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RADIO-LISTS: BBC RADIO 4
Unofficial Weekly Listings for BBC Radio 4 — supported by bbc.co.uk/programmes/



SATURDAY 12 DECEMBER 2020

SAT 00:00 Midnight News (m000q3pk)
The latest news and weather forecast from BBC Radio 4.


SAT 00:30 How To Make The World Add Up by Tim Harford (m000q3gq)
Step back and enjoy the long view

Tim Harford reads from his new book revealing how we can evaluate the statistical claims that surround us with confidence, curiosity and a healthy level of scepticism.

Statistics are vital in helping us understand the world. We see them in the papers and on social media, and we hear them used in everyday conversation. Yet we doubt them more than ever. But numbers – in the right hands – have the power to change the world for the better.

Tim argues that, contrary to popular belief, good statistics are not a trick, although they are a kind of magic. Good statistics are like a telescope for an astronomer, a microscope for a bacteriologist or an X-ray for a radiologist. If we are willing to let them, good statistics help us see things about the world that we would not be able to see in any other way.

Tim Harford is a senior columnist at the Financial Times and the presenter of Radio 4’s More or Less and Fifty Things that Made the Modern Economy, as well as author of the best-selling The Undercover Economist.

In this final episode, Tim urges us to take the long view of statistics and the way they are presented in the news. He suggests we consider the idea of the fifty year newspaper - topics that seemed earth-shattering to the daily newspapers of the time might not be mentioned at all, while huge changes in the world would scream from the front pages.

Abridged and produced by Jane Greenwood
Read by Tim Harford
A Loftus Media production for BBC Radio 4


SAT 00:48 Shipping Forecast (m000q3pt)
The latest weather reports and forecasts for UK shipping.


SAT 01:00 Selection of BBC World Service Programmes (m000q3q3)
BBC Radio 4 joins the BBC World Service.


SAT 05:20 Shipping Forecast (m000q3qb)
The latest weather reports and forecasts for UK shipping.


SAT 05:30 News Briefing (m000q3qj)
The latest news from BBC Radio 4


SAT 05:43 Prayer for the Day (m000q3qq)
Good morning. Only one more Saturday to go before Christmas and if you’re a football fan you’d normally be checking fixture lists, making arrangements to get to the game and wondering whether your team will be moving closer to the top or bottom of the table over the crucial festive period. Only this isn’t a normal season and instead supporters will be wondering how well the planned pilot schemes will go, when crowds will be able to return to their stadiums, and how bad the injury lists are getting. For many clubs outside the Premier league there’s huge anxiety whether there will be agreement on a financial bailout to enable them to survive to the end of the season.

It’s a worrying time for clubs and the communities which support them. However, amidst all the fears and concerns, there is at least one amazing and uplifting story - and that’s of Wrexham FC which has just been taken over by Ryan Reynolds, the Hollywood actor and star of the popular Deadpool movies, together with his friend Rob McElhenney. Why lowly Wrexham of the Vanarama National League? It’s a little hard to tell, though my wife Jenny - who’s been a supporter since her teens, and who still remembers their glory years in Europe in the 1970’s - reminds me that they’re the third oldest football team in existence. Whatever the reason, this news has given one team and one community cause to celebrate into the New Year. And maybe that’s something we all need to hear at this time; a message of hope and a reason to dream amidst all the various challenges we face – for after all, this is what lies at the heart of the Christmas story.

Heavenly Father, Amidst all the challenges and uncertainties which we face, help us to hear the message of hope which you reveal in the birth of your Son; and may we be inspired like him to dream of your coming Kingdom, Amen.


SAT 05:45 Full Circle (m00027n0)
Joe, Jus and Jordan

La Ronde, written by dramatist Arthur Schnitzler is a play about sexual morality between social groups, explored through a prism of infidelity, lust and desire. Considered a very controversial work it was censored and banned as soon as it was printed in 1900. Although provocative the dramatic structure of the play is simple. It’s a succession of 10 sexual encounters exclusively focused on the before and the after; the act itself is never described. Each successive scene takes one character from the previous one and introduces another.

In the style of the play La Ronde, Julien Manuguerra, who produces a podcast about breakups and more largely, our common and very humane vulnerability in the face of love, explores how intimacy and morality are evolving today. The series draws a picture of what modern love is – or rather, what modern love can be. The original La Ronde was considered a social commentary master piece on how sexual contact transgresses boundaries of class, our radio version of the play will explore how sex can transgress any boundaries. But it's not a play, there won’t be any actors or actresses. Our characters are real, and they’re all linked to one another; always by sex, sometimes by love, sometimes by something in between. They’ll tell us about their inner emotional experiences of desire and connection and hopefully, this time too, our Round of Dance will go Full circle.

In this episode we stay with Joe from our previous episode and instead of moving on to his next one to one encounter we move on to his next two to one encounter. Joe's partner Jus is still in the scene but we introduce Jordan.

Presented by Julien Manuguerra
Produced by Kate Bissell


SAT 06:00 News and Papers (m000qbf4)
The latest news headlines. Including the weather and a look at the papers.


