Listen
On Now : Weather
03/08/2015
BBC Radio 4
The Radio 4 Blog

In Our Time is both in a central slot in the schedule and something of a cult. When it began 12 years ago it was a leap into the dark. Would a mass audience (over 2 million a week listen to at least some of it - and mostly all of it) take to something so straightforwardly intellectual - and so simple in its format.

Melvyn Bragg had been master of ceremonies at Start the Week for 10 years but had left it after becoming a Lord. And everyone at R4 wanted to keep him. Thus was born In Our Time. It rapidly became clear that the audience not only coped - but loved it. And now many hundreds of editions later it is one of the keystones of Radio 4.

The programme was a pioneer of 'Listen Again' - as we called the facility to listen after the programme was broadcast in pre iPlayer days - and then became the first Radio 4 programme to be podcast. Melvyn at the time was not 100% au-fait with the technology - but he saw the point and his on-air trails for podcasts were works of art. And there has always been a big demand for 'listen again' in what ever form - 300,000 podcasts a month for instance. The website is the most loved of any Radio 4 programme. (We measure these things).

But we have often been asked why the audience only has 7 days to listen again - and why we can't make available the brilliant - and enduring - programmes that have been made in recent years.

And we now can do that. Every edition of the programme is now available from the website. So if your thing is the measurement problem in physics: man is not the measure of all things or Heaven: a journey through the afterlife or any one of hundreds of others - you can now listen when you want. Enjoy.

Mark Damazer is Controller of BBC Radio 4

Comments

This entry is now closed for comments.

  • Comment number 25. Posted by Tylersboy

    on 9 Oct 2010 10:28

    Not much to do with the preceding comments, but did want to make three discrete observations about IOT:

    Firstly, to say how much I enjoyed the Spanish Armada episode. Remarkable combination of analysis and quite gripping narrative all in just over forty minutes.

    Secondly, to say that I’ve just finished reading Peter H. Wilson’s excellent "Europe’s Tragedy: A History of the Thirty Years War", and it occurred to me to wonder if that hugely influential conflict had ever been considered as a good subject for an IOT.

    Thirdly – and I hope not too churlishly – a minor quibble: is it really necessary to index every IOT episode whose title begins with “the” under “t” in the archive?

    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 25: 0
    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 25: 0
    Loading…
  • Comment number 24. Posted by John99

    on 3 Oct 2010 06:55

    Steve,
    Mark Wrote in the blog But we have often been asked why the audience only has 7 days to listen again - and why we can't make available the brilliant - and enduring - programmes that have been made in recent years.

    And we now can do that.


    Have all but the last two episodes of iot now disapeared.
    LOOK podcast site only currently shows two episodes there is also a related iPlayer thread

    Does r4 now only show a few episodes of any programme as podcasts.
    Presumably the streamable podcasts are also restricted (will they re-appear IF the older podcasts re-appear).

    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 24: 0
    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 24: 0
    Loading…
  • Comment number 23. Posted by Bobby

    on 15 Jul 2010 00:22

    Noticed there's a new duplicate episode The Neanderthals here http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00sq1w3 and here http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00sq1nv. The episode is available for play back on the second of those links, but not the first, and the first is linked to from both the preceding and following episodes (al-Biruni and Antarctica).

    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 23: 0
    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 23: 0
    Loading…
  • Comment number 22. Posted by Bobby

    on 14 Apr 2010 19:50

    Steve Bowbrick, many thanks for intervening again, just rechecked Democracy and it plays! The other issues identified in the March 20th 7:34 p.m. ET post appear to remain, though, as noted before, with a little guessing, it's possible to work around them.

    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 22: 0
    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 22: 0
    Loading…
  • Comment number 21. Posted by Steve Bowbrick

    on 13 Apr 2010 06:37

    Thanks again for your updates, Bobby. I'll pass on your comments to the interactive team.

    Steve Bowbrick, editor, Radio 4 blog

  • Comment number 20. Posted by Bobby

    on 6 Apr 2010 22:39

    The fixes appear to have stalled, would really like to be able to listen to the episode on Democracy, I've heard that the correct content plays via iPlayer to those in the UK. It's the only one of the episodes that I've not been able to listen to.

    Thanks.

    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 20: 0
    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 20: 0
    Loading…
  • Comment number 19. Posted by Bobby

    on 20 Mar 2010 19:34

    Steve Bowbrick, thanks again for keeping an eye on this, glad to hear that the testing is appreciated, the fixes certainly are.

    Took a look at the 110 episodes with iPlayer links and many now operate, though there are a few that do not, these are Democracy (iPlayer URL), The Universe's Shape (iPlayer URL), and the 30 from The School of Athens (iPlayer URL) to The Samurai (iPlayer URL).

    When I try to play the majority of the group of 30 a message of the form:

    "This content doesn't seem to be working. Try again later."

    is displayed after it appears that the episode in question attempts to load (I see the episode description before it is replaced with the error message).

    For all others (Democracy, The Universe's Shape, The School of Athens, Baconian Science, Brave New World, Suffragism, The Building of St Petersburg, The Vacuum of Space, The Magna Carta, and The Dreyfus Affair) the message is:

    "In Our Time: <episode title> is unavailable at this time."

    The same type of message appears for both lower and normal bandwidth versions of the same episode. Clearing my browser cache does not resolve the issue. With the exception of Democracy, I have found working rtsp streams for all the episodes I cannot play via iPlayer and posted the URLs for them to the iPlayer Message board.

    The two versions of On the Origins of Charles Darwin (the first part of the Darwin special) both appear in the full episode guide and on the Darwin: In Our Time series page; one of which is available for me to play (iPlayer URL), the other (iPlayer URL) results in the "unavailable at this time" type message. The link to the previous episode from the second part of the Darwin special is to the version of the first part that is not available for me to play (hope that makes sense).

    Please pass on my thanks to the Radio 4 interactive team for their continuing efforts to resolve the issues identified.

    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 19: 0
    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 19: 0
    Loading…
  • Comment number 18. Posted by Steve Bowbrick

    on 19 Mar 2010 12:57

    Bobby, you've done a great job! Thanks for the dilligent (and unpaid) web site testing. I know that the Radio 4 interactive team are very grateful for your attention to detail. You'll probably get an OBE for this :-)

    Steve Bowbrick, editor, Radio 4 blog

  • Comment number 17. Posted by Bobby

    on 17 Mar 2010 21:33

    Another fix today, Catharism is now plays the right episode. Many thanks. Looking forward to a fix for Democracy, once that's done I'll recheck the episodes with iPlayer links that previously didn't work overseas, where I found working rtsp streams instead (there were 58 of these when I started posting to this thread).

    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 17: 0
    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 17: 0
    Loading…
  • Comment number 16. Posted by Bobby

    on 12 Mar 2010 00:33

    More fixes in place today, The Romantics and Surrealism now have content matching the subject.

    Democracy is still unavailable, and the voice on Catharism sounds like Andrew Marr ...

    Oh,and Jonathan Rée is Jonathan Rée (twice) on The Frankfurt School (the comment on Feb 19th has more details on this).

    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 16: 0
    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 16: 0
    Loading…
More comments

More Posts

Previous

Next