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  1. Five Reasons Why Mordred is a Great Villain

    Friday 12 December 2014, 14:01

    Brian Sibley Brian Sibley Writer and Broadcaster

    Sir Mordred in The Once and Future King is one of the great bad boys of literature. Dramatist Brian Sibley offers five reasons why the traitorous knight of King Arthur’s fabled Round Table, deserves that accolade…

    1. Mordred comes from background of villainy
    He is the son of Queen Morgause, a scheming enchantress, known as the Queen of Air and Darkness. Morgause pretends to the world that Mordred is a child of her marriage to King Lot of Orkney, but raises the boy, in secret, to hate his true father, King Arthur, and fills him with a passionate desire to exact vengeance on the English monarch. 

    2. Mordred is physically and mentally damaged
    Born a hunchback, he carries the scars of incestuous birth not just in his misshapen body, but also in his twisted mind. His physical and psychological deformity drives him to hurt and destroy others.

    3. Mordred manipulates and controls
    Cunning and calculating, he gets others – among them his brothers Agravaine and Gawaine – to carry out his schemes and do his dirty and dangerous work for him.

    4. Mordred is emotionally empty
    Cold, cruel and ruthless, he has so been eaten away by his anger and hatred that he is incapable of having any understanding...

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  2. Feedback: Jeremy Thorpe

    Friday 12 December 2014, 12:28

    Roger Bolton Roger Bolton

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




    This week I talked to the veteran reporter Tom Mangold about his Radio 4 documentary, The Silent Conspiracy.

    It dealt with the circumstances surrounding the 1979 trial of the former liberal leader Jeremy Thorpe for conspiracy to murder his former lover Norman Scott. Thorpe was found not guilty and it was not until the day after his death, 35 years later, that Tom’s programme went out.

    Many listeners praised it although some thought its timing was “ill-mannered” and one listener said it was “dripping with Dark Ages homophobia”. I put those concerns to Tom Mangold and then went on to discuss with him what I thought was the most significant and interesting aspect of his absorbing documentary, the revelation of the almost instinctive Establishment cover up that had taken place.

    It did not need to be organised, as everyone knew what was expected of them.

    Was the hierarchy of the BBC part of that conspiracy?

    Tom reminded me of the time when we had worked together on Panorama, in 1980 when I was his editor.

    I had wanted to do a couple of programmes on the Secret Services, MI5 and MI6, which was not easy...

    Read more about Feedback: Jeremy Thorpe

  3. The 2014 Radio 4 Christmas Appeal

    Sunday 7 December 2014, 08:33

    The Revd Dr Sam Wells The Revd Dr Sam Wells

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    Editor’s note: Revd Dr Sam Well shares his thoughts on writing his script for the BBC Radio 4 Christmas Appeal
    When I’m writing the script for the Appeal, I have two things in mind to say to the listeners. Homelessness is a complex issue, and people in the midst of it have a host of things going on in their lives, and it’s seldom something a simple intervention or insertion of money can just ‘fix’; and yet this is about as worthwhile a cause as any you could give money to, and your money will be well spent.
    So this year’s appeal is about addressing powerlessness and isolation.
    It starts with a positive experience of what it means to be able to say ‘You were there for me.’ It’s one of the most affirming and heartwarming things any of us can ever be told, and to be told the opposite is utterly crushing. But the reason it matters is because it is saying ‘This relationship has overcome my isolation, and this relationship was what I needed when I faced the horror of my own powerlessness.’
    It’s easy to say, ‘Give us your money and we’ll change the world.’ But it’s nonsense.
    Instead, it’s better to say, ‘Your money can ensure that when homeless and vulnerable...

    Read more about The 2014 Radio 4 Christmas Appeal

  4. Bookclub - 200th Edition

    Friday 5 December 2014, 12:35

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

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    Editor's note: This episode of Bookclub is available from Sunday 7 December and will be available to listen online or for download.

    Bookclub montage


    Two hundred Bookclubs, and yet it feels like only yesterday that we began. The reason, I think, is that every programme feels different. Each author is an original voice, and each group of readers has a different character. You never know quite what to expect.

    I’ve been privileged to chair all these programmes, and I’ve been conscious through the years that the idea of the programme – which came from the first producer, Olivia Seligman, in 1998 – was...

