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Flight of the Conchords

Neil Finn Saves the Day!

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After the band splits, Jemaine holds auditions in the toilets. From October 2005.

After the band splits, Jemaine holds auditions in the toilets. Stars Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement. From October 2005.

After the kiwi band splits, Jemaine holds auditions in the toilets

Improvised comedy from the satirical pop pair, as they align with established comics to poke fun at all aspects of pop music.

Rob Brydon narrates the musical odyssey.

Starring New Zealand musical comedy duo, Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement.

With:

Rhys Darby

Neil Finn

Justin Edwards

Jarred Christmas

Rosie Carnahan

Additional Material by Joel Morris.

Musicians: David Catlin-Birch and Mark Allis.

Producer: Will Saunders

First broadcast on BBC Radio 2 in October 2005.

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30 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
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Michael Portillo hunts down nature's tyrants and meets the animals who make it to the top.

Michael Portillo investigates nature's tyrants. Leadership is hard to find in the animal world, but many creatures exercise lethal power to get their own.

The Hidden Henry

Henry The Scholar

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Dr Steven Gunn and Dr Andrea Clarke explore the intellectual life of Henry VIII.

Steven Gunn and Andre Clarke pore over Henry VIII’s books, maps and letters exploring his intellectual life. From 2009.

At the British Library Steven Gunn and Andre Clarke pore over his books, maps and letters which reveal a man of keen, curious and disputatious intellect.

The second of five programmes marking the 500th anniversary of the coronation of Henry VIII. Speaking fluent Latin and the author of four books, Henry wasn't a boorish, uncultured tyrant. He was one of the most educated of our monarchs, a Renaissance Man. The historian Dr Steven Gunn from Merton College, Oxford and Dr Andrea Clarke, Curator of the 'Henry VIII: Man and Monarch ' exhibition at the British Library, present us with the unexpectedly studious side of Henry. There is in his psalter, a portrait of him reading, and the young Henry was well versed in poetry, music and religious discourse. He was keen to be seen as a philosopher king, and the notes in the margins of his books reveal how closely he read, and his intellectual striving. His love letters to Anne Boleyn, show a man with a vast vocabulary and a keen sense of amour courtois. We hear too from Prof James Carley, who has catalogued Henry VIII's books - and he had several thousand. And it was his collection of books which is at the centre of what became the British Library.

The Hidden Henry

Henry The Father

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Susan Doran and Henry VIII's biographer, Lucy Wooding, explore Henry's role as father.

Susan Doran and Lucy Wooding explore Henry VIII's role as a father and how ambition affected his private life. From 2009.

In the third of five programmes marking the 500th anniversary of the coronation of Henry VIII, Tudor historian Dr Susan Doran, and Lucy Wooding, author of the most recent biography, consider what is was like to have Henry as your father. Looking at letters, books, gifts and portraits they discuss how he seems to have been closest to his illegitamate son; he humiliated his daughter Mary, and Elizabeth's fear of commitment, even her bearing are due to her contact with him. Henry's children lived in fear of their terrifying father and yet modelled themselves on him.

The Goon Show

Series 9 The Battle of Spion Kop

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The British mount a South African attack, but something is lacking.

Things aren't going well in The South African War. Time to send in the cutlery. Stars Spike Milligan. From December 1958.

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Hancock's Half Hour

Series 3 The Pet Dog

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The lad buys Andree a puppy for her birthday, but to his alarm it won't stop growing.

The lad buys Andree a puppy for her birthday, but to his alarm it won't stop growing. Stars Tony Hancock. From October 1955.

The lad buys Andree a puppy for her birthday, but to his alarm - it won't stop growing!

Starring Tony Hancock.

With Bill Kerr, Sidney James, Andree Melly and Kenneth Williams.

Written by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson.

Theme and incidental music composed by Wally Stott. Recorded by the BBC Revue Orchestra conducted by Harry Rabinowitz.

