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  1. The 4 O’Clock Show on Radio 4 Extra

    Monday 29 September 2014, 11:12

    Gwyneth Williams Gwyneth Williams

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    On weekday afternoons on Radio 4 Extra we currently broadcast The 4 O’Clock Show, with a mix of stories, comedy, interviews and quizzes.  The programme is aimed at younger listeners and families and has been part of the schedule since Radio 7 became Radio 4 Extra in 2011.
    With regret, we have today confirmed our plans for the programme to finish next spring and I wanted to explain why we have made this decision.
    As listeners know, the Radio 4 Extra that we hear today is very much an adult network.  This means that a dedicated hour for older children and families in the afternoons is not reaching its target audience.  We know the average age of The 4 O’Clock Show listener is 60, and that there are very few children listening to Radio 4 Extra in the first place with only around 5,900 10-14 year olds listening to the programme.
    At the BBC, we are committed to providing high quality children’s content.  We also have to consider what is the best way to reach younger audiences, whose listening habits are changing as they grow up in a digital world.  We know for example that the CBeebies podcasts are becoming more and more popular, with the numbers steadily growing every year...

    Read more about The 4 O’Clock Show on Radio 4 Extra

  2. My Nights In With the Prof

    Friday 26 September 2014, 15:57

    Charlotte Bogard Macleod Charlotte Bogard Macleod Writer

    Editor's note: In a new Radio 4 drama, Andrew Scott plays an earnest statistician who falls in love with an impulsive photographer.

    Here, the writer of the story, Charlotte Bogard Macleod, reveals how the inspiration for Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight began...

    Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight Andrew Scott and Jenny Spark

    I email the eminent statistician Professor David Spiegelhalter, of Cambridge University, this question.

    Dear Professor Spiegelhalter

    What is the statistical probability of love at first sight?

    He responds immediately. 

    Hearing back from The Professor is a bit like googling God, finding to your astonishment that He had an email address, and sending Him a message. Then. Ping.  A response from The Almighty.

    Of course Professor Speigelhalter is not God. To suggest that would be silly. But he is a man with answers to some of life’s BIGGER questions.

    Speigelhalter’s system is based on numbers. 

    It occurs to me that our ‘Google’ lives are deluged with data, but without analysis, this data is meaningless. 

    The Professor’s mission has been to find meaning in it: Our actions.  Our choices.  Our behavior.  They all leave traces.  They’re the patterns of the human heart...

    Read more about My Nights In With the Prof

  3. Bookclub - Allan Massie, A Question of Divided Loyalties

    Friday 5 September 2014, 11:18

    Radio 4 Radio 4

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    Editor's note: This episode of Bookclub is available from Sunday 3 August and will be available to listen online or for download.

    Allan Massie is a genuine man of letters – novelist, journalist, historian, and a man who can’t imagine a day without writing in his study, deep in the heart of the Scottish Borders. I found myself turning recently to his account of the union between Scotland and England, The Thistle and the Rose, for reasons that will be obvious.  It’s an exploration of the whole tangled relationship, its moments of intimacy and strain, and above all a highly-literate cultural evaluation of centuries of war and partnership. When we turned for this month’s Bookclub to Allan’s novel A Question of Loyalties, we were also tuning in to his historical sense. The story is a journey into the modern history of France, specifically the trauma of the Second World War and the cooperation of the Vichy regime with the Nazis after Hitler’s invasion of 1940. But Allan is not a writer who writes novels to deliver a message: he told us that it’s not something he sets out to do. He believes that fiction is, above all, about feelings and in A Question of Loyalties – the plural...

    Read more about Bookclub - Allan Massie, A Question of Divided Loyalties

  4. Opening Lines 2014

    Wednesday 27 August 2014, 09:09

    Gemma Jenkins Gemma Jenkins

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    Editor's note:  Every year, for a run of six weeks, BBC Radio 4 offers an opportunity for writers new to radio to submit a short story to Opening Lines.  From thousands of submissions we select the best three stories for broadcast on BBC Radio 4 - you can hear the first in the new series of Opening Lines on Friday 29 August at 1545.

    Here, the programme producer, Gemma Jenkins, talks about some of the emerging themes from the entries this year. 

    Seven Sisters UK Coastlines were a recurring theme in entries this year to Opening Lines.
    We want to encourage as many budding writers and short story enthusiasts...

    Read more about Opening Lines 2014

  5. Tweet of the Day - This Time It's Global

    Thursday 21 August 2014, 16:02

    Radio 4 Radio 4

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    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...

    Read more about Tweet of the Day - This Time It's Global

  6. The Cold Swedish Winter: Six Ways To Become a Swede

    Friday 8 August 2014, 15:47

    Danny Robins Danny Robins Writer and Comedian

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    When I stood on stage performing comedy to a tiny audience in a North London pub back in 2005, little did I know that I was about to go on a journey that would take me to the frozen expanses of the North, the land of the Vikings, Abba and Volvo, a place where pickled herring is considered a delicacy and IKEA is not an offensive four letter word. As I stared out into my audience though that fateful night, I met the startling blue eyes of an attractive blonde girl and experienced what the Swedes would call “love at first eye throwing”.
    Eva and I are now happily married – we even have a Swinglish...

    Read more about The Cold Swedish Winter: Six Ways To Become a Swede

  7. Feedback: Scottish independence referendum

    Friday 8 August 2014, 15:39

    Roger Bolton Roger Bolton

    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 border.

    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...

    Read more about Feedback: Scottish independence referendum

  8. Feedback: Meeting heroes

    Friday 1 August 2014, 12:32

    Roger Bolton Roger Bolton

    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...

    Read more about Feedback: Meeting heroes

  9. BBC Radio Explorer

    Thursday 31 July 2014, 09:20

    Radio 4 Radio 4

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    BBC Radio has launched a new way to help audiences discover radio - Radio Explorer.

    Radio Explorer - Landing 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 Radio Explorer - Search

    The BBC Radio Explorer was an idea that came about from a Radio 4 Hackday which brought together...

    Read more about BBC Radio Explorer

  10. Bookclub - The Outcast by Sadie Jones

    Wednesday 30 July 2014, 16:04

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

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    At first glance, the Sam Mendez film American Beauty doesn’t have much to do with the leafy commuter towns of Surrey, but talking to Sadie Jones about her novel The Outcast, I found it a natural shift. The transition from dark domestic doings in the emptiness of an American dormitory town to the stifling conventions of the Home Counties in the 1950s turned out to be a natural one. Sadie’s novel is about what lies beneath the surface of a ‘normal’ life and through her central character, Lewis, she examines the pain that’s often part of adolescence.
    ‘It had to be the fifties,’ she told...

    Read more about Bookclub - The Outcast by Sadie Jones

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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