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Saturday 18 January



Dermot O'Leary

Dermot’s guest this morning is Daniel Radcliffe. Best known for his role as Harry Potter, Daniel has gone on to star in many more big-budget films, then he began to branch out to stage acting in 2007, starring in the London and New York productions of Equus, for which he received immense praise from critics and audiences alike.

Today he tells Dermot about his latest play at the Old Vic in London. He stars alongside Alan Cummings in the Samuel Beckett play Endgame.

  • Presenter: Dermot O’Leary
  • Producer: Ben Walker for Ora et Labora

Graham Norton

Today Graham is joined by Fay Ripley who will be chatting about the new series of Cold Feet, James Prichard discussing the work of Agatha Christie and the play, Witness For The Prosecution.

Plus Victoria Hamilton and David Haig talk about the new TV series Cobra. Plus, there’s Grill Graham with Maria McErlane.

  • Presenter: Graham Norton
  • Producer: Malcolm Prince for the BBC

Gary Barlow: We Write The Songs

In episode three of Gary Barlow’s We Write The Songs, Gary talks to Jeff Lynne.

Jeff is not only a songwriter, but also producer, sound engineer, instrumentalist and singer. The two discuss the inspiration behind the Electric Light Orchestra, how Lynne works in the studio to achieve his tracks, how the musical ideas are born and how he writes his lyrics.

They talk about the importance of chord sequences to his work and how one of Jeff Lynne’s most famous songs Mr Blue Sky came to be. They also discuss Lynne’s collaborations and producing successes with The Travelling Wilburys, Roy Orbison and Tom Petty.

  • Presenter: Gary Barlow
  • Producer: Anthony Cherry for the BBC



Opera On 3 From The Met: Verdi's La Traviata

Live from the Met, a passionate drama of jealousy, sacrifice and betrayal where true love is thwarted.

La Traviata comes from Verdi's fertile middle period where he was creating one hit after another; it contains some of his best loved music. The Soprano Diana Damrau and tenor Juan Diego Florez lead a cast conducted by Yannick Nezet-Seguin. Presented by Mary Jo Heath and commentator Ira Siff.

Violetta.....Diana Damrau (Soprano)
Alfredo Germont.....Juan Diego Florez (Tenor)
Giorgio Germont.....Quinn Kelsey (Baritone)
Flora Bervoix.....Kristin Chavez (Mezzo-soprano)
Violetta's maid.....Maria Zifchak (Soprano)
Gastone.....Scott Scully (Tenor)
Il Barone Douphol.....Dwayne Croft (Baritone)
Marquis d'Obigny.....Jeongcheol Cha (Bass Baritone)
Doctor Grenvil.....Kevin Short (Baritone)
Giuseppe.....Marco Antonio Jordao (Tenor)
Messenger.....Ross Benollel (Baritone)
New York Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
New York Metropolitan Opera Chorus
Yannick Nezet-Seguin (Conductor)

  • Producer: Clive Portbury



Dan Dare: Prisoners Of Space

The continuing adventures of Dan Dare.

Over the past four weeks on BBC Radio 4 Extra, Dare, Digby and Peabody have overcome The Mekon’s ruthless robots that had enslaved the Earth, and then staved-off an attack by a rogue human scientist in cahoots with the fearsome Vora. Now, even though there has been no sign of the evil Mekon anywhere in the solar system for some time, Dare is wary.

All seems well until unexplained spaceship disappearances near Venus, an Academy student accidently launching a prototype spacecraft, and a floating prison in space all indicate that The Mekon has embarked on his latest scheme to defeat his nemesis.

Stars Ed Stoppard (The Crown, Knightfall), Geoffrey McGivern (Endeavour, Ghost), Heida Reed (Poldark, Stella Blomkvist) and Raad Rawi (A Private War and Official Secrets).

  • Dramatised by Patrick Chapman from an original story by Frank Hampson.
  • Producer and director: Andrew Mark Sewell

New to BBC Radio 4 Extra

Made by B7 Productions in 2017



Gilles Peterson

Gilles Peterson presents his show from the Annual UK Jazz showcase.

The programme will feature live music and interviews with the likes of Kokoroko, Moses Boyd, Poppy Ajudah and Sarathy Korwar, Bassist and Jazz legend Ron Carter, and Thomas De Pouquery.

  • Presenter: Gilles Peterson
  • Producer: Jesse Howard for Somethin’ Else



Music Life

Clichés - with Gabriella Cilmi, Carmen Souza, Souad Massi, and Natacha Atlas. Australian singer Gabriella Cilmi hosts Music Life, the show where the best musicians in the world come together to talk about creativity and life as a musician.

Gabriella is joined by Portuguese singer Carmen Souza, Egyptian-British singer Natacha Atlas, and Algerian Berber singer Souad Massi.

Natacha has collaborated with the likes of Nitin Sawhney, Peter Gabriel and Jean-Michel Jarre, with her latest album Strange Days released last year.

Soud Massi has widely been touted as the most successful female singer-songwriter to emerge from the Arabic-speaking world.

Carmen Souza is a jazz singer, pianist, and guitarist of Cape Verdean descent who sings in Portuguese, English, French, and Creole.

Gabriella, whose platinum selling debut album Lessons To Be Learned came out in 2008, discusses with these other great singers how they stay true to their artistic visions, songwriting clichés, and the unsung people who have helped them in their careers.

In part two of Music Life, Portuguese Jazz singer Carmen Souza takes us through her playlist named after the show itself, Music Life, with songs that have soundtracked her life, including Horace Silver, Ella Fitzgerald, and Joni Mitchell.

  • Produced by Ashley Clivery for the BBC World Service

World Wise Web

Who are the people who designed our digital world, and how did they come up these ideas in the first place? From GPS to Google Search, we put the people who created these technologies together with the generation who know no other world.

Teenagers from around the world talk to the tech pioneers who have changed our lives.