SAT 06:07 Open Country (m000q3qd)
Kitty Macfarlane and the Somerset Levels

Singer-songwriter Kitty Macfarlane explores how the landscape of the Somerset levels has inspired some of her music, from clouds to curlew, bitterns to eels.

Kitty meets Gavin Pretor-Pinney of the Cloud Appreciation Society at Burrow Mump to talk about the importance of looking up, and to Steart Marshes to speak to Mary Colwell author of 'Curlew Moon' about the importance of wetland habitats to the local birdlife. She speaks to Andrew Kerr, Chairman of the Eel Sustainable Group about her work surveying eels and their extraordinary life-cycle, and in RSPB Ham Wall she reflects on the plight of the bittern and the meeting of mankind and nature. Plus there are exclusive live versions of Kitty's tracks 'Starling Song', 'Lamb' and 'Glass Eel'.

Producer: Toby Field


SAT 06:30 Farming Today (m000qbf6)
12/12/20 - Farming Today This Week: Scottish agricultural policy, the UK internal market and brassicas

When we leave the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy in January, the way farmers are paid will change. Agriculture is devolved, and the 4 nations each have a different approach to what comes next. In this programme, we hear from the Scottish Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy, Fergus Ewing. We also hear how the divergent agricultural policies could impact the UK's internal market.

This week the first Chair of the new Office for Environmental Protection was announced as Dame Glenys Stacey. Once it's up and running, the OEP will effectively replace the European Commission in overseeing compliance with environmental law and holding the Government to account. While the Government insists it will be a strong and independent body, critics have described it as a ‘toothless regulator’.

And we get the latest news on brassicas - from cauliflowers to the sprouts.

Presented by Charlotte Smith
Produced for BBC Audio in Bristol by Heather Simons


SAT 06:57 Weather (m000qbf8)
The latest weather forecast


SAT 07:00 Today (m000qbfb)
Including Sports Desk, Weather and Thought for the Day.


SAT 09:00 Saturday Live (m000qbfd)
Katherine Grainger and Kelly Jones

Dame Katherine Grainger won five medals for rowing in five consecutive Olympic Games from 2000 to 2016, including gold in London 2012. She also has a PhD in criminal law and is chair of UK Sport. She joins Richard Coles and Nikki Bedi to discuss her extraordinary life.

Kelly Jones is the frontman of the rock band the Stereophonics. Known for his distinctive gravel-voice, he was born in South Wales and followed his dad into the music industry. He’s just released a solo album Don’t Let the Devil Take Another Day and the recent documentary Don’t Let the Devil Take Another Day follows him through his recovery from throat surgery after which he had to re-learn to sing.

Ben Aitken was on the lookout for a budget holiday when he signed up for a five-day coach trip to Scarborough. Through spending time with the often elderly people on the bus, he discovered their fascinating stories and ended up signing up for six coach holidays across the UK which he has written about in his book The Gran Tour.

And we hear from Kev who, with help from his support worker Henrietta MacEwen from Buses4Homeless, was given a grant by the Vicar's Relief Fund to help him rent a home. The Vicar's Relief fund is part of the work of St Martin-in-the-Fields does with people who are homeless. To donate to the Radio 4 Christmas Appeal with St Martin-in-the-Fields call 0800 082 82 84 now. Calls are free from landlines and mobiles.

And we have the Inheritance Tracks of actor Richard Armitage.

Producer: Laura Northedge
Editor: Eleanor Garland


SAT 10:30 You're Dead To Me (p085v0g7)
The Mayflower

Greg Jenner is joined by historian Dr Misha Ewen and comedian Alex Edelman to take a trip back in time and across the Atlantic with the passengers of The Mayflower.

They ask all the most pertinent questions. What would you pack for a journey to a new world? What’s a great name for a baby born at sea? And just why is a journey that was objectively a gigantic failure held in such high regard in American culture?

A Muddy Knees Media production for BBC Radio 4


SAT 11:00 The Week in Westminster (m000qbfh)
Radio 4's assessment of developments at Westminster


SAT 11:30 From Our Own Correspondent (m000qbfk)
Insight, wit and analysis from BBC correspondents, journalists and writers from around the world


SAT 12:00 News Summary (m000qbjp)
The latest national and international news from BBC Radio 4.


SAT 12:04 Money Box (m000qbfp)
The latest news from the world of personal finance


SAT 12:30 Dead Ringers (m000q3mf)
Christmas Specials 2020

Episode 1

Topical satire from Jon Culshaw, Jan Ravens, Lewis McLeod, Debra Stephenson and Duncan Wisbey.

The writing squad for the series: Tom Jamieson and Nev Fountain, Laurence Howarth, Sarah Campbell, Ed Amsden and Tom Coles, James Bugg, Jeffrey Aidoo, Alex Hardy.

