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Decline and Fall; Adrian Mole turns 50; Hollie McNish

As a new TV adaptation is aired, Front Row discusses Evelyn Waugh's Decline and Fall; Adrian Mole at 50 - a look at his poetry; Hollie McNish on her play about women in football.

As Evelyn Waugh's classic first novel Decline and Fall has been made into a new BBC television series starring Jack Whitehall, we speak to its adapter James Wood and literary critic Suzi Feay and discuss how Waugh's distinctive but potentially offensive brand of satire plays for a modern audience.

Sunday 2 April 2017 is the 50th birthday of Adrian Mole, diarist, poet and would be novelist. In 1982 Leicester-born Sue Townsend took the publishing world by storm with her first book, The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4 and became the best-selling author of the 1980s, with follow up volumes until her death in 2014. Adrian's poems are now published together in one volume, Adrian Mole the Collected Poems. Radio 4's Poet in Residence Daljit Nagra reads and discusses them with Stig.

A new touring play Offside focuses on the beautiful game and puts women centre stage. Poet Hollie McNish, who co-wrote the play, joins director Caroline Bryant to discuss their depiction of women, football, race, sexuality, and the politics of the sport across the centuries.

This year Australian artist Patricia Piccinini drew bigger crowds that any contemporary artist worldwide. While the Tate Modern in London remains the most popular modern and contemporary art museum in the world. Facts revealed this week as The Art Newspaper publishes its annual museum and exhibitions visitor surveys. Javier Pes, the papers' editor in chief, talks us through the results.

Presenter: Stig Abell
Producer: Ella-mai Robey.

Available now

30 minutes


  • Decline and Fall

    Duration: 09:13

  • Hollie McNish

    Duration: 07:31

  • Visual Arts Survey results

    Duration: 03:21

  • Adrian Mole turns 50

    Duration: 05:56

Decline and Fall

Decline and Fall

The Decline and Fall three-part series starts on BBC 1 on 31 March 2017 on Fridays at 9.00pm, and is on the BBC iPlayer.


Main image above: Jack Whitehall as Paul Pennyfeather and Eva Longoria as Margot Beste-Chetwyn

Image to the left: the Decline and Fall cast:

Images credit: BBC/Tiger Aspect



Offside, a new play by Sabrian Mahfouz and Hollie McNish, is touring the UK until 29 April 2017, calling at : Edinborough, Havant, Bristol, Canterbury, Doncaster, Southend, Oxford, Manchester, Cambridge and Newcastle.


Image: Stig Abell, Offside director Caroline Bryant (Centre) and co-writer  Hollie McNish (Right)


Visual Arts Survey results

Visual Arts Survey results

According to the Art Newspaper's annual survey, female artists such as Louise  Bourgeois draw big crowds to galleries. 

Image: interior mirrors in Louise Bourgeois's  Unilever Series: I do, I undo, I re-do at the Tate Modern in 2000.


Adrian Mole turns 50

Adrian Mole turns 50

To mark Adrian Mole's 50th birthday,  Radio 4's Poet in Residence Daljit Nagra reads some of the poems of Adrian Mole, written by Sue Townsend

Image: Daljit Nagra

Image credit: Hayley Madden for The Poetry Society


Role Contributor
Interviewed Guest James Wood
Interviewed Guest Suzi Feay
Interviewed Guest Daljit Nagra
Interviewed Guest Hollie McNish
Interviewed Guest Javier Pes
Presenter Stig Abell
Producer Ella-mai Robey




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