Thursday 21 August 2014, 16:02
Tweet of the Day returns with a new series - this time it's global.
Friday 5 September 2014, 11:18
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...
Wednesday 27 August 2014, 09:09
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.
Coastlines were a recurring theme in entries this year to Opening Lines.
We want to encourage as many budding writers and short story enthusiasts to send in their work as possible – our only submission requirement is that writers haven’t had their work broadcast on network radio before. Stories come in from around the world, from authors about to publish their first novel, to students of creative writing, from bookslam regulars to passionate amateurs. Perhaps a literary star of the future will be among the submissions we receive.
This year, we were incredibly impressed by the wealth of talent on display. From science fiction to historical fiction, romance to tragedy, the stories have transported us from dazzling coastlines to...
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...
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