Radio Radio

odyssey06

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I've been listening to a lot of BBC scripted series - BBC radio player is not geo-blocked.

Can be hit and miss, these are some of the best recent ones.

John McGahern - Parachutes (1x 45 minutes)
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0075x70

Dumped by his girlfriend, a man tries to drown his sorrows in the in the sharp and funny pub world of 1950s Dublin. Starring Brendan Gleeson as the Narrator, Pauline McLynn as Claire Mulvey, Mark Lambert as Paddy Mulvey, David Wilmot as Eamon Kelly and Karen Ardiff as the Woman.

The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker (10 x15 minutes)
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0blddgp

Pat Barker reimagines Homer's The Iliad from the point of view of captured Trojan queen Briseis. Read by Nadine Marshall and Colin Salmon.
 

Brendan Burgess

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I listened to the first episode of The Silence of the Girls when it was first broadcast, but there was too much shouting and roaring.

The In our Time podcasts are brilliant.

I think I heard Parachutes before. I might listen to it again. Thanks for the link.

Brendan
 

odyssey06

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There'll be a repeat of Sebastian Barry - The Temporary Gentleman from the Book at Bedtime series soon.
I will try to remember to post the link when I track it down, can sometimes be hard if it is part of a long running series.
 

odyssey06

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I'm enjoying "Swansong", a BBC Radio documentary series presented by Stuart Maconie on the final albums of some icon British bands. There are 4 x 30 minute episodes covering:
* The Smiths - Strangeways Here We Come
* Manic Street Preachers - The Holy Bible
* The Police - Synchronicity
* Big Country - Driving to Damascus
* Link https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01nlylb

Follow-up Albums is a similar series featuring Fleetwood Mac's Tusk, Suede's Dog Man Star, and Dexys Midnight Runners with Don't Stand me Down:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01j0lxw/episodes/player
 

Brendan Burgess

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I am roaring laughing listening to the Pickwick Papers from BBC 4 Extra.

I can't understand how so many critics have slammed this book. I enjoyed reading it, but listening to it is much, much better.

I find the documentaries on albums, especially on television, too wordy. I would prefer to listen to the album itself or a programme with 80% music and a bit of discussion.

Steve Harley presented a radio programme some years ago "Sounds of the 70s". He got the balance right. And told stories about the musicians many of whom he knew. Not sure why he was dropped.

Brendan
 

cremeegg

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I am roaring laughing listening to the Pickwick Papers from BBC 4 Extra.

I can't understand how so many critics have slammed this book. I enjoyed reading it, but listening to it is much, much better.
Hard Times at school turned me off Dickens. Many years later I discovered The Pickwick Papers, absolutely loved it, laugh out loud funny. Must try listening to it, that may bring something else out.

I wasn't aware that critics had slammed it, I'm probably better off.
 

Brendan Burgess

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I wasn't aware that critics had slammed it, I'm probably better off.
I remember being surprised that it did not feature in the Top 10.

The I heard someone on the radio describing it as the "execrable Pickwick Papers" in such a way that I assumed it was dismissed given that it was his first novel.

However, I have just Googled "The top 10 Dickens novels" and it often appears in the list.

I had to search quite hard to find commentary like this.

So, now for the worst of Dickens. Any Dickens is better than many other things you might read, in my opinion, but I think his worst novel is The Pickwick Papers. This makes sense; it’s his first novel, and it wasn’t originally supposed to even be a novel.

Originally, The Pickwick Papers was to be a series of illustrations connected by short stories. The illustrations would come first and then Dickens would write a corresponding story. Despite this being his first novel, Dickens fought to reverse the situation and won. But now, he had to start cranking out more copy than anticipated in serial form, without a clear idea of where he was headed.

This is evident in the beginning of the novel, where the story rambles about with no sense of purpose. Dickens eventually pulls it together and realizes he’s writing a novel and not another series of sketches and starts building a more unified, focused story.
 

odyssey06

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Keep an eye and ear out next week for the "Rabbit at Rest" adaptation in the BBC Book at Bedtime series.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m00026yc

The fourth part of John Updike's Pullitzer Prize winning "Rabbit" series, read by the excellent Toby Jones.

I thought the previous entry in the series "Rabbit is Rich" was very good. I hope they repeat the earlier entries on Radio 4 extra.
 

Peanuts20

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R4 extra can be very good. Friday night comedy on R4 at 6.30 is excellent and of course you cannot beat the likes of Desert Island discs and can listen back to many of the old episodes
 

odyssey06

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Two excellent entries in the RTE Radio 1 Documentary series, one grim, one light-hearted.

In 1979, the Fastnet Yacht Race turned into one of the greatest yacht-racing disasters ever. 21 people died, many boats were dismasted, abandoned or sunk as the race became a fight to stay alive.

A story of football, war and farce as we look back at the Republic of Ireland soccer team's 1982 tour of South America, which took place during the Falklands War. But just how did half the squad end up being detained by a armed police?
 

Peanuts20

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A story of football, war and farce as we look back at the Republic of Ireland soccer team's 1982 tour of South America, which took place during the Falklands War. But just how did half the squad end up being detained by a armed police?
Isnt that the tour where one player got 2 caps from the FAI for playing against Trinidad & Tobago??
 

odyssey06

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Isnt that the tour where one player got 2 caps from the FAI for playing against Trinidad & Tobago??
Yes, actually I think it is mentioned in the documentary. Although there was much confusion about those games.
They played two games, one against the T&T international team; one against a club team.
Eoin Hand swears that they beat the international team and lost to the club team - but the official result said otherwise!
 

odyssey06

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Nice little 'podcast' type series on BBC at the moment - World War Two: The Economic Battle.

Five x 15 minute episodes focusing on the economies of the major powers in the run up to World War Two.
The UK, France, China, Japan, Germany and USSR are covered - although strangely not the US.

Available worldwide on BBC Sounds for next 4 weeks:
 

odyssey06

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Another BBC History podcast, "The Things We Forgot to Remember", presented by Michael Portillo. 30 minute episodes.

This was an interesting episode on how a single event changed the course of the World War II night-fighting air battle:

There are other episodes on topics like the Hanseatic League, the 'English' Armada, the French Resistance.
 
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