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Series 2 Episode 8: Edward Heath
Nick Robinson looks at how Edward Heath handled the top job in politics.
Nick Robinson looks at Edward Heath, prime minister from 1970 to 1974, whose enthusiasm for radical reform in Europe and the economy strained his party's loyalties.
Nick Robinson, the BBC Political Editor, concludes his series exploring how different prime ministers have used their power and responded to the challenges of their time.
Sir Edward Heath took Britain into the EEC (now the European Union) in 1973, but this historic achievement still divides opinion and his premiership ended in defeat. When Heath won his party's first leadership election in 1965, he personified a less class-bound and more modern Toryism. He won the 1970 general election promising to modernise Britain's economy, reform the unions and reduce state intervention. However, after unemployment reached one million (then a post-war record) in 1972, he made a 'U-turn', boosting state spending and trying to curb inflation through talks with the unions and industry. When the talks failed, Heath imposed a freeze on pay and prices. In late 1973, his pay controls were challenged by the miners at a time when the economy was hit by a four-fold increase in world oil prices. Heath responded to the miners' overtime ban by putting industry on a three-day week, and when the miners voted to strike in February 1974 he called an early election on the question of ''Who governs?'. Although the Conservatives won most seats, they fell short of an overall majority and Heath failed in his last-ditch attempt to form a coalition with the Liberals and stay in Number 10.
As prime minister, Heath was ahead of his time in seeing the need for radical reform, but entry into Europe and his U-turn strained his party's loyalties. He could ill afford to treat people with apparent disdain and in this respect he brought troubles on himself. His grudging attitude to his Tory successor, Margaret Thatcher, further damaged his reputation, but in some ways he had been an unlucky prime minister.
Tom Holland with your stories that are changing the way we see the past.
Tom Holland presents the programme that reflects listeners' passion for the past. Women in the General Strike, an archaeologist on the loose in Hampshire and the walking postcards.
Tom Holland talks to a listener whose grandmother volunteered to deliver the post during the General Strike much to the disgust of her husband who was a postman. He talks to Dr Sue Bruley from the University of Portsmouth about the role of women in the dispute - as strike-breakers and supporters.
In our game of geographical chance and historical skill, 'Double Top Domesday', Professor Sir Barry Cunliffe - arguably Britain's leading historian - takes aim with a dart at a map of central Southern England and ends up in a farmyard not far from Basingstoke.
Tom Holland considers what that, and the rest of Britain's landscape actually looked like 4,500 years ago in response to a listener's question about what the area around Stonehenge looked like when it was being built. Tom talks to Professor Tom Williamson at the University of East Anglia who explores the current debate about the so-called, pre-historic 'wildwood'.
Finally, in Bridlington, Martin Ellis - Curator at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery - views an exhibition of holiday snaps taken between 1920 and 1960 by a company that employed cameramen to take pictures of holidaymakers. Their legacy is now a fabulous social history resource.
Producer: Nick Patrick
A Pier Production for BBC Radio 4.
Ahead of the budget, a profile of Rupert Harrison, the man some call the 'real chancellor'
Ahead of the budget, Mary Ann Sieghart presents a profile of Rupert Harrison, the top adviser to George Osborne and the man some call the 'real chancellor'.
Ahead of the budget Mary Ann Sieghart profiles Rupert Harrison. He's the top economic adviser to George Osborne, and the man some call the 'real Chancellor' and 'the most important man you've never heard of'. Those who know him well and have seen his influence grow describe his career and characteristics.
Producer: Chris Bowlby
Editor: Richard Knight.
The Court of Mary, Queen of Scots
David McGuinness explores the music which came from the Court of Mary, Queen of Scots.
The Court of Mary, Queen of Scots: David McGuinness visits Stirling Castle and the Palace of Holyrood House to learn about music which may have been performed during Mary's reign.
