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30 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
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Sir Ben Kingsley champions the life of holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel as his great life.

Actor Sir Ben Kingsley chooses the holocaust survivor, author and Nobel laureate, Elie Wiesel. With Matthew Parris. From 2016.

Actor Sir Ben Kingsley tells Matthew Parris why he regards Elie Wiesel as his great life. A writer, a Nobel laureate, a holocaust survivor, Elie Wiesel had to endure the worst horrors of mankind and survive the darkest of crimes. In the Holocaust he lost his mother, his father and his youngest sister. He once said: “To forget the dead would be to akin to killing them again a second time”.

Sir Ben Kingsley regards Wiesel as was one the great voices of the holocaust and says he should never be forgotten and this was a promise he made to Wiesel.

To help tell the story of Elie Wiesel the expert witness is Robert Eaglestone, Professor of Contemporary Literature and Thought and an expert in Holocaust Literature at Royal Holloway, University of London.

The producer is Perminder Khatkar.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2016.

Credits

Presenter
Matthew Parris
Interviewed Guest
Ben Kingsley
Interviewed Guest
Robert Eaglestone
Producer
Perminder Khatkar
28 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

Josie Long presents short documentaries about what happens after darkness falls.

Josie Long presents stories about after darkness falls, from nocturnal journeys to a late-night turf fire tale. From 2019.

Josie Long presents short documentaries and adventures in sound about what happens after darkness falls. From Mark Thomas's childhood nocturnal journeys to a late-night story told in the glow of a turf fire.

The Little Nuneen

Featuring Gerald O'Brien

Produced by Regan Hutchins

Escape

Featuring Mark Thomas

Produced by Sarah Cuddon

The Poem Explains Nothing

Featuring Peter Beverley

Produced by Peilin Li

Production team: Andrea Rangecroft and Alia Cassam

Series Producer: Eleanor McDowall

A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4, first broadcast in June 2019.

30 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

People reflect on the emotional impact of the country-pop crossover track.

People reflect on the emotional impact of the country-pop crossover track, sung most notably by Glen Campbell. From August 2011.

Wichita Lineman, the ultimate country/pop crossover track, is the subject of this week's Soul Music.

David Crary is a lineman from Oklahoma. He describes his job - storm-chasing to mend fallen power-lines; travelling on 'dirt roads, gravel roads, paved roads... up in the farmlands of Illinois and Missouri... down south in the Swamplands... it ain't nothing to swerve in the middle of the road in your bucket-truck to miss an alligator '.

He recalls the first time he heard Wichita Lineman, travelling in the back of his family's Station Wagon, listening to the radio... thinking that being a lineman 'must be a cool job' if someone's written a song about it. Also a part-time musician, David has recorded his own version of the song which sums up his working life... on the road, working long hours, away from his wife and six kids.

Wichita Lineman was written by Jimmy Webb for the Country star Glen Campbell. It tells the story of a lonely lineman in the American midwest, travelling vast distances to mend power and telephone lines.

Released in 1968 it's an enduring classic, crossing the boundary between pop and country. It's been covered many times, but it's Glen Campbell's version which remains the best loved and most played.

Johnny Cash also recorded an extraordinary and very raw version. Peter Lewry, a lifelong Cash fan, describes how this recording came about, towards the end of Cash's career.

Meggean Ward's father was a lineman in Rhode Island... her memories of seeing him in green work trousers, a plaid shirt and black boots, wrapping his cracked hands in bandages every morning before setting off to climb telephone poles are interwoven forever with Wichita Lineman... as a child she always felt the song was written for her father, who else?

Glen Campbell also gave an interview for this programme. Shortly after the interview was recorded, Campbell went public about his diagnosis of Alzheimer's. His contribution to the programme is brief, and includes an acoustic performance of the song. It was a real privilege to record this, appropriately enough, down the line.

Producer: Karen Gregor.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2011.

30 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
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Lucy Porter, the comedian and writer, champions Cary Grant as her Great Life

4 Extra Debut. Comedian Lucy Porter chooses an actor and Hollywood icon born in Bristol, Cary Grant. With Matthew Parris. From 2016.

The comedian and writer Lucy Porter champions Cary Grant as her Great Life finding that, despite his troubled relationships with women off screen, his on screen charm and generosity towards his female co stars redeems him. Lucy joins Matthew Parris along with Grant's biographer, Geoffrey Wansell, to discuss the troubled screen icon's humble beginnings in Bristol and following him to the glamour and wealth of Los Angeles.

Producer: Maggie Ayre

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2016.

