BBC Radio 4

    Five podcasts for the weekend: 16 December 2011

    Senior Producer, A&Mi

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    Christopher Hitchens at the Hitchens v Hitchens debate, Fountain St. Church, Grand Rapids.
    Pic by 1546 used under licence

    The preamble

    As usual I've picked out five of the many podcasts available for your weekend's listening.

    You can listen online or download to keep, or put onto your phone or MP3 player. This being the Radio 4 blog I'd also like to direct you to the Radio 4 podcast page.

    Some podcasts are available for only seven days (eg Comedy of the Week; Friday Night Comedy) but others do have a huge archive you can download at any time (eg Desert Island Discs; In Our Time). If you haven't used podcasts from the BBC before there's some podcast help here.

    This week's selection

    1. Last Word
    John Wilson looks back on the life of British-born author, literary critic and journalist Christopher Hitchens. Also Jerry Robinson, the comic strip artist who created the character of Batman's faithful sidekick Robin and his arch villain The Joker.
    Download here:

    2. Peter Day's World of Business: Cuba Now
    After 53 years of revolution, President Raul Castro is trying to change the state-controlled Cuban economy with moves to promote private employment, and an open market in second hand cars and home. Peter Day reports from Havana on an island where in many ways time has been standing still for half a century.
    Download here:

    3. The Front Row Daily
    This week's Front Row has interviews with director David Fincher on The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, historian Simon Schama on his pick of works from the Government Art Collection and Kirsty Lang talks to Meryl Streep about playing Margaret Thatcher in the film The Iron Lady.
    Download here:

    4. Documentary of the Week: Greece: Broken Marble, Broken Future (until Saturday) and then Pop Goes the Bible! (for the rest of the week)
    Writer Maria Margaronis revisits her beloved Greece where, amidst the strikes and the tear gas, she hears from Greeks living with their country's spiraling crisis.
    And from Saturday Pop Goes the Bible!
    What do these all have in common - Elvis Presley ('Adam and Evil'); Bob Dylan (Highway 61 Revisited); Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice ('Joseph' and 'Jesus Christ, Superstar'); The Byrds (Turn! Turn! Turn!); Leonard Cohen ('Hallelujah'), and U2 ('40' and 'Yahweh')? They're all pop songs that have been inspired by the Old and New Testaments.
    Download here:

    5. Play of the Week: The Lamp
    By Linda Cracknell. In a remote Scottish library, a farmer's widow and a visiting Kenyan librarian bond unexpectedly over a shared love of books. Recorded on location at Innerpeffray Library in Perthshire. Directed by Eilidh McCreadie.
    Download here:

    Paul Murphy is the editor of the Radio 4 blog

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