Radio

A cautionary tale about how democracy can subvert itself: Bunga Bunga reviewed

24 October 2020 9:00 am

Italy has long captivated romantics from rainy, dreary, orderly northern Europe. Goethe, Stendhal, Keats and Shelley all flocked to Italy…

A beautiful radio adaptation: Radio 4’s The Housing Lark reviewed

17 October 2020 9:00 am

Nineteen fifty-six: the Suez crisis, the first Tesco, Jim Laker takes 19 wickets in a match. But also: Trinidadian pianist…

Alan Partridge should replace Jenni Murray on Woman's Hour

10 October 2020 9:00 am

In the week Jenni Murray left Woman’s Hour, I was listening to Alan Partridge on his new podcast, From the…

Tacky and incomprehensible: The Sandman audiobook reviewed

19 September 2020 9:00 am

Listening to the tacky and incomprehensible audio-adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s graphic novel seriesSandman, I couldn’t stop thinking about the 19th-century…

The Archers is a masterclass in how not to write a monologue

12 September 2020 9:00 am

If you’ve been listening to The Archers lately, you’ll know how tedious monologues can be. The BBC has received so…

A podcast about the literary canon that actually deepens your knowledge (sort of)

29 August 2020 9:00 am

While most of life’s pleasures can be shared, reading is lonely. It’s more than possible for six friends to enjoy…

Wholesome, intimate and suspiciously vague: The Michelle Obama Podcast reviewed

22 August 2020 9:00 am

Back in March, I made a long-odds bet that Michelle Obama would be the Democratic party’s vice-presidential nominee. I knew…

Adapting Wodehouse for the radio is a challenge – but the BBC has succeeded brilliantly

23 May 2020 9:00 am

Everyone knows a Lord Emsworth. Mine lives south of the river and wears caterpillars in his hair and wine on…

I've lost patience with podcasts and their presenters

24 April 2020 11:00 pm

‘To be recognised and accepted by a peregrine,’ wrote J.A. Baker in 1967, ‘you must wear the same clothes, travel…

Why do Radio 3 presenters adopt the tone stupid adults use when addressing children?

11 April 2020 9:00 am

Anyone who has listened regularly to Radio 3 over the decades — not to mention the Third Programme, which Radio…

Ill-disciplined and self-indulgent: The Guilty Feminist podcast reviewed

4 April 2020 9:00 am

With theatres shut, radio must lighten the darkness. The Guilty Feminist is a wildly popular podcast performed by Deborah Frances-White…

Why do writers enjoy walking so much?

7 February 2020 10:00 pm

Writers like walking. When people ask us why, we say it’s what writers do. ‘Just popping out to buy a…

The joy of Radio 3’s Building a Library

1 February 2020 9:00 am

So, you’ve fallen in love with a piece of classical music and you want to buy a recording. The problems…

Radio 4's new H.P. Lovecraft adaptation will give you the chills

24 January 2020 10:00 pm

Of all the many things I’ve learned from the radio so far this decade, the most deranging is that the……

How podcasts have transformed radio

21 December 2019 9:00 am

As if on cue, Lemn Sissay’s new series for Radio 4 tackles all those questions we would rather ignore in…

The pleasures and perils of talking about art on the radio

30 November 2019 9:00 am

‘I like not knowing why I like it,’ declared Fiona Shaw, the actress, about Georgia O’Keeffe’s extraordinary blast of colour,…

The Polish electronic music revolution of the 1950s

16 November 2019 9:00 am

It was created in November 1957, a year before the BBC’s fabled Radiophonic Workshop, and was far more influential in…

Why I love a bit of death on a Sunday night

9 November 2019 9:00 am

There’s nothing like a nice bit of death on a Sunday evening. Radio 4 originally transmit their obituary programme Last…

From Brexit to Beethoven: John Humphrys returns to radio

2 November 2019 9:00 am

Some listeners will have had quite a shock first thing on Monday. Turning on at six to Classic FM they…

Ronald Blythe took us back to an age when a tenant could be turfed out of a tied house simply for being 'rude'

Can giving voice to the horrors of the past re-traumatise?

26 October 2019 9:00 am

It is 50 years since Ronald Blythe published Akenfield, his melancholy portrait of a Suffolk village on the cusp of…

Without Joe Grundy The Archers feels lost

19 October 2019 9:00 am

There was something really creepy about listening to the ten-minute countryside podcast released last weekend by Radio 4 supposedly transporting…

Did Radio 2 really need to give us four days of the Beatles to celebrate Abbey Road?

5 October 2019 9:00 am

This Changeling Self, Radio 4’s lead drama this week, clearly ought to have gone out in August. It’s set —…

Radio 4’s The Art of Innovation is a series that — for once — deserves the label ‘landmark’

28 September 2019 9:00 am

Radio 4, how do I love thee? Rather as one loves the flocked wallpaper that came with the house. It…

What’s the point of the Today programme?

21 September 2019 9:00 am

What else is there to write about in the week that John Humphrys, that titan of the BBC airwaves, retires…

General de Gaulle’s advice to the young Queen Elizabeth

14 September 2019 9:00 am

There were so many ear-catching moments in Peter Hennessy’s series for Radio 4, Winds of Change, adapted from his new…