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Episode 2 of 2

Humphrey Carpenter investigates how the Third Programme captured the intellectual high ground with talks by people such as Isaiah Berlin and Bertrand Russell.

In 1996 Humphrey Carpenter presented this history of the Third Programme and Radio 3, talking to all the surviving founders of the network, which was launched in September 1946.

Humphrey himself died in 2005, and many of the contributors are no longer with us. In this, the second programme of the series, Humphrey examines how the Third aimed to capture the intellectual high-ground with talks by the likes of Isaiah Berlin and Bertrand Russell.

Henry Reed offered a lighter touch, with his plays about the imaginary experimental composer Hilda Tablet, and the Third broadcast one of the most famous radio programmes ever, Under Milk Wood, as well as pioneering dramas by Samuel Beckett.

In 1957, cuts to the Third provoked a high-profile protest campaign, with T S Eliot among the leading names voicing their disapproval. Meanwhile, the arrival of William Glock as BBC Controller of Music brought more contemporary European compositions to the network, leading to rumours that some British composers were officially excluded.

Producer John Goudie.

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45 minutes

Last on

Sun 25 Sep 2016 23:45

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