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A Good Read

Jim Perrin and Marina Warner

Sarah, Jim and Marina discuss works by JM Synge, Robert Graves and Maeve Binchy.

Sarah LeFanu and guests Jim Perrin and Marina Warner discuss works by JM Synge, Robert Graves and Maeve Binchy. From April 1999.

Sarah Lefanu and her guests, rock climber Jim Perrin and writer Marina Warner, discuss three favourite paperbacks by JM Synge, Robert Graves and Maeve Binchy. From 1999.

The Aran Islands by J.M. Synge

Publisher: Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics

The Greek Myths by Robert Graves

Publisher: Penguin

Evening Class by Maeve Binchy

Publisher: Orion.

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Souad Faress and John Sutherland

Souad Faress and John Sutherland discuss books by Salman Rushdie and James Baldwin.

4 Extra Debut. Sarah LeFanu, Souad Faress and Professor John Sutherland discuss books by Salman Rushdie and James Baldwin. From August 1999.

Sarah LeFanu and her guests, actress Souad Faress and writer and lecturer Professor John Sutherland, discuss three favourite paperbacks. From 1999.

Midnight's Children - by Salman Rushdie

Publisher: Vintage

Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone - by James Baldwin

Publisher: Penguin

Christina the Astonishing - by Jane Draycott and Lesley Saunders

Publisher: Two Rivers Press.

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Misha Glenny and Anne Marie Huby

Louise Doughty, Misha Glenny and Anne-Marie Huby debate books.

4 Extra Debut. Louise Doughty, Misha Glenny and Anne-Marie Huby discuss books by James Lee Burke, EM Forster and Robert Musil. From April 2001.

Louise Doughty and her guests - writer, Misha Glenny and co-founder and managing director of the online charity Justgiving, Anne Marie Huby discuss their favourite paperbacks by James Lee Burke, EM Forster and Robert Musil. From 2001.

Purple Cane Road, by James Lee Burke

Publisher: Orion

The Man Without Qualities, by Robert Musil

Publisher: Picador

Howard's End, by EM Forster

Publisher: Penguin.

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Jan Ravens and Anne Enright

Jan Ravens and Anne Enright discuss paperbacks by JG Farrell and Margaret Forster.

4 Extra Debut. Louise Doughty, Jan Ravens and Anne Enright discuss paperbacks by JG Farrell, Margaret Forster and Chinua Achebe. From July 2001.

Louise Doughty is joined by actress Jan Ravens and novelist Anne Enright to discuss paperbacks by JG Farrell, Margaret Forster and Chinua Achebe. From 2001.

Troubles by JG Farrell

Publisher: Phoenix

Have the Men Had Enough? by Margaret Forster

Publisher: Penguin

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Publisher: Heinemann.

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Michael White & Patrick Gale

Louise Doughty, Patrick Gale, Michael White on books by Wilkie Collins and Michael Frayn.

4 Extra Debut. Louise Doughty, Patrick Gale and Michael White on paperbacks by Wilkie Collins, Deborah Moggach and Michael Frayn. From August 2001.

Louise Doughty and her guests, writer Patrick Gale and journalist Michael White, discuss paperbacks by Wilkie Collins, Deborah Moggach and Michael Frayn. From 2001.

Armadale by Wilkie Collins

Publisher: Penguin

Tulip Fever by Deborah Moggach

Publisher: Vintage

Headlong by Michael Frayn

Publisher: Faber and Faber.

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Jacqui Dankworth and Chris Smith

Discussion of books by Margaret Atwood, Marilynne Robinson and Owen Sheers. From 2008.

4 Extra Debut. Jacqui Dankworth, Chris Smith and Kate Mosse discuss books by Margaret Atwood, Marilynne Robinson and Owen Sheers. From 2008.

Kate Mosse and her guests - jazz singer, Jacqui Dankworth and former Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Chris Smith - discuss their favourite books by Margaret Atwood, Marilynne Robinson and Owen Sheers.

Negotiating With the Dead by Margaret Atwood

Publisher: Virago

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

Publisher: Virago

Resistance by Owen Sheers

Publisher: Faber

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2008.

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John Gordon Sinclair & Kerry Ellis

Books worth reading chosen by actor John Gordon Sinclair and singer Kerry Ellis

Actor John Gordon Sinclair and West End star Kerry Ellis choose their favourite books

Actor John Gordon Sinclair and West End star Kerry Ellis choose their favourite books. John's is 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Kerry opts for I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella. Presenter Harriett Gilbert picks a Dutch novel, The Following Story by Cees Nooteboom.

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Producer: Maggie Ayre

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David Stratton looks at how Australian cinema celebrates the endurance of outsiders.

Film critic David Stratton looks at how Australian cinema celebrates the endurance of outsiders. His selections include Muriel's Wedding and The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.

