Wednesday 16 April 2014, 17:03
Wednesday 16 April 2014, 17:03
Listen to the Top 10:
Friday 11 April 2014, 17:14
It’s still rather a mystery why Strabo was not picked up more frequently before the sixteenth century. Perhaps geography didn’t penetrate the consciousness of Europe until post-Renaissance times. Certainly it was not as useful as the work of Galen and Ptolemy in medicine and astronomy. Nevertheless, it was a vast enterprise and it survived complete, and so it still could be said to be rather strange that it was not taken up with more fervour.
After the programme, to the office to attack the pile of e-mails and prepare for filming with Daniel Radcliffe in New York in a couple of weeks’ time. Then lunch with an old pal and commentary on the Kate Atkinson film which we’re putting out on The South Bank Show in a month or two’s time, and then to the Cinema Museum just outside the Elephant & Castle where I did various links for various new arts programmes. The Cinema Museum is extraordinary. It’s tucked away in a Victorian building and around has the air of a neglected, if not even abandoned...
Friday 11 April 2014, 17:11Powerlist
As you well know BBC programmes are supposed to be impartial but I’m not sure if that can be said of Woman’s Hour, at least when it comes to feminism. Woman’s Hour is in fact a powerful advocate for women’s empowerment and this week as part of that campaign it produced its second power list.
Last year the list was designed to identify the 100 most powerful women in the country. No 1 was the Queen, which some thought was an unoriginal choice. This year the power list was much shorter; there were only ten women on it and it focused on so called “game changers”. Top of the list this time was Doreen Lawrence, the mother of the murdered black teenager Stephen Lawrence. She was introduced by the Home Secretary who lauded her campaign to get to the truth about what happened to her son, and when the now Baroness Lawrence walked on stage the 250 or so women present in the radio theatre in Broadcasting House rose as one to applaud her.
I sat up in the theatre balcony watching what was going on and it was impossible not to be moved by her story and those of some of the other women on the list, and the...
Tuesday 8 April 2014, 12:13
Josie Long has created this comic to accompany this week's episode of Short Cuts - short documentaries under the theme of 'Trespass'.
Friday 4 April 2014, 14:15
In Our Time: States of Matter
One of the things about broadcasting is that you feel hungry when you’ve finished. Especially after a live programme.
It’s odd because you haven’t done anything particularly strenuous. It’s the same enigma that governs the feeling of tiredness after merely sitting for a few hours at a desk, scribbling away.
But what I had to eat after this morning’s programme, or rather before that, after the Today programme trail, was a good dollop of humble pie.
John Humphrys is so fast-witted and such a sport that it’s great fun trying to get a rise out of him,...
Friday 4 April 2014, 12:20
Thursday 3 April 2014, 13:44
John Banville quoted Nietzsche to this month’s readers on Bookclub: every man is an artist when he sleeps. He was making the point that he believes that dreaming is like writing fiction - a good thought for the start of our talk about The Sea, the novel which won him the Man Booker prize in 2005, because it is a book with the quality of a dream. Time shifts like the sands on the seashore, and Max, around whom the story revolves, is conscious of the past and the...
Monday 31 March 2014, 09:00
Spring is coming and the mornings are getting noisier. It is as if nature is celebrating, with the rest of us, the lengthening and warming of the days. Our gardens, woodlands, parks and farms have been largely quiet throughout the winter, apart from, perhaps, the occasional plucky robin, or the mournful call of rooks.Rook
But now birds are thinking about finding territories and mates and to do that they sing...
Friday 28 March 2014, 17:09
After a bracing fifteen minutes with Farming Today, I look forward to who is going to be introducing the Today programme. When it’s John (Humphrys), with whom for reasons deep in mystery I seem to have formed a special relationship (rather like that between the USA and the UK), I have to think of something that will somehow tease out a laugh. There are not many laughs in the works of Max Weber....
Friday 28 March 2014, 17:02
Do you know what a pop-up studio is?
Well if you can get down to the Royal Festival Hall on the South Bank of the Thames before Sunday you can see one in action. Radio 3 has built such a studio next to the Riverside café on the first floor.
It can be put up in a few hours, is made of perspex and is sound-proof, although much of the network’s musical output is transmitted from the area just outside it. When I visited the café the Gypsy Orchestra of Budapest were in full flow, watched over by a grinning Sean Rafferty...