BBC Radio 4

    A History of the World arrives at 500 BC... and takes a break

    So the first tranche of A History of The World has come to an end - and very, very good it has been. We leave part one with a Chinese Bell.

    There won't be unanimous approval because too many people are listening to it for that - but the evidence is that those who do listen broadly love it.

    I have written before about the displacement of Book of The Week - and that comes back next week with Patti Smith. Quite a contrast to Neil MacGregor. We have plenty of room for both.

    The Radio 4 series is only part of the story of A History of The World (AHOW). The project - a full partnership between the British Museum and the BBC - encompasses a very significant website, hundreds of museums around the UK, scores of the BBC's local radio (and television) stations, thousands of schools, BBC children's TV (see the brilliant series 'Relic'), and the World Service.

    Have a look at the web site. It has pictures of the Radio 4 objects from the series - but many more objects that belong to museums across the country that have global connections - and more from the audience too. Do join the fray.

    We will be back with new objects for AHOW on Radio 4 in May. I want the memory of this series, and the entire project, to last decades. It deserves to.

    We are going to run each of the six weeks of AHOW that have been transmitted thus far in six separate one-hour omnibus editions on Friday nights at 2100 - beginning on Friday March 5th. And over Easter BBC 1's 'Inside Out' will have stories about objects from your area.

    Mark Damazer is Controller of BBC Radio 4

    • A History of the World has a very interesting blog of its own and a page on Facebook. Become a fan to add the daily object to your newsfeed.
    • If you're on Twitter, use the hashtag #AHOW when you're talking about A History of the World.
    • The AHOW podcast will be available online for a full year and you can download individual programmes in MP3 format from object pages like this one, for today's Chinese bell.
    • The picture shows a fragment from Zeppelin airship L33 which came down near Colchester in 1916. It was added to the collection by Michael Hunnable.
    • A History of the World was one of the topics discussed on Radio 4's Feedback today. Roger Bolton interviewed editor Robert Ketteridge about the decision to move Book of the Week, running the programme three times per day, the programme intros and the theme music (there's also a fascinating post on the AHOW blog about the theme music).

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