iPlayer Radio What's New?
On Now : Today

What are your cultural highlights of the year? Tell Saturday Review

Friday 16 December 2011, 13:10

Fiona Couper Fiona Couper

James Corden

James Corden, star of One Man, Two Guvnors in the Radio 4 studios. Pic by Jerome Weatherald

What are the cultural highlights of the year?

That's one of the things we'll be discussing in our final Saturday Review of 2011 (on Radio 4 next Saturday December 24 at 7.15pm). Tom's guests are Giles Fraser, Kevin Jackson and Kathryn Hughes and they will have plenty of ideas of their own - but we'd like to include your contributions too.

Some of you have been in touch - evoking memories of some memorable high points.

Thea Thompson mentions the new photographic gallery at the V&A - and the latest title from Sebastian Barry, On Canaan's Land. Gerard Brown recalls the "fantastic and original" London Road at The National - and A Visit From The Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan, "spirited, funny and humane".

A quick round-up in the office has thrown up fond memories of magnificent performances in Frankenstein and One Man, Two Guvnors. British cinema has given rise to some strong contributions too, with the Indie sector - Submarine, Tyrannosaur - standing up well to bigger budgets such as Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy.

What else still resonates? TV's The Slap; Anna Nicole The Opera; the masterful new Charles Dickens biog from Claire Tomalin; The Crimson Petal and The White. And the icing on the cake - for those of a certain age - a new Kate Bush CD, 50 Words for Snow. A year which includes that is a good one indeed.

So tell us what stands out for you from the year in the comments below.

Fiona Couper is the editor of Saturday Review


Jump to comments pagination
  • Comment number 1.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    A couple of books:
    How To Be A Woman -- Cailtin Moran
    Touched by an Angel -- Jonathan Morris

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    "Carnage" An incredible example of controlled hysteria. The poster of the film explained all with photos of each of the four characters going from smiles to mania. All the actors were superb and it will make a wonderful stage play. I am sure the only reason it did not major at the box office was that the title was misleading. I nearly didn't attend thinking it would be another bloodstrewn excuse for entertainment. Wonderful in its simplicity and understated control.

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    Best Film: "The Kings Speech" (or was that last year?!)

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    Matilda the Musical - Tim Minchin is a genius

    Wildlife Photographer of the Year at the Natural History Museum - stunning photography from all ages.

  • rate this

    Comment number 6.

    Book: Any by Jo Nesbo
    Theatre: 'Frankenstein' from the National streamed to local moviehouse
    Surprise TV hit for me was 'Rev.'

  • rate this

    Comment number 7.

    As a child of the 60's, I found Martin Scorcese's biopic of George Harrison intensely poignant. (As well as being a brilliant film.)


  • rate this

    Comment number 8.

    Book: Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal - Jeanette Winterson To quote her.... 'It isn't a hiding place. It is a finding place.' There is a lot to be found in this book.
    Play: Hard Times - Library Theatre Production at Murrays' Mills in Manchester

  • rate this

    Comment number 9.

    I'm going to add these two because I don't think anyone else has mentioned them so far and I thought they were amazing:

    1. Wuthering Heights, Andrea Arnold's film. Dark in mood and cinematography it was a complete revelation in the versatility it deploys in adapting a classic text that people feel they really know.
    2. Jonathan Miller's production of Bach's St Matthew Passion at the National Theatre. Fantastic translation, semi-staged in everyday costume and so immediate and fresh.

  • rate this

    Comment number 10.

    The Passion of Port Talbot - an astonishing three days of performance, community engagement and brilliant weather. I come from Corby, a small town suffering similar forms of post-industrial depression to Port Talbot, and I was very moved to see how the town was energised and lifted by collective creative activity. All credit to the National Theatre of Wales, Wildworks and Michael Sheen for seeing through what must sometimes have seemed an insanely ambitious project. Their commitment was thoroughly vindicated.

  • rate this

    Comment number 11.

    Turner Contemporary in Margate opening to much acclaim in April, and subsquently receiving over 300,000 visitors. turnercontemporary.org

  • rate this

    Comment number 12.

    The Today programme and World Service are tops - as is the BBC News Channel.
    However, over the past year Max Keiser's programme via Freeview has consistently informed and empowered me. He's rather subversive, biased and always exaggerates, so needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. But where else can one get such information about global finance and how it affects us? So, more of Stephanie Flanders, please.


This entry is now closed for comments

Share this page

More Posts

The Thinking Allowed Newsletter: The Peanut Vendor in Sidcup

Thursday 15 December 2011, 14:38

In Our Time newsletter: The Concordat of Worms

Friday 16 December 2011, 16:12

About this Blog

Behind the scenes at Radio 4 and Radio 4 Extra from producers, presenters and programme makers.

Blog Updates

Stay updated with the latest posts from the blog.

Subscribe using:

What are feeds?

Follow Radio 4

Follow BBC Radio 4 & BBC Radio 4 Extra on Twitter for programme highlights and interesting retweets. 

Woman's Hour Power List 2014

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
Woman's Hour Power List judges, 2014 Woman's Hour Power List judges, 2014


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