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December 11 2013


A Point of View - Will Self: It's Always the Others Who Die

Will Self reflects that our modern, secular society has silenced the voices of the dead. As a result, he thinks we fail to directly sympathise with what they have left behind.

December 07 2013


Zadie Smith on Desert Island Discs

First published at just twenty four her debut novel "White Teeth" garnered huge attention and praise. As a result she suffered the unnerving experience of doing her literary growing up in public. Yet in spite of the scrutiny she blossomed. In the 13 years since, her novels, essays and short stories have brought numerous literary prizes and critical praise. Born to a Jamaican mother and a British father she was brought up in Willesden, North London where many of her characters live. She began writing at the age of 5 and was a voracious reader - devouring the greats of literature. Now she divides her time between Willesden and New York where she teaches creative writing. She describes herself as "an English novelist enslaved to an ancient tradition" and yet her chosen areas of exploration could not be more of the moment. She says, "I'm really interested in what memory feels like ... we only have snapshots of the past ..." she continues to declare that writing isn't about "being experimental, it's about finding something true."

December 06 2013


Poetry, Texas | Broadcast History for 2012 | Falling Tree Productions

An hour east of Dallas, you'll find the small town of Poetry, Texas. Pejk ventures out to uncover the poetry of Poetry.Repeated 6th May 2013, BBC Radio 4 http://www.fallingtree.co.uk/broadcast_history/2012/poetry_texas

December 04 2013


Hardtalk: Jocelyn Bell Burnell

Stephen Sackur talks to the astrophysicist Jocelyn Bell Burnell about being a scientist in a man's world and tells him why she has learned to live with missing out on a Nobel Prize. http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/ht/all

Hardtalk: Alan Moore

Alan Moore is the graphic novelist behind the ghostly, bearded mask worn by computer hackers and Occupy protestors the world over. He has, in the past, championed graphic novels - book-length comics - for their effect on politics and culture. Tim Franks asks him why, in that case, is he now becoming disillusioned? http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/ht/all

Bookclub: Andrew Miller

Andrew Miller discusses his Costa prize winning novel Pure with James Naughtie. Set in pre-revolutionary Paris, the book is a gripping, earthy story about the clearing of a huge cemetery in the area now known as Les Halles. http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/bc/all

Victoria Derbyshire's Interviews of the Week: The "Dark Web" explained

Everything you ever wanted to know about the "dark web". The head of Europol's cybercrime centre, Troels Oerting, on its dangers and the inventor of the 3D printed gun, Cody Wilson, on why it's "a beautiful flower of human activity". http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/victoriad

Mastertapes: Billy Bragg (the B-Side)

Following the A-Side of Mastertapes with Billy Bragg, where Billy discussed the making of his self-proclaimed 'difficult' third album 'Talking With The Taxman About Poetry' comes the B-Side. In this edition Billy Bragg responds to questions from the audience at Maida Vale Studios with more exclusive perfomances and revealing insights. He considers the state of protest songs today, reveals what music he is writing at the moment and explains what poetry he would discuss with today's taxman. And he plays excerpts from the album live in front of the audience. http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/mastertapes/all

Mastertapes: Billy Bragg (the A-Side)

'Talking With The Taxman About Poetry' - Billy Bragg talks to John Wilson about how the self-proclaimed 'difficult' third album was written and created with a guitar he bought when he was out shopping for swimming trunks... he explains how a film about the James Brothers helped him write "There's Power In A Union'... and describes how Andy Kershaw's inability to shut up led him to writing 'Levi Stubbs' Tears'. And he plays excerpts from the album live in front of the audience. http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/mastertapes/all

The Life Scientific: Wendy Hall

Professor Dame Wendy Hall, one of the pioneers of the world wide web and "hypermedia", talks to Jim Al Khalili about a life spent at the forefront of Web Science. http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/tls

The Infinite Monkey Cage: Risk

The Infinite Monkey Cage takes a witty, irreverent and unashamedly rational look at the science of risk. With Brian Cox, Robin Ince and guests Graeme Garden David Spiegelhalter and Sue Ion. http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/timc

November 26 2013


‘Doctor Who,’ Neil Gaiman And The Triumph Of ‘Intellect Over Brawn’

