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Profile

Rajendra Pachauri

BBC Radio 4
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14 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
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Jonathan Maitland profiles Rajendra Pachauri, the head of the UN's climate change panel.

Jonathan Maitland profiles Rajendra Pachauri, the head of the UN's climate change panel and a key player in the climate change debate.

Jonathan Maitland profiles Rajendra Pachauri, a key player in the climate change debate.

As the head of the UN's climate change panel, he is coming under increasing fire for a glaring error in the IPCC reporting on glaciers. Pachauri's critics also claim that his business interests - as a consultant to energy industry giants - could represent a conflict of interest. But his supporters say he's a tireless champion in alerting people to the impact of climate change on developing nations.

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Profile

Last Word

12/02/2010

BBC Radio 4
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30 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
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The lives of Alexander McQueen, Sir John Dankworth, Charlie Wilson, Ian Carmichael.

John Wilson presents the obituary series. Marking the lives of Alexander McQueen, Sir John Dankworth, Charlie Wilson and Ian Carmichael.

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Last Word

19/02/2010

BBC Radio 4
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30 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
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Marking the lives of Lionel Jeffries, Dick Francis, Geoffrey Burbidge and Alfred Gregory.

John Wilson presents the obituary series, marking the lives of Lionel Jeffries, Dick Francis, Geoffrey Burbidge and Alfred Gregory.

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Last Word

26/11/2010

BBC Radio 4
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30 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
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Matthew Bannister on Ingrid Pitt, John Bulloch, Robin Day and Bernard Matthews.

Matthew Bannister on the Hammer Horror actress Ingrid Pitt, the foreign correspondent John Bulloch, the furniture designer Robin Day and the turkey farmer Bernard Matthews.

On Last Word this week:

Ingrid Pitt - best known as a voluptuous vampire in Hammer Horror films.

Foreign correspondent John Bulloch - an expert on the Middle East who worked in war zones around the world.

The furniture designer Robin Day who produced the polyprop stacking chair which sold in millions around the world.

Professor Dudley Williams whose work on antibiotics helped to tackle the superbug MRSA.

And Bernard Matthews, the Norfolk Turkey farmer whose catch phrase "It's Bootiful" made him a household name.

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Lives in a Landscape

Series 8 Episode 1: Nuclear Golf

BBC Radio 4
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30 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
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Alan Dein shares a memory-rich round of golf with a group of nuclear workers at Sellafield

Alan Dein meets the atom men, some retired, some still working at the Sellafield reprocessing plant, as they unwind on the golf course beside Britain's oldest nuclear facility.

With the trauma surrounding the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan and the increasing urgency of the debate about Britain's future use of nuclear power, Alan Dein joins a group for whom the nuclear industry has been an uninterrupted staple of their daily lives. But the golfing members of SASRA, the Sellafield Area Sports and Recreation Association, have a life away from the pressure of working at one of the most recognisable nuclear establishments in the world.

Alan Dein joins Don Gash, the treasurer, fixtures secretary and - in his own words - general dogsbody for the SASRA golf society and a small group as they play their weekly competition round on the old golf that hugged the Cumbrian coast between Seascale and Calder Hall long before the nuclear industry arrived to dominate the landscape. The talk is of dry fairways, short rough and the business of working for an industry that was once seen as heroic and pioneering before entering a period of intense critical scrutiny.

And Alan also wonders how these British nuclear workers view events at Fukushima where their Japanese colleagues face the worst nightmare of people involved in this business.

As they make their way to the far end of the course, the holes which neighbour the Sellafield landscape of their working lives, Alan learns how they balance a very particular kind of work and leisure.

Producer: Tom Alban.

Last Word

Dame Barbara Mills, Gil Scott-Heron, Leonora Carrington, Flick Colby

BBC Radio 4
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30 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
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Matthew Bannister on Dame Barbara Mills, Gil Scott-Heron, Leonora Carrington, Flick Colby.

Matthew Bannister on the QC and first woman DPP, Dame Barbara Mills, the poet and singer Gil Scott-Heron, the artist Leonora Carrington, the Pan's People choreographer Flick Colby.

Matthew Bannister on:

Dame Barbara Mills QC, the successful barrister who became the first woman Director of Public Prosecutions.

The poet and singer Gil Scott-Heron who gave voice to the black American experience.

The surrealist artist Leonora Carrington who scandalised her father by running away with Max Ernst and became a national treasure in Mexico.

And Flick Colby who choreographed Pans People's weekly routines on Top of the Pops. We have a tribute from Babs.

