Category Archives: Radio

Only Connect: An encounter with Charles Correa and the power of the empty centre

(Jun 17th 2015) I was saddened to hear the news of Charles Correa’s death. An international name who declared he was proudly an Indian architect first, I was fortunate to interview him for Radio 3’s Night Waves in May 2013. … Continue reading

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We gotta get out of this place: Small town boys & the curse of pop stardom

“I used to scrump apples in the grounds here here,” says Jim Dale, smiling that boyish smile as we sit for our interview in a grand medieval manor house. Now a country house hotel it used to be a school … Continue reading

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Young, British and Imam-in-Training: Who we met and why

There were two things producer Georgia Catt and I tried to do with this half hour documentary for Radio 4. One: avoid random isolated Muslim voices claiming to speak for a majority saying  “That’s not Islam” about anything problematic, like … Continue reading

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Desert worlds: JG Ballard, Lawrence of Arabia, Dune & the story of Ishmael

My latest Something Understood for Radio 4 on Sunday April 19th was conceived as a sequel  to The White North Has Thy Bones, about our fascination with the Arctic and the North West Passage. Together with producer Natalie Steed we … Continue reading

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The Bronte heroine who hated bouquets

For this week’s Something Understood producer Lucy Dichmont was keen to explore the elaborate Victorian coded language of floral bouquets. Unexpectedly I found myself pulling out memories and stories that I’ve been carrying around for decades. I’ve also created a … Continue reading

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Get hold of a skull, nutmeg: Leonardo Da Vinci, Bruce Lee and the art of the List

This week’s Something Understood for Radio 4 focusses on the human passion for lists. My elder brother, an obsessive list maker, started me off on my first — a film diary with each film dated and rated kept since I … Continue reading

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The truth about true crime: A crime reporter’s qualms about Serial

I’ve reported on violent crime for 25 years including the OJ Simpson case. I consider it a privilege to cover trials. Strip away the glamour of celebrity and a very large proportion, such as the OJ Simpson case, are about … Continue reading

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The White North Has Thy Bones: Ice stations, submarines & the woman who swam the North West Passage

Here’s a programme to listen to huddled by the fire, like Jane Eyre with her book of polar wildlife as the wind howls outside. Producer Kevin Dawson came up with the idea of our latest Something Understood  programme about the … Continue reading

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On the trail of Oliver Cromwell’s Fundamentalist Queen

All photos copyright Samira Ahmed. No re-use. I was fortunate to work with two terrific producers,  Simon and Thomas Guerrier on this documentary for Radio 3. I first worked with them on DVD extras for Doctor Who. Simon had penned … Continue reading

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I can’t believe he did that: David Guetta on Serge Gainsbourg

Super producer and DJ David Guetta came onto Front Row for last night’s show. Having grown up in the 70 and 80s in France he listened to American soul, funk and British synth and electronica, quoting Ultravox lyrics through our … Continue reading

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