Radio 4

Enjoyably plummy and male: Battleground – The Falklands War podcast reviewed

14 May 2022 9:00 am

The Battlegroundpodcast on the wars of the 20th century, said presenter Saul David happily, ‘will have lots of bombs and…

If you like First Dates, you'll love This is Dating

26 February 2022 9:00 am

The tagline of This is Dating, a new podcast from across the pond, is ‘Come for the cringe, stay for…

Disappointingly conventional and linear: BBC radio's modernism season reviewed

29 January 2022 9:00 am

This week marks the beginning of modernism season on BBC Radio 3 and 4, which means it’s time for some…

Radio 4's Moominland Midwinter restores Moomintroll's innocence

18 December 2021 9:00 am

Moomins do not like winter. In one of Tove Jansson’s stories, Moomin’s Winter Follies, young Moomintroll bumps his head when…

Contains moments of spellbinding banality: Radio 4's The Poet Laureate has Gone to his Shed reviewed

21 August 2021 9:00 am

The interview podcast is a genre immoderately drawn to gimmicks, as the logical space of possible formats is gradually exhausted.…

Why do I find sketch shows – even the better ones – so embarrassing and charmless?

14 August 2021 9:00 am

On sketch shows, the wisdom once was that you needed a punchline. That is, a slightly hammy, summative sign-off to…

Floods you with fascinating facts: Trees A Crowd reviewed

31 July 2021 9:00 am

Listening to Trees A Crowd, a podcast exploring the ‘56(ish) native trees of the British Isles’, solved one of childhood’s…

Why the mangling of language matters

10 July 2021 9:00 am

I thought that this week I would share with you a bunch of words and phrases which are currently overused…

Refreshingly unfettered: LRB Podcast's Close Readings on Patricia Highsmith

10 April 2021 9:00 am

I’d forgotten what a rich and deep and characterful voice John le Carré had. Listening to author and lawyer Philippe…

Why In Our Time remains the best thing on radio

20 March 2021 9:00 am

In Our Time is the best thing on Radio 4, possibly the best thing on the radio full stop. It…

Enjoyably tasteless: Power – The Maxwells reviewed

6 February 2021 9:00 am

This year marks three decades since Robert Maxwell fell naked to his death from the deck of his yacht, The…

Englishness vs California dreaming: Meghan and Harry's Archewell Audio reviewed

16 January 2021 9:00 am

On Archewell Audio, Harry and Meghan’s new podcast, ‘love wins’, ‘change really is possible’, and ‘the courage and the creativity…

Enjoyably bad-tempered: The Lock In with Jeremy Paxman reviewed

21 November 2020 9:00 am

‘I used to be Mr Nasty! That was good! Mr Nasty was easy!’ Jeremy Paxman bellows at Michael Palin on…

A beautiful radio adaptation: Radio 4’s The Housing Lark reviewed

17 October 2020 9:00 am

Nineteen fifty-six: the Suez crisis, the first Tesco, Jim Laker takes 19 wickets in a match. But also: Trinidadian pianist…

Hats (and knickers) off to the hosts: The Naked Podcast reviewed

15 August 2020 9:00 am

I spent half an hour this week listening to a woman make a plaster cast of her vulva. Kat Harbourne,…

My pronouncement on the BBC

15 August 2020 9:00 am

Radio 4 recently ran an adaptation of Albert Camus’s The Plague in which the protagonist, Dr Bernard Rieux, was transformed…

Why is Robert Burton’s masterpiece Anatomy of Melancholy being sold as self-help?

27 June 2020 9:00 am

The BBC has been having a good pandemic. Stuck at home, a generation raised on podcasts and YouTube has discovered…

Adapting Wodehouse for the radio is a challenge – but the BBC has succeeded brilliantly

23 May 2020 9:00 am

Everyone knows a Lord Emsworth. Mine lives south of the river and wears caterpillars in his hair and wine on…

I've lost patience with podcasts and their presenters

24 April 2020 11:00 pm

‘To be recognised and accepted by a peregrine,’ wrote J.A. Baker in 1967, ‘you must wear the same clothes, travel…

Ill-disciplined and self-indulgent: The Guilty Feminist podcast reviewed

4 April 2020 9:00 am

With theatres shut, radio must lighten the darkness. The Guilty Feminist is a wildly popular podcast performed by Deborah Frances-White…

‘Smile, segue and shut up’

2 September 2017 9:00 am

Three weeks before Classic FM launched, I was on the radio in Hong Kong, introducing hits by Rick Astley and…

Universal appeal

26 August 2017 9:00 am

Yet another sign that we are living in very strange times: a pair of celebrities, their names made by TV,…

Separation anxiety

5 August 2017 9:00 am

As Europe remembers Passchendaele, India and Pakistan recall Partition, just 70 years ago, when Britain so hastily abandoned its Indian…

What stopped Stoppard?

29 July 2017 9:00 am

Two programmes this week presented two radically different world views, or rather ways of life. Aditya Chakrabortty’s series for Radio…

Coney Island amusement park used to display premature babies to a paying public

28 May 2016 9:00 am

I like Radio 4 — you can have it on in the background burbling away for hours and hours without…