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Profile

Eric Pickles

BBC Radio 4
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14 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
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What makes Tory political heavyweight Eric Pickles tick? Gerry Northam reports.

What makes political heavyweight Eric Pickles tick? Friends and foes assess the character and career of the man charged with cutting town hall spending. Gerry Northam reports.

As spending cuts loom over town hall budgets, the first of a new series of 'Profile' focuses on the man who will wield the axe: Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles. His bluff northern charm has won him many admirers as well as adversaries throughout a political career that began in Bradford Council more than thirty years ago. But critics say as leader of Bradford City Council he championed swingeing spending cuts and outsourcing of services. Reporter Gerry Northam speaks to friends and foes of the man once dubbed the 'Beast of Bradford' and asks how he will handle his responsibilities on the national stage.

Producer Andy Denwood.

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Last Word

26/02/2010

BBC Radio 4
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30 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
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Matthew Bannister presents the obituary series.

Matthew Bannister presents the obituary series, marking the lives of Alexander Haig, Cy Grant, Geoffrey Woolley and Allan Wicks.

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Taking a Stand

30/11/2010

BBC Radio 4
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28 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
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Fergal Keane talks to Claudia Wallace about the kidnap of her brother Hugo.

Fergal Keane talks to Claudia Wallace about her family's investigation of the kidnap and murder of her brother Hugo. It has helped change the law on kidnapping in Mexico.

Fergal Keane talks to Claudia Wallace. Mexico has become one of the kidnap capitals of the world as drug gangs seek to consolidate their power. Claudia's brother Hugo was one of the many hundreds who go missing each year. He was abducted in 2005 and his body has never been found. Believing the police to be involved in his disappearance, Claudia and her mother Isabel decided to investigate the case themselves, sometimes wearing disguises to eavesdrop on those they knew were involved. They discovered Hugo had been lured to an apartment by an attractive woman and killed the night he was taken, his body is disposed of in black bin liners. But extraordinarily they managed to bring 5 of his kidnappers to justice, a rare occurrence in Mexico. And they have pressed for, and achieved, changes in the law on kidnapping.

Profile

Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster

BBC Radio 4
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15 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
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Clive Coleman profiles Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster.

Clive Coleman profiles Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster. Who were his influences and what is his vision for the Church?

Clive Coleman profiles Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster. In a week in which the Pope has attacked UK equality laws, Clive looks at the leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales. Who were his influences and what is his vision for the Church?

Interviewees include Clifford Longley, whose daughter's wedding he officiated, and Austin Ivereigh, former press secretary to his predecessor, Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor.

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The Choice

Mikey Walsh

BBC Radio 4
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28 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
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Michael Buerk talks to gypsy Mikey Walsh about leaving his community behind.

Michael Buerk talks to gypsy Mikey Walsh about his agonising decision to leave his family and community behind.

A new series of The Choice begins this week with the story of Mikey Walsh.

He grew up in the closed world of the Romany gypsies.

Rarely at school, he seldom mixed with anyone outside his community with its colourful characters and strict family code. And despite its violence and hardships, it was the life that Mikey loved.

Eventually he was faced with the agonising decision of whether to turn his back on everyone and everything he knew .....and face an alien world with no education and support... knowing he would never be able to return.

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The Prime Ministers

Series 2 Episode 7: Harold Wilson

BBC Radio 4
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15 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
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Nick Robinson looks at how Harold Wilson handled the top job in politics.

Nick Robinson looks at how different leaders have handled the top job in British politics. Today he looks at Harold Wilson, Prime Minister in the 1960s and 1970s.

Nick Robinson, the BBC Political Editor, continues his series exploring how different prime ministers have used their power, have responded to the great challenges of their time and have made the job what it is today.

This week's portrait in power is Harold Wilson, prime minister during 1964-70 and 1974-76, who won four of the five general elections that he fought as Labour Leader. He captured the mood for change in the 1960s, but his two terms at Number 10 were increasingly dominated by Britain's worsening economic problems.

Wilson became Labour Leader in 1963 and united his party by promising to modernise Britain. He seemed to represent change and looked in touch with modern Britain. His first election triumph in 1964 was no surprise and he won a second, resounding, victory in 1966. However, Wilson spent his first three years as prime minister shying away from devaluation of the pound. When devaluation eventually happened, he lost credibility and suffered further humiliation when he backed down over trade union reform in 1969. Yet his first term as premier brought major, liberal reforms in the law on moral and social matters.

