Fi Glover introduces the omnibus edition of Radio 4's new series, mounted in conjunction with the British Library, that captures the nation in conversation.
Chick is a former miner from Pontefract in Yorkshire. He discusses his life in a conversation with his granddaughter Lindsay, whose eyes are set on a very different career path. Sasha is a mother from Berkshire whose son, Paddy has an inherited heart condition. They talk about life together at home in Marlborough. Alison and Willie are a couple in their mid-sixties from Northern Ireland. They've had a rich life together, but now face the challenges of an uncertain future as old age approaches. And from Tunstall in Stoke on Trent, Paula and Maddie share memories of Paula's comedian father.
The Listening Project is a new initiative for Radio 4 that aims to offer a sort of snapshot of contemporary Britain in which people across the UK volunteer to have a conversation with someone close to them about a subject they've never discussed intimately before. The conversations are being gathered across the UK by teams of producers from local and national radio stations who facilitate each encounter. Every conversation - they're not BBC interviews, and that's an important difference - lasts up to an hour, and is then edited to extract the key moment of connection between the participants. Many of the long conversations are being archived by the British Library which they will use to build up a collection of voices capturing a unique portrait of the UK in the second decade of the millennium. You can upload your own conversations or just learn more about The Listening Project by visiting bbc.co.uk/listeningproject.