We find out about the trials, errors, incredible hard work and sometimes just plain luck that made some of the most important digital inventions possible. In the process of describing how they achieved their goals, we hear words of wisdom for a new generation of innovators. The story of tech, it turns out, is a very human story of both success and failure.

The series host is 17 year-old Anna Zanelli - herself a budding designer from London. And we’ll bring you archive footage of how journalists, experts and the public reacted to these inventions when they first came out.

Episode two: Socially Assistive Robots
At the University of Southern California, Professor Maja Mataric creates robots that care. From autistic children to stroke survivors, these assistive robot machines act as a companion and coach to young and old. Eighteen year-old Saliha from Bangladesh talks to Professor Maja Mataric about why she is convinced technology can be a force for good.

  • Co-produced by BBC World Service and BBC Rewind
  • Produced by Tamsin Barber

World Questions: Lisbon

In January 2020 World Questions comes to Lisbon to discuss the issues that matter to Portuguese people - among them healthcare, education, tourism, trade and the environment.

Chairing the debate at the CCB Cultural Centre in Lisbon, the BBC’s Manuela Saragosa will be joined by a panel of leading politicians and opinion formers who will be debating questions from the audience.

BBC World Questions is a series of international events created in partnership with the British Council.

  • Produced by Helen Towner for BBC World Service

Sunday 19 January



The Michael Ball Show… Mel Giedroyc sits in

Mel Giedroyc sits in for Michael Ball, playing great music and featuring listener’s Sunday Boasts. As well as working in radio, Mel is a television presenter, comedian and actress.

With Sue Perkins, she has co-hosted series including Light Lunch for Channel 4, The Great British Bake Off for the BBC and chat show Mel and Sue for ITV.

  • Deputy presenter: Mel Giedroyc
  • Producer: Ste Softley for Listen

Paul O'Grady... Alan Carr and Melanie Sykes sit in

Alan and Mel sit in for Paul O’Grady for the second of five programmes.

With this week’s Carr-Nections, a classic film theme as they Ride The Movies, and the featured artist is Barbara Streisand. Plus they read as many listener messages and dedications as they can fit into two hours.

  • Deputy presenters: Alan Carr and Melanie Sykes
  • Producer: Malcolm Prince for the BBC

Top Brass 2

Brass virtuoso James Morrison showcases the very best brass music around, including Pop covers from the Youngblood Brass Band and Oompah Brass, Big Band from Gordon Goodwin and Maynard Ferguson, brilliantly original music from the Spike Orchestra and the Brass Funkeys, the trumpets of Louis Armstrong and Derek Watkins (plus the Bass Trumpet of Cy Touff) and the trombones of Elliot Mason, and Dennis Rollins with the Hackney Colliery Band.

Plus a brilliant arrangement of the brass favourite Danny Boy by the Texan band Imperial Brass. Don’t miss the brassiest show on the airwaves - Top Brass!

  • Presenter: James Morrison
  • Producers: Graham Pass and Patrick Johns for Ping Productions Ltd

Don Black

Multi award-winning lyricist Don Black celebrates the iconic songwriters of the twentieth century, their songs and the artists who performed them.

Tonight he pays tribute to Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee and Jimmy Durante. Also on the show the new challenge, Who’s This…? plus this week's And They Also Wrote... is Carolyn Leigh and Dorothy Fields. There’s also a weekly nod to the fabulous voice of Matt Monro.

The show is packed full of personal anecdotes and entertaining stories as Don recalls meeting and working with many of the greatest writers and entertainers in the business.

  • Presenter: Don Black
  • Producer: Jodie Keane for the BBC



Freeness: Ideas of Noise

Corey Mwamba looks ahead to Birmingham’s Ideas Of Noise festival which champions sound art, noise and adventurous improvisation.

This year’s line-up includes the premiere of Oli Brice’s new group with saxophonist Paul Dunmall, and New York drummer Tom Rainey’s trio with Mary Halvorson and Ingrid Laubrock. Plus, pianist Daniel Bernardes brings Messiaen’s compositional processes to the 21st century via his piano trio and percussion ensemble, on his latest album Liturgy of the Birds.

  • Producer: Rebecca Gaskell
  • A Reduced Listening Production for BBC Radio 3.

Private Passions: William Sieghart

William Sieghart, the founder of the Forward Prizes for poetry and National Poetry Day, talks to Michael Berkeley about the music and poetry he loves.

Over the last twenty-five years National Poetry Day has become a popular fixture in the cultural calendar, and it was William’s idea to have permanent poems engraved at the Olympic Park in East London. He’s also the creator of the hugely successful Poetry Pharmacy.

At festivals and events, William sits in a tent and people bring him their dilemmas, problems and sadnesses - and he ‘prescribes’ them a poem to console, comfort or encourage. The Poetry Pharmacy has spread to BBC Radio 4, television and hugely successful poetry anthologies, described by Stephen Fry as ‘a matchless compound of hug, tonic and kiss’.

William chooses music by Schubert and by Mendelssohn that reminds him of his father, who fled Vienna just before the Second World War.

  • Producer: Jane Greenwood

Radio 3 In Concert - Beethoven Unleashed - The 1808 Concert

On the 22 December 1808, Beethoven held a monumental concert in Vienna, which lasted four hours and included the public premieres of both his 5th and 6th symphonies.

The concert has been described as the most remarkable of Beethoven's career, and now, as part of a year of celebrations around the 250th anniversary of Beethoven's birth, this concert is being recreated by the BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales and the Orchestra of the Welsh National Opera.

2pm Part One
Beethoven: Symphony No 6 in F major, Op 68 (Pastoral)
Beethoven: Ah! perfido, Op 65
Beethoven: Gloria (Mass in C major, Op 86)
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No 4 in G major, Op 58

6pm Interval
In an extended Beethoven-themed interval live from St. David's Hall, there will be a special Listening Service, a live Beethoven-esque piano duel between pianists David Rees-Williams and Zoe Rahman, a talk on the relationship between Beethoven and wine by expert Ron Merlino, and insight into the 1808 concert with Vienna expert David Wyn Jones.

