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Bridget Christie; Midori Goto; Midwife shortages

Comedian Bridget Christie, violinist Midori Goto, the impact of midwife shortages, and Virginia Woolf's 'Lappin and Lapinova'. Jenni Murray presents the female perspective.

Bridget Christie talks about receiving the Foster's Comedy Award for best show at the Edinburgh Festival. She becomes only the third female solo comedian in the award's 33-year history.

There will be a shortage of midwives in England for at least another decade according to the Royal College of Midwives, who estimate a shortfall of 5,000 trained staff. So how will this affect government policy and patient care?

Violinist Midori Goto on her music, her teaching and her role as a UN peace Ambassador.

Harper's Bazaar magazine last printed Virginia Woolf's short story 'Lappin and Lapinova' more than 80 years ago, so why are they re-printing it now?

Author Katherine Quarmby on the impact the Dale Farm eviction had on travelling communities. We also talk to Candy Sheridan, an Irish traveller and campaigner and Janie Codona, an English Romani Gypsy.

Available now

45 minutes


  • Midwife Shortage

    The Royal College of Midwives on how to tackle the shortage

    Duration: 07:25

  • Virginia Woolf and the Short Story

    The art of the short story

    Duration: 10:24

  • Bridget Christie

    The winner of this year's Edinburgh Festival Comedy Award on making feminism funny

    Duration: 06:38

  • Women in the traveller community

    The real lives of women in gypsy/traveller community

    Duration: 08:57

  • Violinist Midori

    Midori gives a spine tingling performance of the Prelude to Bach’s Partita nos 3

    Duration: 09:43

Midwife Shortage

According to the Royal College of Midwives, there will not be enough midwives in England for at least another decade. It estimates there is a current shortfall of 5000. The Department of Health says it has taken action to ensure that 5,000 are being trained but in April, Nick Clegg admitted that some NHS trusts are too short of money to take on extra midwives. The picture in Wales is no better and although there are currently enough midwives in Scotland and Northern Ireland, midwifery is an ageing profession. So how concerned should we be about the number of midwives in this country? Are pregnant women and babies in danger and what should be done to improve our midwifery services? Denise Linay is from the Royal College of Midwives.

Virginia Woolf and the Short Story

The latest issue of Harper’s Bazaar magazine re-prints a story by Virginia Woolf which they first published in 1939. ‘Lappin and Lapinova’ explores how a newly married young couple use pet names for one another to bolster their marriage, and what happens when their fantasy world begins to disintegrate. Justine Picardie, the editor of Harper’s Bazaar, and short story writer, Helen Simpson discuss. 

Helen Simpson’s latest collection of short stores is  ‘A Bunch of Fives’ published by Vintage

The complete collection of Virginia Woolf’s shorter fiction is ‘A Haunted House’ also published by Vintage

Bridget Christie

Bridget Christie has beaten off 6 others to be given the Foster’s Comedy Award for best show at the Edinburgh Festival. She becomes only the third female solo comedian in the award’s 33-year history to take the highly sought-after gong, following Laura Solon who won in 2005 and Jenny Éclair, the first in 1995. Bridget discusses her show, A Bic for Her, and whether this year is a turning point for female comedians.

Women living in the traveller community

In 2011 dozens of Irish traveller families were evicted from Dale Farm in Essex following a fierce battle with the local council. Two years on writer Katherine Quarmby has written about the impact that this eviction and others have had on traveller and gypsy communities. Katherine joins Jenni in the studio with Candy Sheridan, an Irish traveller and campaigner and Janie Codona, a English Romani Gypsy.


Violinist Midori Goto made her international debut with the New York Philharmonic at the tender age of 11. She played the big first movement of Paganini’s Violin Concerto No. 1 and charmed the audience. Now Midori is not only a renowned soloist, but also a teacher, a UN peace Ambassador, and founder of several music non-profit organisations for under-priviledged children.
Midori Goto will perform Prom 63 at the Royal Albert Hall on Thursday 29th August

And you can listen live to this prom at 7.30 pm on BBC Radio3


Role Contributor
Presenter Jenni Murray
Interviewed Guest Bridget Christie
Interviewed Guest Midori Goto
Interviewed Guest Denise Linay
Interviewed Guest Katharine Quarmby
Interviewed Guest Candy Sheridan
Interviewed Guest Janie Codona
Interviewed Guest Justine Picardie
Interviewed Guest Helen Simpson
Producer Shoku Amirani
Editor Karen Dalziel


  • Wed 28 Aug 2013 10:00

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