After Wilson's only election defeat as Labour Leader in 1970, his party shifted to the left. Although he led Labour back into government in 1974, he lacked his old energy. He managed to preserve party unity on the issue of British membership of the EEC by holding the UK's first national referendum in 1975. Although his second term was dominated by Britain's economic crisis and also by internal divisions within his government and his party, his sudden resignation in 1976 came as a great shock to those not close to him.

Making History

24/05/2011

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

Fiona Watson presents the programme that reflects listeners' passion for the past.

Fiona Watson explores the history of those who had to fight for both the Soviets and the Nazis in World War II.

Fiona Watson explores the history of those who had to fight for both the Soviets and the Nazis in World War 2.

In Scotland we get a sneak preview of Historic Scotland's makeover of the royal apartments at Stirling Castle - a sixteenth century renaissance gem which was built to show-off the Stuart's place in European politics.

In London, a grubby identity card, which was found by a listener in her grandfather's personal possessions, reveals a forgotten moment of civil unrest in 1887 when the East End poor clashed with police in troops in Trafalgar Square. Tom Holland meets nineteenth century historian and Labour MP Tristram Hunt to find out more about a little-remembered 'bloody Sunday'.

Making History's game of historical chance, 'double-top Domesday' ends up in the village of Sturton by Stow in North West Lincolnshire thanks to the dart-throwing skills of Dr Richard Jones at the University of Leicester.

Producer: Nick Patrick

A Pier Production for BBC Radio 4.

Great Lives

Series 24 Episode 8: Harold Pinter

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

Matthew Parris introduces the life of writer Harold Pinter, chosen by Diane Abbott MP.

Diane Abbott MP chooses writer and Nobel Laureate Harold Pinter. She discusses his life with his biographer Michael Billington and host Matthew Parris.

Matthew Parris is joined by Diane Abbott MP and biographer and critic Michael Billington to explore the life of playwright and Nobel Laureate Harold Pinter.

His name - if you add an "esque" to it, as in Thatcheresque or Ortonesque - defines that which is 'marked especially by halting dialogue, uncertainty of identity, and air of menace'. But today's great life is not an easy man to encapsulate. He was a polymath - a playwright, poet, screenwriter, actor, director, political activist and Nobel Laureate - whom his biographer describes as 'an instinctively radical poet whose chosen medium is drama.' He was one of Britain's most celebrated writers - the master of the pause - Harold Pinter.

Pinter is said to have 'stamped his mark on the cultural and political scene as an observer of suburban brooding and as an irate iconoclast.' He was also born in Hackney, which explains in part why he has been chosen by Diane Abbott, Shadow Minister for Public Health, and MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington.

The programme explores Pinter's life and his appeal for Abbott with expert assistance from Pinter's biographer, the writer and critic Michael Billington.

Credits

Producer
Mary Lowery

Jon Ronson On

Series 6 Episode 5: Aiming Low

BBC Radio 4
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28 minutes Available for years First broadcast:
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Jon Ronson talks to Stewart Lee about why we are all so caught up in competitive lives.

Jon talks to Stewart Lee about why we're all so caught up in competitive lives. How is aiming low a way forward? From May 2011.

Jon Ronson talks to Stewart Lee about why we are all so caught up in competitive lives. They discuss how choosing to aim low in a conscious way is the way forward.

Producer: Laura Parfitt and Simon Jacobs

An Unique production for BBC Radio 4.

Last Word

Alison Jolly, Alice Herz-Sommer, Valery Kubasov, Mavis Gallant, Harold Ramis

BBC Radio 4
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28 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

Aasmah Mir remembers a primatologist, a pianist, a cosmonaut, a writer and a director.

Obituary series. Aasmah Mir remembers primatologist Alison Jolly, concert pianist Alice Herz-Sommer, cosmonaut Valeri Kubasov, writer Mavis Gallant and director Harold Ramis.

Aasmah Mir on

The primatologist Alison Jolly who documented the social life of the ring-tailed lemur.

Alice Herz-Sommer - concert pianist and oldest known survivor of the Holocaust. The film-maker Christopher Nupen, who was her neighbour and friend, pays tribute.

Valeri Kubasov - one of the cosmonauts on the historic space mission of 1975 which saw the Russian Soyuz 19 link up with the American Apollo module. One of the US crew, astronaut Vance Brand, describes their first meeting.

Also: Canadian-born short-story writer Mavis Gallant. A former editor at Granta recalls a formidable woman whose observations of life were wonderfully unforgiving.

And professor of film and media history Ian Christie on the director and actor Harold Ramis - best known for films like 'Ghostbusters', 'Caddyshack' and Groundhog Day'.