Credits

Presenter
Matthew Parris
Interviewed Guest
Lucy Porter
Interviewed Guest
Geoffrey Wansell
Producer
Maggie Ayre
57 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

Broadcaster Esther Rantzen meets her younger self via the BBC Archives.

Broadcaster Esther Rantzen meets her younger self via the BBC Archives and shares her reactions with John Wilson. From July 2013.

From "That's Life" to ChildLine and beyond, broadcaster Esther Rantzen examines her younger self in the BBC Sound archives and discusses her reaction with John Wilson.

Esther Rantzen became a fixture on people's televisions as the face of "That's Life", the consumer journalism television programme which ran for over 20 years. But she began her career in the BBC doing spot effects for drama productions and gained gradual on-screen exposure on "Braden's Week" and "Nationwide". She made several landmark films examining stillbirth and dying and her campaigns for victims of child abuse led to the formation of ChildLine.

Among the clips that she hears from the archives are an early written sketch from "That Was the Week That Was", one of her first reports from "Nationwide", the very first edition of "That's Life" and an extract from a little-known encounter with the sculptor Fiore de Henriquez who made a sculpture of the head of Esther and her new baby Emily.

Esther also discusses her relationship with her late husband Desmond Wilcox, the formation of ChildLine and her decision to stand as an independent MP.

Producer: Emma Kingsley.

28 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
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Josie Long presents short documentaries and sonic adventures on reflections and doubles.

Josie Long presents stories about reflections and doubles, from a double act to wrestling with an unsettling shadow. From 2019.

Josie Long gazes into a mirror as she presents short documentaries and sonic adventures on reflections and doubles.

A woman wrestles with an unsettling shadow, the double act Split Britches explore life as partners and performers and a work of sound art offers advice on becoming more becoming...

Becoming More Becoming

Originally made for the Third Coast International Audio Festival ShortDocs competition

Produced by Sarah Boothroyd

Split Britches

Feat. Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver

Produced by Alia Cassam

The Detonator

Originally made for CBC's Love Me

Produced by Sarah Geis, Mira Burt-Wintonick, Cristal Duhaime and 'Kate'

Sound by Mira Burt-Wintonick

Series Producer: Eleanor McDowall.

A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4, first broadcast in June 2019.

13 minutes Available for 9 months First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

There is an open-water swimming race around Enniskillen’s Castle Island.

There is an open-water swimming race around Enniskillen’s Castle Island, a jet-skiing French chef, and the RSPBNI monitor the nesting sites of endangered curlews.

There is an open-water swimming race around Enniskillen’s Castle Island, a jet-skiing French chef, the RSPBNI monitor the nesting sites of endangered curlews and nature writer Dara McAnulty shares his passion for the natural world.

30 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

Robbie Robertson, Al Kooper and Greil Marcus reflect on Bob Dylan's iconic song.

Robbie Robertson, Al Kooper and Greil Marcus reflect on Bob Dylan's song that challenged and changed lives. From July 2004.

Robbie Robertson, Al Kooper and Greil Marcus reflect on Bob Dylan's song that challenged and changed lives.

Contributors:

Bebe Miller

Robbie Robertson

Paula Radice

Al Kooper

Greil Marcus

CP Lee

Michael Gray

Bill McGarvey

Producer: Lindsay Leonard

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in July 2004.

28 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
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Josie Long presents short documentaries and adventures in sound about record keepers.

The tattered book worth risking everything for and chronicling history one voice message at a time - Josie Long presents short documentaries about record keepers.

The tattered book worth risking everything for, the man who can't forget and chronicling history one voice message at a time. Josie Long presents short documentaries and adventures in sound about record keepers.

Memories

Featuring Bob Petrella

Produced by Andrea Rangecroft

Messages from Manus Island

Featuring Behrouz Boochani

Produced by Femi Oriogun-Williams

The Exercise Book

Featuring Jeremiah

Produced by Andrea Rangecroft

Production Team: Eleanor McDowall and Alia Cassam

Produced by Andrea Rangecroft

A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4

30 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

Cyrus Todiwala picks Dadabhai Naoroji who in 1892 became Britain's first Asian MP.

Chef Cyrus Todiwala chooses Dadabhai Naoroji who in 1892 became Britain's first Asian MP. With Matthew Parris. From 2016.

Chef Cyrus Todiwala chooses Dadabhai Naoroji, the 'Grand Old Man of India' who in 1892 became Britain's first Asian MP for Finsbury Central. He later returned to India and petitioned for the country to be self-governing. Ghandi, who was Dadabhai's mentee, would later refer to him as the Father of the Nation. Matthew Parris presents and Zerbanoo Gifford is the expert.

