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A Good Read

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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Black Music in Europe: A Hidden History

Series 1 Episode 3: 1920-1930

The Wire's Clarke Peters reveals a surprising musical history from a century ago.

The Wire's Clarke Peters uncovers the stories of black musicians in Europe, from the birth of recorded sound to the height of the jazz age.

The Wire's Clarke Peters draws on a rare collection of archive recordings to explore a forgotten musical history.

Received wisdom has it that black popular music arrived in Europe with the Empire Windrush in 1948, but Clarke brings us black sounds recorded in Europe from as far back as 1900.

Focusing on early commercial discs made in the recording studios of London, Paris and Berlin, we hear from dozens of different performers, including African American travelling entertainers, traditional African musicians, black British classical composers and more.

Episode 3 - 1920-1930

Clarke explores the sounds of Zonophone records, a pioneering label that recorded a huge amount of early African popular music. Many of these discs were made in London for export to West Africa, including several Nigerian hymns recorded in 1922 by Fela Kuti's grandfather. The programme also includes the sounds of African American jazz in 1920s Paris, especially the work of Josephine Baker, the world's first black superstar.

Much of the music in this series is drawn from Black Europe, a vast boxset issued by Bear Family Records and documenting the sounds of the era.

With readings by Paterson Joseph.

Produced by Tom Woolfenden

A Loftus Media production for BBC Radio 4.

A Good Read

Dan Pearson and Anna Pavord

Dan Pearson and Anna Pavord are Sue MacGregor's book discussion guests.

Dan Pearson and Anna Pavord: 4 Extra Debut. Dan Pearson, Anna Pavord and Sue MacGregor discuss books by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, John Keats and Michael Pollan. From April 2005.

Garden designer Dan Pearson and Anna Pavord, author of The Tulip, talk to Sue MacGregor about their favourite books by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, John Keats and Michael Pollan. From 2005.

Heat And Dust by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala

Publisher: John Murray

Keats - Selected Poems And Letters (Poetry Bookshelf Series)

Publisher: Heinemann Educational

Second Nature by Michael Pollan

Publisher: Bloomsbury.

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Adam Sisman and Tim Lott

Sue MacGregor, Adam Sisman and Tim Lott discuss favourite paperback novels.

4 Extra Debut Sue MacGregor, Adam Sisman and Tim Lott discuss books by John Wyndham, Jean Rhys and David Almond. From March 2007.

Sue MacGregor and her guests - biographer, Adam Sisman and novelist, Tim Lott discuss books by John Wyndham, Jean Rhys and David Almond.

The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham

Publisher: Penguin Classics

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

Publisher: Penguin Modern Classics

The Fire-Eaters by David Almond

Publisher: Hodder Children's Books

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2007.

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A Good Read

Gráinne Maguire and John Higgs

Gráinne Maguire and John Higgs talk to Harriett Gilbert about books they really love.

Comedian Gráinne Maguire and alternative history author John Higgs talk to presenter Harriett Gilbert about the books they love and want to share.

Comedian Gráinne Maguire and alternative history author John Higgs talk to presenter Harriett Gilbert about books they really love. Gráinne chooses Elaine Dundy’s first novel The Dud Avocado, the delightfully funny adventures of a young woman in 1950s Paris. John picks The Patterning Instinct by Jeremy Lent, a history of the world in cultural ideas which offers a brand new way of understanding civilisation and the future. Harriett’s choice is dark wartime novel The Dressmaker by Beryl Bainbridge.

Producer: Beth O'Dea

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Mark Steel and Duncan Fallowell

Sue MacGregor discusses favourite books with Mark Steel and Dunan Fallowell.

4 Extra Debut. Sue MacGregor, Mark Steel and Duncan Fallowell discuss books by Gavin Lambert, Gary Imlach and Don DeLillo. From June 2007.

Sue MacGregor and her guests - comedian Mark Steel and writer Duncan Fallowell - discuss books by Gavin Lambert, Gary Imlach and Don DeLillo.

The Slide Area by Gavin Lambert

Publisher: The Serpent's Tail

My Father and Other Working Class Football Heroes by Gary Imlach

Publisher: Yellow Jersey Press

Cosmopolis by Don DeLillo

Publisher: Picador

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2007.

