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45 minutes
First broadcast:
Friday 30 April 2010

Presented by Jenni Murray.

As a new book charting the cultural history of sophistication hits the bookshops we explore to what extent the elusive art of sophistication still survives in 2010. When once we had Katherine Hepburn, and now we have Katie Price as Jordan, has the rise of The Celebrity turned sophistication into a lost art? To discuss Jenni is joined by Faye Hammill, author of 'Sophistication', and by Alice Rawsthorn, design critic for The International Herald Tribune.

We discuss the state of housing for our armed forces with Julie McCarthy of the Army Families Federation who's lobbying all the political parties not to make housing an easy target for spending cuts in the Defence Review that all are committed to after the election, and Mike Codner of the Royal United Services Institute.

A new male version of the girdle, disguised in T shirt form, has been dubbed 'The Mirdle'. With integrated panels designed to visibly control the stomach, and claiming to shave two to three inches off the male waist once on, it seems 'The Mirdle' is not only embracing but being embraced by men. One leading high street retailer of underwear has sold more than 15,000 since January. So is The Mirdle the solution to unwanted beer belly? Join us as we road test the latest in shapewear for men...

And a resurgence in the popularity of buttermilk - the by-product of butter. We visit an artisan dairy in Cumbria which makes handmade butter to find out what it is, and Christina Tilbury, Head Tutor at the Cordon Vert Cookery School will join Jenni Murray in the studio to show how it can be used in baking.


4 items
  • Military Housing

    A look at the state of Forces Housing. Discussed by Julie McCarthy; Chief Executive, Army Families Federation; Mike Codner; Director of Military Services, Royal United Services Institute.

  • The Mirdle

    A new male version of the girdle, disguised in T shirt form, has been dubbed 'The Mirdle'. Jenni discuss its merits with Kevin Mousley, radio producer, and clothes designer Jeff Banks.

  • Sophistication

    Does sophistication still survive in 2010? Jenni discusses with author Dr Faye Hammill, and design critic Alice Rawsthorn.

  • Buttermilk

    What has happened to Buttermilk? visit to a dairy and discussion with Christina Tilbury, Head Tutor, Cordon Vert Cookery School.

  • Sophistication


    Dr Faye Hammill, author and Senior Lecturer in English Literature at Strathclyde University and Alice Rawsthorn, design critic for the International Herald Tribune join Jenni to discuss whether sopistication is a lost art.

    'Sophistication - A Literary and Cultural History' is written by Faye Hammill and published by Liverpool University Press ISBN: 978-184631-232-8. Image copyright Bettmann/CORBIS

  • Buttermilk

    Buttermilk – the pale liquid left over from butter making – used to be commonly available and a key ingredient for making beautiful light scones and of course, Irish soda bread. Christina Tilbury, Head Tutor at the Cordon Vert Cookery School joins Jenni to demonstrate some its uses in baking.

    Cream of Cumbria
  • Military Housing

    Julie McCarthy, Chief Executive of the Army Families Federation & Mike Codner, Director of Military Services at the Royal United Services Institute(RUSI)join Jenni to discuss the standard of accommodation for the armed forces and their families.

    Army Families federation
  • "The Mirdle"

    A new male version of the girdle, disguised in T-shirt form, has been dubbed 'The Mirdle'. Fashion designer, Jeff Banks and You & Yours producer Kevin Mousley - who has been road testing the Mirdle for Woman's Hour, join Jenni to find out if this is the solution to an unwanted beer belly.


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