Reviews

Bangalore's New Beat (World Service)

This programme puts Glastonbury's mud problems into perspective. At the start of this fascinating documentary on a new music festival in Bangalore called NH7 Weekender, the presenter and DJ Bobby Friction appears to be shouting over white noise. A mistuned microphone on stage perhaps? No. He is standing in 'what I think is a monsoon or is this a hurricane even?' Friction interviews the irrepressible Vijay Nair who founded the festival, and to who to raise the finances 'mortgaged my house. And when I say my house, I mean my father's house.'”

Catherine Nixey, The Times

Auditioning for Auntie (Radio 4)

A gorgeous documentary by Pete Paphides. It’s hard to decide whether the bureaucracy is amusing or appalling!”

Catherine Nixey, The Times

"Rehearsal lunch break soundtrack: Auditioning for Auntie, @bbcradio4

Stornaway


Follow-Up Albums, Suede - Dog Man Star (Radio 4)

The previous two episodes in this terrific documentary series were about the famous almost setting out to destroy their fame; this one, the tale of Suede's 1994 second album Dog Man Star, is sadly the other way around. Butler's regret at throwing away their lightning-strike creative chemistry for want of a proper man-to-man chat about personal issues is palpable.”

Jack Seale, Radio Times


Spike Milligan - The Serious Poet (Radio 4)

Wow...I cannot begin to tell you how amazing the show is – probably for all sorts of different reasons – I sat and I cannot tell you the emotions that flowed through me – listening to both Dad and Mum – a pleasure that not everybody gets after the passing of parents – but equally it’s immensely emotional. Listening to that I felt I could put my hand out and touch him and actually smell Mums perfume as she performed that song...thank you for putting such a lovely and emotionally sensitive programme together.”

Silé Milligan (Spike’s daughter)

The Sound of Magnolias (Radio 4)

“I thought that the programme on Rodrigo was radio at its absolute best.”

Rt. Hon. David Blunkett


“Everything was put beautifully in its proper perspective, even to the programme's wonderful conclusion, with those haunting, ascending notes on the guitar.”

Blind musician Jim Taylor

 

Elvis by Bono (Radio 4)

"I was aware that I was meant to feel somehow blessed to hear this, but I didn't. With my headphones heavy with prejudice I sat back and listened, only to be startled out of complacent disdain by the electrifying brilliance of this recording. It's no grovelling paean to Presley, and Bono's surprisingly sharp appraisal of the man's life is made truly remarkable by producer/sound engineer Chris O'Shaughnessy's inspired layering of effects, clips and archive recordings."

Jane Anderson, Radio Times

 

Jon Ronson On...Series 6 (Radio 4)

"Friend of the freaks Jon Ronson is back, with his late-night Radio 4 programme which – it says here – "sheds light on the human condition". It does, although sometimes Ronson doesn't shed light so much as gently mock. Not this time, however: the programme, about hearing voices in your head, featured Ronson conducting a riveting interview with Eleanor Longden.

Longden started hearing a single voice in her head, giving a running commentary on what she was doing, when she was a student. Subsequently, she was put in an asylum for three months, where her mental health deteriorated until she was hearing 12 voices. The dominant "grotesque" voice came with an image – "immensely tall, swathed in black… nebulous, with a hook" – which started telling her to do things. She had to dress all in red, or pour a glass of water over a lecturer's head. "I actually did," she said. "Which I'm quite proud about."

What a story: and followed with another one, just as interesting. Forget my freak comment: Ronson is brilliant at exposing the slippery closeness of normality and lunacy in his subjects. And thus in us all."

Miranda Sawyer, The Guardian

 

Alan Parker On David Lean (Radio 4)

 Alan Parker On David Lean

"Stuffed with revealing archive interviews ranging across 30 years, and studded with objective wisdom from Parker and his fellow directors Hugh Hudson and Mike Figgis, it deconstructed Lean both as an artistic and technical genius and as a flawed man."

Chris Campling, The Times


 

 

 

 

Something Understood (Radio 4)

“Quiet, reflective, due weight given to the words, the music, the pauses, the thoughts, the spaces in and between everything. They are contemplative programmes in a mad world and I appreciate them for that.”

Radio critic Paul Donovan

 

Robbie Williams and Jon Ronson Journey To The Other Side (Radio 4)

“Robbie could easily have presented himself as a deranged pop star with too much time and money on his hands, slowly unravelling among fellow sci-fi freaks in the desert, but he doesn’t. He answers Ronson’s gently-put-but-aimed-at-the-heart-of-the-matter questions with trademark humour and a surprising depth of integrity and intelligence.”

Jane Anderson, Radio Times


“Ronson's gift is in being able to involve the listeners by presenting a scenario that invites them to respond, not just to his solution but to come up with their own alternative…And there's the thing. Ronson makes you see things from another angle. It's a gift, and it's what makes him special.”

Chris Campling, The Times

 

Life With Henry and Freddie (Radio 4)

“Radio has a way of slipping you into someone else's skin. It's why people stay in their cars on driveways, waiting for plays to end. It's why something we hear in a documentary can suddenly make us comprehend how it is to live another life. Life With Henry and Freddie was one of those programmes….Laura Parfitt who produced this documentary made Henry and Freddie's story an extraordinary testimony to the power of human love and hope, the very things we tend to forget as the daily news rains down on us.”

Gillian Reynolds, The Daily Telegraph

 

Something Understood (Radio 4)

“A radio treat awaits in the form of one of Radio 4's best kept secrets – the remarkable Something Understood.”

Ray Snoddy, The Times

 

Jon Ronson On...(Radio 4)

"With a mix of fine tunes, comically underwhelming asides and light oddness, this was light and still very clever radio. We could do with more half-hour programmes that don't rush to tidy closure, and leave us only with a handful of entertaining tatters."

Elizabeth Mahoney, The Guardian

 

The Politics of Water (World Service)

“Rarely has the divide between the haves and have nots been more graphically illustrated than in the series The Politics of Water.”

Sue Arnold, The Observer

 

Vote Friction (Radio 1)

"It was great to hear such a powerful documentary going out on Radio 1. Radio 4 stalwarts take note - it's not the only network with great speech radio."

Jan Ravens, Pick Of The Week, Radio 4


“DJ Bobby Friction listened as BNP supporters characterised Asians as drug dealers, rapists, paedophiles and murderers.”

Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph

 

She Died Just In Time (Radio 4)

“Someone has done a serious research job here, interviewing surviving close allies and enemies of Argentina and Eva Peron.”

Gillian Reynolds, The Daily Telegraph

 

Talking About Big Things (Radio 1)

“Hip Hop Dj Tim Westood modifies his usual swagger and broad ghetto accent to come over all pensive in this absorbing look at the devastating effect ‘9/11' had on New York's Hip Hop community.”

The Daily Mail

 

Hollywood Nails At Dawn (Radio 4)

“Hedda Hoper and Louella Parsons were a right pair of poisonous dames in 1930's and 1940s Hollywood. Mariella Frostrup presents a one-off programme, but there's enough material for a whole series on these two harridans…but in the end, as Mariella explains in this riveting programme, Old Father Time brought them low.”

The Daily Mail


“This programme is deliciously malicious and gives gossip back its good name. What a relief.”

The Times

 
 

In Production

'Same Sex Parents' with Mary Smeeth now finished.  Radio 4 22.09.14 at 11am.  Important programme.   Currently...

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