This morning, the amazing Neil Gaiman joined us in the studio to talk about the new prequel to his “Sandman” series and his incredible career as a writer.
 Nicole — a listener from Attleboro, Mass. and a fan of Gaiman’s work — made note of one accomplishment in particular: his stint as a writer on the long running British sci-fi series “Doctor Who,” which celebrated its fiftieth anniversary this past Saturday. Nichole called in, still recovering from the emotional anniversary special that featured not one, but three doctors (well, four if you count a cameo by the fourth incarnation of the Doctor, Tom Baker, now almost eighty,) including fan favorite, David Tennant.
Gaiman’s contribution to the long-running series started with the award winning episode “The Doctor’s Wife,” which aired back in 2011 and featured the current (at least for one more Christmas special!) incarnation of the Doctor, played by Matt Smith. For those who have not had the pleasure of seeing it —  the episode gives a voice to one of the stars of the show, who for almost half a century remained voiceless — the Doctor’s beloved time machine, the TARDIS (or, “Time and Relative Dimension in Space.”)
 The TARDIS’s claim to fame — besides being a magical, blue police box that can travel through time —  is that it is “bigger on the inside.” When Gaiman finally gave her the chance to speak, the TARDIS quite poetically wanted to know if the same could be said for people, an insight that tugged fans’ heart strings, and resonated with our listener Nichole.
Gaiman, a lifelong Whovian (the affectionate moniker for fans of the show), remembered discovering the show back in his kindergarten days, when his peers turned milk bottles into Daleks (which as he kindly explained to host Tom Ashbrook as, “These little robots that look like pepper pot shaped, hatey, metal death machines, with eye stalks and toilet plungers as weapons.”)
“I would go to my grandparents and watch episodes of ‘Doctor Who,’ and I would watch them from behind the sofa so that the things couldn’t get out at me,” Gaiman said.
And like many in the century since the show’s introduction, Gaiman fell in love with the odd man traveling through space and time in a little blue box: “The joy of ‘Doctor Who,’ was that it was always about intellect over brawn. Nothing was ever solved in ‘Doctor Who’ by somebody being bigger or stronger than somebody else, it was always about being smarter… That was what hooked me. I loved it.”
“Getting to write episodes of doctor who, was my dream job.” Gaiman admitted. (It’s a sentiment shared by fellow life long ‘Doctor Who’ fan, actor Peter Capaldi, who will step into the role on Christmas Day as the twelfth incarnation of the Doctor.)
Happy Fiftieth Anniversary, Doctor Who!
- Emily Alfin Johnson

November 25 2013


BBC Radio 4 Doc. on the Riot Grrrl movement

November 23 2013


BBC - Podcasts and Downloads - History Hour

From World War II to the Arab Spring, history as told by the people who were there. Presented by Max Pearson. The... http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/history

November 22 2013


John Lloyd on Little Atoms

John Lloyd has had one of those careers that's difficult to summarize. As a radio producer he devised The News Quiz, Quote… Unquote and To the Manor Born before moving to television to start Not the Nine O'Clock News, Spitting Image, and Blackadder. He was the original choice to host Have I got News For You. After a long break from television working mainly in advertising he returned in 2003 to create QI, now in its 11 th series. More recently he can be heard as the host of Radio 4's Museum of Curiosity, and could be seen doing his first ever stand-up show at this year's Edinburgh Festival. He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2011 New Year Honours for services to broadcasting. Also in this week's show, in the first of a new regular slot, comedy writer Helen Zaltzman tell us about something, or in this case someone close to her heart. This was the 300th episode of Little Atoms. First broadcast on 9th November 2013. http://www.littleatoms.com/johnlloyd.htm

November 18 2013


BBC - Podcasts and Downloads - Daily Bacon

The best interviews and chat from Richard Bacon's afternoon programme on BBC Radio 5 live. Featuring a broad variety of... http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/dailybacon

November 17 2013


BBC - Podcasts and Downloads - Outriders

Outriders is BBC Radio 5 live's programme dedicated to exploring the frontiers of the web. It is broadcast on Tuesdays... http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/pods

November 13 2013


Architect Daniel Libeskind on Desert Island Discs

November 12 2013


Mike Scott & Steve Wickham of The Waterboys (A side)

John Wilson interviews leading musicians about the creation of an album they feel is one of their most significant of their career. John Wilson talks to Mike Scott and Steve Wickham about "Fisherman's Blues", the 4th Waterboys album. http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/mastertapes

Mike Scott & Steve Wickham of The Waterboys (B side)

John Wilson interviews leading musicians about the creation of an album they feel is one of their most significant of their career. John Wilson talks to Mike Scott & Steve Wickham about the 1988 Waterboys album, "Fisheman's Blues". Programme 2 (B-side) and now it's the turn of the audience to ask the questions. http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/mastertapes
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