Category Archives: History

Up the Wellington Arch with Beatrice the Angel of Peace

English Heritage are doing a cleanup on the largest bronze sculpture in Europe – the quadriga of the Angel of Peace by Adrian Jones. Note the war booty in that chariot and the mixed message of the olive branch in … Continue reading

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The man who knew infinity: Difficult history & dreaming spires on film

How do we re-visit history? Watching the continuation of the Rhodes Must Fall campaign at Oxford I went to see The Man Who Saw Infinity with a greater consciousness of how our institutions choose to tell their own versions of … Continue reading

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Why Obi Wan Kenobi is pure evil & why R2 D2 is Moses

An excellent panel of minds got together at Conway Hall’s latest #LondonThinks event last Thursday to discuss the theology and ethics of Star Wars films. You can watch it in full here on Youtube (below). Or open it in another … Continue reading

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How the Space Shuttle Broke My Heart

  This weekend’s Radio 4 Extra Floating In Space 3-hour special (9am and 7pm Saturday Mar 1th and iplayer after) with Simon Guerrier explores the history and the fantasy of manned space exploration from the cosmonauts to dreams of Mars … Continue reading

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The men are weeping in the Oval Office…

Lucy Dichmont and I have made a Something Understood for Radio 4 about Weeping. I knew I wanted to talk about the Wailing Women in the Bible and especially that I wanted to talk again to award-winning poet Andrew McMillan … Continue reading

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Inside the world of Angels: the secret history of film & TV costumes

The chill hits me and a slight tang of…meat. I’ve entered the Fur store room at Angels Costumiers. We stand in silence. There are racks of fur coats – like a multiverse of Narnia entry points. Fox stoles are piled … Continue reading

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I Dressed Ziggy Stardust – revisited

I Dressed Ziggy Stardust is getting a re-broadcast on Radio 4 on Saturday afternoon. Here’s a bit about why: When I pitched I Dressed Ziggy Stardust to Radio 4 back in 2012 there was nothing more to it than a … Continue reading

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Is there a transphobic equivalent to blacking up?

I wrote a piece for the BBC News website today, originally commissioned about the idea of white actors playing black roles, but I wanted to explore further issues Juliet Jacques had touched on when she came on Front Row recently … Continue reading

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The search for TV’s first interracial kiss and why it matters

This is the story behind the BFI’s news today that it may have found the earliest TV interracial kiss. Though in response there are already suggestions that it may not be the first. A few months ago the team behind It … Continue reading

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The Teen Within…

This week’s Something Understood gives voice to people who I reckon are rarely heard on radio. Teenagers. The readings are all done by young actors and much of the music and poetry you’ll hear was written by them, or about … Continue reading

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