German novelist Karl May's Wild West stories have enchanted generations of Europeans since 1879, yet in Britain and America he remains virtually unknown. A former pickpocket, he began writing in jail, using his imagination to capture the spirit of a time and place he hadn't seen. This didn't stop him from claiming his characters' adventures as his own, a deception that led to him being pilloried in the press when it emerged that he hadn 't been further west than the Rhine. Christopher Frayling unravels the magic of a brilliant fantasist whose work continues to entertain millions of readers today. Producer Mark Burman
Compelling radio from around the globe, presented by Emily Buchanan. This week she looks at what writers from Europe, South Africa and the Far East have to say about humour, and she meets Ellen and Michael whose cook book Food and Foreplay aims to reverse the divorce rate in America. Producer Julia Rooke. Repeated Sunday 8pm
Pam Ferris performs a monologue by Louise Oliver. For her 50th birthday present, Eva Sparrow chooses 50 days of solitude, which she spends perched high in her tree house at the bottom of her garden.With her sons away travelling Europe, she sits in her wing-backed arm chair, looking back over her life. With songs by Clive Bell and Louise Oliver. Director Susan Roberts. Singer Amanda Hadingue (R)
The last of five programmes in which well-known politicians talk to Anne Perkins about an important literary or philosophical inspiration. Today Frank Field discusses John Strachey. For details see Monday
Michael Rosen looks at words and the way we speak. Don't Say It. "A shy, evasive, glassy eyed manner of speech" is how Franz Kafka described doctors' comments on his tuberculosis in 1924. Today, cancer and Aids are considered taboo illnesses. Why does the fear of pronouncing such words remain? Producer Bella Bannerman. Repeated Sunday 8.30pm
Steve Punt and Hugh Dennis present the topical comedy show, recorded with full bagpiping at the Edinburgh festival. With Jon Holmes ,
Emma Kennedy , Paul Putnerand music from Mitch Benn. Producer Adam Bromley. Repeated Saturday 12.30pm
Joe defends Pa Larkin.
Written byCaroline Harrington . Director Julie Beckett
Editor Vanessa Whitburn. ARCHERS ADDICTS FAN CLUB: send an sae to [address removed]
The last of five dramas by Emma Donoghue about the difficulties of getting on with ex-partners.
The Estate Agent. Newlyweds Tony and Sandy are unexpectedly faced with Tony's ex when they decide to buy a house. Has he chosen the right woman?
For details see Monday. Repeated from 10.45am
Six debates on issues of perennial interest, chaired by Nick Clarke in front of a specially invited audience. 3: "We'd all be better off without supermarkets."
Producer Nick Utechin. Listeners can also vote on the motion. To vote YES PHONE: [number removed]. To vote NO PHONE: [number removed] LINES OPEN after the programme until 2.20pm Saturday Maximum call cost lOp. Repeated Saturday 1.15pm
Steve Walker's drama tells of how the eccentric
English inventor Professor Geoffrey Pyke designed a battleship made of ice for use in the Second World War, only to see it dissolve in a Canadian lake.
Director Andy Jordan
New writing and invigorating talk as Chris Bigsby asks three writers - established and new -to write and talk on a shared topic that affects all our lives. Fathers. "To begin with, the man must abstain from sexual activities for at least three days, but no longer than seven." With Michael Holroyd , Patricia Duncker , Simon Armitage and Tom Leonard. Producer Jane Greenwood
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