Producer: Bill Dare. A BBC Studios Production


SAT 12:57 Weather (m000qbfr)
The latest weather forecast


SAT 13:00 News (m000qbft)
The latest national and international news from BBC Radio 4


SAT 13:10 Any Questions? (m000q3n4)
Robert Courts MP, Louise Haigh MP, Layla Moran MP, Sammy Wilson MP

Chris Mason presents political debate and discussion from Broadcasting House in London with the Aviation and Maritime Minister Robert Courts MP, Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary Louise Haigh MP, Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Layla Moran MP and the DUP's Westminster spokesperson on Brexit, Work and Pensions and the Treasury Sammy Wilson MP.
Producer: Camellia Sinclair
Studio direction: Maire Devine


SAT 14:00 Any Answers? (m000qbfw)
Have your say on the issues discussed on Any Questions?


SAT 14:45 Passenger List (m000qbfy)
Psychic Witch

A sick passenger, the man in the green jacket, the one who survived...

Atlantic Airlines flight 702 has disappeared mid-flight between London and New York with 256 passengers on board. Kaitlin Le, a college student whose twin brother vanished with the flight, is determined to uncover the truth. Kelly Marie Tran, Pattie PuPone, Colin Morgan and Rob Benedict star in this multi-award-winning mystery thriller.

Written by Kevin Rodriguez & Lauren Shippen

Cast:
Kaitlin ..... Kelly Marie Tran
Mr Lapeer ..... Nathan Osgood
Mrs Lapeer ..... Lorelei King
Nurs ..... Gabby Brooks
Kaitlin ..... Kelly Marie Tran
Dolores ..... Kathleen Early
Martin Dobbs ..... Richard Doyle
Beatrice ..... Lauren Shippen
Kein (Kaitlin’s Father) ..... George Nyugen
Chuck ..... Adrian Latourelle
William Schroeder ..... Kristian Bruun
Mia ..... Patti LuPone
Air Stewards ..... Lauren Shippen & Steve Basaula
Passenger filming ..... Mark Henry Phillips

Created by John Scott Dryden

Script Editor, Mike Walker
US Casting, Janet Foster
US Producer, Julia Thompson
Assisted by Julia Adamo
UK Producer, Emma Hearn

Editing, Sound Design & Music by Mark Henry Phillips
Directed by Lauren Shippen & John Scott Dryden
Executive Producers: Lauren Shippen & John Scott Dryden
Executive Producer for Radiotopia – Julie Shapiro

A Goldhawk production for Radiotopia/PRX and BBC Radio


SAT 15:30 The Year the Music Stopped (m000nvsv)
For musician and poet Arlo Parks, 2020 was set to be massive. Festivals, a US tour. Then the world shifted. Her gigs were postponed, festivals cancelled. We watched Glastonbury's empty fields from our sofas where Arlo played, but only for the cows.

So instead, she did gigs online, put out new tracks to wide critical acclaim, wrote new music and published poetry on social media. Her thoughtful, intimate music has been the soundtrack to many people's life in lockdown. But still, live performing is on hold. Her fans, once singing her lyrics back at her at shows, feel very far away. She left a bit of her heart out there, on the road.

The Coronavirus pandemic has struck a huge blow to everyone involved in the music industry. While the world gets back to some kind of normal, Arlo explores what the psychological effect will be of a world with - for now - no live music in it. She asks other artists she admires like poet and hip-hop artist Kojey Radical, Ed O'Brien from Radiohead, Yannis Philippakis from the band Foals and indie singer songwriter Phoebe Bridgers, how they've dealt with the void. How have they managed the impact on their creative process and where do the silver linings lie? She asks them what lasting impact this time will have on their live performances once the world's venues are open for business again. And she connects with her fans, the people she can't wait to get back to see in the flesh, down in the auditorium.

Presented by Arlo Parks.
Produced by Clare Salisbury for BBC Audio in Bristol.

Photo by Adrian Lee.


SAT 16:00 Woman's Hour (m000qbg0)
Weekend Woman's Hour: Dame Stephanie 'Steve' Shirley, Make-up for Men & the benefits of working with Clay

Dame Stephanie Shirley – always known as Steve – tells us about her work revolutionising the workplace and as a major philanthropist.

On Tuesday, Leicester University are launching their 'Student Sex Worker Policy and Toolkit'. We hear from Professor Teela Sanders, a Professor of Criminology at Leicester University who explains why she is leading this initiative and the feminist commentator and journalist Sarah Ditum gives us her view.

Are men beginning to turn to cosmetics to improve their appearance in the same way as women? Danny Gray, who created the WarPaint make-up range for men believes this to be the case and the make-up artist, Lisa Eldridge, author of Face Paint: the History of Make-Up gives her thoughts.

What’s the best way to approach shyness in your child? We hear from Nadia Finer who runs an online programme for shy 7-14 year olds who want to feel braver, and more able to speak up and join in.

Is it time to end the idea that being in a couple is the superior way to live? We hear from Professor Sasha Roseneil the author of a new book, The Tenacity of the Couple-Norm.