David McGuinness visits Stirling Castle and the Palace of Holyrood House in Edinburgh, to trace the story of Mary Queen of Scots' reign, and the music which surrounded her. From the devotional masses and motets by Robert Carver - so popular with Mary's father, King James V, to the jolly French dances she would have enjoyed during her first marriage to Francis Dauphin of France, Mary remained a music lover throughout her short life. Queen Mary's favourite attendant and confidante during her second marriage to her cousin, Lord Henry Darnley, was an Italian musician called David Rizzio. Darnley and David Rizzio spent long hours together on the tennis court at Falkland Palace, but Darnley's jealousy grew at the Italian's familiarity with his new wife, and he planned to do away with Rizzio at the earliest opportunity. The political assassination that followed was carefully staged, with 500 armed men keeping the Palace of Holyrood House secure while Lord Ruthven and his accomplices burst in to Mary's chamber, where she and Rizzio were sharing supper with guests. Rizzio was dragged from the dinner table and stabbed more than 50 times in front of the Queen.
BrandThe Early Music Show
A profile of one of the candidates in France's presidential elections; François Bayrou.
Alastair Sandford profiles the man who is threatening to change the political landscape of France in next week’s presidential elections, François Bayrou.
Alastair Sandford, who has reported for the BBC from Paris for the last eight years, looks at the man who is threatening to change the political landscape of France in next week’s presidential elections, François Bayrou.
Series 12 Episode 3: Anton Chekhov
Author William Boyd champions playwright Anton Chekhov's claim to greatness.
Series of biographical discussions with Matthew Parris. Author William Boyd champions playwright Anton Chekhov's claim to greatness. With Chekhov biographer Donald Rayfield.
Series 12 Episode 4: Marie Curie
Pallab Ghosh explains how Marie Curie achieved fame through her work on radioactivity.
4 Extra Debut. Journalist Pallab Ghosh chooses the double Nobel Prize-winning scientist, Marie Curie. With Matthew Parris. From Apirl 2007.
Series of biographical discussions with Matthew Parris.
4/9. BBC Science Correspondent Pallab Ghosh explains how Marie Curie achieved iconic status through her work on radioactivity and weighs up the cost she paid for her success. The studio guest is Curie biographer Sarah Dry.
Series 9 Ignaz Semmelweis
Series 9 Tamara Karsavina
Anna Raeburn chooses the Russian ballerina, Tamara Karsavina.
4 Extra Debut. Broadcaster and agony aunt Anna Raeburn chooses the Russian ballerina, Tamara Karsavina. With Matthew Parris. From May 2006.
Series of biographical discussions with Matthew Parris. Anna Raeburn nominates ballerina Tamara Karsavina, the leading female dancer in Diaghilev's Ballet Russes from its beginning in 1909 until 1922. In England she coached Margot Fonteyn and created roles for Frederick Ashton. From May 2006.
Series 11 Martha Gellhorn
Camilla Wright chooses Martha Gellhorn, who wrote at length about the Spanish Civil War.
4 Extra Debut. Popbitch editor Camilla Wright chooses Martha Gellhorn, who wrote at length about the Spanish Civil War, the Second World War and Vietnam. From January 2006.
A typical story in Popbitch is usually about 90 words. This probably explains why its editor Camilla Wright has chosen Martha Gellhorn as her Great Life. Gellhorn wrote at length about the Spanish Civil War, the Second World War and Vietnam. Biographer Caroline Moorhead joins presenter Matthew Parris to dissect and debate a brilliant and complicated life.
Series 11 William Beveridge
Anne Fine nominates William Beveridge, who sparked the creation of the welfare state.
4 Extra debut. Writer Anne Fine chooses social security reformer William Beveridge. With Frank Field and Matthew Parris. From January 2007.
Series 11 Pope John Paul II
Ann Widdicombe MP nominates the late pontiff, who agreed with her on women priests.
4 Extra Debut. Politician Ann Widdecombe chooses Pope John Paul II. With Matthew Parris and Malachi O'Doherty. From January 2007.
Ann Widdicombe MP, famous for her opposition to women priests, nominates the late pontiff, who felt just as strongly on the matter. Malachi O'Doherty, author of 'I Was a Teenage Catholic', joins the debate.