7.30pm Part Two
Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op 67
Beethoven: Sanctus (Mass in C major, Op 86)
Beethoven: Piano Fantasia in G minor, Op 77
Beethoven: Choral Fantasy, Op 80

Alwyn Mellor (soprano)
Steven Osborne (piano)
Orchestra of the Welsh National Opera
BBC National Chorus of Wales
Carlo Rizzi (conductor)

Llyr Williams (piano)
BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales
Jaime Martin (conductor)

Part of Beethoven Unleashed, a pan-BBC season marking the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth in 2020.

Sunday Feature: The Emergency - Creative Freedom In Wartime Dublin

Regan Hutchins tells the story of how dancers, spies, writers and artists brought a welcome burst of creativity to neutral Dublin during World War II.

At the beginning of the Second World War in 1939 the Irish leader Eamon De Valera vowed that Ireland would play no part in the conflict. Instead he declared a state of Emergency.

Neutrality had serious political consequences for Ireland, but in Dublin the city saw a brief burst of creativity, as writers, artists, dancers and thinkers sought refuge from the war. There were art openings, poetry readings, dance performances, recitals and underground house parties. Restaurants were filled across the city and hotels held daily dances and jazz nights. The story of 1940s Dublin is more complex, however. There was great poverty, fuel shortages, travel restrictions and a constant threat of invasion.

Writers such as Seán Ó’Faoláin, who felt a strong intellectual connection to Europe, agonised over the decision to remain neutral. In this programme, Regan Hutchins hears how this confusion and creativity fed into the life of the city to bring about a new, welcome energy.



Oliver: Lagos To London

Charles Dickens’ novel Oliver Twist is a powerful indictment of child poverty and exploitation, as resonant now as when it was written. A young orphan’s epic search for family and home lies at the heart of award-winning writer Ayeesha Menon’s radical updating of Dickens’ story to modern day Nigeria, and the refugee journey to Britain.

It's a classic story reimagined as a powerful and moving drama for today.

The first episode begins in Ogoniland, rural Nigeria. Ten year-old Oli plays with best friend Mene. Innocent games against a background of fear because, the next day, the oil company is coming to take their land. When the villagers fight back many of them are killed, leaving Oli and Mene as orphans who only have each other.

They have to find work to survive - and it’s hard labour at a mining camp run by ruthless Tinube. Ambitious documentary maker Jann persuades Oli to take him down the mine to film, but Tinube is furious and locks Oli away. When Oli is released, he discovers Mene has been sold and taken away, and he is left truly alone.

Oli’s journey to find his best friend leads him to Lagos, where a chance meeting with streetwise Dodger and his gang sparks a series of events that none of them can outrun.

Oli ….. Jordan Nash
Young Mene …… Maryam Drammeh
Agnes ….. Bisola Elizabeth Alabi
Saro ….. Charles Venn
Tinubu ….. Danny Sapani
Pastor Solomon ….. Cyril Nri
Mene ….. Tamara Lawrance
Miss Saffron Hill ….. Jocelyn Jee Esien
Jann ….. Alexander Campbell
Kwame ….. Alfie Nash
Mrs Solomon ….. Jumoke Fashola
Noah ….. Samuel Adebayo
Dodger ….. Nifemi Bankole
Bet ….. Nina Cassells

The children in the mine are played by Ethan Langley, Isaiah Adeyeye, Marvellous Aigbedion and Saria Joye.

Adapted by Ayeesha Menon
Producer: Gill Parry
Director: Michael Buffong

Music by Tunde Jegede
Sound design by David Thomas and Steve Bond
Development concept written by Silas Parry
Sound Interns: Makee Ogbon and Kairon Edwards
Production Interns: Samantha Mandaza and Jayesh Fernando
Production Manager: Sarah Tombling
Executive Producer: John Scott Dryden

  • A CONNECTfilm production for BBC Radio 4



Radiolab: Apologetical

Radiolab - the acclaimed American public radio show and podcast - continues its sixth series of selected episodes, hand-picked by its makers for BBC Radio 4 Extra.

How do you fix a word that’s broken? A word we need when we bump into someone on the street, or break someone’s heart. In our increasingly disconnected secular world, “sorry” has been stretched and twisted, and in some cases weaponised. But it’s also one of the only ways we have to piece together a sense of shared values and beliefs. Through today's sea of sorry-not-sorrys, empty apologies and just straight-up non-apologies, we wonder what making amends looks like.

  • Presenter: Annie McEwen
  • Producers: Annie McEwen and Simon Adler

New to BBC Radio 4 Extra

First broadcast in America in December 2018
Newly acquired from WNYC by BBC Radio 4 Extra

Jeffrey Bernard Is Unwell

BBC Radio 4 Extra marks the third anniversary of John Hurt’s passing.

John Hurt stars as Jeffrey Bernard, the colourful columnist for The Spectator, who died in 1997. In the drama, the plain-speaking drinker, gambler, wit and raconteur describes the creeping demise of his beloved Soho.

Writer Keith Waterhouse's biographical play is a recreation of a time in London when the likes of Dylan Thomas, Francis Bacon, Lucien Freud, and Elizabeth Smart lived alongside characters such as ‘No Knickers’ Joyce and ‘Sid the Swimmer’, as described in Jeffrey Bernard’s regular Low Life column in The Spectator.

Jeffrey Bernard Is Unwell is set very early in the morning at the Coach And Horses pub on Greek Street in Soho, where the writer spent most of his days when not 'at the races'. The legendary pub served as his office.

