BBC World Service Soft Power
The British Government has just allocated £289 million to the World Service for the next five years, in a bid to promote UK soft power. But where will this money go, and what does this mean for the BBC's independence? Roger Bolton talks to the Director of the BBC World Service Group Francesca Unsworth.
With the arrival of Advent came a Radio 3 Carol Service, performed by the Choir of St John's College, Cambridge. Some listeners were impressed by the new compositions alongside traditional favourites, but others were put off by some of the more modern works. Should advent be a time for challenging new music or comforting classics? Roger asks the series producer of Radio 3's Choral Evensong, Philip Billson.
Radio 2's Friday Night is Music Night has been broadcasting for over 60 years, offering listeners a weekly programme of popular music performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra and a myriad of stars. But can a programme from the 1950s pull in a wide age-range of listeners and can it justify the expense of a full orchestra? Roger Bolton goes behind the scenes, speaking to Strictly Come Dancing judge and guest presenter Craig Revel Horwood and the production team, to find out what goes into making the world's longest-running live orchestral music programme on radio.
Last week Glenda Jackson returned to acting, after a 23 year absence, playing Dide in the first season of Blood, Sex and Money on Radio 4. The series is a 'mash-up' of 20 of Zola's novels. Many listeners lapped up the drama. Roger Bolton speaks to Commissioning Editor Jeremy Howe about whether you have to follow the text word-for-word to be faithful to the spirit of the author.
Producer: Katherine Godfrey
A WhistledownpProduction for BBC Radio 4.