Radio

The shocking story of Charles and Mary Lamb: Slightly Foxed podcast reviewed

7 November 2020 9:00 am

The Slightly Foxed podcast, like the quarterly and old bookshop of the same name, is almost muskily lovely. It’s the…

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…