In the play, Jeffrey has passed-out in the Gents, slept through closing time and woken to find himself alone in the pub with the door locked. Fueled by free vodka, he spends the night re-visiting incidents in Soho’s past and present, his childhood, gambling, women, racing and drink.

With frequent, very strong language.

Alongside John Hurt in the lead role, the cast includes Nichola McAuliffe (Tomorrow Never Dies), Jeff Rawle (The Durrells), Amelia Bullmore (Scott & Bailey) and former BBC Radio 4 News Quiz chair, Miles Jupp.

  • Recorded on location in Gerry's Club in Dean Street Soho
  • Producer: Celia de Wolff

New to BBC Radio 4 Extra.

A Pier production for BBC Radio 4 first heard in 2015.



The Leisure Society

Gemma Cairney chats to actor and director Kathy Burke, at her house in North London, about her passion for TV and how she spends her leisure time. From her first love of the early TV series I, Claudius to Big Brother and The Wire, Kathy discusses the TV shows that she loves as well as the ones she avoids.

Kathy will also be discussing some of the songs that have shaped her life, how seeing Lady Gaga reignited her interest in music, and her work in the theatre with Frantic Assembly for a forthcoming project, I Think We Are Alone - a major new play by Sally Abbott which she is co-directing with Scott Graham.

  • Presenter: Gemma Cairney
  • Producer: Jax Coombes for the BBC

Cillian Murphy

In the second of three shows with Cillian Murphy this month, he invites listeners to share his passion for music by taking them on an outing through his collection.

Well known for his role as Tommy Shelby in the Bafta Award-winning drama Peaky Blinders - which will transfer to BBC One for its fifth season - the Irish actor is also celebrated for his roles in the films Dunkirk, Inception, The Dark Knight Trilogy, Breakfast On Pluto and 28 Days Later.

  • Presenter: Cillian Murphy
  • Producer: Angela Davies for the BBC



Heart And Soul: Temples Of Discord - Church Building In Putin’s Russia

The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, just down river from the Kremlin, is a rebuilt structure and a beacon for the resurgent Russian Orthodox Church. Patriarch Kirill recently boasted that three new churches are built somewhere in Russia every day. Last year, there were 25 new churches in Moscow alone.

The Patriarch argues the country needs new churches to replace the ones destroyed under Communism. In the Soviet era, Lenin compared religion to venereal disease. Churches and monasteries were pulled down or turned into meat storage units, public toilets and museums of atheism.

Now the Patriarch says the increased concentration of churches will give Russians the opportunity to “feel closer to God, lead happier lives and tackle the difficult circumstances of the modern world.”

Yet the church building programme has sparked mass protests across the whole country. Most recently thousands demonstrated against a new church on a park square in Yekaterinburg.

The city in the Urals is not alone. Over the past five years there have been rows over new churches in 28 cities in 25 regions of Russia. For example plans to construct a church in Moscow’s Torfyanka Park in 2015 led to violence between local residents, Orthodox activists and the riot police.

Many Russians, especially the younger generation, feel that the Church and the State are too close for comfort.

Lucy Ash visits Yekaterinburg to tell the story of the church protest there and to explore what this conflict tells us about the Orthodox clergy, the state and a new generation of Russia’s faithful.

  • Produced by Tatyana Movshevich for the BBC World Service.

50 More Things That Made The Modern Economy: Wardian Case

Robert Fortune was among the most intrepid plant hunters of the nineteenth century. Braving pirates and thieves, he travelled around China collecting specimens for the Horticultural Society of London - and later stole Chinese tea plants for the East India Company.

Fortune’s exploits were made possible by the Wardian Case. This portable mini-greenhouse, invented by an East London doctor called Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward, greatly increased the survival rate of plants on long sea journeys - and, as Tim Harford reveals, it reshaped global agriculture, politics and trade too.

  • Produced by Ben Crighton for the BBC World Service.

Monday 20 January



Ken Bruce

Eddie and Brian Holland, the legendary songwriters, pick the Tracks Of My Years with songs from Smokey Robinson And The Miracles and The Supremes.

Working alongside Lamont Dozier they were known as the iconic song writing trio Holland-Dozier-Holland. In their new book called, Come And Get These Memories, they tell the stories behind their phenomenal success.

Raised in Detroit by their grandmother and single mother, the brothers tell their stories of growing up before shining a light on their early music careers. Eddie was a gifted lyricist and solo singer managed by Berry Gordy before he partnered with Brian and Lamont Dozier, themselves both talented arrangers and producers. Once they had become one of the creative driving forces behind Motown, a Holland–Dozier–Holland writing credit was a near certain guarantee of chart success.

As a songwriting and production team, they were responsible for many of the greatest songs of the 20th century. Between them, they helped transform Motown from a local soul label into a worldwide hit factory that became home to such superstars as Marvin Gaye, Martha & The Vandellas, The Supremes, Smokey Robinson, The Miracles, The Four Tops, The Isley Brothers and many more.

Plus, Ken's got another round of the legendary PopMaster music quiz and listener’s dedications with today's love song. There's also the record and album of the week.

  • Presenter: Ken Bruce
  • Producer: Ricky Marshall for the BBC



Orwell In Five Words

In the last few years, George Orwell’s writing and thinking have come to seem ever timelier. But they are also much misrepresented. As BBC Radio 4 marks the 70th anniversary of his early death, BBC documentary-maker Phil Tinline takes five words that resonate through Orwell’s work, and tests out what light they can shed on our problems today.

In the late 1930s, Orwell worried that bourgeois democracy was just fascism’s more civilised twin. But within a couple of years, his position had swung round to champion democracy as the radical enemy of totalitarianism.

Today, many worry that democracy is in its greatest crisis since the 1930s. Phil asks a leading historian of totalitarianism, Timothy Snyder, if Orwell’s dramatic switch can help us work out how to tackle it.

