The American writer James Ellroy is perhaps best known for his LA Quartet books, which include LA Confidential and The Black Dahlia. He discusses his new novel Blood's a Rover, a fusion of fact and fiction, set in the political turbulence of America in the late 1960s.

The journalist Jon Ronson stumbled across the existence of something called the First Earth Battalion, an attempt by the US government to harness paranormal abilities for military use, which he described in his non-fiction book The Men Who Stare at Goats. The book has now been turned into a film, starring George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Kevin Spacey and Jeff Bridges. Mark Eccleston assesses this cinematic version of a virtually unknown chapter in American military history.

Be the Orchestra is the brainchild of the Philharmonia Orchestra's conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen. Mark Lawson visits the interactive installation, featuring Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring, which is set over four storeys of a warehouse on the Thames. It allows people to feel the sensation of being among 106 expert musicians, experience the thrill of being under the baton and take on the role of conductor.

As Birmingham plays the part of London for the shooting of two BBC television productions - the sixth series of conman drama Hustle and the second series of the post-apocalyptic Survivors - location manager Harriet Lawrence discusses the history of location impersonations in the UK, from Beckton gasworks to Panama.

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30 minutes

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Mon 2 Nov 2009 19:15

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