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A Good Read

Cathy Newman and Jeffery Deaver

Cathy Newman and Jeffery Deaver discuss their favourite books with Harriett Gilbert.

Cathy Newman and Jeffery Deaver discuss their favourite books with Harriett Gilbert. Join our new book club on instagram: @agoodreadbbc

Channel 4 News presenter Cathy Newman and bestselling crime writer Jeffery Deaver discuss their favourite books with Harriett Gilbert. Jeffery chooses The Shipping News by Annie Proulx, Cathy chooses Gone: A Girl, a Violin, a Life Unstrung by Min Kym and Harriett’s choice is White Houses by Amy Bloom.

Join our new book club on instagram: @agoodreadbbc

Producer Becky Ripley

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A Good Read

Kiri Pritchard-McLean & Hannah Peel

Kiri Pritchard-McLean and Hannah Peel share the books they love with Harriett Gilbert.

Comedian Kiri Pritchard-McLean and singer Hannah Peel share the books they love with Harriett Gilbert. The books are by Italo Calvino, Curtis Sittenfeld and Tsitsi Dangarembga.

Comedian Kiri Pritchard-McLean and singer/composer Hannah Peel share books they love with Harriett Gilbert. Hannah's is Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino, Kiri is blown away by Nervous Conditions by Zimbabwean author Tsitsi Dangarembga and Harriett picks You Think It, I'll Say It by Curtis Sittenfeld, author of American Wife.

Follow us on instagram @agoodreadbbc

Producer Beth O'Dea

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A Good Read

Rick Edwards and George Lamb

Presenters Rick Edwards and George Lamb join Harriett Gilbert to talk favourite books.

Presenters Rick Edwards and George Lamb join Harriett Gilbert to talk favourite books, including Dave Eggers' Heroes of the Frontier and Queen of the Tambourine by Jane Gardam.

Presenters Rick Edwards and George Lamb join Harriett Gilbert to talk favourite books, including Dave Eggers' Heroes of the Frontier and Queen of the Tambourine by Jane Gardam. Producer Sally Heaven.

Credits

Presenter
Harriett Gilbert
Interviewed Guest
Rick Edwards
Interviewed Guest
George Lamb
Producer
Sally Heaven

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A Good Read

Sindhu Vee and Phil Wang

Harriett Gilbert talks favourite books with guests, comedians Sindhu Vee and Phil Wang.

Harriett Gilbert talks favourite books with guests, comedians Sindhu Vee and Phil Wang. Books up for discussion include Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng.

Harriett Gilbert talks favourite books with guests, comedians Sindhu Vee and Phil Wang. Books up for discussion are Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, Ghachar Ghochar by Vivek Shanbhag and Deep Sea and Foreign Going by Rose George. Producer Sally Heaven.

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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.

join us on instagram @agoodreadbbc

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.

A Good Read

Owen Jones and Georgia LA

Owen Jones and Georgia LA discuss their favourite books with Harriett Gilbert.

Owen Jones and Georgia LA join Harriett Gilbert to discuss favourite books, including The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst and The Power by Naomi Alderman.

Writer Owen Jones and Google's resident UK millennial Georgia LA join Harriett Gilbert to discuss books. Choices are The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst, The Power by Naomi Alderman and The Trial of Lady Chatterley's Lover by Sybille Bedford.

Credits

Presenter
Harriett Gilbert
Interviewed Guest
Owen Jones
Interviewed Guest
Georgia LA

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A Good Read

Grace Dent and Sian Harries

Grace Dent and Sian Harries talk to Harriett Gilbert about their favourite books.

Journalist Grace Dent and comedy writer Sian Harries talk to Harriett Gilbert about their favourite books and in doing so they talk about grief, Alzheimer’s and being a good woman.

Journalist Grace Dent and comedy writer Sian Harries talk to Harriett Gilbert about their favourite books, and in doing so they talk about grieving, Alzheimer’s and how to be a good woman.. Books are: Grief is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter, Crooked Heart by Lissa Evans and Excellent Women by Barbara Pym.

Producer Beth O'Dea

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A Good Read

Classic Shakespeare play adapted for television by Russell T Davies.

Classic Shakespeare play adapted for television by Russell T Davies. In the tyrannical court of Athens, pitiless dictator Theseus plans his wedding to Hippolyta, a prisoner of war.