Much-loved film critic David Stratton tells the fascinating story of Australian cinema, focusing in on the films that capture this idiosyncratic nation with drama, emotion and humour.

David played a pivotal role supporting film-makers and helping them to find audiences both locally and abroad. He rose to fame co-hosting a movie review show with Margaret Pomeranz, which the nation religiously tuned in to for almost 30 years.

In this episode, David looks at how Australian cinema celebrates the endurance of outsiders, whether they are newcomers to a strange new land in films like They’re a Weird Mob and Wake in Fright, or locals out of step with the mainstream in Evil Angels, Muriel’s Wedding and The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.

The series takes us on a thrilling journey across Australian cinema's most moving moments and unforgettable scenes and into the heart of the stories portrayed on the big screen that helped shape a nation’s idea of itself.

Credits

Presenter
David Stratton
Director
Sally Aitken

The Arts Show

2017/2018 Episode 5: In Conversation with Neil Jordan

Marie-Louise Muir talks to director and actor Neil Jordan about his extensive career.

Marie-Louise Muir talks to director and actor Neil Jordan about his extensive career, which includes films such as Interview with the Vampire and The Crying Game.

Marie-Louise Muir talks to Irish director and writer Neil Jordan about his extensive career, which includes the movies Interview with the Vampire, The Crying Game and Michael Collins, and novels such as The Drowned Detective and Carnivalesque.

Credits

Presenter
Marie-Louise Muir
Interviewed Guest
Neil Jordan
Producer
Martin de Bara
Executive Producer
Paul McGuigan

Kevin Magee goes in search of the lost Irish paintings of American artist Rockwell Kent.

Documentary in which Kevin Magee goes in search of the Irish paintings of American artist Rockwell Kent.

Téann Kevin Magee ar tóir phictiúir chaillte Éireannacha an ealaí­ontóra Mheiriceánaigh, Rockwell Kent. Chomh maith leis na pictiúir, nochtann sé scéalta cairdis a mhair ar feadh a shaoil agus scéal grá a tháinig slán trí­d an Chogadh Fhuar.

Kevin Magee hunts for the Irish paintings of American artist Rockwell Kent. As well as the paintings he uncovers lifelong friendships and a romance that survived the Cold War.

Credits

Presenter
Kevin Magee
Producer
Méabh Fields
Director
Antaine Ó Donnaile

David Stratton explores the depiction of families in Australian films.

Film critic David Stratton explores the depiction of families, of all types, in Australian films, including The Castle, The Devil's Playground, Romper Stomper, Ned Kelly and Animal Kingdom.

Much-loved film critic David Stratton tells the fascinating story of Australian cinema, focusing in on the films that capture this idiosyncratic nation with drama, emotion and humour.

David played a pivotal role supporting film-makers and helping them to find audiences both locally and abroad. He rose to fame co-hosting a movie review show with Margaret Pomeranz, which the nation religiously tuned in to for almost 30 years.

In this episode, all kinds of families are given a voice, including The Castle’s nuclear, if unorthodox family, a family of faith in The Devil’s Playground, Romper Stomper’s frightening neo-Nazis, and crime families such as those depicted in Ned Kelly and Animal Kingdom.

The series takes us on a thrilling journey across Australian cinema's most moving moments and unforgettable scenes and into the heart of the stories portrayed on the big screen that helped shape a nation’s idea of itself.

Credits

Presenter
David Stratton
Director
Sally Aitken

Inside Cinema

Series 1 Meet the Family

Film families, from Aliens to Ratcatcher to Serial Mom, in all their dysfunctional glory.

Meet the Family looks at the depiction of families in cinema, in all their maddening, dysfunctional glory. From Home Alone to Tokyo Story, and from Pan's Labyrinth to Gosford Park - it's all relative.

Meet the Family, voiced by Kathy Burke (Nil by Mouth, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), puts cinematic families on the analyst's couch for a deep dive into what makes some of the most dysfunctional dynasties in cinema tick.

How do film-makers go about dramatising the one thing we all have in life - family? Maybe it's about drawing directly from your own life, like Christina Crawford's account of being raised by a nightmare mother, A-list star Joan Crawford, in the infamous Hollywood scandal magnet, Mommie Dearest. Or maybe dramatising the furthest extremes that families will go to needs to involve fantasy, as in magical Oscar-winning fairy tale, Pan's Labyrinth, where a little girl escapes from her wicked stepfather into a dreamlike but dangerous underworld.

Even when film-makers have their familial inspiration sorted out, families on the big screen still pose unique challenges, even to the greatest directors in cinema. How can you possibly make every single family member in a massive cinematic ensemble like Gosford Park memorable, when even people in real life have trouble remembering who their second cousins are? How do you know where to start and finish your story about a family, when every family stretches back through infinite generations? Perhaps, like Lars von Trier, you could start with the end of the world. And what about empathy? How do we know who to root for in a film like American Beauty, which only gives us one side of the story?

