Radio

Boldly and brilliantly unoriginal: Kermode and Mayo’s Take reviewed

21 May 2022 9:00 am

Last April Fools’ Day, Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo wound up their award-winning film review show on BBC Radio 5…

Changing channels: the new war for political broadcasting

21 May 2022 9:00 am

The television will be revolutionised

Enjoyably plummy and male: Battleground – The Falklands War podcast reviewed

14 May 2022 9:00 am

The Battlegroundpodcast on the wars of the 20th century, said presenter Saul David happily, ‘will have lots of bombs and…

Don’t read Ulysses; listen to it

9 April 2022 9:00 am

Don’t read James Joyce’s Ulysses, says John Phipps. Listen to it

Why we drink

26 March 2022 9:00 am

‘I like to have a martini,/ Two at the very most./ After three I’m under the table,/ After four I’m…

New Marr is very much the same as the old Marr: LBC's Tonight With Andrew Marr reviewed

12 March 2022 9:00 am

Andrew Marr got his voice back this week. That may come as a bit of a surprise to everybody who’s…

If you like First Dates, you'll love This is Dating

26 February 2022 9:00 am

The tagline of This is Dating, a new podcast from across the pond, is ‘Come for the cringe, stay for…

Disappointingly conventional and linear: BBC radio's modernism season reviewed

29 January 2022 9:00 am

This week marks the beginning of modernism season on BBC Radio 3 and 4, which means it’s time for some…

Radio 4's Moominland Midwinter restores Moomintroll's innocence

18 December 2021 9:00 am

Moomins do not like winter. In one of Tove Jansson’s stories, Moomin’s Winter Follies, young Moomintroll bumps his head when…

It's amazing how little insight Paul McCartney has into the Beatles' genius

27 November 2021 9:00 am

The Paul people are out in force these days. A New Yorker profile, a book and a new documentary have…

The astonishing stories behind today’s culture wars: Radio 4’s Things Fell Apart reviewed

20 November 2021 9:00 am

Martin McNamara, the writer of Mosley Must Fall, a play on Radio 4 this week, must have had a jolt…

The Sunday Feature is one of the most consistently interesting things on Radio 3

9 October 2021 9:00 am

The story is likely apocryphal — and so disgraceful I almost hesitate to tell it — but it goes like…

Contains moments of spellbinding banality: Radio 4's The Poet Laureate has Gone to his Shed reviewed

21 August 2021 9:00 am

The interview podcast is a genre immoderately drawn to gimmicks, as the logical space of possible formats is gradually exhausted.…

Why do I find sketch shows – even the better ones – so embarrassing and charmless?

14 August 2021 9:00 am

On sketch shows, the wisdom once was that you needed a punchline. That is, a slightly hammy, summative sign-off to…

Floods you with fascinating facts: Trees A Crowd reviewed

31 July 2021 9:00 am

Listening to Trees A Crowd, a podcast exploring the ‘56(ish) native trees of the British Isles’, solved one of childhood’s…

A breath of fresh airwaves

19 June 2021 9:00 am

A couple of decades back the Radio Society asked me to moderate a debate for its summer festival. ‘Between who?’…

The joy of Radio 4 Extra

5 June 2021 9:00 am

The best thing on the radio last week was, without question, Kind Hearts and Coronets. You may have missed it…

Insane and fascinating: BBC World Service's Lazarus Heist reviewed

22 May 2021 9:00 am

The narrative podcast remains a form in search of a genre. The template set by the hit show Serial —…

Seldom less than gripping: Banged Up podcast reviewed

8 May 2021 9:00 am

Prison-based podcast Banged Up, now in its second series, is far more uplifting — and less soapy — than its…

Refreshingly unfettered: LRB Podcast's Close Readings on Patricia Highsmith

10 April 2021 9:00 am

I’d forgotten what a rich and deep and characterful voice John le Carré had. Listening to author and lawyer Philippe…

Why In Our Time remains the best thing on radio

20 March 2021 9:00 am

In Our Time is the best thing on Radio 4, possibly the best thing on the radio full stop. It…

Claudia Winkleman’s new Radio 2 show gets off to a brainless start

6 March 2021 9:00 am

Last Saturday on Radio 2 Claudia Winkleman was inaugurated as the host of what was formerly Graham Norton’s mid-morning spot.…

The funniest current affairs show since Brass Eye: Into the Grey Zone reviewed

20 February 2021 9:00 am

It was something a friend said to me about The Revenant, Leonardo diCaprio’s bloody-minded and brutal Oscar vehicle: ‘The problem…

The music we need right now: James MacMillan’s Christmas Oratorio reviewed

6 February 2021 9:00 am

The two most depressing words in contemporary classical music? That’s easy: holy minimalism. I know, I know. Lots of people…

Enjoyably tasteless: Power – The Maxwells reviewed

6 February 2021 9:00 am

This year marks three decades since Robert Maxwell fell naked to his death from the deck of his yacht, The…