Betty Balfour Profile, James Lovelock, Peter Buwalda
Matthew Sweet discusses silent film star Betty Balfour with BFI curator Byony Dixon and comedian Lucy Porter. Plus Dutch novelist Peter Buwalda and author James Lovelock.
Matthew Sweet presents an edition of Radio 3's arts and ideas programme.
Comedian Lucy Porter and British Film Institute Curator Bryony Dixon reflect on the short-lived stardom of Betty Balfour, whose 1923 film Love, Life and Laughter has just been rediscovered in Holland, after decades in which it was thought lost. Called 'Britain's Mary Pickford' and 'the world's greatest film comedienne', she was a much loved silent film actress in the 1920s, making the popular Squibs series with director George Pearson and Champagne with Alfred Hitchcock, before the coming of sound relegated her to a disappointed retirement in the home counties.
There's also a chance to hear the Life, Love and Laughter Overture, by Haidee de Ranse, played live in studio by pianist Stephen Horne.
Peter Buwalda: Bonita Avenue
The Dutch novelist joins Matthew live in studio to discuss his multi-award-winning fictional debut, about a liberal Dutch academic pushed towards insanity by the discovery that certain vices that he might tolerate in the public sphere have roots close to home.
Bonita Avenue, by Peter Buwalda, is published by Pushkin Press.
Inventor, scientist, and writer James Lovelock has had a profound impact on our understanding of climate change. In the 1960s he invented a device that detected CFCs in the atmosphere, proving beyond doubt for the first time that pollution was global, not local. His Gaia theory, meanwhile, postulated that the earth should be seen as a single self-regulating organism, in which the living and non-living elements interact. In tonight's programme he talks to Matthew about whether humans face the same fate as the dinosaurs.
Unlocking Lovelock: Scientist, Inventor, Maverick, is at the Science Museum in London until next year.
A Rough Ride to the Future, by James Lovelock, is out now, published by Allen Lane.
Producer: Laura Thomas.
Lucy Porter and Bryony Dixon reflect on the short-lived stardom of Betty Balfour.
Peter Buwalda talks about his debut novel Bonita Avenue.
Interview with inventor, scientist, and writer James Lovelock.
Unlocking Lovelock: Scientist, Inventor, Maverick, is at the Science Museum in London from 9 April 2014 to 9 April 2015.
A Rough Ride to the Future by James Lovelock is available in hardback and e-book now.
From the Free Thinking archive
Landmark: Charlie Chaplin's City Lights
Lucy Porter, Paul McGann, Kevin Brownlow and David Robinson join Matthew Sweet on stage at the Watershed during Bristol's Slapstick Festival to discuss Chaplin's film City Lights.
Role Contributor Presenter Matthew Sweet Interviewed Guest Bryony Dixon Interviewed Guest Lucy Porter Musician Stephen Horne Interviewed Guest Peter Buwalda Interviewed Guest James Lovelock Producer Laura Thomas