Through the lens of films as varied as 8 Mile, Do the Right Thing, Tokyo Story, Aliens, Bicycle Thieves, The Hangover III, Dead Ringers, Home Alone, Ratcatcher, Back to the Future and many more, we zoom in on families in film, discovering how film-makers have imagined them on the big screen - and what that tells us about our place in our own families.

Credits

Narrator
Kathy Burke
Composer
Jeremy Warmsley
Writer
Catherine Bray
Production Manager
Annie Hughes
Executive Producer
Dan Jones
Executive Producer
Lamia Dabboussy
Producer
Anthony Ing
Producer
Charlie Shackleton
Director
Catherine Bray
Production Company
Little Dot Studios

Museums in Quarantine

Series 1 British Museum

Dr Janina Ramirez chooses her favourites from the treasures at the British Museum.

Dr Janina Ramirez curates a highly personal selection of the artefacts housed by the British Museum.

Art historian Dr Janina Ramirez has lovingly paced the galleries of the British Museum since she was a child. Now, as the museum’s incomparable collections lie shuttered during the lockdown, she has been given permission to curate a highly personal selection of some of her favourites amongst its many treasures and to guide us on her very own virtual tour of its silent, empty galleries.

For Ramirez, no other collection in the world makes it possible to chart the highs and lows of humans across the world, and across time, in quite the same way. Her tour takes her across many different cultures and periods of history, alighting on objects as varied as a decorated Aztec skull, ancient Egyptian cat mummies and an 18th-century tea set. As she says, ‘Whether they provide a glimpse into enduring notions of love, sex and spirituality or catalogue moments of change, power and achievement, the artefacts in this one building show us the eternal and the ephemeral.’

The film is a personal reflection on the solace, wisdom and sense of perspective that the British Museum’s global collections can bring us in a time of crisis. ‘We all matter,’ Ramirez concludes, ‘we all stitch ourselves, even in the smallest way, onto the tapestry of existence. These artefacts show us that each of us leaves our footprints in the sands of time.'

Credits

Presenter
Janina Ramirez
Composer
Alexander Parsons
Production Manager
Kate Ryan
Assistant Producer
Joe Fell
Editor
Emma Lysaght
Executive Producer
Joe Evans
Producer
Christian Collerton
Director
Neil Crombie
Director
Christian Collerton

A Good Read

Phill Jupitus and Candace Allen

Phill Jupitus and Candace Allen are Sue MacGregor's book discussion guests.

4 Extra Debut. Sue MacGregor, Phill Jupitus and Candace Allen discuss books by Raymond Chandler, Bessie Head and Elizabeth Hardwick. From September 2005.

4 Extra Debut.

Sue MacGregor and her guests - comedian, Phill Jupitus and writer, Candace Allen - discuss books by Bessie Head, Raymond Chandler and Elizabeth Hardwick. From September 2005.

When Rain Clouds Gather by Bessie Head

Publisher: Heinemann - African Writers

The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler

Publisher: Penguin

Sleepless Nights by Elizabeth Hardwick

Publisher: New York Review Books.

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Tony Parsons and Olly Mann

Tony Parsons and Olly Mann talk favourite books with Harriett Gilbert.

Tony Parsons and Olly Mann talk favourite books with Harriett Gilbert including Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty and Never Mind by Edward St Aubyn.

Harriett Gilbert and guests talk favourite books, including Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty, Never Mind by Edward St Aubyn (the first in his Patrick Melrose series) & The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. Her guests are the journalist and broadcaster Tony Parsons, who started his career at the NME and went on to write Man and Boy and later the bestselling DC Max Wolfe thriller series. And Olly Mann, presenter of award-winning podcasts and radio programmes including Answer Me This!, The Modern Mann and BBC Radio 4's The Male Room and Four Thought.

Producer: Mair Bosworth.

Credits

Presenter
Harriett Gilbert
Interviewed Guest
Tony Parsons
Interviewed Guest
Olly Mann
Producer
Mair Bosworth

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Robert Webb and Hugo Rifkind

Robert Webb and Hugo Rifkind talk about favourite books with presenter Harriett Gilbert.

Comic actor and writer Robert Webb and award-winning journalist Hugo Rifkind talk about favourite books with presenter Harriett Gilbert.

Comic actor and writer Robert Webb and award-winning journalist Hugo Rifkind talk about favourite books with presenter Harriett Gilbert.

Robert's choice is East Anglican based fictional tale Waterland by Graham Swift. Hugo picks the Douglas Adams classic Life, The Universe and Everything, and Harriett brings Sam Miller's Fathers to the table.