Producer: Toby Field

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2016.

Credits

Presenter
Matthew Parris
Interviewed Guest
Cyrus Todiwala
Interviewed Guest
Zerbanoo Gifford
Producer
Toby Field
42 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

Kirsty Wark reunites the team behind London’s bid for the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.

Kirsty Wark reunites the team behind London’s successful bid for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games held in London in 2012 are widely regarded as one of the most successful of modern times. They regenerated a largely wasteland area in East London and inspired a generation into sport.

On the track, Team GB’s sporting performance was the best this country had produced at an Olympics since 1908, and there was an equal emphasis on the Paralympics too, with over 4,000 athletes from 164 countries competing in front of packed crowds.

However, the initial resistance and negative reception to the bid when it began in 2003, was a world away from the euphoria and patriotism that London 2012 would inspire. By the time London had decided to bid, the UK hadn’t tried to host the Olympics for a decade. There had been three previous failed British bids, by Birmingham and Manchester, and many years of cynicism by those who felt that hosting an Olympics was nothing more than an elaborate and expensive exercise in national ego boosting.

Encompassing resignations, a TV investigation that nearly scuttled the team’s hopes, and a dramatic final push involving Prime Ministers and global superstars, the story of the bid for London 2012 contains almost as much drama as the Games themselves.

Kirsty Wark is joined by core members of the bid team:

Barbara Cassani was the first Chair of the bid and Sir Keith Mills was its Chief Executive.

Jonathan Edwards and Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson sat on the Athletes Advisory Board.

Richard Caborn was the Minister for Sport and Sir Craig Reedie was a member of the International Olympic Committee

Lord Sebastian Coe became Bid Chair in its second stage.

Producer: Steve Hankey

Presenter: Kirsty Wark

Series Producer: David Prest

A Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4

57 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

Private Eye editor and satirist Ian Hislop meets his younger self in the BBC archives.

Ian Hislop, satirist and editor of Private Eye magazine, meets his younger self in the sound archives in conversations with John Wilson.

Ian Hislop, satirist and Editor of "Private Eye" magazine, meets his younger self in the sound archives in conversation with John Wilson

Ian Hislop has been called the most sued man in Britain, keeping lawyers busy with a steady stream of writs from those whose public and private failings have been exposed in the pages of Private Eye. He became the magazine’s youngest editor at the age of just 26 in 1986, and 35 years later is still in charge. He's also become well-known through his appearances as a team captain on the comedy quiz show "Have I Got News For You".

In this programme, where the guests don't know what they're going to hear, John takes Ian back through a variety of archives to trace how his life and career have developed. We hear the young Ian on stage in a school production of "Oliver" , get a glimpse of his early forays into standup comedy. hear how he planned to avoid libel writs as the new Editor of Private Eye and how that plan was scuppered with regular appearances in court and a record damages award against the magazine to Sonia Sutcliffe, the wife of the Yorkshire Ripper.

Ian and John also discuss his role on "Have I Got News For You", his thoughts on press freedom and regulation and his career as documentary-maker and dramatist.

Producer: Emma Kingsley

28 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

Short documentaries about being drawn towards the ones we love presented by Josie Long.

Josie Long presents stories about being drawn towards the ones we love, from finding love online to breastfeeding. From 2019.

Looking for love online, the desire lines we walk to a lover's house and the untethering of a breast-feeding baby from its mother - Josie Long presents short documentaries and adventures in sound about being drawn towards the ones we love.

Desire Lines

Featuring Laura Barton

The Real Tom Banks

Produced by Jesse Cox

Sound Engineer Timothy Nicastri

Originally made for Radiotonic on ABC Radio National

Untethered

Featuring Nell Frizzell

Production Team: Andrea Rangecroft and Alia Cassam

Series Producer: Eleanor McDowall

A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4, first broadcast in May 2019.

BBC Radio 4 Extra
BBC Radio 4 Extra logo
30 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

The story of a momentous day during Jeff Buckley's first solo tour of the UK in March 1994

4 Extra Debut. The story of a momentous day during Jeff Buckley's first solo UK tour in 1994. He was to die in 1997 aged only 30. From 2014.

Since his desperately early death in May 1997, there's been an inevitable mythologising about the life and music of Jeff Buckley. Perhaps it's not surprising that in the posthumous rush to acknowledge his genius, memories have been clouded or, retrospectively, given a silver lining.

The quiet, uncertain foundations of his reputation were laid on a solo tour of Europe three years earlier, in March 1994 - and, in particular, during one day. On the 18th March, Buckley was scheduled for a photo shoot (with Kevin Westenberg), an appearance on BBC GLR and his first proper London concert, at a folk club called Bunjies.