Credits

Presenter
Aasmah Mir
Interviewed Guest
Christopher Nupen
Interviewed Guest
Vance Brand
Interviewed Guest
Ian Christie
Producer
Simon Tillotson

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Last Word

Last Word

Peter O'Toole, Lord Roberts of Conwy, Colin Wilson, Joan Fontaine, Ronnie Briggs

BBC Radio 4
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28 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

Matthew Bannister recalls an actor, a politician, an author, an actress and a train robber

Obituary series. Matthew Bannister on actor Peter O'Toole, Welsh Office Minister Lord Roberts of Conwy, author Colin Wilson, actress Joan Fontaine, Great Train robber Ronnie Biggs.

Matthew Bannister on:

The actor Peter O'Toole, acclaimed for his performances as Lawrence of Arabia and Jeffery Bernard and notorious for his hell raising exploits.

The long serving Welsh Office minister Lord Roberts of Conwy - a passionate champion of the Welsh language.

The author Colin Wilson, who was hailed as a major new talent when he published The Outsider at the age of 24, but, despite writing many other books, never repeated his mainstream success.

The Hollywood star Joan Fontaine, best known for playing the second wife in Hitchcock's Rebecca, who carried on a long term feud with her sister Olivia De Havilland.

And the Great Train robber Ronnie Biggs.

Credits

Presenter
Matthew Bannister
Producer
Laura Northedge

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Last Word

The Listening Project

Shahid and Henna - Building a Future Together

BBC Radio 4
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5 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

Fi Glover with a conversation about making a marriage work and the sacrifices involved.

Fi Glover introduces a conversation between Muslim newlyweds about their love match and subsequent traditional marriage, and the adjustments they are having to contend with.

Fi Glover introduces a conversation between Muslim newly weds about their love match and subsequent traditional marriage, and the adjustments they are having to contend with, proving once again that it's surprising what you hear when you listen.

The Listening Project is a Radio 4 initiative that offers a snapshot of contemporary Britain in which people across the UK volunteer to have a conversation with someone close to them about a subject they've never discussed intimately before. The conversations are being gathered across the UK by teams of producers from local and national radio stations who facilitate each encounter. Every conversation - they're not BBC interviews, and that's an important difference - lasts up to an hour, and is then edited to extract the key moment of connection between the participants. Most of the unedited conversations are being archived by the British Library and used to build up a collection of voices capturing a unique portrait of the UK in the second decade of the millennium. You can upload your own conversations or just learn more about The Listening Project by visiting bbc.co.uk/listeningproject

Producer: Marya Burgess.

The Listening Project

Suzanne and Karen - Let's Talk About Sex

BBC Radio 4
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5 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

Fi Glover with a conversation about encouraging good sex and abolishing bad.

Fi Glover introduces a conversation between a happily married woman and her friend, a serial mistress, about their plan to abolish bad sex and ensure everyone benefits from good.

Fi Glover introduces a conversation between a happily married - and sexually fulfilled - woman and her friend, a serial mistress, about their plan to abolish bad sex and ensure everyone benefits from good, proving once again that it's surprising what you hear when you listen.

The Listening Project is a Radio 4 initiative that offers a snapshot of contemporary Britain in which people across the UK volunteer to have a conversation with someone close to them about a subject they've never discussed intimately before. The conversations are being gathered across the UK by teams of producers from local and national radio stations who facilitate each encounter. Every conversation - they're not BBC interviews, and that's an important difference - lasts up to an hour, and is then edited to extract the key moment of connection between the participants. Most of the unedited conversations are being archived by the British Library and used to build up a collection of voices capturing a unique portrait of the UK in the second decade of the millennium. You can upload your own conversations or just learn more about The Listening Project by visiting bbc.co.uk/listeningproject

Producer: Marya Burgess.

The Essay

North East Free Thinkers Episode 5: Audience Choice

BBC Radio 3
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15 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

Why the medieval monk the Venerable Bede is the great Free Thinker of the North East.

Professor Richard Gameson explains why BBC Newcastle and Radio 3 audiences voted the medieval monk and chronicler the Venerable Bede as the North East's greatest-ever Free Thinker.

As part of Radio 3's Free Thinking festival 2009 BBC Newcastle and Radio 3 audiences voted the medieval monk and chronicler The Venerable Bede as the greatest Free Thinker in the history of the North East. Professor Richard Gameson of Durham University explains why he believes Bede was a natural choice, in a talk recorded in front of an audience at The Sage Gateshead as part of Radio 3's Free Thinking festival of ideas.

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