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Ricky Astley and Japanese Gardens

Chris is joined by Ricky Astley who tells us about his new single, album and tour Beautiful Life and we discover the art of Japanese gardens with the RHS' Jon Wheatley.

Chris is joined by Ricky Astley who tells us about his new single, album and tour Beautiful Life and we hear how perspective helped shape the next phase of his career. We discover Ikebana, the art of Japanese gardening with the RHS' Jon Wheatley and find out how we can create similar landscapes in our own back gardens. Chris meets Mark Atkinson the Horse Master who looks after Aidan Turner's horse Seamus in Poldark and finds out exactly why he's shorter than Aiden. Vassos is joined in the Sports Locker by Australian tennis star Lleyton Hewitt and vicar Dave Tomlinson has Tuesday's Pause For Thought.

2 hours, 59 minutes

Music Played

  • Texas

    Black Eyed Boy

    • Hits Zone - The Best Of 97 (Various).
    • Polygram Tv.
  • Simple Minds


    • Walk Between Worlds.
    • BMG Rights Management.
  • Frankie Valli

    Can't Take My Eyes Off You

    • Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons - Ve.
    • Polygram Tv.
    • 19.
  • Eagle‐Eye Cherry

    Save Tonight

    • 1999 Grammy Nominees (Various Artists.
    • Elektra.
  • The Ting Tings

    Shut Up and Let Me Go 

    • (CD Single).
    • Columbia.
    • 8.
  • The Banana Splits

    The Tra La La Song (One Banana, Two Banana)

    • Television's Greatest Hits Vol. 5: In Living Color (Various Artists).
    • TVT Records.
  • Candi Staton

    Young Hearts Run Free

    • Disco Fever (Various Artists).
    • Global Television.
  • Years & Years

    If You're Over Me

    • Palo Santo.
    • Polydor.
  • Pet Shop Boys

    West End Girls

    • Now That's What I Call Music '86.
    • Now.
  • Peter Sarstedt

    Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)?

    • The Ivor Novello Winners.
    • EMI.
  • Beck


    • Colors.
    • Virgin EMI.
  • Scissor Sisters

    Only The Horses

    • (CD Single).
    • Polydor.
    • 1.
  • Gregory Porter

    Liquid Spirit

    • Liquid Spirit.
    • Decca.
    • 001.
  • Prefab Sprout

    The King of Rock 'N' Roll

    • Hits Album 8, Part 2 (Various Artist.
    • Hits Album.
  • George Ezra


    • Staying At Tamara's.
    • Columbia.
  • Rick Astley

    Beautiful Life

    • BMG.
  • Tavares

    Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel

    • 20 Songs Of Love From The 70's (Vario.
    • MFP.
  • Bronski Beat

    Smalltown Boy

    • Pop & Wave Vol. 1 - The Hits Of The 80's (Various Artists).
    • Columbia.
    • 2.
  • Alexander O’Neal


    • Hits Album 7 (Various Artists).
    • Hits.
    • 9.
  • George Michael


    • George Michael - Ladies & Gentlemen.
    • Epic.
  • Albin Lee Meldau

    I Need Your Love

    • (CD Single).
    • Caroline International.
  • Giorgio Moroder & Philip Oakey

    Together In Electric Dreams

    • Our Friends Electric (Various Artists.
    • Telstar.
  • Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

    I Love Rock 'n' Roll

    • Joan Jett - I Love Rock 'n' Roll.
    • Blackheart.
  • AJR & Rivers Cuomo

    Sober Up

    • Black Butter.
  • Louis Armstrong

    We Have All The Time In The World

    • The Best Of James Bond 30th Anniversa.
    • EMI.
  • Avicii

    Wake Me Up

    • Now That's What I Call Music! 86 (Various Artists).
    • Now.
    • 1.

Pause for Thought

Pause for Thought

From Dave Tomlinson, writer and Vicar of St Luke’s Holloway in London:


I’m off to Italy for a week tomorrow, leading a retreat in Umbria –well,

someone’s got to do it! Retreats are sometimes strict and abstemious;

ours is more of a bad Christian retreat with a swimming pool, a drop or

three of wine, lots of lovely Italian food and sooo much fun!


But there’ll be time to be quiet and reflect too. Our theme is ‘Listen to

Your Life’, which may sound a little weird, but actually most of us are

not very good at it – paying attention to what’s going on in the back our

minds, or with our feelings or relationships. Life’s a treadmill so we just

keep running.


I’m told the Victorians had slutteries – shambolic rooms where you

dumped all the stuff you didn’t want to deal with (my wife would say

that’s a description of my office!) Most of us have mental or emotional

slutteries too – parts of our life we choose to hide away even from

ourselves, but which affect our sense of satisfaction with life, and even

our mental health.


If I’m honest, I don’t find it easy to sort out my office – much less to

confront my suppressed emotions and thoughts. Denial is the default

policy. Yet despite the pain or effort involved, once I face them, life

becomes simpler, more pleasing.


Betty was 104 when she died. At her funeral, her granddaughter told

how she was diagnosed with cancer at 60 and thought her life was over.

But she survived and had what she called her second life. She

apparently decided to stop pretending, especially to herself; she would

stop living the life other people wanted her to live and be who she

wanted to be. ‘From that time’, her granddaughter said, ‘Betty never

stopped growing on the inside. She was tiny but became massive as a


Right there, I decided Betty was my spiritual role-model.

For me, it’s not about going on retreat (though try and stop me!); it’s the

readiness to enter that mental and emotional sluttery….be brave enough

to see what’s there, and then do something about it.

Life’s too short not to live all of it!


  • Tue 5 Jun 2018 06:30

Farewell Chris Evans: The best bits from his last shows at Radio 2

Farewell Chris Evans: The best bits from his last shows at Radio 2

After eight years of hosting the Breakfast Show, Chris Evans leaves Radio 2.

500 Words

500 Words

BBC Radio 2's story-writing competition for kids.