In 'The Grace of Jeff Buckley', those who were there speak for the first time about the man and his music: Buckley's American manager Dave Lory, record company owner Steve Abbott, booking agent Emma Banks and photographer Kevin Westenberg share intimate memories that have so far not featured in the Buckley biography.

And the programme also includes rare archive: the GLR radio session that has not been heard since that live broadcast in 1994 - including an astonishing version of 'Grace' - and, exclusively, a private interview that Buckley recorded on the eve of this tour but decided not to release.

Together, these glimpses offer a portrait of a young man whose voice and musicianship, as well as his irresistible charisma and the trauma of his early death, touched millions.

Produced by Alan Hall.

A Falling Tree production

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2014.

30 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

Exploring the impact that Mendelssohn's Octet has had on different people's lives.

An exploration of the impact on people of Mendelssohn's Octet and the healing power of music around the world. From August 2011.

This exploration of the impact that Mendelssohn's Octet has had on different people's lives, demonstrates the healing power of music in a variety of situations around the world.

Mendelssohn wrote his Octet for double string quartet in 1825 when he was only 16 years old. Despite his youth, this is a mature and brilliant piece of music described in this programme by the interviewees as "carnivalesque", "a romp", "a party".

Choreographer Bill T Jones describes the way in which the Octet showed his company how to keep living during the onslaught of AIDS in the 80's. Cellist Raphael and violinist Elizabeth Wallfisch talk about falling in love whilst learning this music in the 70's. South Korean Lisa Kim tells a story about going on tour with the New York Philharmonic to North Korea and her intense fear and mistrust being replaced by wonder when they played the Octet with a North Korean Quartet. And Matthew Trusler describes the importance of playing this work after the death of his son.

The recording of the Mendelssohn Octet featured in the programme is by the Emerson String Quartet on Deutsche Gramophon.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2011.

Credits

Composer
Felix Mendelssohn
BBC Radio 4 Extra
BBC Radio 4 Extra logo
30 minutes Available for 28 days First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

A journey into the triumphs and struggles of the Iranian diaspora in Los Angeles

Comedian Maz Jobrani visits the largest Iranian diaspora in the world, in the heart of Los Angeles or 'Tehrangeles'. From 2012.

Comedian Maz Jobrani takes a journey to Tehrangeles - home to the largest Iranian diaspora in the world, right in the heart of Los Angeles.

Recorded on location, Iranian stand-up comedian and actor Maz Jobrani begins his journey in a street lined with Iranian stores, restaurants, beauty salons, cafes and businesses, where everyone speaks Farsi and all the shop signs are in Persian.

But this is not downtown Tehran - this is Westwood Boulevard in Los Angeles, a stone's throw from affluent Beverly Hills, where 22% of the population are Iranian, and whose former Iranian born mayor Jimmy Delshad epitomizes the extraordinary success of Iranians in LA.

When bookshop owner Bijan Khalili set up shop here over 30 years ago, there were only a few Persian stores. He and others along Westwood Boulevard tell the story of how and why the LA community steadily grew into a Mecca for hundreds of thousands of Iranians. And how, against the backdrop of 32 years of hostility between America and Iran since the 1979 US hostage crisis, they have succeeded in making their mark.

Even Bravo TV (creators of The Kardashians) have recently aired a hit reality TV show about the lives of a group of affluent Beverly Hills Iranians.

LA based Iranian- American comedian and actor Maz Jobrani delves into the heart of this unique and diverse microcosm of Iran in the heart of LA, otherwise known as Tehrangeles, to reveal the surprising stories and insights into the lives of Iranians who have recreated Little Tehran in the City of Angels.

Producer: Shoku Amirani

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in September 2012.

28 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

Short documentaries about familial connections with Josie Long.

A family whose women are bound by activism, poetry between generations and forging new families in later life. Josie Long presents short documentaries about familial connections.

A family whose women are bound by activism, poetry between generations and forging new families in later life. Josie Long presents short documentaries about familial connections.

Radical Love

Featuring Ash Sarkar

Produced by Alia Cassam

A Beautiful Arrangement

Featuring Stefanie Clark and Jane Callahan-Moore

Produced by Bill Healy

Loose Lips

Featuring Mark ‘Mr T’ Thompson and Fiona Goffe

Produced by Alan Hall

Production Team: Eleanor McDowall and Alia Cassam

Produced by Andrea Rangecroft

A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4

30 minutes Available for 26 days First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

Bob Macleòid a bha os cionn HIAL 's an luib iomadh gnìomhachas, ag innse mu bheatha thràth

Bob Macleòid a bha os cionn HIAL 's an luib iomadach gnìomhachas eile ag innse mu bheatha. Bob Macleod, formerly boss at HIAL at the end of a long career, talks of his early life.