Series contributors include: Nick Cohen, David Dwan, Maurice Glasman, Joanna Kavenna, Robert Jay Lifton, Dorian Lynskey, Ferdinand Mount, Jean Seaton, Timothy Snyder

  • Presenter/ Producer: Phil Tinline for BBC Radio 4

A Small Town Murder

This is the 14th and last series of Scott Cherry's A Small Town Murder.

After many years service as a Family Liaison Officer Jackie (Meera Syal) is retiring. But she has ongoing cases - and they are not so happy about her leaving.


Jackie ..... Meera Syal
Peter ..... Matthew Marsh
Dee ..... Ayesha Antoine
Gary ..... Michael Higgs
Lorraine ..... Abigail Cruttenden
Karen ..... Nicola Stuart Hill
Hadley ..... Sarah Lambie
Ryan ..... Phil Yarrow
Steve ..... Scott Cherry
Dave ..... Alec Newman

Other parts played by the cast.

  • Written By Scott Cherry
  • Producer and director: Clive Brill
  • A Brill Production for BBC Radio 4

The People’s Pyramid

The KLF aka The Jams aka The Timelords aka The K Foundation aka K2 Plant Hire aka The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu aka... it's complicated.

Whatever name or weird mythology they happened to be operating under at the time, Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty managed to top the UK pop charts in the early 90s with songs about love and ice-cream vans - often with plastic horns strapped to their heads.

Then they turned their backs on the music industry, deleted their entire back catalogue, and cremated £1 million of their own earnings on a remote Scottish island.

Scroll forward 23 years and Drummond and Cauty re-emerged to announce they're building a pyramid in Liverpool with bricks containing the cremated remains of just under 35,000 people.

As more bricks are added to The People's Pyramid at the 2019 Toxteth Day of the Dead, Conor Garrett tries to work out what's going on...

  • Producer: Conor Garrett for BBC Radio 4



TED Radio Hour: Attention Please

BBC Radio 4 Extra continues its series of specially-selected episodes of the TED Radio Hour.

Hosted by NPR’s Guy Raz, the programme combines original studio conversations and soundscapes to take listeners on a journey through ideas that weave in-and-out of TED Talks.

This week in Attention Please, TED speakers Zeynep Tufekci, Manoush Zomorodi, Amishi Jha, Tristan Harris and Jaron Lanier explore the battle for our awareness during the digital age. With a constant flow of information and infinite distractions, how can we pay more attention to our attention?

In coming weeks the series will feature Hidden Potential, The Comfort Zone and Inspire to Action.

  • The radio series is produced by in the USA by TED and National Public Radio (NPR).

New to BBC Radio 4 Extra.

First heard in May 2018.



Marc Riley

Marc Riley is joined by Jeffrey Lewis of The Voltage who released their new album, Bad Wiring, in November 2019.

The other members of The Voltage are bassist Mem Pahl and drummer Brent Cole (also of the Moldy Peaches). Some listeners may recognise the names as the same as in Jeffrey's other band, Los Bolt. This is Jeffrey continuing his tradition of using a new band name for each new album release. His middle name is Lightning, hence the theme running through his band name choices - The Rain being another one.

The album was recorded and produced in Nashville by Roger Moutenot, who is responsible for producing all of the classic Yo La Tengo albums.

New Yorker Jeffery is also a comic writer and illustrator who has penned a comic book on The Fall - Marc Riley's old band.

  • Presenter: Marc Riley
  • Producer: Michelle Choudhry for the BBC



The Conversation: Looking For Love On Reality TV?

On TV dating shows the idea is for romance to blossom between contestants, but fame and fortune often follow too. Kim Chakanetsa brings together two women who’ve dated in front of millions, and asks what they got out of it.

Montana Rose Brown is one of the breakout stars of the British TV show Love Island. She took part in 2017 and became popular for her no-nonsense attitude and quick-witted banter. Despite coming fifth in the dating competition, since leaving the villa she has amassed an impressive social media following, and started her own swimwear company. Montana has been honest about the pressures that instant fame can bring, and the toll it took on her mental health.

Rey Letsooa became a household name in South Africa after appearing on the popular show Date My Family. Although she didn’t ultimately get together with her chosen bachelor, her show trended on social media for three days and viewers seemed to connect with her confidence and authenticity. Rey says: "I knew I would get judged on my weight but I didn’t let it stop me. I may be a size whatever but I know that what I am is more than that."

  • Produced by Sarah Crawley for the BBC World Service

Tuesday 21 January



Free Thinking - Pioneering Women At Universities

Shahidha Bari looks at the careers of classicist Jane Harrison and LSE's Eileen Power, talking to biographer Francesca Wade.

Francesca Wade has written a new book called Square Haunting, which traces the experiences of five women who lived in Bloomsbury's Mecklenburgh Square: Virginia Woolf, Dorothy L Sayers, HD, Eileen Power and Jane Harrison.

  • Producer: Karl Bos



The Touch Test

What impact does touch have on our lives? Claudia Hammond reveals the many aspects of touch and investigates what we still don’t know about this sensory experience.

  • Producer: Geraldine Fitzgerald for BBC Radio 4



Fantastic Journeys

H.G. Wells kicks-off a series of four of the very best classic and contemporary sci-fi and fantasy tales featuring flights of fancy, time travel, magical transporters and alternate realities.

H.G. Wells is credited as being the first to popularise in fiction the concept of time travel. In The Door In The Wall, Lionel Wallace discovers an unlocked door in a Kensington back street, shortly after his mother dies. He walks into a beautiful garden with tame wild animals, children of his own age to play with and a mysterious woman who reads him a bedtime story. He falls asleep and wakes to find himself outside in the street again. When he returns the next day the door isn't there. However, it mysteriously reappears at important stages of his life. Read by Anton Lesser.

Fifty Cents by James P. Blaylock and Tim Powers - both mentored by Philip K. Dick - is an ingenious story involving murder and time travel in the Arizona desert. Read by Nathan Osgood.

