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The Left Hand of Darkness - Episode 2

Carol Ann Duffy - the new Poet Laureate

Friday 1 May 2009, 10:55

Mark Damazer Mark Damazer

Carol Ann Duffy, poet laureate

Carol Ann Duffy has been gracing Radio 4 for many years with her distinctive gifts so although (as in all things) we are impartial - and there were other considerable candidates - it is very fine that she is the new Poet Laureate.

Even better that she chose to give her first interview to Woman's Hour this morning - immediately after the announcement in Manchester at 10.00.

As it happens today's Woman's Hour comes from Manchester (we normally do one edition a week from the BBC's Manchester studios) and Carol Ann Duffy has an academic post there - but that is less the point than the capacity of Woman's Hour to attract a huge range of interviewees - with a fair amount every year choosing the programme as a place to talk when there is a wave of public interest in their story (cf Sharon Shoesmith).

The question is asked many times - why have a programme called Woman's Hour? And as its editor, Jill Burridge, pointed out recently on Feedback if we started Radio 4 today we might not provide a programme with that title. But there is a great deal to be said for stability and longevity when the quality is there. It is a hugely recognisable title and that helps its pulling power - though it would not work without a skilled team and presenters of the quality of Jenni Murray and Jane Garvey.

Listen to the interview:

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Identifying the top ten game changers operating in the UK today.

 

See the latest on our blog

 

Find out about this year's panel and theme