Producer Beth O'Dea.

Credits

Presenter
Harriett Gilbert
Interviewed Guest
Robert Webb
Interviewed Guest
Hugo Rifkind
Producer
Beth O'Dea

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Marjorie Wallace and Richard Francis

Sue MacGregor is joined by Marjorie Wallace and Richard Francis.

4 Extra Debut. Marjorie Wallace and Richard Francis discuss books by Madeleine Masson, Benjamin Markovits and Philip Marsden. From June 2007.

Sue MacGregor and her guests - SANE charity Chief Executive, Marjorie Wallace and writer, Richard Francis - discuss books by Madeleine Masson, Benjamin Markovits and Philip Marsden.

Christine: SOE Agent and Churchill's Favourite Spy, by Madeleine Masson

Publisher: Virago

Either Side of Winter by Benjamin Markovits

Publisher: Faber

The Chains of Heaven by Philip Marsden

Publisher: Harper Collins.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2007.

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Stephen Morris and Pippa Evans

Stephen Morris and Pippa Evans tell presenter Harriett Gilbert about books they love.

Joy Division and New Order drummer Stephen Morris and comedian and songwriter Pippa Evans tell presenter Harriett Gilbert about books they love - by Tim Winton and David Keenan.

Joy Division and New Order drummer Stephen Morris and comedian and songwriter Pippa Evans tell presenter Harriett Gilbert about books they love, by Tim Winton and David Keenan. Keenan's This is Memorial Device is a satire about the post-punk scene that reminds Stephen of people he's known. Pippa loves The Shepherd's Hut by Tim Winton, as well as all of his other books, and Harriett shares with them both The Story of Lucy Gault by William Trevor.

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Produced by Beth O'Dea

Photo by Warren Jackson

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Art of Living

Breath is Life: Eileen Kramer

The 104-year-old choreographer Eileen Kramer takes us on a vivid dance through her life.

The 104-year-old Australian dancer and choreographer Eileen Kramer takes us on a vivid dance through her life.

"You don't start a dance by letting breath out, you do it by taking breath in... it's coming to life."

Eileen Kramer first fell in love with a dance in 1939 - watching the members of Gertrud Bodenwieser's company waltz to the Blue Danube in Sydney in a whirl of feeling and expression. She tracked down the Austrian dance pioneer within days, auditioned, and later joined her group - one of the first modern dance companies in Australia.

"The new dance... wishes to embrace all the human feelings, not only harmony, lightness and charm but also passionate desire, immense fervour, lust, domination, fear and frustration, dissonance and uproar. The new dance does not content itself with being enchanting and entertaining only; it wishes to be stirring, exciting and thought-provoking" - Gertrud Bodenwieser.

In this documentary, we hear how Eileen has carried this expression of feeling into her second century. Still working as a dancer and choreographer at 104, Eileen returned to her hometown of Sydney in the hopes of hearing a kookaburra. Across the decades, she has lived and danced in America, India and Europe, learned the twist from Louis Armstrong, written books, made films, fallen in love and most recently entered a self-portrait into the Archibald Prize, one of Australia's biggest art competitions.

"You have all this in you and then somebody comes along and shows you how to express it in dance... it's a wonderful thing."

Photo credit: Sue Healey

Additional recordings by Catherine Freyne and Fiona Croall

Workshop recorded at the Dance and the Child International conference in Adelaide (2018)

Produced by Eleanor McDowall

A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4

Roderick Williams discovers the social history hidden in the places we make for singing.

Roderick Williams continues his exploration of Britain’s stories, seen through our songs. Today, he discovers the social history hidden in the places we make for singing.

Singer, Roderick Williams continues his exploration of Britain’s stories told through our songs. Today, he looks at where we choose to sing and what those places can tell us about our social history.

Roderick starts his journey at Mason’s Court, the oldest residence in Stratford-upon-Avon, where songs might have been shared between family and friends in the 15th century. He takes us into a busy London square to understand the life of a street balladeer in the Georgian era, and hear how our present-day buskers work the passing crowds. He also pays a visit to City Varieties Music Hall in Leeds, with Professor Derek Scott, to examine how the Victorians transformed songs and singers into mass-market commodities.

The instinct to sing is as old as humans themselves and, in Britain, we have been singing our story, consciously and unconsciously, all through our history. Songs that harness a fleeting thought, capture a mood, tell a tall tale, or simply make us smile.

In this four part series, Roderick Williams explores different aspects of our British story, through the lens of the songs we sing. He’ll show how songs can transport us across all classes, all eras and all areas of the UK. Each song telling us something essential about our nation at different times and places by teleporting us right inside the experience of someone who was there. We’ll see how songs have passed from singer to singer, from listener to listener, reflecting who we are as a nation, and celebrating the things we hold most dear.

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