Radio

Martin Freeman as Gus and Danny Dyer as Ben in Harold Pinter’s The Dumb Waiter

Danny Dyer is not so much an actor as a fairground attraction: Pinter Seven reviewed

16 February 2019 9:00 am

The Dumb Waiter is a one-act play from 1957 that retains an extraordinary hold over the minds of theatre-goers. It’s…

Two members of the Glasgow Humane Society on the River Clyde. Photo: Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images

The story of the River Clyde

16 February 2019 9:00 am

It sounds like something out of Dickens or a novel by Thackeray, a classic case of high-minded Victorian philanthropy, but…

The man who never cried

9 February 2019 9:00 am

It was odd listening to Jim Al-Khalili being interviewed on Radio 4 on Tuesday morning rather than the other way…

A blast of restorative air: comedian Mark Steel. Photo: In Pictures Ltd./ Corbis/ Getty Images

The attempt to bring back topicality to Ambridge has been far too effective

2 February 2019 9:00 am

It’s becoming clear that the travails afflicting all the major players in The Archers, Radio 4’s flagship drama, are intended…

It will take a few weeks, if not months, to know whether Zoë Ball will become as much of a favourite as Terry Wogan. Photo: BBC / Sarah Jeynes

Zoë Ball has the voice and warmth but not so much the chat

19 January 2019 9:00 am

Whether by accident or design, Zoë Ball took over the coveted early-morning slot on Radio 2 this week just as…

Apollo 8 on its launch pad in December 1968. Photo: AP / REX / Shutterstock

Remembering the 1968 Apollo mission – when the world was reaching to the future rather than drawing in

15 December 2018 9:00 am

Take yourself back to (or try to imagine) Christmas 1968; a year full of disturbances, dashed hopes and extreme violence…

It’s Christmas. You don’t want Götterdämmerung. You want a waltz-operetta

15 December 2018 9:00 am

Grade: A– 1898: two Parisiennes and a housemaid secretly invite each other’s partners to the Paris Opera ball and… c’mon,…

British poet Salena Godden presenter of Mrs Death Misses Death on Radio 4. [Photo: Roberto Ricciuti / Getty Images]

Listening to people talking about death can be strangely consoling

8 December 2018 9:00 am

‘Without death,’ says Salena Godden, ‘life would be a never-ending conveyor belt of sensation.’ For her death is what gives…

The story of the cook who spent 10 years preparing food for those on death row

1 December 2018 9:00 am

You don’t need headphones to appreciate, and catch on to, the unique selling point of radio: its immediacy, its directness,…

Michelle Obama during the 2008 Democrat primaries. Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Is Michelle Obama a secret Archers fan?

24 November 2018 9:00 am

I wonder what Michelle Obama, the former First Lady who remade that role in her own image, would make of…

The Somme battlefield today. Photo: Peter Macdiarmid / Getty Images

Radio 3 had the most simple yet effective way of reflecting on war’s impact

17 November 2018 9:00 am

Amid all the remembrance, Radio 3 came up with a simple yet effective way of reflecting on war’s impact. Threaded…

The Somme battlefield today. Photo: Peter Macdiarmid / Getty Images

Why has BBC Radio been replaced by ‘BBC Sounds’?

3 November 2018 9:00 am

You may have noticed that BBC iPlayer (for radio programmes) has been replaced this week with the new BBC Sounds…

When haddocks flirt, they sound like a motorbike revving up

20 October 2018 9:00 am

Flies buzzing, strange rustling, crunching sounds, and then the most chilling screech you’ll have heard all week. Vultures were feeding…

Radio 4 treats its radio listeners as second-best in favour of those who listen to podcasts

13 October 2018 9:00 am

How very odd of Radio 4 not only to release The Ratline as a podcast before broadcasting it on the…

A week of extraordinarily direct and honest radio on the World Service

6 October 2018 9:00 am

The most inspiring voice on radio this week belongs to Hetty Werkendam, or rather to her 15-year-old self as she…

Ralph Abernathy (seated centre) and C.B. King (seated left) sit on a wagon as 300 protesters march to Atlanta. Photo: Getty/Bettmann

What it was like to be a black lawyer in the deep south in the 60s

8 September 2018 9:00 am

To have been a black lawyer in the deep south of America in the early 1960s would have taken a…

Cariad Lloyd has an excellent mission: to get us talking about death. Photographer. Image: Jonny Birch/Bafta/Rex/Shutterstock

Podcasts still have a long way to go to challenge the best of conventional radio

1 September 2018 9:00 am

Here’s a thought. Matthew Bannister, former Radio 1 controller turned presenter of programmes such as Outlook on the World Service…

The power of Sue MacGregor’s The Reunion

25 August 2018 9:00 am

The return of Sue MacGregor’s long-running Radio 4 series The Reunion (produced by Eve Streeter) is a welcome reminder of…

Another side of John Humphrys

18 August 2018 9:00 am

‘What can you tell me just now,’ asks Audrey Gillan. She’s talking to Tara, who’s been sleeping rough on Fournier…

Radio 4 brings back the dead

4 August 2018 9:00 am

If proof were needed that radio will survive the onslaught of the new (or rather now not-so-new) digital technologies, albeit…

The marketisation of BBC radio is a recipe for creative disaster

21 July 2018 9:00 am

There’s been a lot of fuss and many column inches written about levels of pay at the BBC, as revealed…

The dumbing down of the Reith Lectures

30 June 2018 9:00 am

It’s been a heavyweight week on Radio 4 with the start of the annual series of Reith Lectures and a…

Why is Today losing its audience? Because it doesn’t care about its listeners

9 June 2018 9:00 am

Headlines announcing that Radio 4’s flagship Today programme is losing its audience while Radio 3’s Breakfast has put on numbers…

Joanna Lumley plays Mrs God in BBC Radio 4's new play Michael Frayn's Pocket Playhouse (Credit: ITV/ Rex/ Shutterstock)

Only Radio 4 would allow Ian McKellan and Joanna Lumley to play Mr and Mrs God

2 June 2018 9:00 am

One sphere that podcasts have so far not much penetrated is drama. Audible.co.uk is itching to develop its own brand…

How hospices make you think differently about life

19 May 2018 9:00 am

The timing of the Today programme’s series about hospices could not have been more apt, coming as it did so…