In Our Time
Celebrating Twenty Years of Essential Conversation
Between 1998 and 2018, Melvyn Bragg and his co-presenters hosted 815 editions of In Our Time, BBC Radio 4's Thursday morning live discussion, with academics talking on topics in history, science, philosophy, culture and religion. Chosen from the accumulated riches of 20 years, this is an illustrated selection of 50 of the most interesting conversations about subjects as diverse as the 18th-century gin craze, photosynthesis, Confucius, Turner’s The Fighting Temeraire, and the story of Tristan and Iseult.
Living with the Gods
On Beliefs and Peoples
In this book accompanying his BBC radio series, the former director of the British Museum explores the role of shared beliefs in the life of human communities around the globe. Rather than focusing on religious doctrine, he concentrates on practices, objects and places, tracing how societies from the Ice Age onwards have used stories and rituals to mark their identity and strengthen cohesion: ‘for in deciding how we live with our gods we also decide how to live with each other’.
What I Learnt
What My Listeners Say – and Why We Should Take Notice
Jeremy Vine succeeded Jimmy Young as presenter of Radio 2's phone-in show in 2003 and since then has taken over 25,000 calls – including the joyous, the furious and the occasional joker. As well as his radio show, Vine is a familiar face on television, and his book describes working on everything from general election coverage to Strictly Come Dancing, but his emphasis is on his listeners ‘and all the surprises they spring’. Slightly off-mint.
Brain of Britain
Ultimate Quiz Book
Starting as What Do You Know? in 1953, and changing its title in 1967, BBC Radio 4's Brain of Britain is probably ‘the most venerable of general knowledge quizzes anywhere’. With this book you can challenge your own brain with 2,000 questions (50 quizzes of 40 questions each) drawn from the programme’s archives. By way of introduction, the current presenter, Russell Davies, has written a history of Brain of Britain and shares his thoughts on ‘this quiz lark’.
A Good Face for Radio
Confessions of a Radio Head
As the host of Radio 4's PM for 15 years, Eddie Mair established a unique style, bringing deadpan humour to the programme alongside hard-hitting political interviews and serious news journalism. This collection of his weekly columns, which were published in the Radio Times between 2010 and 2016, reflects his idiosyncratic wit and mischievous tone, lampooning contemporary political events, poking fun at his fellow broadcasters and musing on the quirks of everyday life.
The Unbelievable Truth
Introduced by David Mitchell as 'repentance' for Radio 4's Unbelievable Truth panel game and its 'dozens of episodes consisting of likely-sounding rubbish interspersed with accurate information rendered implausible', this book presents the true, if often rather bizarre, facts about subjects from Admiral Lord Nelson to Wool. Among all this bona fide information are Graham Garden's less than reliable lectures on a number of topics including Armadillos, Isaac Newton and Mrs Beeton.
Nine Decades of Radio Voices
Published to mark the 90th anniversary of the BBC's first ever broadcast and the beginning of the British love affair with radio, this book presents a radio history, from the first tentative programmes in 1922, up to the present. Above all, it celebrates the famous voices of radio, including the pioneering radio gardener, Marion Cran; Churchill during wartime; the Goons and Kenneth Horne in the 1950s; the pirates of Radio Caroline; and the stars of BBC radio today.