Jenny Eclair Is Listless Today
Comedian and writer Jenny Eclair throws away her to-do list. She wants to understand why women write so many lists and what life would be like without them.
Comedian and writer Jenny Eclair throws away her To Do list. She wants to understand why women write so many lists and what life would be like without them.
She discovers there are to-do lists, to-buy lists, to take-back lists, holiday lists and even secret lists of hidden yearnings. Jenny talks to good friend and producer Judith Holder about her own lists. Judith has a small library of books, each with a different list inside. Jenny realises she's on the nursery slopes of lists by comparison.
Going to her local butcher's - listless - Jenny finds out that men who shop there keep their lists on a mobile phone. Not only that, they haven't written the list themselves and, according to the butcher, look wistfully at what they want to buy but don't, because it's not on the list.
Artist Alice Instone made an exhibition of lists called The Pram in the Hall. She wrote to successful women and asked for their lists - and was amazed at how much these women had to do. Alice tells Jenny she was particularly interested in the lists because they're one of the rare things people still hand write.
Jenny also talks to Gena-mour Barrett - who writes articles online made up of lists - about why they are so compelling. According to Gena-mour, you can tell a good list if it is shared and attracts a community of readers. The most successful one she wrote attracted three million readers.
Jenny finally returns to her lists but not without first consulting coach Juliet Landau-Pope about what the perfect list would look like. And she discovers a whole new world of lists just waiting to be completed.
A Pennine production for BBC Radio 4.