And we discuss the therapeutic benefits of clay with Kate Malone, one of the UK’s leading potters and ceramicists – and Charlotte Clarkson, who’s been getting the chance to try out the medium at her local youth centre.

Presenter: Jane Garvey
Producer: Rabeka Nurmahomed
Editor: Sarah Crawley


SAT 17:00 PM (m000qbg2)
Full coverage of the day's news


SAT 17:30 Political Thinking with Nick Robinson (m000qbg4)
Nick Robinson gets beneath the surface in a personal and political interview


SAT 17:54 Shipping Forecast (m000qbg6)
The latest weather reports and forecasts for UK shipping.


SAT 17:57 Weather (m000qbg8)
The latest weather forecast.


SAT 18:00 Six O'Clock News (m000qbgb)
The latest national and international news from BBC Radio 4


SAT 18:15 Loose Ends (m000qbgd)
Lisa McGee, Ed Harcourt, Kiell Smith-Bynoe, Monet X Change, Tom Sanders, Emma Freud, Clive Anderson

Clive Anderson and Emma Freud are joined by Lisa McGee, Ed Harcourt, Kiell Smith-Bynoe and Monet X Change for an eclectic mix of conversation, music and comedy. With music from Ed Harcourt and Tom Sanders.


SAT 19:00 Profile (m000qbgg)
Dr June Raine

After a 30 year career of quiet public service, Dr June Raine has found herself in the spotlight when the UK became the first country to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. As the head of the MHRA she has ultimate responsibility for the process of approving any new Covid-19 vaccines in the UK, and when the eminent American immunologist Dr Anthony Fauci cast doubt over the speed of UK's approval process Dr Raine was forced to make a public response. Becky Milligan finds out more about her life, character and career.

Producers: Viv Jones, Ben Crighton
Editor: Rosamund Jones


SAT 19:15 My Teenage Diary (b0b5t820)
Series 8

Debbie McGee

Debbie McGee shares her diaries with Rufus Hound, and reminisces about her years as a hard-working student at the Royal Ballet School in London.

Presenter: Rufus Hound
Producer: Harriet Jaine

A Talkback production for BBC Radio 4.


SAT 19:45 What Is a Story? (b061qccj)
Filling the Gaps

Marina Warner looks at 'Filling the Gaps'

A look at the world of contemporary fiction. In the company of leading contemporary writers, she considers a story and story writing from a different angle.

Marina speaks with writers as diverse as Julian Barnes, Michelle Roberts, Fanny Howe, Marlene van Niekerk, Alain Mabanckou, Lydia Davis, Edwin Frank, Elleke Boehmer, Wen-Chin Ouyang, Daniel Medin, Nadeem Aslam and Laszlo Krasznahorkai.

There are questions around the boundaries between fact and fiction which Marina believes are central to any consideration of storytelling, since readers' pleasure depends so much on trust built up between the storyteller or writer and the audience.

With discussions on the reasons for writing, writers as witnesses and political interaction.

Marina was Chair of the Man Booker International Prize 2015 and the series draws on the expertise of the International Booker judging panel, the views of the shortlisted writers, as well as other key literary talent.

Producer: Kevin Dawson
A Whistledown production for BBC Radio first broadcast in July 2015.


SAT 20:00 Archive on 4 (m000qbgj)
Da da da DAAAAA!

To mark Beethoven’s 250th anniversary, Rachel Parris leads us on an irreverent tour of his 5th Symphony starting with four notes almost anybody in the world will recognise: da da da daaa!

Rachel’s journey takes her through the highs and lows of the composer’s life, as well as on detours via cover versions, rip-offs and spoofs.

But what’s the secret of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, and why has it triumphed where so much other music has fallen flat? Does the answer lie in those first four notes?

Produced by Glyn Tansley


SAT 21:00 Tracks (m000q7hh)
Series 5: Abyss

Abyss: Episode Seven

By Matthew Broughton

Episode seven of the conspiracy thriller's final series.

Helen gives up on her quest and hides away with Frances in her old house in Pembrokeshire. But sometimes the darkest dangers lurk inside.

A gripping thriller, Tracks was the first drama to hit the top of the iTunes podcast chart back in 2017. It went on to win Best Sound (BBC Audio Drama Awards) and Best Fiction (British Podcast Awards). Now Tracks is back with a fifth and final 9 part series.

All four previous series of Tracks are available now in full on BBC Sounds.

Helen… Olivia Poulet
Freddy…. Jonathan Forbes
Older Frances.... Scarlett Courtney
Frances.... Juno Robinson

Directed by James Robinson
A BBC Cymru Wales Production


SAT 21:45 Rabbit Is Rich (b09yfqt0)
Episode 9

John Updike's masterful Rabbit quintet established Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom as the quintessential American White middle class male. The first book Rabbit, Run was published in 1960 to critical acclaim. Rabbit Redux was the second in the series, published in 1971 and charted the end of the sixties - featuring, among other things, the first American moon landing and the Vietnam War.

This third book finds Rabbit in middle age and successful, having inherited his father in law's car business - selling newly imported Toyotas to the mass American market. But his relationship with his son Nelson was severely compromised by Rabbit's affair with Jill and her subsequent death has left them both wary of each other.