Producer: Dennis Main Wilson

First broadcast on the BBC Light Programme in October 1955.

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Jon Ronson On

Series 2 Episode 1: Living in the Past

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Jon recalls an incident in the past when he was thrown into a lake by school friends.

Journalist Jon Ronson confronts his bullies at his school reunion. With Dan Tetsell and Robert Popper. From January 2006.

Journalist and broadcaster Jon Ronson looks at the human condition with the help of interviewees and reporters from the world of writing and performance.

Jon investigates why often it is so difficult to leave a particular incident in the past. He he looks back to the time when he was thrown into a lake by his school friends, and confronts his bullies at his school reunion. Father Ted writer Graham Linehan remembers his own bully, and comedians Dan Tetsell and Robert Popper discover that they have parallel stories: one has a Nazi grandfather, the other a Jewish evacuee grandmother.

A Unique production for BBC Radio 4.

Jon Ronson On

Series 2 Episode 2: Irrational Thoughts

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Journalist Jon Ronson asks why his inner conversations spiral into irrationality.

Journalist and broadcaster Jon Ronson asks why his inner conversations spiral into irrationality and discovers he isn't alone.

Jon Ronson On

Series 2 Episode 3: Lying

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Journalist and broadcaster Jon Ronson asks whether we're all natural born liars.

Journalist and broadcaster Jon Ronson asks whether we're all natural born liars. With Danny Wallace and Danny Robbins. From January 2006.

Jon Ronson On

Series 2 Episode 4: Friendship

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Journalist Jon Ronson asks can you really have thousands of friends?

Journalist Jon Ronson asks can you really have thousands of friends? With Caitlin Moran. From February 2006.

Jon Ronson On

Series 2 Episode 5: Waiting

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Journalist and broadcaster Jon Ronson asks, why should we wait for the things we want?

Journalist and broadcaster Jon Ronson asks why should we wait for the things we want? With Alain De Botton. From February 2006.

Jon Ronson On

Series 2 Episode 6: Building Bridges

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Journalist Jon Ronson finds out about political networking and resolving conflict.

Journalist Jon Ronson finds out about political networking and resolving conflict. With Tom Hart Dyke. From February 2006.

Journalist and broadcaster Jon Ronson asks why and how we learn to metaphorically build bridges.

He talks to Tom Hart Dyke, who was kidnapped by Colombian rebels when out orchid hunting and spent nine months trying to build bridges with his captors. He hears how writer Jesse Armstrong remembers failing to build bridges while working in politics.

Jon also takes his producer to a workplace mediator to find out if he really is a difficult person to work with.

The Matter of the North

Episode 7: Manchester: First City of the Industrial Revolution

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Melvyn Bragg celebrates the first city of the Industrial Revolution.

Melvyn Bragg celebrates the achievements of Manchester, the original northern powerhouse. Its emblem is the bee, a symbol of work, cooperation and industry. It was from here that huge scientific, social and commercial changes would sweep the globe. Melvyn visits Quarry Bank Mill in Styal outside Manchester which is one of the best preserved textile mills in the country.

Melvyn visits the house of the novelist Elizabeth Gaskell, who chronicled the rapidly changing lives of the people who lived in or near Manchester, or Cottonopolis as it was known. Melvyn hears how a culture of dissent or non-conformity fed into the city's spirit of invention. He discusses the great scientists that came out of the city - James Joule the father of thermodynamics and John Dalton the father of atomic theory. Melvyn also hears about one of the country's biggest and now largely forgotten art exhibitions which was held in Manchester - The Art Treasures exhibition of 1857.

Contributors

Canon Apiarist Adrian Rhodes, Manchester Cathedral

Professor Hannah Barker, University of Manchester

Dr James Sumner, University of Manchester

Jenny Uglow

Dr Katy Layton-Jones, University of Leicester

Maria Balshaw, The Whitworth Art Gallery

Producer: Faith Lawrence.

