BBC Radio 4

    Round-up of reviews

    Head of Interactive, Radio 3

    One of the reasons we started the Radio 4 blog is to draw attention to the huge variety of programmes that go out on Radio 4, very often with no attention from the professional media at all. Radio doesn't get the attention it deserves and speech radio is especially neglected.

    Station Controller Mark Damazer has made a start by talking about programmes he likes (The Film Programme and The Moral Maze, for instance) and we're also going to do regular round-ups of reviews from the noble handful of journalists whose job it is to actually listen to speech radio and from the bloggers who do it for love.

    In regular blog posts we'll capture as much of the net's day-to-day conversation about Radio 4 as we can - from Twitter, the blogs and message boards as well as from the mainstream media. We'll also welcome your suggestions and pointers to content and conversation we might have missed.

    What's more, where we can, we'll link to the programmes' web pages so you can listen again if you're inspired to do so. Here's my first round-up:

    Gillian Reynolds in The Telegraph loved Alan Bennett's dramatisation of his story about a homeless woman who lived in a van on his driveway: could almost smell her, not an easy thing for radio to manage but, between Bennett's brilliant description, Adrian Scarborough's clever alter-Bennett, Smith's great performance, and Gordon House's sensitive direction, it did.

    Listen to the Saturday Play, The Lady in the Van here.

    David Smith, in his profile of David Walliams in The Guardian, makes much use of his Desert Island Discs grilling last Sunday

    Kirsty Young asks the comedian outright: "Have you ever had a relationship with a man?" Walliams responds: "No." With unhesitating candour, Walliams says: "If I fell in love with a man then, yeah, I wouldn't say that could never happen..."

    Islingtongue. North East London blogger John has been enjoying Book of the Week: Iain Sinclair's Hackney: That Rose Red Empire:

    ...the book will have a resonance far beyond that brilliantly blighted rotten borough.

    Listen here.

    In The Guardian, Miranda Sawyer refuses to review Lenny Henry plays Othello:

    This is not current events, it's craven advertising.

    Listen here.

    Kate Chisholm in The Spectator thinks running a season of Sarah Kane's controversial plays would be a better tribute than Blasted: The Life and Death of Sarah Kane:

    At half an hour the programme was far too short to explore fully the nature of Kane's troubled talent.

    Listen here


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