The Radio 4 Blog
Editor's note: Sir David Cannadine, presenter of Churchill’s Other Lives remembers Churchill’s funeral 50 years ago. You can hear the programme on Monday 19th January.
David Cannadine at Chartwell
Winston Churchill has always been a figure of extraordinary fascination to me. When I was growing up in the late 1950s and early 1960s, these were the years of Churchillian apotheosis, and he was the most famous man alive. On his ninetieth birthday, greeting cards were sent, addressed to ‘The Greatest Man in the World, London’, and they were all delivered to Churchill’s home address.
As Lord Moran’s diaries would later make plain, Churchill’s last decade was in many ways a sad one: he was old and infirm, which meant he was no longer able to keep the ‘Black Dog’ of depression at bay; and as his own strength ebbed and failed, he also came to feel that his life’s work, to preserve and safeguard Britain as a great empire and a great power, had been in vain. ‘We passed all the tests, but it was useless’, he…
Senior Producer, Radio 4
As we crawl through January, our challenge to you is to knit Radio 4. We’ll be featuring programmes, patterns and video on the Radio 4 site, and, we hope, examples of the nation’s knitting prowess.
So please get knitting. Here are some ideas knits that could represent our august network …
- Radios, microphones, studios
- Presenters (can you knit John Humphrys?)
- Feminism; Fighting for your rights (Woman’s Hour, You and Yours)
- Food, Vegetables, Plants (The Food Programme, Gardeners’ Question Time
- Poetry, History, Philosophy (Poetry Please, In Our Time, History of Ideas)
- Animals, farming (Farming Today, Tweet of the Day)
- The Archers (Lower Loxley, Ambridge, David Archer …)
And if you don’t knit, anything yarn-based - crochet, macrame would also be great.
Send links to existing or new work via Twitter (use @BBCRadio4 and #KnitR4 in your tweets) or in replies to this post on Facebook – by Friday 22 January. Knitters of the world unite - let’s cheer up…
Jim Naughtie presents Bookclub on BBC Radio 4
Happy New Year to all Bookclub listeners and readers. I hope those of you who heard Marina Lewycka talking about A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian enjoyed the discussion. A couple of things struck me about the programme. First, that it described how a writer found her voice. It’s the essential starting point, and it often takes some time. And second, that we were talking about a book dealing with a question that’s embedded in our contemporary national debate - migration. We’re going to have another chance to look at it, from a different angle, in next month’s programme, because Judith Kerr, as sprightly a nonagenarian as I’ve met for many a long day, will be talking about her childhood recollection of a Jewish family fleeing Germany - the marvellous When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit. They have this in common - they’re both set against a background of tragedy and violence, but…
Jim Naughtie presents Bookclub on BBC Radio 4
Happy New Year to all Bookclub listeners and readers. I hope those of you who heard Marina Lewycka talking about A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian on Sunday enjoyed the discussion. A couple of things struck me about the programme. First, that it described how a writer found her voice. It’s the…
Editor's Note: Nigel Slater reflects the adaptation of his food memoir by dramatist Sarah Daniels
As a teenager, I had always thought my aunts and uncles to be much more fun than my parents and in particular my father’s rather grand elder sister, Elvie. Something of a matriarch, she was always referred to as my Godmother rather than my aunt, and lived with her timid husband in a neat,…
Just over four years ago Gwyneth Williams, formerly Director of English Networks and News at BBC World Service, was appointed as Controller of Radio 4, succeeding Mark Damazer, who had resigned to become Master of St Peter’s College, Oxford.
She has proved to be quite a radical.
She has increased science and foreign coverage and the duration of the World at One, ensured that the Today programme finally had a second woman presenter, taken 15 minutes off You and Yours and introduced a range of 15 minute programmes in the newly empty space. She has even introduced chess to radio and…
Commissioning Editor, Radio 4 & 4 Extra
Sarah Koenig image for Serial on Radio 4 Extra (photo credit: Elise Bergerson)
The final episode of global hit show Serial is imminent and I’m excited to confirm that we will be bringing the final episode to Radio 4 Extra on the same day it is published worldwide on Thursday 18 December at 9pm.
There is still time for those of you who have not heard the global phenomena that Serial has become, to catch up with the story. This US podcast series has showcased the…
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…
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…
The Revd Dr Sam Wells
Editor’s note: Revd Dr Sam Wells shares his thoughts on writing his script for the BBC Radio 4 Christmas Appeal
“I did 22 years in the army. I then couldn’t find a job and everything went down the drain.”
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, it’s seldom something a simple intervention or insertion of money can…