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The Once and Future King - The Candle in the Wind
BBC Radio 4

Radio 4 presents a journey through the life and work of George Orwell, running from late January 2013.

Of course there is no real George Orwell – it was the pen name of Eric Blair – but he was a writer and political commentator who is very hard to pin down. Ever since his early death in 1950, he has been at one and the same time the darling of some on both the left and the right of British politics - whilst being reviled by others. For all the beautiful simplicity of his writing and storytelling Orwell/Blair is a complex mass of confusions – an anti-establishment, pro-English, ex-Etonian ex-policeman and socialist, who was ardently anti-authoritarian. He was as anti-fascist as he was anti-communist, a former Spanish Civil War soldier who was anti-war but pro the Second World War, and so on and so on.

Through dramatisations of the key books, through four newly commissioned plays that explore the disjuncture between the man who was Eric Blair and the writer who was George Orwell, and through factual programming and readings, Radio 4 will take you on a journey from Burma via Catalonia, Wigan, Jura, Manor Farm along the road that led to Nineteen Eighty-Four, one of the most influential novels of the twentieth century.

The series of dramas and readings will begin in late January 2013 and will include the following.

Dramas

 

Animal Farm
Saturday 26th January at 2.30pm

Adapted for radio by George Orwell, with Tamsin Greig, Toby Jones, Ralph Ineson.
Produced by Alison Hindell.

Homage to Catalonia
Part 1: Sunday 27th January at 3pm, repeated Saturday 2nd February at 9pm
Part 2: Sunday 3rd February at 3pm, repeated Saturday 9th February at 9pm

Dramatised for radio by Mike Walker, with Joseph Millson, Lyndsey Marshal, Ewan Bailey.
Produced by Kate McAll.

Nineteen Eighty-Four
Part 1: Sunday 10th February at 3pm, repeated Saturday 16th February at 9pm
Part 2: Sunday 17th February at 3pm, repeated Saturday 23rd February at 9pm

Dramatised for radio by Jonathan Holloway, with Christopher Eccleston as Winston Smith, Pippa Nixon as Julia, and Tim Piggot-Smith as O’Brien.
Produced by Jeremy Mortimer.

Biographical Dramas

 

The Real George Orwell: Burma
Monday 28th January at 2.15pm 

By Mike Walker, with Joseph Millson.
Produced by Kate McAll.

The story of Orwell’s days as a young Imperial policeman in Burma. 


 

The Real George Orwell: Dreaming
Monday 4th February at 2.15pm 

By Mike Walker, with Joseph Millson, Lyndsey Marshal, Ewan Bailey.
Produced by Jeremy Mortimer

After the Spanish Civil War, Eric and Eileen Blair travel to Morocco – so that he can rediscover ‘the heart of England’.

The Real George Orwell: Loving
Monday 11th February at 2.15pm

By Jonathan Holloway, with Joseph Millson, Lyndsey Marshal.
Produced by Kate McAll

The story of Eric Blair’s relationship with his wife and some of the other women in his life.

The Real George Orwell: Jura
Monday 18th February at 2.15pm

By Jonathan Holloway, with Joseph Millson, Liza Sadovy.
Produced by Jeremy Mortimer

The story of Eric Blair’s last months on Jura, as he was trying to finish Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Readings

 

Down and Out in Paris and London
Book at Bedtime, Monday 28th January to Friday 1st February & Monday 4th February to Friday 8th February at 10.45pm

Reader: Joseph Millson.
Produced by Jane Marshall for Jane Marshall Productions.

Book of the Week
Monday 18th to Friday 22nd February at 9.45am

Orwell's Essays and Journalism

Documentary

Start the Week
Monday 28th January at 9.00am 

 

Bookclub: Homage to Catalonia
Sunday 3rd February at 4pm, repeated Thursday 7th February at 3.30pm

 

The Road to Nineteen Eighty Four: Archive Hour 
Saturday 9th February

Producer: Phil Tinline.