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  5. Stephen Fry Comedy Controller on Radio 4 Extra

    Friday 5 December 2014, 10:58

    Peter McHugh Peter McHugh Producer

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    Editor's note: Actor, writer, wit and naughty national treasure Stephen Fry chooses his favourite comedies from the BBC radio archive as Comedy Controller on Radio 4 Extra. Here, programme producer Peter McHugh talks about making the programme.

    Stephen Fry, Comedy Controller on Radio 4 Extra

    When you make a programme it’s always good to get as much publicity as possible. To get the message out to as many listeners as you can, that something good is going to happen. It can be tricky, in big media organisations, to negotiate the ever choppy waters of ‘publicity priorities ’. So when I arrived at 4 Extra one morning I was surprised...

    Read more about Stephen Fry Comedy Controller on Radio 4 Extra

  6. Feedback - BBC Trust Review

    Friday 5 December 2014, 10:42

    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 Wednesday this week I met Elan Closs Stephens, the BBC trustee leading the Review into Radio 4, 4Extra and 5 Live. She is a former Chair of the Welsh Fourth Channel Authority and Emeritus Professor of Communications and Creative Industries at Aberystwyth University.

    She is charming, well informed and sharp as a tack.

    She also seems to like broadcasting and broadcasters.

    What a contrast with some of the BBC Governors of the past, particularly those in...

    Read more about Feedback - BBC Trust Review

  7. The Beauty of The Once and Future King

    Friday 28 November 2014, 17:37

    Adam Roberts Adam Roberts Author

    Editor's Note: Adam Roberts, author and Professor of 19th Century Literature at Royal Holloway, has written a number of critical works on both SF and 19th Century poetry and is a contributor to the SF Encyclopedia. Here he reflects on the beauty of T.H. White's writing in The Once and Future King.

    T.H. White wrote his undergraduate dissertation on Malory’s Morte D’Arthur, and he knew the Arthurian legends pretty well. Still, he was surprised when, a decade later, he re-read Malory’s fifteenth-century prose-epic. ‘I got desperate among my books,’ he wrote to a friend in 1937, ‘and picked...

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  8. Home Front: Who Signed Up For WW1 And Why?

    Friday 28 November 2014, 16:49

    Radio 4 Radio 4

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    Editors note: Professor Maggie Andrews is the consultant historian on Radio 4’s epic drama series set in Great War Britain, Home Front.  In this blog, Maggie tells us what appeals to her about the scope of Home Front and expands on Season Two’s theme of recruitment.

    Home Front Trailer Image

    Why Home Front

    One of the exciting things about working with a long running drama is its ability to show war effecting ordinary people’s everyday lives on the home front; the different characters show that there are numerous histories of the war.

    When does the next series start?

    Season Two of Home Front starts on 1 December...

    Read more about Home Front: Who Signed Up For WW1 And Why?

  9. Feedback: The World Service

    Thursday 27 November 2014, 17:57

    Roger Bolton Roger Bolton

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

    Feedback presenter Roger Bolton

    Bush House in the Strand in London, the legendary home of the World Service, has always had an exotic allure for me.

    On my first day in the BBC I was sent down there to work in the Overseas Talks department. I was 21 and clueless, having had no journalistic training, knowing no shorthand, and having come from a small city in Cumberland to an extremely small bed-sitter in Queen’s Park. I spoke only two languages, Cumbrian and rather halting French.

    I was most impressed by the canteen in the basement where an extraordinary...

    Read more about Feedback: The World Service

  10. Listener Week

    Monday 24 November 2014, 11:47

    Jane Garvey Jane Garvey Woman's Hour Presenter

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    Listener Week


    Back in October we asked for your suggestions about what you’d like to hear on Woman’s Hour, In Our Time and Saturday Live. Listener Week starts on Monday, 24 November and runs until 29 Saturday. There’s been a brilliant response and we’re grateful for all your ideas – we certainly couldn’t have predicted all of them.

    In Our Time had an overwhelming response, with almost a thousand on topics ranging from the history of belly dancing to the Hanseatic League (me neither) but which subject will be picked? Melvyn will announce ‘the chosen one’ on the Today programme on Thursday...

    Read more about Listener Week

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Woman's Hour Power List 2014

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