Kelly Link’s The Faery Handbag is the story of Zofia Swink who claims to be over 200 years old. She comes from a village which takes refuge in a magical handbag when real life becomes too dangerous. Read by Maggie Blake.

If At First by Peter F. Hamilton describes how a multi-millionaire businessman, Marcus Orthew, always manages to stay one step ahead of the game, knowing about technological devices before they've been invented. Read by Sam Dale.

  • Series abridged and produced by Gemma Jenkins.

Made for, and first heard, on BBC Radio 4 Extra in 2009.



Lauren Laverne

From 10am this morning Lauren will be joined by co-host Mary Ann Hobbs to announce the line-up of the 6 Music Festival 2020.

This year the festival will take place from Friday 6 to Sunday 8 March in Camden, London, where many of 6 Music’s much loved presenters will be broadcasting their shows live, as the station takes over some of the area’s most iconic venues for the weekend. Highlights will also be shown on BBC Four and BBC iPlayer.

There will be events in the day as well as at night, including live performances, spoken word, poetry, Q&A sessions and DJ sets.

  • Presenter: Lauren Laverne
  • Producer: Mark Higgins for the BBC

Steve Lamacq

To celebrate today’s 6 Music Festival line-up announcement, Steve Lamacq has guests in session.

Since it first launched in 2014, the 6 Music Festival has taken place all over the UK - in Manchester, Tyneside, Bristol, Glasgow and Liverpool - and has seen performances from artists such as Anna Calvi, Depeche Mode, Goldfrapp, Hot Chip, Kate Tempest, Little Simz, Primal Scream and slowthai.

  • Presenter: Steve Lamacq
  • Producer: Paul Sheehan for the BBC



In The Studio: Bert And Bertie

There are very few female film directors in Hollywood, but directing duo Bert and Bertie, otherwise known as Katie Ellwood (Bertie) and Amber Finlayson (Bert), are forging a name for themselves.

Aleks Krotoski joins Bert and Bertie as they direct their latest film, Troop Zero, which stars McKenna Grace, and Oscar winners Allison Janney and Viola Davis. The film is set in rural 1977 Georgia, where a misfit girl dreams of life in outer space. When a competition offers her a chance to be recorded on NASA's Golden Record, she recruits a makeshift troop of Birdie Scouts, forming friendships that last a lifetime.

To get a real insight into the Hollywood system and the role of directors in the making of a film, Aleks joins the Berts on location in Louisiana as they shoot the film and in the studio during the edit. However there is a twist - not only are the directors both women with young children, but the writers, producers and the majority of the production crew are also women - something unheard of in Hollywood. Aleks discovers that Bert and Bertie are proactively trying to change women’s opportunities in the industry through their ability to hire film crew.

Other contributors to the programme include co-writer Lucy Alibar, producer Kate Churchill and production designer Laura Fox.

  • Presented by Alesk Krotoski
  • Produced by Kate Bissell for the BBC World Service

The Documentary: My Father The Killer

“Did you actually kill hundreds of people, Dad?” This is certainly not a question that many people feel the need to ask their parents. But for a group of young women in Argentina, it was one they could no longer ignore.

Their fathers have been accused, held under trial and in some cases sentenced for some of the worst crimes in Argentina’s history: they are all members of the military and police forces who, during the country’s last and brutal dictatorship, kidnapped, tortured and killed thousands of people over a period of seven years.

These women have lived in silence for decades, but now they have come together to fight and rebuild their own identities beyond their surnames. They want to speak up about their fathers’ actions and demand justice against them. They want to talk about the very uncomfortable role they as daughters had to play - discovering dirty family secrets, confronting their once loved ones, and trying to be “something else rather than just misfits”.

Analia is the daughter of Doctor K, condemned for hundreds of kidnappings, torture and other human rights abuses. Paula’s father was a secret intelligence office said to be behind home raids in which political dissidents were taken to clandestine prisons and later 'disappeared'. Together with a dozen others, they are now part of ‘Disobedient Stories’, a newly-formed group of 'elatives of perpetrators of genocide'.

The BBC’s Valeria Perasso meets these women to ask why they have decided to bravely show public support for human rights causes and take the side of their fathers’ victims, and to find out about their relationship with 'the killer in the family'.

  • Produced by Valeria Perasso for BBC World Service

People Fixing The World: Fighting Depression Together

In Uganda, people with depression often don’t realise they have a mental health problem that can be treated. So women are coming together to work out who in their communities needs help, and offering them a way to get the care they need.

There aren’t enough mental health professionals to treat everyone who needs it, so volunteers are running group therapy sessions with remarkable results.

People Fixing the World visits StrongMinds in Bwaise slum in Kampala, to meet women whose lives have changed dramatically.

  • Produced by Reha Kansara for BBC World Service

Wednesday 22 January



Radio 3 In Concert

Recorded at St Paul's Church, Knightsbridge, London, Peter Phillips conducts the BBC Singers in a programme of English polyphony from the late Tudor and Renaissance periods.

The founder and director of The Tallis Scholars, Peter Phillips returns to conduct the BBC Singers in a programme celebrating late Tudor and Renaissance English Polyphony.

Centring around three composers, the BBC Singers perform the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis from William Byrd’s aptly-named Great Service, alongside his motet in homage of Queen Elizabeth I, O Lord, Make Thy Servant Elizabeth.

Also featured are works by Thomas Weelkes and Orlando Gibbons, including one of his most famous madrigals, The Silver Swan.

