Jenny McCartney

Under the Taliban, Afghan light entertainment accrued unusual weight

8 June 2024 9:00 am

For a television talent show, Afghan Star had unusually high stakes. When it first hit Afghanistan’s screens in 2005, four…

A gripping podcast about America’s obsession with guns

11 May 2024 9:00 am

The love affair between so many Americans and their guns – long a source of international fascination – appears to…

I’m ashamed that I used to think ABBA wasn’t cool

13 April 2024 9:00 am

One of the joys of listening to archive BBC interviews with pop stars is the chance to hear long-discarded hipster…

How did the internet become so horrific?

17 February 2024 9:00 am

Plus: the joy of hearing lawyers argue

Joni Mitchell, in her own words

11 November 2023 9:00 am

There’s always been something at once girlish and steely about Joni Mitchell, the stellar Canadian whom Rolling Stone called ‘one…

What happened to the supermodels of the 1990s?

14 October 2023 9:00 am

‘What advice would you give to your younger self?’ has become a popular question in interviews in recent years. It’s…

An ode to the BlackBerry

7 October 2023 9:00 am

I’ll miss my favourite phone

You’ll have a lump in your throat: BBC Radio 4’s Four Sides of Seamus Heaney reviewed

16 September 2023 9:00 am

It’s now been ten years since Seamus Heaney died, and after a great poet’s death it’s natural, I suppose, that…

Gripping tale of Ireland’s most polite bank robber: I’m Not Here To Hurt You reviewed

19 August 2023 9:00 am

There should really be a special word for it: that vicarious fragility you feel when hearing of a minor decision…

The power and the glory that was Belfast

29 July 2023 9:00 am

Before the Troubles hijacked its reputation, the city was renowned for its linen industry and great shipyards, responsible for an eighth of the global shipbuilding trade

The stuff of nightmares: Retrievals podcast reviewed

22 July 2023 9:00 am

It is the stuff of nightmares, or a queasily dystopian film plot. A woman is undergoing a surgical procedure in…

Gripping and admirable: BBC Radio 4’s Fever: The Hunt for Covid’s Origins reviewed

24 June 2023 9:00 am

It’s the whodunnit – or whatdunnit – that has kept scientists, politicians, journalists and armchair sleuths speculating ever since the…

Looking for a male role model? Check out the silverback gorilla

27 May 2023 9:00 am

One so often hears about famous people who are horrible when they think no one important is looking – barking…

How productive is it to listen to productivity gurus?

29 April 2023 9:00 am

I was making my way slowly through one of my dismally prosaic little to-do lists – ‘pay the water bill’…

In praise of From Our Own Correspondent

1 April 2023 9:00 am

Most of us are familiar with the notion of writer’s block, that paralysis of invention induced by the appalling sight…

The war over the womb

12 March 2023 8:00 pm

The womb, that secretive house of early life, is coming under the spotlight. For a long time it was scarcely…

What’s the difference between Shamima Begum and Unity Mitford?

4 March 2023 9:00 am

The debate sparked by Josh Baker’s BBC podcast on Shamima Begum, and her teenage flight to join Isis, has divided…

His dark materials

11 February 2023 9:00 am

Radio works its strongest magic, I always think, when you listen to it in the dark. The most reliable example…

Don’t expect a united Ireland any time soon

10 December 2022 9:00 am

Don’t expect a united Ireland any time soon

There’s a growing sense that tomorrow belongs to Sinn Fein

1 October 2022 9:00 am

There’s a growing sense that tomorrow belongs to Sinn Fein

Richard Needham takes a businesslike attitude to the Troubles

11 December 2021 9:00 am

This memoir from Sir Richard Needham, 6th Earl of Kilmorey, businessman and former Northern Ireland minister, has a frank opening:…

The competitive cult of cosiness

10 April 2021 9:00 am

Can we escape the cult of cosiness?