Eric Schlosser, Richard II, Basil Bunting, Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough

As the curtain goes down on David Tennant's much anticipated performance in the lead role of Shakespeare's Richard II at Stratford, Susannah Clapp joins Anne for the very first review.

In 1980 an accident in a missile silo in Arkansas almost detonated the most powerful bomb ever constructed. Had it gone off the explosion would have been more powerful than all of the bombs used in the Second World War combined, including those dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In his new book Command And Control journalist Eric Schlosser reveals this was only one of several very near misses since 1945. He joins Anne.

It is a thousand years since King Sweyn 'Forkbeard' of Denmark was named king of England in 1013 and the Illuminating York Festival is marking the city's Viking history with an artwork in the form of a Son et Lumiere based around Old Nordic and Anglo Saxon texts. Eleanor Barraclough, Radio 3 New Generation Thinker and lecturer in medieval literature at Durham University, has had a sneak preview.

Poet Basil Bunting has fallen into obscurity since his death in 1985. Yet during his life he was admired by the finest writers of the twentieth century including W.B. Yeats, Ezra Pound, Ernest Hemingway and Ford Madox Ford. Richard Burton's new biography charts the poet's astonishing life including several spells in prison, and jobs working as an artists' model, music critic, balloon operator, wing commander, diplomat and spy.

Producer: Luke Mulhall.

Release date:

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

Thu 17 Oct 2013 22:00

Richard II

Richard II is on at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon until Saturday 16 November 2013. It will be broadcast live to cinemas in the UK and around the world on Wednesday 13 November 2013.

Eric Schlosser

Eric Schlosser
Command and Control written by Eric Schlosser is published by Allen Lane.

Richard Burton

Richard Burton

A Strong Song Tows Us: The life of Basil Bunting written by Richard Burton is published by Infinite Ideas Limited.

Basil Bunting

Basil Bunting

Hear about Lee Hall's favourite Basil Bunting poem in Front Row's Cultural Exchange


And you can find out more about Basil Bunting in Durham University's Basil Bunting Poetry Centre.


Image: Basil Bunting at Rapallo, Italy, 1930s. Basil Bunting Poetry Archive, Durham University Library.

Illuminating York 2013

Illuminating York 2013

Illuminating York 2013 runs from Wednesday 30 October until Saturday 2 November 2013.


Image: Triquetra artists impression by Ross Ashton & Karen Monid


Role Contributor
PresenterAnne McElvoy
Interviewed GuestEric Schlosser
Interviewed GuestSusannah Clapp
ProducerLuke Mulhall
Interviewed GuestEleanor Barraclough

Free Thinking

Free Thinking

Radio 3’s new home for arts and ideas.