Megan Rapinoe's US national team has made it to the Women's World Cup final.
Megan Rapinoe's US national team has made it to the Women's World Cup final. One American newspaper describes her as the most important athlete on the planet right now.
The US women’s football team has made it to the World Cup final. One American newspaper has described the team's iconic player - Megan Rapinoe - as the most important athlete on the planet right now. But she isn't only a sensation on the pitch. She's a controversial figure off it.
Presenter: Becky Milligan
Producer: Viv Jones
Lynda Bellingham, Ben Bradlee, Geoffrey Perry, John Holt
Andrea Catherwood remembers an actress, a war veteran, a reggae artist and newspaperman.
Obituary series. Andrea Catherwood remembers actress Lynda Bellingham, war veteran Geoffrey Perry, reggae star John Holt and Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee.
Andrea Catherwood on:
Lynda Bellingham, a much loved actress, best known as the gravy making mum in Oxo television ads.
Ben Bradlee, charismatic editor of the Washington Post, at the helm of the paper when it broke the Watergate scandal which brought down President Nixon.
John Holt, the honey voiced Jamaican reggae artist and songwriter.
Geoffrey Perry, a Berlin born Jew who became an officer in the British army and captured Lord Haw Haw, the Nazi propaganda broadcaster, at the end of the war.
Series 1 Annie Briggs
An intimate portrait of the iconic but elusive English folksinger Annie Briggs.
4 Extra Debut. The iconic, but elusive, English folksinger Annie Briggs talks to Alan Hall about her role in the 60s folk revival. From 2016.
An intimate portrait of the iconic but elusive English folksinger Annie Briggs.
Annie Briggs was a leading figure in the English folk revival of the early 1960s, inspiring Bert Jansch (famously, in Blackwater Side), Sandy Denny, The Watersons and many more. But she was a restless spirit, travelling through the British Isles and Ireland, finding songs and living close to the earth.
As Sandy Denny depicted her in The Pond and the Stream:
Annie wanders on the land.
She loves the freedom of the air.
She finds a friend in ev'ry place she goes.
There's always a face she knows.
I wish that I was there.
And so she remains, now a grandmother living by the water in the west of Scotland. She's always resolutely resisted celebrity and commercial success, withdrawing from the folk scene in the early 1970s, but her legacy - her voice and her attitude - continue to inspire and to carry a link to life as it was once lived in 'the imagined village'.
Annie talks to Alan Hall about childhood holidays singing along with the waves, writing songs while living on a beach in west Ireland, her garden and the wildlife that she shares it with, and the ballad tradition she discovered as a teenager and that she 'belongs to'.
Producer: Alan Hall
A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4 first broadcast in September 2016.
Tom Holland discusses divorce and betrayal in 1st-century Yorkshire.
Tom Holland presents divorce and betrayal in 1st-century Yorkshire, the history of county cricket and the forgotten legacy of Johann Baptist von Spix.
Tom Holland and guests discuss the stories that are Making History.
Helen Castor is joined by Stephen Chalke and former Sussex cricket captain John Barclay to discuss the origins and rather odd structure of English (and Welsh) county cricket.
Iszi Lawrence heads to North Yorkshire to hear a story of divorce and betrayal from the 1st century and the forgotten queen who was central to both.
And the former head of Friends of the Earth, Tony Juniper, takes us to South America to remind us of the achievements of the nineteenth century scientist and explorer Johann Baptist von Spix.
Producer: Nick Patrick
A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.
Helen and Maria - A Room of My Own
Domestic violence casts a long shadow, but Maria is finally able to sleep alone at night.
Fi Glover revisits the story of their escape from domestic abuse told by Maria and her mother two years ago. Now 13, Maria talks to her aunt about how she finally feels safe.
Fi Glover re-visits the story of their escape from domestic abuse told by Maria and her mother two years ago. Now 13, Maria talks to her aunt about how she finally feels safe.
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 learn more about The Listening Project by visiting bbc.co.uk/listeningproject
Producer: Marya Burgess.