‘S e duine sèimh, dàimheil, aoigheil a th’ ann a Bob Macleòid, neo Murdie a’ Chidhe, neo - airson ainm baist a thoirt dha - Raibeart Murchadh Maclèoid à Brèascleit air taobh siar Leòdhais. Tha e an-diugh thairis air a cheithir fichead agus air an obair mu dheireadh a bh’ aige - ag ionnsachadh dhaoine mar a làimhsicheadh iad bàtaichean a bha ‘d a’ toirt a-mach air Loch Nis - a leigeil seachad ann an 2020. Ach cha robh sin ach airson an tìde a chur seachad dha, oir cha b’ urrainn dha a bhith dìomhain is e air na leth-cheud bliadhna ron a sin a thoirt an gnìomhachas a’ siubhal an t-saoghail, chan ann a mhàin na obair mar sgiobair air soithichean mòra ach ann an gnìomhachas na h-ola, nan itealan agus na heileacoptair ( a dh’ionnsaich e sgèith cuideachd ).

Mu dheireadh bha e os cionn Puirt-adhair na Gàidhealtachd ‘s nan Eilean agus fhuair e OBE airson an obair a rinn e ann an gnìomhachas nan itealan.

B’ ann an Taigh a’ Chidhe - a bha dhà na trì cheudan slat bho chidhe Bhrèascleit – a thogadh e agus bu bheag an t-iongnadh a-rèisd, nach robh fad sam bith gus an deach a mhiann a dhol gu muir a dhùsgadh mar a tha e ag innse do dh' Annella Nicleòid.

30 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

AA Gill nominates Arthur Neville Chamberlain as his great life.

Critic AA Gill controversially chooses “peace for our time” prime minister, Neville Chamberlain. With Matthew Parris. From 2016.

The writer and critic AA Gill nominates Neville Chamberlain as his great life.

But his choice is someone who is regarded as one of the worst Prime Ministers Britain has ever had. Chamberlain is someone entrenched in popular legend, as the man who failed to stand up to Hitler.

So will AA Gill’s choice stand up to the scrutiny and will he be able to convince presenter Matthew Parris that this was a great life?

To help tell the story of Arthur Neville Chamberlain they are joined by Stuart Ball, Professor of Modern British History at the University of Leicester.

Producer: Perminder Khatkar

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in September 2016.

Credits

Presenter
Matthew Parris
Interviewed Guest
AA Gill
Producer
Perminder Khatkar
42 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

Kirsty Wark reunites key figures involved in the search for the famous medieval king.

Kirsty Wark reunites archaeologists, scientists, a religious leader and a distant relative involved in the search for, identification, and reburial of the last Plantagenet king.

Kirsty Wark reunites the archaeologists, scientists, a religious leader and a distant relative involved in the remarkable search for, identification, and reburial of the last Plantagenet king.

Richard III was the last English king to die in battle and the first to have his genome sequenced. The discovery and identification of his remains is one of the greatest archaeological detective stories ever told.

After his death on Bosworth Battle Field in 1485, Richard's body was hastily buried in a Friary in Leicester. But over the years, rumours spread that his bones had been dug up and flung into a nearby river.

Others believed that his body could still be in its original burial place, now under a council car park. Philippa Langley of the Richard III Society wanted to know for sure.

The dig started on 25th August 2012 and, within hours, bones had been found. Dr Richard Buckley lead the University of Leicester's archaeological team and confesses that no-one really believed they would find him. But as osteologist Dr Jo Appleby uncovered more of the remains, she discovered he had a curved spine and serious head wounds.

More research was needed to be sure they had got their man. Professor Turi King, an expert in DNA, and Jo Appleby explain the painstaking process to identify the remains and to match the DNA with relative Michael Ibsen, and how they found out more about the way the King lived.

David Monteith, the Dean of Leicester, became embroiled in a legal battle over where the remains should be re-interred – York or Leicester – as some distant relatives of the King challenged how the University had looked after the remains.

As well as giving a DNA sample, Michael Ibsen was also a carpenter and reveals how he ended up making his first ever coffin – fit for a medieval king.

Historian and writer Thomas Penn explains the impact of this momentous discovery on our understanding of history and of the man himself.

Producer: Karen Pirie

Series Producer: David Prest

A Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4

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