Published in 1981, Rabbit is Rich won Updike, among other awards, the Pulitzer Prize for fiction - and it's extraordinary how many of its themes continue to reverberate down to the present day.

Abridged by Robin Brooks
Read by Toby Jones
Produced by Clive Brill
A Brill production for BBC Radio 4.


SAT 22:00 News (m000qbgl)
The latest national and international news from BBC Radio 4


SAT 22:15 Grounded with Louis Theroux (p08ybstk)
11. Michaela Coel

Covid-19 hasn’t gone away and, due to travel restrictions, neither has Louis Theroux. In the second outing of his podcast series, he tracks down more high-profile guests he’s been longing to talk to - a fascinating mix of the celebrated, the controversial and the mysterious. They include Oscar-winning Hollywood director Oliver Stone… singer, songwriter and superstar collaborator Sia… outspoken and occasionally cancelled comedian Frankie Boyle… dancer and singer FKA Twigs… mental health campaigner and comedian Ruby Wax… ubiquitous TV presenter Rylan Clark-Neal… and more.

In the first episode of the new series, actor, writer and producer Michaela Coel talks to Louis about speaking in tongues, sexual consent and suffering from 'post-writum depression' after the success of I May Destroy You.

Produced by Paul Kobrak
Assistant Producer - Catherine Murnane
A Mindhouse production for BBC Radio 4


SAT 23:00 Counterpoint (m000q3fq)
Series 34

Heat 1, Series 34

The eclectic music quiz returns for a new series, with Paul Gambaccini in the question-master's chair. Music lovers from around the UK compete in the knockout tournament, with the aim of becoming the 34th official Counterpoint champion. Whether their specialism is in opera, jazz, chart music, modern classical, musical theatre, classic rock or R&B, there's something in the quiz to suit every taste. There are copious musical extracts to identify including some unfamiliar or surprising pieces alongside long-standing favourites.

Taking part in the opening show of the season are:
John Abramson, a solicitor from Woodford Green in Essex
Julie Tate, a retired teacher from Peterborough
Martin Warlow, a retired civil servant from Milford Haven in South Wales

Producer: Paul Bajoria


SAT 23:30 Art of Now (m000mcgy)
A Life in Song

Singer-songwriter Sean Cooney has written and performed many songs about real people with his award-winning folk band The Young'uns. Tackling such diverse and difficult subjects as religious homophobia, terrorism, the refugee crisis and The Troubles in Northern Ireland, where do the responsibilities of a songwriter lie? And what right do they have to broach such issues? In this programme, Sean discusses his own techniques and for the first time ever, approaches the subject of one of his songs before it is written, to see how that affects the writing process.

With contributions from folk singer Karine Polwart, TEDx speaker Richard Moore and Thalys train attack survivor Mark Moogalian, we hear fascinating insights into the stories behind the songs.

Blinded by a bullet fired by a British soldier as a child, Richard Moore went on not only to forgive, but to meet up with the soldier in later life. Inspired by his story of compassion and forgiveness, Sean contacts Richard to discuss writing a song about his life. Sean takes us through his process for writing the song, his research, his worries over his feelings of "imposter syndrome" and finally we'll hear song itself - and Richard's reaction to listening it for the first time.

Producer: Elizabeth Foster
Technical Production: John Benton



SUNDAY 13 DECEMBER 2020

SUN 00:00 Midnight News (m000qbgn)
The latest news and weather forecast from BBC Radio 4.


SUN 00:15 The Creation of an Icon (m0001m7t)
Shining with Divine Splendour

Day four in iconographer Aidan Hart's studio. As he continues to paint an icon he talks about transfiguration and how to use paint to create a divine light.

You can see how he creates the icon in the picture gallery on the programme's website. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0001l7x

Producer: Phil Pegum


SUN 00:30 Tapestry (b07v34ty)
A divorced actress is facing her 50th birthday and decides it is time to spread her wings. Instead of feeling sorry for herself, she opts for a holiday in New Mexico. But, without warning, a chance encounter throws her back into an episode from her past, from which she will never escape.

Radio 4 has commissioned this new story by the leading actress Stephanie Cole, who also reads it.

Produced by David Roper
A Heavy Entertainment production for BBC Radio 4


SUN 00:48 Shipping Forecast (m000qbgq)
The latest weather reports and forecasts for UK shipping.


SUN 01:00 Selection of BBC World Service Programmes (m000qbgs)
BBC Radio 4 joins the BBC World Service.


SUN 05:20 Shipping Forecast (m000qbgv)
The latest weather reports and forecasts for UK shipping.


SUN 05:30 News Briefing (m000qbgx)
The latest news from BBC Radio 4


SUN 05:43 Bells on Sunday (m000qbgz)
Christ Church, Swindon in Wiltshire

Bells on Sunday comes from Christ Church, Swindon in Wiltshire. The church was designed by Sir Gilbert Scott in 1851. It has a fine ring of ten bells, cast by John Taylor in 1924 with a twenty one and three quarter hundredweight tenor in the note of F sharp. These bells were immortalised by the poet John Betjeman, “Your peal of ten ring over then this town, Ring on my men nor ever ring them down”. We hear them ringing Stedman Caters.


