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Tony Hall, director-general of the BBC, plus Val McDermid and Sebastian Junger

Tony Hall, Director-General of the BBC, speaks to Claudia with passion & enthusiasm about the future of the arts across the BBC, its importance for our cultural life as a nation and the legacy of the Cultural Olympiad
Sebastian Junger talks about the documentary he's made about his friend, photojournalist Tim Hetherington, who died covering the conflict in Libya
Crime writer Val McDermid discusses her latest chilling psychological thriller
Plus we go behind the scenes of the new West End musical The Commitments and talk to Roddy Doyle
And films with Xan Brooks, books with Samantha Buckley and the weekly arts round-up.

Release date:

1 hour, 57 minutes

Last on

Fri 11 Oct 2013 22:00

Tony Hall Director General of the BBC talks about his vision for the Arts

Tony Hall Director General of the BBC talks about his vision for the Arts

Tony Hall and his vision for the future of the Arts across the BBC plus the legacy of the Cultural Olympiad  

If you’d like to share your thoughts about future plans for the BBC, register your email address at visit

Sebastian Junger on The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington

Sebastian Junger on The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington

Tim Hetherington was a successful photojournalist nominated at the Oscars for his film Restrepo. Two months later he was covering the conflict in Libya and died when he was hit by shrapnel.   Award winning author Sebastian Junger, Tim's friend, has made a documentary about Tim's life.

Where Is the Front Line From Here? The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington is in cinemas now .

You Never See Them Like This is an exhibition of Tim's photographs and films at the Open Eye Gallery in Liverpool, and runs until  24th November

Xan Brooks reviews the latest films

Xan Brooks reviews the latest films

1. The Fifth Estate

Director: Bill Condon
Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Daniel Bruhl, Laura Linney, Stanley Tucci, Peter Capaldi, David Thewlis

Following the development of the website Wikileaks, the film portrays the many plots Julian Assange (Benedict Cumberbatch) engaged in order to disclose government documents to the public.

The Fifth Estate is out now


2. Le Week-End

Director: Roger Michell
Cast: Jim Broadbent, Lindsay Duncan, Jeff Goldblum

Nick and Meg go to Paris to rekindle the romance missing from their life.  They book into the same hotel they stayed in on their honeymoon 30 years ago, which turns out to be a big mistake.  But even a move to a luxurious hotel does little to change their mind-set after all these years of marriage.

When they meet up with Morgan - an old friend of Nick’s – his rich, fabulous lifestyle and young, pregnant wife magnifies Nick and Meg’s ennui. Nick’s announcement that he’s lost his job is nothing compared to the surprise they have on their return to the hotel - their credit card is refused, their belongings packed. Should they contact Morgan for help and set in motion a chain of events from which there’s no going back? 
Le Week-end is in cinemas now.


3. Romeo & Juliet

Director: Carlo Carlei
Cast: Hailee Steinfeld, Douglas Booth, Damian Lewis, Stellan Skargard

Star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet meet, fall in love instantly and hope that by marrying they will end the bitter feud between their two families. Unfortunately this is not to be the case, as Romeo's fury after the murder of his best friend Mercutio inspires him to kill Juliet's cousin Tybalt, and he’s banished, leaving Juliet helpless as her family, without the knowledge that she’s secretly married to their worst enemy, betroth her to another man...

Romeo & Juliet is out now

4. The Kings of Summer

Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts
Cast: Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso, Moises Arias, Alison Brie

Joe Toy, on the verge of adolescence, finds himself increasingly frustrated by life at home with his single father, Frank. At the end of his tether, he runs away to a clearing in the woods with his best friend Patrick, and a strange kid named Biaggio. They decide to build a house there, free from responsibility and parents. Once their makeshift abode is finished, the three young men find themselves masters of their own destiny.

The Kings Of Summer is out now on DVD and BLU Ray.

Val McDermid talks about her new book Cross And Burn

Val McDermid talks about her new book Cross And Burn

Someone is brutally killing women. Women who bear a striking resemblance to former DCI Carol Jordan. The connection is too strong to ignore and soon psychological profiler Tony Hill finds himself dangerously close to the investigation, just as the killer is closing in on his next target.

This is a killer like no other, hell-bent on inflicting the most severe and grotesque punishment on his prey. As the case becomes ever-more complex and boundaries begin to blur, Tony and Carol must work together once more to try and save the victims, and themselves.

Val McDermid's latest novel  Cross And Burn is out now published by Little Brown

Author Roddy Doyle reveals why he finally put The Commitments on stage

Author Roddy Doyle reveals why he finally put The Commitments on stage

Just over twenty years ago, a love story with a difference hit the big screen, captured the imagination of a generation and became one of the most iconic films of recent times.  Written by Roddy Doyle and directed by Sir Alan Parker, The Commitments (based on Roddy’s 1987 novel) tells the story of a group of young unemployed Dubliners who form a soul band and fall in love with music.  But despite its worldwide appeal Roddy has always refused to turn the book and film into a stage show….. until now. The Radio 2 Arts Show caught up with Roddy and the new cast of The Commitments in London’s West End to find out more.

The Commitments is at the Palace Theatre now 

Samantha Buckley reviews the latest books

Samantha Buckley reviews the latest books

1. Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield 

As a boy William Bellman commits a small act of unthinking cruelty and kills a rook. Years later, after tragedy strikes his family, it is this action that comes back to haunt him and leads him to make a terrible bargain with the mysterious Mr Black.

Bellman and Black by Diane Setterfield is out now, published by Orion


2. The Golem and the Djinni by Helene Wecker

In The Golem and the Djinni, a chance meeting between mythical beings takes readers on a dazzling journey through cultures in turn-of-the-century New York.
Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life to by a disgraced rabbi who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic and dies at sea on the voyage from Poland. Chava is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York harbor in 1899.

Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire born in the ancient Syrian desert, trapped in an old copper flask, and released in New York City, though still not entirely free
Ahmad and Chava become unlikely friends and soul mates with a mystical connection.

The Golem and the Djinni by Helene Wecker is out now published by Harper Collins


3. The Year After by Martin Davies

In the winter of 1919 a young soldier is invited to spend Christmas with friends at the large country house he used to visit before the war. On the surface little has changed, but the losses of the first world war echo through the festivities as does the mysterious death of a young woman.

The Year After by Martin Davies is published by Hodder & Stoughton.

Anna Bailey brings latest news from the Arts Desk

Anna Bailey brings latest news from the Arts Desk

Theatre: Blood and Chocolate takes audiences through the streets of York to explore the relationship between The Rowntree Chocolate Factory and the soldiers of the First World War. In collaboration with the Pilot Theatre, Slung Low and York Theatre Royal. Until 20th October 2013


Art: An exhibition of David Hockney’s early work from the Sixties and Seventies is on show at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool. Early Reflections runs until March 2014.


Pop Art:  And staying with art – or pop art to be exact - David Spiller debuts at the Portland Gallery in London. Until 18th October 2013.


Books: Wimbledon’s annual book festival features authors such as Roddy Doyle, Margaret Drabble and the ballerina Darcey Bussell. Until 13th October 2013


Ballet: New York's Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet Company is touring the UK for the first time with pieces set to music from Bach to Charles Aznavour. At the Festival Theatre Edinburgh on Friday and Saturday night and tours the UK until 19th October 2013


Fashion: The Victoria and Albert Museum is hosting an exhibition dedicated to Pearls. With jewellery worn by Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe among others. Until 19th January 2014.