Genre

The Matter of the North

Episode 8: The Radical North

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Melvyn Bragg on the radical north, from the Peterloo Massacre to the suffragettes.

Melvyn Bragg explores the radical movements that sprang from the north, from the Peterloo Massacre and the suffragettes to the birth of the Labour Party.

Melvyn explores the radical movements that sprang from the North - Chartism, the campaign for women's votes, anti-slavery protests, the birth of the Labour Party. The programme begins outside Manchester's Midland Hotel where Mr Rolls met Mr Royce. It's also near the site of the Peterloo Massacre - one of the defining moments in British social history. People had gathered here in their thousands from the city and surrounding towns and villages - protesting for parliamentary reform. fifteen were slain and hundreds wounded by charging cavalry troops. Melvyn visits what one contributor Dr Robert Poole describes as Democracy Wall - it runs alongside of the nearby Quaker Meeting House - many people were crushed against it at the time of the Massacre. The wall is the only structure left from the period. The massacre inspired the poet Shelley to write the Masque of Anarchy, part of which is read for us by the actor Maxine Peake. Melvyn goes on to describe the rich history of dissent nurtured in the north - the women's suffrage movement, the campaign to abolish slavery, chartism, and the founding of the Independent Labour Party. Why the north? Was it Methodism, the size of the population, the isolated landscapes, the topography of the cities or even the weather?

Contributors

Dr Robert Poole, University of Central Lancashire

Dr Katrina Navickas, University of Hertfordshire

Professor Robert Colls, De Montfort University

Dr Jill Liddington, University of Leeds

Judith Cummins MP

Rommi Smith

Jonathan Schofield

Producer: Faith Lawrence.

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28 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
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Following the diagnosis of a family member, comedian Rory Bremner explores ADHD.

4 Extra Debut. After a family diagnosis, comedian Rory Bremner goes on a personal journey to find out about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. From May 2011.

Comedian Rory Bremner has found success in his ability to switch between impersonating many different people. But behind this comic persona is a man who struggles to focus, loses the thread and takes on too many tasks that can leave his personal and professional life in disarray. Rory had always put his chaotic lifestyle down to his personality.

However, after a diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, within his family, Rory has realised he too may have the condition. For this documentary, Rory goes on a personal journey to find out how this condition affects adults, how attitudes have changed in the two decades since the ADHD was first recognised, and how we can support the next generation of sufferers to cope with this potentially devastating condition.

Producer: Lisa Needham

A Somethin' Else production for BBC Radio 4.

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30 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
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An exploration of the spiritual side of the music of Bob Dylan.

4 Extra Debut. Emma Freud explores Bob Dylan's spiritual journey in music, from Negro Spirituals to the Old and New Testaments. From May 2011.

To coincide with Dylan's birthday (24th May 2011) presenter Emma Freud explores the singers spiritual journey revealing a side to the performer often over looked.

The programme opens with how Dylan grew up a small-town Jew in Hibbing, Minnesota. We hear from Cantor Neil Schwartz he also grew up in the same town and his mother was Bob's Sunday school teacher.

Author of 'Prophet, Mystic, Poet' Seth Rogovoy reflects on Dylan's early years and his Barmitzvah. We explore early Dylan music and author Clinton Helylin believes Dylan not only drew on early negro spirituals but the Old testament for his more engaging material. Helping makes sense of some of the more complex theological messages is Nick Baines The Bishop of Bradford and a life long admirer of Bob Dylan.

It was in the late 1970s, Dylan became a born again Christian and 1979 album 'Slow Train Coming' championed Jesus. Author of 'Down The Highway' Howard Sounes finds Dylan's three Christian albums a "difficult listen". Whether they meant something significant to his audience is another matter, but Al Kasha who helped Dylan with his understanding of the scriptures is convinced you can't doubt the depth of Dylan's religious conversion.