Classic Shakespeare play adapted for television by Russell T Davies. In the tyrannical court of Athens, pitiless dictator Theseus plans his wedding to Hippolyta, a prisoner of war, and young Hermia is sentenced to death by her own father. Meanwhile, in the town below, amateur theatre group the Mechanicals rehearse, with all their comic rivalries. And beyond Athens, in the wild woods, dark forces are stirring.

Credits

Writer
Russell T Davies
Director
David Kerr

Arena

All the World's a Screen - Shakespeare on Film

Documentary exploring the rich, global history of Shakespeare in the cinema.

Documentary exploring the rich, global history of Shakespeare in the cinema, with a treasure trove of film extracts and archival interviews with their creators.

From the silent days of cinema, Shakespeare's plays have often been adapted to the big screen. Film-makers relished his vivid characters and dramatic plots as well as the magic and poetry of his work.

At first the results were patchy, then came Laurence Olivier. With Henry V, made to stir patriotic spirit during the Second World War, he perfectly translated Shakespeare from the stage to the screen. He followed Henry V with Hamlet, and both were smash hits. Olivier led the way for directors as diverse as Orson Welles, Kurosawa, Franco Zeffirelli, Roman Polanski, Baz Luhrmann and Kenneth Branagh.

The Bard's language has been no barrier, with bold versions of his dramas coming out of Russia, Japan, India and many other countries, not to mention Hollywood's free adaptations in genres as diverse as musicals and science fiction. Already over 30 films worldwide have been produced based on Romeo and Juliet alone.

For the first time in a single documentary, Arena explores the rich, global history of Shakespeare in the cinema, with a treasure trove of film extracts and archival interviews with their creators.

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Arena

A Good Read

Julia Blackburn and Ritula Shah

Sue MacGregor, Julia Blackburn and Ritula Shah talk about their favourite books.

4 Extra Debut. Sue MacGregor, Julia Blackburn and Ritula Shah discuss books by Kate Clanchy, Michael Ondaatje and Simon Gray. From 2010.

Sue MacGregor talks to writer Julia Blackburn and BBC The World Tonight presenter Ritula Shah about their favourite books by Kate Clanchy, Michael Ondaatje and Simon Gray.

Antigona and Me by Kate Clanchy

Publisher. Picador

Anil's Ghost by Michael Ondaatje

Publisher. Picador

Coda by Simon Gray

Publisher. Granta

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in March 2010.

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Comedian James Veitch gets a challenge from his Radio 4 producer.

Comedian James Veitch gets a challenge from his Radio 4 producer when caught playing Sonic the Hedgehog.

Comedian James Veitch gets a challenge from his Radio 4 producer when caught playing Sonic the Hedgehog.

In need of a task for this episode and riled by his producer's dismissal of gaming, James Veitch sets out on a mission to design him a game that's artistically credible and intellectually compelling.

His challenge will send him to leading industry analysts, trailblazing designers and into the scrutinous gaze of a roomful of teenagers.

James Veitch's TED Talk - "This is what happens when you reply to spam email" - was a massive hit.

The voice of The Producer is Laurence Grissell. The actual Producer is Sam Peach.

The Arts Hour

Sofia Coppola, Jay Park, Christopher Nolan

Director Sofia Coppola discusses her latest film, The Beguiled.

Director Sofia Coppola discusses her latest film, The Beguiled, and why Hollywood still fails to tell female centred stories. K-pop sensation turned record label mogul Jay Park on the South Korean music industry and his experiences in a boy band.

Husband and wife team Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V Gordon on creating the script for their film The Big Sick. Director Christopher Nolan talks about his latest film Dunkirk and how he chose to be as experimental as possible in a mainstream movie.

Humorist and author David Sedaris reads from his diaries and talks about what makes a great anecdote.

And music from the Rajasthan Heritage Brass band who have their own unique take on the Doctor Who and Star Wars themes.

Joining Nikki in discussion are the Nigerian horror writer Nuzo Onoh and the American film critic MaryAnn Johanson.

(Photo shows: Sofia Coppola (c) Rich Fury/Getty Images, Jay Park (c) BBC, Christopher Nolan (c) Tristan Fewings/Getty Images)

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