Radio

The Sunday Feature is one of the most consistently interesting things on Radio 3

9 October 2021 9:00 am

The story is likely apocryphal — and so disgraceful I almost hesitate to tell it — but it goes like…

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…

A breath of fresh airwaves

19 June 2021 9:00 am

A couple of decades back the Radio Society asked me to moderate a debate for its summer festival. ‘Between who?’…

The joy of Radio 4 Extra

5 June 2021 9:00 am

The best thing on the radio last week was, without question, Kind Hearts and Coronets. You may have missed it…

Insane and fascinating: BBC World Service's Lazarus Heist reviewed

22 May 2021 9:00 am

The narrative podcast remains a form in search of a genre. The template set by the hit show Serial —…

Seldom less than gripping: Banged Up podcast reviewed

8 May 2021 9:00 am

Prison-based podcast Banged Up, now in its second series, is far more uplifting — and less soapy — than its…

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…

Claudia Winkleman’s new Radio 2 show gets off to a brainless start

6 March 2021 9:00 am

Last Saturday on Radio 2 Claudia Winkleman was inaugurated as the host of what was formerly Graham Norton’s mid-morning spot.…

The funniest current affairs show since Brass Eye: Into the Grey Zone reviewed

20 February 2021 9:00 am

It was something a friend said to me about The Revenant, Leonardo diCaprio’s bloody-minded and brutal Oscar vehicle: ‘The problem…

The music we need right now: James MacMillan’s Christmas Oratorio reviewed

6 February 2021 9:00 am

The two most depressing words in contemporary classical music? That’s easy: holy minimalism. I know, I know. Lots of people…

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…

Is the hottest new podcast, The Apology Line, worth sticking with?

30 January 2021 9:00 am

With the arts world still largely in hibernation, the launch of a big podcast is as close as we get…

Pleasant, cheerful and a little exhausting: Graham Norton on Virgin Radio reviewed

23 January 2021 9:00 am

In my parents’ house, the radio is always tuned to one of two stations: Magic FM and LBC. When Magic…

Most artistic careers end in failure. Why does no one talk about this?

16 January 2021 9:00 am

Rosie Millard dispels the myth that persistence is always rewarded

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…

Boldly going where hundreds have gone before: Brave New Planet podcast reviewed

14 November 2020 9:00 am

Since technology is developing at such light-speed pace, why does it feel so strangely slow? There is a sense that…

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…

The most important book on black Britishness has one flaw: its author was white

3 October 2020 9:00 am

Can people of one race really understand the experience of another? asks Colin Grant

BBC sports coverage is becoming unwatchable

3 October 2020 9:00 am

BBC sports coverage is becoming unwatchable

The Archers is a masterclass in how not to write a monologue

12 September 2020 9:00 am

If you’ve been listening to The Archers lately, you’ll know how tedious monologues can be. The BBC has received so…

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,…

Why haven’t podcasts cracked the recipe for audio drama?

4 July 2020 9:00 am

In Beeb-dominated Britain, the commercial triumph of podcasting — epitomised by Spotify’s recent £100 million deals with Joe Rogan and…