Dylan's embrace of Christianity was unpopular with some of his fans and his album "Shot Of Love" recorded the spring 1981, featured Dylan's first secular compositions in more than two years, mixed with explicitly Christian songs. Essentially Dylan's venture into Christianity seemed to be coming to an end.

As we discover with all things Dylan, its tricky to work out what is going on inside the singer's mind but 'Blowing In The Wind - Dylan's Spiritual Journey" will go someway to exploring his thoughts and spiritual beliefs through his songs and these revealing interviews.

Producer: John Sugar

A Sugar Production for BBC Radio 4.

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Martin Reeve follows the fortunes of street theatre in Britain over the last 40 years.

4 Extra Debut. Martin Reeve, known on the streets as Mr Lucky, charts the story of street theatre from the turbulent 1960s to today. From May 2011.

Actor and academic Martin Reeve occasionally takes to the streets under the performance name of Mr Lucky, the Man with the Raining Umbrella. It's an act he's been doing for the last twenty-five years or so, since he first teamed up with street theatre company Avanti Display. He's fascinated by the way that street theatre, or outdoor performance which is free and accessible to anyone passing by, affects our perceptions of the spaces around us: shopping centres, streets and squares, buildings, parks and public places. For him, it's a more radical and dangerous art form than might be imagined, with its roots in the political turbulence of the 1960s when companies like Welfare State International decided to take art and performance out of theatres and galleries onto the streets as a deliberate counter-cultural tactic. Although it may now feel less radical, often confined to festivals, civic celebrations and corporate entertainment, he believes street theatre can still make us see the world differently, and stop traffic momentarily to make the familiar seem, just for a moment, unfamiliar and extraordinary.

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BBC Radio 4 Extra
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15 minutes Available for years First broadcast:
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Spirited Isabel Archer's trip to London is disrupted by suitor Caspar Goodwood's arrival.

Spirited American Isabel Archer's trip to London is disrupted by suitor Caspar Goodwood's arrival. Read by Miriam Margolyes.

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28 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
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The story of an octogenarian dancer teaching a 28-year-old how to waltz.

The story of a friendship between 86-year-old ex-dance champion Bob Hill and eager learner Katie Burningham, aged 28. From 2010.

Heel, Toe, Step Together tells the story of two people who met at an east London market one day and the unlikely friendship that blossomed through dance.

Bob Hill, 86, has been dancing on and off since he was 16 and won many competitions with his late wife Iris Hill, who he lived with in Hackney. Katie Burningham, 28, is a radio producer and self-confessed bad dancer. Bob and Katie met by chance one day, shortly after Bob's wife Iris had died, and, three years later, Katie is still having dance lessons with Bob.

This programme brings together recordings of their dancing and explores why it is that Bob, and Katie, need to dance. Touching on themes of loss, loneliness, love and affection, Heel, Toe, Step Together reveals how, through music and movement, friendship can bridge generations.

Heel, Toe, Step Together was produced as part of the European Broadcasting Union's Master School on Radio Features, with the creative advice of Edwin Brys.

Producer: Katie Burningham

A Falling Tree Production for BBC Radio 4

Old Harry's Game

Series 6 Investigation

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Satan is convinced he knows who killed Edith, and Hell is suddenly overcrowded.

Satan is convinced he knows who killed Edith, and Hell is suddenly overcrowded. Satanic sitcom stars Andy Hamilton. From October 2007.

Still keen to know who killed her, Edith discovers why Satan resented Jesus - he didn't like his "holier than thou" attitude.

Andy Hamilton's comedy set in Hell.

Starring Andy Hamilton as Satan, Annette Crosbie as Edith, Robert Duncan as Scumspawn and Jimmy Mulville as Thomas.

Other characters played by Michael Fenton Stevens, Philip Pope, Felicity Montagu and Nick Revell.

Producer Paul Mayhew-Archer

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in October 2007.

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