Press Office

Thursday 27 Nov 2014

Press Packs

BBC Arts, Music and Culture 2009 – literature N-Z

The Negro Tragedian – Radio 4

Writer and actor Kwame Kwei-Armah traces the life and work of Ira Aldridge, one of Britain's finest tragedians.

Open Book – Radio 4

Presented by Mariella Frostrup, Open Book spotlights new fiction and non-fiction, picks out the best of the paperbacks, talks to authors and publishers and unearths lost masterpieces (it is broadcast on Sunday afternoons, except the first Sunday in the month, when it is replaced by Book Club).

Robert Burns Celebration – BBC One and Two Scotland, Radio Scotland, Radio 3 and BBC Four

In the wake of a range of BBC programming to mark the 250th anniversary of his birth, Radio Scotland's Robert Burns Celebration continues into 2009 with the start of a three-year project to record the complete canon of Burns poems, read by some of Scotland’s finest actors including Brian Cox, Alan Cumming, Phyllis Logan and John Sessions. BBC Radio 3 pays tribute to Burns with a week of essays and a Sunday Feature at the end of January.

Samuel Johnson Prize For Non Fiction 2009

2009 marks the 11th anniversary of the Samuel Johnson Prize. Sponsored by the BBC, it celebrates diverse and thought-provoking writing in non-fiction. The prize covers current affairs, history, politics, science, sport, travel, biography, autobiography and the arts. The competition is open to authors of any nationality whose work is published in the UK in English.

Saturday Play – Radio 4

High-profile drama for a broad audience, including classic stage plays, is broadcast on Saturdays from 2.30pm.

Science Fiction Season – Radio 4, Radio 3 and Radio 7 from Spring 2009

In a celebration of the best in science fiction, Radio 4 dramatises Arthur C. Clarke's Rendezvous With Rama, which concerns the investigation of an alien star ship passing through the Earth's solar system in the 22nd century; Iain M. Banks's story of space borne utopian civilisation, The State Of The Art, and John Christopher’s Death Of Grass. There is also specially commissioned new writing from Anita Sullivan, Mike Maddox and Kim Newman. The dramatisations are broadcast in The Afternoon Play, The Classic Serial and Woman's Hour drama slots. Radio 3 includes adaptations of H.G. Wells's The Time Machine; Salmonella Men On Planet Porno by Yasutaka Tsutsui; and a new play by Gregory Whitehead inspired by the work of Philip K. Dick.

Scoop – Radio 4

This new dramatisation for BBC Radio 4
revisits Evelyn Waugh's comic novel about the follies of journalism.

The Speaker – BBC Two

BBC Two is on the hunt for Britain's best young speaker in a brand new, prime time eight-part series. Encouraging young people to embrace the art of speaking in public, The Speaker has travelled all over the UK in search of teenagers, aged 14 to 18, to take part. The series dispels all the myths of traditional public speaking competitions and gets the youngsters to communicate with passion about what matters to them. Thousands applied... but only one young speaker will win.

Tennyson 200th Anniversary – Radio 3 and Radio 4

Radio 3 and Radio 4 mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Alfred Lord Tennyson. Radio 3 presents an adaptation of Tennyson's epic narrative poem The Idylls Of The King, contemporary poets offer personal responses to Tennyson's work in The Essay and there's a special Between The Ears with Simon Armitage. Maud, Tennyson's poem of love and madness, is broadcast as a classic serial for Radio 4.

Troilus And Criseyde – Radio 4

Radio 4 presents a new version of Geoffrey Chaucer's tragic love story.

Twice Ken Is Plenty – The Lost Script Of Kenneth Williams – Radio 4

A never before performed script by Kenneth Williams is introduced by writer and broadcaster Wes Butters, who discovered it when Williams' memorabilia was put up for sale on e-Bay by the Carry On star's godson.

Ulysses Revisited – Radio 4

Marking the 200th anniversary of the birth of Alfred Lord Tennyson, BBC Radio 4 tells the story behind his epic poem, Ulysses.

The Verb – Radio 3

Presented by poet and broadcaster Ian McMillan, Radio 3's weekly high octane cabaret of language features a wide range of poetry from across the UK and beyond. For the BBC’s Poetry Season it offers listeners tips on writing their own verse.

What Texting Owes To The Literary Enlightenment – Radio 4

Author Ian Rankin examines how 21st-century mobile phone users are reviving an art form first developed during The Enlightenment and perfected by such luminaries as Lewis Carroll, James Joyce and George Herbert – a code called Rebus.

When Romeo Met Juliet – BBC Two

One city, eight weeks, two ordinary schools, and a slot in a prestigious theatre to perform Shakespeare's most famous love story. What will happen when Romeo meets Juliet? Actors Adrian Lester and Lolita Chakrabarti, who are husband and wife, mentor two very different schools as they put on a performance of the play. Swapping the theatre's bright lights for the schoolyard, Adrian and Lolita and a team of theatre professionals try to win over reluctant teens, aged 13 to 16, by presenting Shakespeare in a new and inspiring light.

Why Reading Matters Season – BBC Four from February 2009

Celebrating literacy in all its manifestations, BBC Four takes an in-depth look at this crucial life skill. The season explores ways to inspire children to read, literacy as a source of entertainment, a way to nourish the mind and as a driving force of global history and culture. Children's Laureate Michael Rosen believes that all children have the right to love reading. In the documentary Just Read, he aims to instil a passion for books in reluctant young readers. In the science documentary Why Reading Matters, brain scanning techniques are used to enter the silent world of reading and show how it rearranges the very organisation of the brain. In How Reading Made Us Modern, Professor John Mullan discovers how a pursuit that was once feared and controlled became the cornerstone of self-improvement. The Lost Libraries Of Timbuktu delves into the hundreds of thousands of manuscripts that have come to light in recent years. Many were written by Black African scholars whose erudition was revered throughout the Islamic world and provides evidence of Africa's literary traditions centuries before colonisation.

The Wire – Radio 3

Producing 10 new dramas each year, Radio 3's showcase for newly commissioned writing continues with work by rising stars Jack Thorne, Michael Bhim, Lee Mattinson and Morna Pearson.

Woman's Hour Drama - Radio 4

Classic and contemporary drama and book dramatisations are broadcast on weekdays.

Writing The Century – Radio 4

This popular historical series for 2009 is based on listeners' diaries and letters.

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