Category Archives: Radio

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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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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Ice, ash and fury: A meditation on eruptions from Mt St Helens to the Temple of St Paul’s Cathedral

Since I made The White North Has Thy Bones a year ago about our obsession with the Arctic and the North West Passage I’ve realised January has become a favourite time of the year. For this Something Understood the starting … 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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The Other Place: A journey into the Underworld with the Witch of Endor

(image from Genius.com) At the age of 6 or so I drew a picture pretty similar to this one in my school RE lesson and it’s been a question in my mind ever since and inspired my latest Something Understood … Continue reading

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Plotting Paradise: A journey through medieval maps and the mind

  Strains of Paradise may start with medieval maps and the Garden of Eden, but producer Anthony Denselow and I didn’t want to shy away from difficult questions too. ¬†So we ask a Muslim theologian about the power of a … Continue reading

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Leaving home: The 60s and getting out

The roots of this Sunday’s Something Understood for Radio 4 are in one song – The Beatles’ She’s Leaving Home and one time: the 1960s. Over the course of the decade young people found greater opportunity through a huge growth … Continue reading

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On location for HG Wells and the H Bomb

As well as this documentary I’ve written this feature for BBC Culture about how the Atom Bomb changed our culture and imagination. And I discuss it with Robert Elms on BBC London here. Listen from 1 hr 39 minutes. In … Continue reading

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Plankton of the midsummer air

This week’s Something Understood¬†takes its title Inebriate of the Air, from an Emily Dickinson poem about the insect heavy honeyed thickness of midsummer light and air. And insect and bird sounds (swifts) dominate this programme. Entomologist Ross Piper helps us … Continue reading

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