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Play now 25 mins


25 minutes
First broadcast:
Saturday 19 September 2009

The best of the world's arts, film, music, literature and music brought to you every day. The programme includes:

Mohammad Reza Shajarian
You may not expect hip young Iranians to appreciate a rendition of a medieval Sufi poem by a leading classical musician, but that is exactly what is happening. Mohammad Reza Shajarian was slammed by politicians when he withdrew his music from national radio in protest at Iran's post-election crackdown. But we hear how he's managed to win a whole new audience for his work in doing so.

24 hour Berlin
One year ago, 80 camera crews descended upon the streets of Germany's capital to capture the essence of the city over one entire day. German TV broadcast it in real time over 24 hours. We speak with the producer Thomas Kufus about undertaking such an enormous task

New Agatha Christie Stories
Agatha Christie is the world's most popular author, with more than 2 billion books sold in more than 100 countries. This month two new Poirot stories have been published - discovered buried in the pages of her secret notebooks. The Strand speaks to her biographer John Curran, the man who found them.
Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks - Fifty Years of Mysteries in the Making by John Curran is published by Harper Collins.

Nick Cave
Australian singer, songwriter and novelist Nick Cave has just published The Death of Bunny Munro. His first novel in 20 years - the book is a dark and explicit tale of one mans journey of self destruction after the suicide of his wife.

Africa's first foundry for casting bronze sculptures
We travel to the border town of Kasese in Uganda to find out more about a new architecturally designed foundry that hopes to produce world-class African sculptors. The site is still under construction but already the foundry has been busy producing works that include representational statues of the different Bugandan clans, as well as a crested crane for the British Royal Family.

Pauline Malefane
The South African singer, film and theatre writer/director Pauline Malefane tells us about her latest role starring in The Mysteries - Yiimimangaliso, an African version of the English medieval Chester Mystery plays, which has been touring theatres worldwide. These timeless biblical stories of Adam and Eve, Noah's ark, Cain and Abel are brought to life through song, dance and drama and perform in English, Xhosa, Afrikaans, Tswana and Zulu.

Topic Records
Mark Coles pays a visit to the home of the worlds oldest independent record label Topic Records - as they celebrate their 70th Birthday. Interviewing label boss Tony Engle and singer and guitarist Martin Simpson.



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