Blog posts by year and month October 2009

    Posts (21)

    1. 1900 Studio MV5, Maida Vale. All around me is the organised chaos of the studio's 75th anniversary celebration. We're on-air in 10 minutes. Bill Paterson, soprano Jane Manning and composer Anthony Payne are in the studio already. 1910. Listen live to the programme here http://www.bbc.co.uk/prog...

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    2. Editor's note. I asked Vanessa Whitburn, Editor of The Archers, for some words about Norman Painting, who died today: The sad news about the death of Norman Painting is only a few hours old; and already messages of love and condolence have been pouring in from friends and fans alike. They are a tribute to the man who made the part of Phil Archer very much his own; and has been an integral part of The Archers for almost 60 years. My own memories of Norman are of a colleague, and a trusted friend. In the 1970s, when I was a rookie producer, I remember him taking me out for a meal, to talk to me about what it was like being an actor, and on 'the other side' of the mic. It was a generous gesture for someone like me to be given such a master class by one of radio's biggest stars - and his advice stays with me today. I take such comfort from the fact that Norman got his wish, and continued playing the part for which he was so well loved, right up until the end of his life. Norman was with us at The Mailbox only two days ago, recording with Patricia Greene, transforming studio 9D into the kitchen at Glebe Cottage. Norman was always glad to be in studio, and it is testament to his love of his work that, however he was feeling, once the script was in his hand, he became Phil Archer. He and Paddy even enjoyed a joke about the mischievous side of Phil and Jill's relationship, with Norman insisting that he was still scared of Paddy whenever he thought Jill was being a little too fierce! The Archers - actors, production team and fans, will miss Norman terribly. I am thankful for his wonderful contribution to the programme, and also for his friendship over many years. Vanessa Whitburn is Editor of The Archers Norman Painting remembered in The Telegraph, The Daily Mail, The Stage and in The Banbury Guardian (his local newspaper). Matthew Bannister discussed Norman Painting's life with fellow Archers actress June Spencer and long time friend, Lord Plumb, on Friday's Last Word.

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    3. 15:27. Closing the discussion, Jon and Laura play us moving clips from a feature about a woman misled for years by her husband who pretended to be a deep cover CIA operative until he was revealed to be a bigamist. 15:07. Jon hates the kind of 'authoritarian' reporting that characterises mainstr...

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    4. Well - the latest figures for Radio 4 are very, very gratifying. Indeed they are the best since a new measuring methodology was introduced a decade or so ago - and it's not possible to compare them with what happened before. Briefly, 10.22 million people listen to at least 15 minutes a week - b...

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    5. The Bedford campus of the University of Bedfordshire is home to a small advance guard of Radio 4 programmes for the next two days. The goal, as explained by Mark Damazer here, is to bring to the attention of the nation's students the range of Radio 4 programmes they'd be sure to like. I'll be in...

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    6. Of course making a Hollywood film, or directing at the National Theatre may be all very well (I wouldn't know as I haven't done either) but there are times when there is simply nothing more rewarding than being in the radio studio working on a really meaty drama serial. Over the last few months ...

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    7. Paul Scoins, who works on You & Yours, emailed me: "I wondered if this might be worth flagging up... We've got Tessa Jowell on today to take calls on people's views on the 2012 Olympic legacy." The programme looks like this: First half: Are you still as enthusiastic about the Games as you w...

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    8. We are coming up to half-way through our initiative to bring to light brilliant books that have been unfairly/unreasonably/incorrectly/shamefully cast aside - by public indifference/daft publishers/the cruel hand of fate/rotten luck. Mariella Frostrup, Queen of Books, is interviewing a glitterin...

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    9. Editor's note: here's a first for the Radio 4 blog. A post by a fictional character. Kip Berenger will make his appearance in series 2 of Radio 7's Planet B, starting on 29 November. He spoke to lead writer Matthew Broughton: I suppose you'd call me a heavy user. I'm going to say that up front...

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    10. A small corner of Radio 4 has decamped to Derby for two days - to record some big programmes (inlcuding a fantastcially exciting live Woman's Hour this morning, with lots of audience participation), to run some workshops with students and to generally spread the good word with the students and f...

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