Thomas Weelkes: Alleluia, I Heard A Voice
William Byrd: The Great Service: Magnificat
Orlando Gibbons: Hosanna To The Son Of David
Thomas Weelkes: Hark, All Ye Lovely Saints Above
William Byrd: Tristitia et anxietas; Sed tu, Domine
Orlando Gibbons: O Clap Your Hands
William Byrd: Prevent Us, O Lord
Thomas Weelkes: O How Amiable Are Thy dwellings
Orlando Gibbons: The Silver Swan
William Byrd: The Great Service: Nunc Dimittis
Thomas Weelkes: O Lord, Arise
William Byrd: O Lord, Make Thy Servant Elizabeth

BBC Singers
Peter Phillips - conductor

  • Producer: Jonathan Manners



Conversations From A Long Marriage

Joanna Lumley and Roger Allam play a couple who have been married ‘for ever’. Children of the Sixties, they’re still free spirits, drawn together by their passion for music and each other.

Their warm and witty conversations dance around everyday chores and appointments as well as dealing with problems within long-held friendships, and tackling their own frustrations with each other. But underlying it all is their enduring love for each other and their desire to keep the passion alive.

This week they’re invited to a party with old friends, but return home with a burning question: why didn’t you ask me to dance?

Written for Joanna Lumley and Roger Allam by award-winning comedy writer and journalist Jan Etherington, who’s been married to Gavin Petrie for 35 years, with whom she created many hit radio and TV series (Second Thoughts, Next Of Kin, Faith In The Future, The Change).

Conversations From A Long Marriage is her first solo narrative comedy series.

  • Producer: Claire Jones
  • A BBC Studios production for BBC Radio 4

Thinking Allowed

Laurie Taylor explores the control of national borders.

He talks to Nira Yuval-Davis, Director of the research centre on Migration, Refugees And Belonging at the University of East London, and co-author of a new book which asks why borders have moved from the margins into the centre of political life and takes us from Calais to Mumbai.

They’re joined by Jeremy Slack, Assistant Professor of Geography at the University of Texas, who charts the way in which Mexican deportees from the United States become the targets of extreme drug-related violence upon their return to Mexico.

  • Producer: Jayne Egerton for BBC Radio 4



Hamlet Undressed

In September 2014, the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester staged a gender-switch version of Shakespeare's Hamlet with Maxine Peake taking on the lead role. The production reunited Maxine with Artistic Director and long-time friend, Sarah Frankcom.

This programme went behind the scenes to document Maxine's journey towards playing the part of the Danish prince. From research meetings to vocal sessions, from sword fight training to character preparation, it charts Maxine’s meticulous preparation.

We'll hear how the director Sarah Frankcom, the designer Amanda Stoodley and other creatives went about putting a unique stamp on the play, the text of which was created for Michael Grandage’s 2009 production of Hamlet starring Jude Law.

  • Producer: Elizabeth Foster

First heard on BBC Radio 4 in 2014.

New to BBC Radio 4 Extra.



The Compass: Chinese Dreams

Episode five: India. India and China have a complex and troubled modern history - including a fully-fledged war in 1962. Today Indian consumers seem to love all things Chinese, from cheap plastic toys to smartphones and apps like Tik Tok, which are incredibly popular and are democratising fame.

Some Indians think this success is a result of unfair trade. They think that Chinese imports are taking advantage of the relatively open Indian economy, while Indian companies are prevented from get a foothold in China. This creates a huge trade imbalance between the two Asian giants.

These flames are fanned by Indian perceptions of Chinese support for both Pakistan and Kashimiri ‘separatists’. An affiliate of the governing BJP party has called on consumers to boycott Chinese goods. And India has refused to sign a regional economic trade agreement to prevent China using it as a backdoor to the Indian market.

Shabnam Grewal, a British BBC journalist of Indian descent, investigates the complex feelings that Indians have towards their increasingly rich and powerful neighbour - a combination of admiration, envy and even anger.

  • Produced by Shabnam Grewal for the BBC World Service

Thursday 23 January



The Listening Service - Getting To Grips With Beethoven

Beethoven: deaf for most of his life, unbearable egotist, flagrant opportunist and musical anarchist whose music reaches the heights of ecstasy. Where do you start with this bundle of contradictions, probably the most admired composer in Western music, whose works have unfailingly filled concert halls for over 200 years?

Tom Service goes in search of what makes Beethoven Beethoven, and suggests a few key pieces to help unlock the man and his music.

Part of Beethoven Unleashed, a pan-BBC season marking the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth in 2020.

  • Producer: David Papp



The Dad Who Fell To Earth

Ronald Pickup stars in Toby Hadoke’s comedy drama.

Manchester comedy stalwart Toby Hadoke has a long association with sci-fi, with various Doctor Who projects and appearances in the Australian time-travel radio series Night Terrace. Toby wrote and stars as Tom in The Dad Who Fell To Earth.

Tom had been struggling to come to terms with his dad’s sudden death, before he found out that he was secretly an alien from a distant planet. After this shocking revelation, Tom finds his whole world shifting to a new perspective - a perspective that might just include saving the planet from imminent destruction.

Also stars Ronald Pickup (The Crown) as Russel, Cherylee Houston (Little Britain) as Jan, Alexandra Mathie (Coronation Street) as Wendy, Lee Fenwick (Fresh Meat) as Pete/Steve and Zoe Iqbal (Ackley Bridge) as Chelsea.

First heard on Radio 4 in 2015.

  • Producer: Charlotte Riches




The Forum: Erasmus Darwin

Erasmus Darwin had one of the most remarkable minds in 18th century Britain: not only was he a successful physician, a popular poet, a wide-ranging inventor, an ardent abolitionist and a pioneering botanist, he also worked out how organisms evolve, some 70 years before his grandson Charles’s theories revolutionised science.

And Erasmus knew how to live life to the full: he fathered at least 14 children and his love of food meant that his dining table had to have a chunk sawn out of it to accommodate his considerable waistline.

Rajan Datar follows the ups and downs of Darwin’s life with historians Patricia Fara, Maurizio Valsania and Malcolm Dick.

