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Five podcasts for the weekend

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Paul Murphy Paul Murphy 10:00, Saturday, 29 October 2011

Umberto Eco

"Five podcasts!" Umberto Eco in a Front Row special. Picture by Jerome Weatherald

The preamble

I've picked out a selection of the currently available Radio 4 podcasts. You can listen online or download to keep, or put onto your phone or MP3 player. There are many more available on the Radio 4 podcast page.

Some podcasts are available for only seven days (eg Comedy of the Week; Friday Night Comedy) but others do have a huge archive you can download at any time (eg Desert Island Discs; In Our Time). If you haven't used podcasts from the BBC before there's some podcast help here. All quotes unless stated otherwise are from the Radio 4 website programme info.

The selection

1. Don't Start with Frank Skinner and Katherine Parkinson
"What do long term partners really argue about? Sharp new comedy from Frank Skinner. A masterclass in the great art of arguing."
More info

2. Life Scientific: Jocelyn Bell-Burnell
"In 1974, her supervisor and head of department won the Nobel prize for Physics for a discovery which was essentially hers. Some people call it the No-Bell, Nobel prize because they feel so strongly that Jocelyn Bell-Burnell should have shared in the award."
More info


3. Desert Island Discs: Mark Gatiss
"When Desert Island Discs excels, there's really nothing quite like it," said the Guardian. "The biggest laugh of the programme came as he introduced the fifth track. 'I was genuinely torn between the Liebestod from Tristan and Isolde,' he explained, 'or Su Pollard's Come to Me (I Am Woman).' Pollard won."
More info and the podcast

4. The Film Programme: A celebration of 1971 American Cinema
"Francine Stock and guests travel back four decades to what might be the most extraordinary year in American cinema - 1971. The year that saw the release of such films as Klute, The Last Picture Show, The French Connection and Carnal Knowledge."
NB: There's an archive of 56 episodes including the recent interview with Woody Allen.
More info

5. Front Row: The daily podcast
Front Row is now available as a daily podcast as well as a weekly "best of". "Kirsty Lang meets Italian intellectual and novelist Umberto Eco, now nearly 80, at his home in Milan. The writer looks back at the surprise success of his first novel The Name of the Rose, published when he was 48, which has sold 50 million copies."
More info

Paul Murphy is the editor of the Radio 4 blog


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