SUN 05:45 Profile (m000qbgg)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 on Saturday]


SUN 06:00 News (m000qbjj)
The latest national and international news from BBC Radio 4


SUN 06:05 Something Understood (b01rfy4s)
God Bless our Contradictions

Stewart Henderson reflects on our inner contradictions. Can they ever be helpful to us?

We often think of contradiction as a bad thing - it means being hypocritical, or struggling with two opposite emotions at the same time. But can that actually have its benefits?

Stewart Henderson explores whether our inner contradictions can enrich our lives. He speaks to Richard Holloway, former Bishop of Edinburgh in the Scottish Episcopal Church, who challenged his Church on its attitude to gay and lesbian people and women, yet remained an active member of the institution. Stewart asks him about his persistent refusal to stop questioning Christianity, and if he's come to terms with his uncertainty about the existence of God. Richard thinks faith itself is based on a contradiction: if we could prove our beliefs, we wouldn't need faith - or doubt.

Readings from St. Paul and F. Scott Fitzgerald explore the challenges of living with contradictions, and music from Robert Schumann, Steve Reich and Leonard Cohen show us how they can even be beautiful.

William Blake wrote "without contraries, no progression". Do we need to contradict ourselves to move forward?

Producer: Frances Beere
A Loftus production for BBC Radio 4


SUN 06:35 Natural Histories (b0bcgslv)
Peacock

Brett Westwood looks at the history of a bird which has become a byword for male beauty. It's all about the tail: inspiration for everyone from Darwin to Oscar Wilde, from poets to peacocking pop stars.

In Lancashire, Brett walks among peacocks of every shade and type, and with colour scientist Pete Vukusic explores the secrets of the bird's shimmering, iridescent appeal. Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, a natty dresser himself, explains the birds influence on pioneering artist Aubrey Beardsley, and Maan Barua reveals the enduring influence of the bird in its native India - traded as a gift for centuries, and elected as a national symbol following independence.

Revised shortened repeat

Archive Producer Andrew Dawes for BBC Audio Bristol


SUN 06:57 Weather (m000qbjn)
The latest weather forecast


SUN 07:00 News and Papers (m000qbjr)
The latest news headlines. Including a look at the papers.


SUN 07:10 Sunday (m000qbjt)
Indian farmers' strike; Lock-down Conversions; Christmas Lights at Durham Cathedral

Millions of farmers across India are striking in a dispute with the government over new agricultural laws. The Government says the new law would free farmers from a current system of middlemen, but the farmers believe prices will fall and small farmers will struggle. Indians of many faiths are involved but the majority are Sikh and Sikh communities around the world have been demonstrating, concerned at what might become of the some 146 million farms in India, with an average size of less than 3 acres. Emily Buchanan talks with the BBC’s Rahul Tandon.

The covid pandemic has undoubtedly changed the way we work, socialise and even worship. But the uncertainty has - for some - given rise to an opportunity of a spiritual awakening. Ellie Quinn - who is in Istanbul, and Oscar Portar, here in the UK - both found themselves converting to a new religion this year. We hear them in conversation sharing their journey to faith in lock-down.

The Christmas tree lights in Durham Cathedral will be switched on this Sunday by a nurse and a doctor from the local hospital to pay tribute to the work carried out by 1000’s of clinicians during the pandemic. Dawn Kempson is a Junior sister at University Hospital of North Durham and Dr Tara Watkiss works in A+E at the same hospital. Emily talks to them about how they have coped this past year.

Producers
Carmel Lonergan
Olive Clancy

Editor
Amanda Hancox


SUN 07:54 Radio 4 Appeal (m000q9cd)
Farm Africa

Actor and TV presenter Michael Palin makes the BBC Radio 4 Appeal on behalf of the charity Farm Africa.

To Give:
- Freephone 0800 404 8144
- Freepost BBC Radio 4 Appeal. (That’s the whole address. Please do not write anything else on the front of the envelope). Mark the back of the envelope ‘Farm Africa’.
- Cheques should be made payable to ‘Farm Africa’.
- You can donate online at bbc.co.uk/appeal/radio4

Registered Charity Number: 326901


SUN 07:57 Weather (m000qbjw)
The latest weather forecast


SUN 08:00 News and Papers (m000qbjy)
The latest news headlines. Including a look at the papers.


