feedback

  6. Feedback: The Radio Festival

    Friday 17 October 2014, 13:20

    Roger Bolton Roger Bolton

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    Editor’s Note: The Radio Festival is the biggest debating and networking event in the radio industry’s year. It attracts over 500 top executives, producers and presenters from the BBC, commercial and indie sectors together with community, hospital and student radio and other radio related companies.
    You can listen to Feedback online or download it here. 
    The Radio Festival took place in Salford this week and as the great and good and the desperate for work were all gathered there we went as well. 
    For me, it was something of a nostalgia trip.
    I first visited the...

    Read more about Feedback: The Radio Festival

  7. Saturday Drama: Under Milk Wood in Surround Sound

    Thursday 16 October 2014, 10:06

    Rupert Brun Rupert Brun Head of Technology, BBC Radio

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    Editor's note: BBC Radio 4 offers you a special chance to hear the highly-acclaimed 2003 production of Under Milk Wood, celebrating the centenary of the birth of Dylan Thomas in surround sound (Saturday 18 October at 2.30pm). Starring Richard Burton it features an all-Welsh cast, including early appearances by Ruth Jones and Matthew Rhys, and a cameo role from John Humphrys.
    The 2003 production was streamed online in 5.1 surround sound and now that 5.1 mix will also be available on-line in an experimental player on the Radio 4 website. Here Rupert Brun, Head of BBC Technology explains how to get...

    Read more about Saturday Drama: Under Milk Wood in Surround Sound

  8. Listener Week: Get Involved

    Monday 13 October 2014, 17:20

    Radio 4 Radio 4

    Do you have a fantastic idea for Radio 4 that you’ve always wanted to hear on air?  What burning issue do you think is crying out to be heard? Listener Week is your chance to get involved. 
    This November three programmes are giving you the chance to curate their content.
    Woman’s Hour offers a female perspective on the world, what’s your perspective? Get in touch with the programme and tell us about a topic that will make people sit up and take notice. 
    In Our Time’s Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the history of ideas, what have we missed? Let the programme team know your big idea. 

    Read more about Listener Week: Get Involved

  9. Feedback: Radio Comedy and 30 day iPlayer

    Friday 10 October 2014, 08:37

    Roger Bolton Roger Bolton

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    Editor's Note: You can listen to Feedback online or download it here.

    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...

    Read more about Feedback: Radio Comedy and 30 day iPlayer

  10. Afternoon Drama: Beyond Contempt

    Monday 6 October 2014, 15:00

    Peter Jukes Peter Jukes Author

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    Author Peter Jukes on the challenges of condensing 130 days of testimony into a 45 minute Afternoon Drama

    Peter-Jukes-portrait © 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...

    Read more about Afternoon Drama: Beyond Contempt

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Woman's Hour Power List 2014

Identifying the top ten game changers operating in the UK today.
See the latest on our blog
Find out about this year's panel and theme
Woman's Hour Power List judges, 2014 Woman's Hour Power List judges, 2014


Identifying the top ten game changers operating in the UK today.


See the latest on our blog


Find out about this year's panel and theme