  • Produced by Radek Boschetty for BBC World Service

Friday 24 January



Friday Night Is Music Night

One square mile in London, a world of wonder, thrill, and good times, Soho has always been a centre of entertainment and excitement and a magnet for artists, actors, poets, gourmets, musicians and pleasure seekers.

In this special edition, live from the Cheltenham Jazz Festival, Guy Barker leads the 70-piece BBC Concert Orchestra and the Guy Barker Big Band into the vibrant heart of London’s most famous borough. With special guests Georgie Fame, Tommy Blaize and Vanessa Haynes.

This was first broadcast on BBC Radio 2 in May 2019.

  • Presenter: John Sessions
  • Producer: Anthony Cherry for BBC Radio 2



No Gods No Golf

A new sitcom set in Brighton, starring and written by award-winning comedian Zoe Lyons.

Zoe, a legal aid solicitor, is being stalked by an ex-client she defended on a stalking charge, and ill-advisedly invests in her friend's new swimwear for dogs business.


Zoe Lyons
Terry Alderton
Angela Barnes
Jenny Bede
Michael Fabbri
Selena Griffiths
Jon Pointing
Steve Speirs
Sue Vincent

  • Written by Zoe Lyons
  • Producer: Barry Castagnola
  • A Golden Path production for BBC Radio 4



V.I. Warshawski: Killing Orders

To mark actor Martin Shaw’s 75th birthday, BBC Radio 4 Extra brings you the Chicago-based crime drama in which he co-stars with Kathleen Turner, who plays the hard-nosed heroine V.I. Warshawski in Sara Paretsky's thriller.

As the two women share a mutual hatred, Chicago private eye V.I. Warshawski is not happy to be asked for help by her Aunt Rosa.

Sara Paretsky created one of the most popular female sleuths in modern crime fiction with her first V.I. Warshawski novel, Indemnity Only. Her heroine is a strong female character in a male-dominated world. V.I. is comfortable packing heat and trailing nasty suspects, but she never loses touch with her basic femininity.

With Martin Shaw (Inspector George Gently) as Roger Ferrant, Eileen Way (Inspector Morse) as Rosa, Avril Clark (Silent Witness) as Gabriella, William Hootkins (Absolute Power) as Albert, Don Fellows (The Last Days Of Patton) as Father Carroll, Colin Stinton (The Crown) as Father Pelly and Peter Penry-Jones (Bombshell) as Father Jablonski.

Kathleen Turner also starred in the same role in the 1991 film VI Warshawski.

Dramatised by Michelene Wandor.

First heard on BBC Radio 4 in 1991.

  • Director: Janet Whitaker




Lauren Laverne

Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe of Pet Shop Boys join Lauren on the day they release their new album, Hotspot.

Pet Shop Boys are the most successful duo in UK music history. Since 1985, they have achieved 42 top 30 singles in the UK - including four number ones - and they have released 13 top ten studio albums. In 2000 they received the Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music and at the 2009 Brit Awards won the Outstanding Contribution to Music award. As writers, producers and remixers, Tennant and Lowe have collaborated, remixed or written for artists including Dusty Springfield, Lady Gaga, Liza Minnelli, Madonna, David Bowie, Yoko Ono, The Killers and Girls Aloud.

Also during today’s show, tickets will go on sale for the 6 Music Festival 2020 at 10am. Since it began in 2014, the 6 Music Festival has taken place all over the UK - in Manchester, Tyneside, Bristol, Glasgow and Liverpool - and has seen performances from artists such as Anna Calvi, Depeche Mode, Goldfrapp, Hot Chip, Kate Tempest, Little Simz, Primal Scream and slowthai.

Plus listeners get a chance to get a tune played on the radio if they’re First In; Lauren hand-picks something incredible from around the 6 Music schedule in Fantastic Beats & Where To Find Them; and she will be playing something brand new in While You Were Sleeping.

  • Presenter: Lauren Laverne
  • Producer: Mark Higgins for the BBC

Mary Anne Hobbs

Listeners can kick-start their weekend with a special guest mix on today’s showm as each week Mary Anne invites favourite DJs and producers to take charge of the BBC Radio 6 Music decks.

Previous alumni of the guest mix include Jeff Mills. Maya Jane Coles, LTJ Bukem, Roisin Murphy, Mala, Mike Skinner, Daniel Avery and many more.

  • Presenter: Mary Anne Hobbs
  • Producer: Helen Hobday for the BBC



CrowdScience: Could We Survive An Extinction Event?

Super-sized volcanic eruptions and giant asteroids crashing in from outer space are the stuff of disaster movies. They have listener Santosh from South Africa slightly concerned. He’d like to know what’s being done in real life to prepare for this kind of event.

Although the chance of these events occurring is low, Santosh isn’t entirely wrong to be worried: Earth has a much longer history than humans do, and there’s evidence that several past extinction events millions of years ago wiped out the dominant species on the planet at the time, as we’ve heard before on CrowdScience.

The kind of extraordinary geological and extra-terrestrial hazards thought to be responsible for the death of millions of lives make pandemics and tsunamis look relatively manageable - and they still exist. So is there really any way that humans could survive where the dinosaurs - and plenty of other species - have failed?

Presenter Marnie Chesterton (pictured) meets experts who are already preparing for the remote but real possibility of the biggest disaster we could face. It turns out that in real life most things we can think of which could cause an extinction event are being watched closely by scientists and governmental agencies. How worried we should really be by the possibility of a sudden super-volcanic eruption at Yellowstone in the USA, or one of the other enormous volcanoes dotting our planet’s surface? Could underground bunkers or escaping via spacecraft be survival options?

And she hears about one of the combined space agencies' most ambitious projects yet: NASA and ESA’s Asteroid Impact And Deflection Assessment mission to crash an impactor into an asteroid’s moon to find out whether we could knock any potentially problematic collisions off-course, well before Earth impact.

  • Produced by Jennifer Whyntie for BBC World Service

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