SUN 08:10 Sunday Worship (m000qg4f)
Cities of Promise – A place in the heart

During this era of Covid the city seems to have been devalued as a place of human flourishing. Instead it's become a place of fear of contamination - a place to get away from, no longer a sought after place to live. But the biblical view is of a redeemed city, a place where human culture is valued alongside restored relationships - a place of beauty and worship of the living God. On the 3rd Sunday Advent, the theme is A Place in the Heart. Father Martin Magill and the Rev David Compton reflect on what this means for the City of Belfast.
With the Chapel Choir of Methodist College, Belfast, directed by Ruth McCartney. The organist is Dr Joe McKee.
St Luke 1.46-55
Come thou long expected Jesus
Mary's Child by (Chilcott)
Softly (Will Todd)
The Hands that first held Mary's child (Dan Forrest)
A Christmas Lullaby (Dan Forrest)
Still still still Mack Wilberg
Sweet little Jesus boy
On Jordan's bank the Baptist’s cry


SUN 08:48 A Point of View (m000q3nd)
Confessions of an Anti-Clasper

Howard Jacobson reflects on hugging, past and present. He casts his mind back to his school days and one of his favourite plays, Moliere's The Misanthropist.

Howard decides that the play's hero, the misanthropic Alceste, is "the perfect citizen for our times - one who respects social distancing, stays out of pubs and similar places of entertainment, and compromises no other person's health."

And he believes that, were more of us to follow Alceste's lead, then the virus would have "nowhere to travel to and must at last give up and turn into a recluse itself."

Producer: Adele Armstrong


SUN 08:58 Tweet of the Day (b03dwsxw)
Curlew

Tweet of the Day is a series of fascinating stories about our British birds inspired by their calls and songs.

Martin Hughes-Games presents the story of the curlew. The UK is a vital wintering ground for flocks of curlews. Some birds fly in from as far away as Belgium and Russia, probing our coastal mudflats and thrilling us with their mournful cries.


SUN 09:00 Broadcasting House (m000qbk2)
The Sunday morning news magazine programme. Presented by Paddy O'Connell


SUN 10:00 The Archers Omnibus (m000qbk4)
Writers, Tim Stimpson & Sarah McDonald-Hughes
Director, Marina Caldarone
Editor, Jeremy Howe

Jill Archer ….. Patricia Greene
Helen Archer ….. Louiza Patikas
Lilian Bellamy ….. Sunny Ormonde
Alice Carter ….. Hollie Chapman
Chris Carter ….. Wilf Scolding
Eddie Grundy ….. Trevor Harrison
Kirsty Miller ….. Annabelle Dowler
Roman Trench ….. Ewan Bailey
Gavin Moss ….. Gareth Pierce
Philip Moss ….. Andy Hockley
Freddie Pargetter ….. Toby Laurence
Lily Pargetter ….. Katie Redford
Peggy Woolley ….. June Spencer
Lauren ….. Laura Rollins
Layla ….. Dawn Butler


SUN 10:54 Tweet of the Day (m000qbk6)
Tweet Take 5 : Dipper

Dippers are small dumpy birds which seemingly captivate all who see them. They live in fast flowing streams or rivers in the north and west of Britain, where their ability to dive under water looking for food makes them remarkable for songbirds. In this extended version of Tweet of the Day, we hear from three people for whom the dipper is a special bird; actor Samuel West, Sir David Attenborough and author, poet and playwright Michael Morpurgo.

Produced for BBC Audio in Bristol by Andrew Dawes


SUN 11:00 Desert Island Discs (m000q8n3)
Minette Batters

Minette Batters is the first woman to become President of the National Farmers' Union, representing 47,000 members. She was first elected to the post in 2018 for two years, and was re-elected in March 2020.

Minette runs a tenanted family farm in Wiltshire. The mixed farming business includes cattle, sheep and arable, as well as the conversion of a 17th century barn into a wedding and events venue.

Her father was a tenant farmer, and Minette adored helping him as a youngster, but the idea of taking on the farm herself seemed out of the question: her father strongly advised against it. Instead she took a Cordon Bleu course, graduated with distinction and ran her own catering business for 20 years. When her father retired, the lure of the land pulled her back and she took on the tenancy in 1998, despite the misgivings of many of her friends. She runs the farm largely on her own, and her husband works in another industry. Her campaigns on behalf of farmers include the initiatives Ladies in Beef and the Great British Beef Week. This year she has represented the views of NFU members during the Covid-19 crisis and the Brexit negotiations.

Presenter Lauren Laverne
Producer Sarah Taylor


SUN 11:45 Charisma: Pinning Down the Butterfly (b067003h)
Red Shirts and Black Shirts

Exploring charismatic nationalist leadership

Francine Stock attempts to pin down the alluring yet elusive quality of charisma

In the 1860s, Giuseppe Garibaldi was the most famous man in Europe. A correspondent from the London Times encountered him at a public rally in Palermo, and described how men threw themselves forward to touch the hem of his garment, while mothers offered their babies up to be blessed by him.

With the help of historian Professor Lucy Riall, Francine explores the creation of the charismatic national commander who would lead the Risorgimento and establish Rome as the capital of a newly united Italy. She hears about his natural charm, his physical appearance and clothes, but also about his protean ability to be different things to different people and to exploit new technology to spread his image and his message.

