Listen
On Now : BBC Radio 4 FM
My Head
BBC Radio 4
The Radio 4 Blog

After more than three years today sees lift off for 'A History of The World' - the biggest factual series in my time at Radio 4 - 100 parts, each 15 minutes. Neil MacGregor - the Director of the British Museum - explores A (and it is 'A' not 'The') History of The World.

I've written about this series before - but it's an exciting day. The work of some of Radio 4's greatest producers and editors has been married to some of the Museum's most scholarly and brilliant minds to create these programmes. It's been a marriage, and like all marriages has had its challenges. But three years on all here at Radio 4 respect the British Museum enormously: it has been a privilege to be involved with them. It is a magnificent institution. Neil is a fabulous presenter - charismatic and perceptive.

A few of you will be irritated by the temporary loss of Book of The Week - but this is something special. So please try it. There are three transmissions for every episode 0945, 1945 and 0030- and we are podcasting the entire series in perpetuity - a first.

The website was only finished this weekend - truly - but has lots to offer and we really want you to upload your own objects that have global connections. Every object you upload will have a page accompanying it.

The idea for a history based on objects began as a Radio 4 idea - but has spread across the BBC and around the country to hundreds of museums. It's the front cover story of the Radio Times too.

I shall cut a celebratory cake with the key BBC people involved in the Radio 4 series today - and I hope very much that you enjoy listening.

My favourite object doesn't even feature for another few months! Though this week's Swimming Reindeer (Thursday) is rather remarkable.

I hope this does not all sound too effusive... but it's been a passion around Radio 4 for a long, long time.

My fingers are crossed. But it's good.

Mark Damazer is Controller of BBC Radio 4

  • A History of the World in 100 Objects has a lovely web site where you can learn about the 100 objects and all of the others contributed by dozens of British museums - and you're invited to add an object of your own.
  • The first programme in the series was on Radio 4 at 0945 this morning - repeated at 1945 and 0030 tonight. Listen again here and subscribe to the podcast here.
  • The video shows Kwame Kwei Armah talking about his object - the ticket his mother bought for her journey from Grenada to Britain in 1962. You can see more videos on the A History of the World web site.
  • The hash tag for A History of the World is #AHOW. Use it on Twitter or other social networks when you're talking about the project.

Comments

This entry is now closed for comments.

  • Comment number 11. Posted by uncoolorange

    on 18 Oct 2010 21:31

    I agree with Elizabeth Day's review in the Observer:"Listening to it felt as though we had all been trapped in a mine for several months, fed small tablets of self-improvement down a borehole...." Thank goodness it is all over. Back to Book of the Week. Yeah!

    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 11: 0
    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 11: 0
    Loading…
  • Comment number 10. Posted by Steve Bowbrick

    on 2 Mar 2010 21:50

    I've referred a comment by alphaNapper to the moderators because it duplicates one from the same user on an earlier post. I responded to it there.

    Steve Bowbrick, editor, Radio 4 blog

  • Comment number 9. Posted by alphaNapper

    on 23 Feb 2010 11:23

    This comment was removed because it broke the house rules. Explain

  • Comment number 8. Posted by lindad1

    on 23 Jan 2010 11:30

    After all the trails, I heard the programme 3 times yesterday. I didn't mean to, I dip in and out through the day and evening - one of the joys of Radio 4 is you never know what you're going to get by doing this. But the same programme each time? Interesting the first time, filling in some blanks the second time. By the third time, irritating.
    3 times a day is just too much. And with dozens of days of this to come, sadly, I can see me switching to another station for a while, to avoid getting irritated. A great shame, when undoubtedly the intention for this series - and its end result - is clearly good.

    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 8: 0
    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 8: 0
    Loading…
  • Comment number 7. Posted by kleines c

    on 22 Jan 2010 16:30

    I think that Gillian Reynolds's review hits the mark, Mark:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/7020901/A-History-of-the-World-in-100-Objects-Radio-4-review.html

    The trailers can be annoying, but I guess that you are trying to get more people to listen in.

    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 7: 0
    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 7: 0
    Loading…
  • Comment number 6. Posted by Peter Green

    on 21 Jan 2010 18:59

    I agree with other comments about annoying trailers, and too many repeats. Also, your comments ARE too effusive. I do not wish to be told how important and significant a series is. That only becomes apparent AFTER it has been broadcast. This series sounds like an unfocussed turkey.

    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 6: 0
    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 6: 0
    Loading…
  • Comment number 5. Posted by MissLittlePumpkin

    on 21 Jan 2010 17:49

    The only problem , the presenter IS NOT a GOOD reader..He has the stamina of a boiled carrot.

    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 5: 0
    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 5: 0
    Loading…
  • Comment number 4. Posted by brendanstallard

    on 21 Jan 2010 13:54

    Mark,

    I wish you understood how annoying the constant trails for certain programmes are.

    The ones for this have been a pain in the neck.

    I'm very interested in the programme, but the constant advertising of it is really putting me off.



    brendan

    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 4: 0
    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 4: 0
    Loading…
  • Comment number 3. Posted by newlach

    on 21 Jan 2010 13:03

    Neil MacGregor is a great presenter, and it is good that the programme is available as a podcast. I like having the opportunity to see the objects on the web. Very, very good.

    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 3: 0
    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 3: 0
    Loading…
  • Comment number 2. Posted by PAW

    on 18 Jan 2010 18:09

    So BOTW and the repeat of the womans hour drama are dropped so that this series can be broadcast three times a day and have a podcast of it? What's wrong with putting it into the 15:45 slot like all 15 minute doc series?

    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 2: 0
    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 2: 0
    Loading…
More comments

More Posts

Previous

Next