Francine then moves on to a more recent example of radical leadership. She hears from the writer and broadcaster, Abdel Bari Atwan, about his secret visit to Osma Bin Laden in the Tora Bora caves of Afghanistan and about how, in turn, the publicity machine of Al Quaeda used contemporary new technology to advance their cause.

Finally, Francine investigates the dangers of this type of nationalist leadership, and hears from Lucy Riall about how Garibaldi's Red Shirts were to be a direct inspiration for the Black Shirts of Mussolini.
Readings by Simon Russell Beale

Producer: Beaty Rubens

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in August 2015.


SUN 12:00 News Summary (m000qbk8)
The latest national and international news from BBC Radio 4.


SUN 12:04 I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue (m000q3gr)
Series 73

Huddersfield Town Hall

Tim Brooke-Taylor’s final recording of Radio 4's ‘antidote to panel games’ comes from Huddersfield’s Town Hall and see Tim and Rachel Parris pitched against Tony Hawks and Marcus Brigstocke, with Jack Dee in the chair. At the piano - Colin Sell.

The programme was recorded in March this year.

Producer - Jon Naismith.

It is a BBC Studios production.


SUN 12:32 The Food Programme (m000qbkb)
The Secret Life of Chocolate. Part 2: The future.

In the second of a two part chocolate special Sheila Dillon is joined by baker and chocolatier Selasi Gbormittah and chocoholic comedian Sue Perkins to celebrate the present and future of the British chocolate bar.

They look to a new generation of UK bred 'Willy Wonkas', chocolate makers large and small, from South East London to West Wales.

And Sheila tracks down one major chocolate player disrupting the international market with its bold designs, flavours and business model focussed on ending child slavery in cocoa production.

Presented by Sheila Dillon.
Produced by Clare Salisbury for BBC Audio Bristol.


SUN 12:57 Weather (m000qbkd)
The latest weather forecast


SUN 13:00 The World This Weekend (m000qbkg)
Global news and analysis, presented by Mark Mardell.


SUN 13:30 The Listening Project (m000qbkj)
Fi Glover presents friends and strangers in conversation as the nation adjusts to the 'new normal'. In this week's programme: Allan and Phil talk about the joys of being in pantos and life in the entertainment business; Tommy and Antony, both fishermen - from Scotland’s Kintyre peninsula and Cornwall respectively - who voted differently to one another in the Brexit referendum, discuss the challenges facing their industry as we leave the EU; and as Coronation Street turns 60 this month, two super-fans from different parts of the country share their passion for the iconic TV soap.

The Listening Project is a Radio 4 initiative that offers a snapshot of contemporary Britain in which people across the UK volunteer to have a conversation. The
conversations are being gathered across the UK by teams of producers from local and national radio stations who facilitate each encounter. Every conversation lasts up to an hour, and is then edited to extract the key moments of connection between the participants. Most of the unedited conversations are being archived by the British Library and used to build up a collection of voices capturing a unique portrait of the UK in this decade of the millennium. You can learn more about The Listening Project by visiting bbc.co.uk/listeningproject

Producer: Mohini Patel


SUN 14:00 Gardeners' Question Time (m000q3kr)
GQT at Home: Hellebores and Birds

Peter Gibbs is joined by a panel of horticultural experts - Matt Biggs, Humaira Ikram and Christine Walken - to answer questions sent in by listeners.

This week, the panellists offer advice on repotting Cacti and suggest plants to feed the birds. They also discuss wild boar in the garden.

Away from the questions, Manoj Malde visits the Neasden Temple, and Matthew Wilson gives his guide to making your own leaf mould.

Producer - Daniel Cocker
Assistant Producer - Rosie Merotra

A Somethin' Else production for BBC Radio 4


SUN 14:45 The Creation of an Icon (m0001p6t)
Halos

Aidan Hart is painting an icon to mark the season of Advent. Today he puts in the finishing touches to the angel Gabriel and the Virgin Mary and he explains how the halo has changed through history and the connection between icons and modern art.

You can see how Aidan created this icon by going to the picture gallery on the programme's webpage. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0001l7x

Producer: Phil Pegum
Series Producer: Amanda Hancox


SUN 15:00 Drama (m00010lz)
Me, Cheeta: My Life in Hollywood

John Malkovich makes his Radio 4 drama debut as Cheeta the chimp, now living in a sanctuary for retired animal actors in Palm Springs where he passes the time painting and writing his memoirs.

He tells us how he was captured from the jungle in the 1930s, trained as a performer, and taken to Hollywood to play alongside Olympic swimming champion, Johnny Weissmuller, in the Tarzan movies.

As well as a chimp's eye view of Hollywood's Golden Age, Me Cheeta is a moving portrayal of an enduring friendship between man and beast, and a tribute to the innocent boyish beauty of the man who will always be remembered as Tarzan.

Julian Sands is Tarzan in Stef Penney's adaptation of James Lever’s novel, Me Cheeta: The Autobiography.

CAST
Cheeta ..... .John Malkovich
Johnny Weissmuller/Tarzan ..... Julian Sands
'Jane', Phyllis, Beryl Scott, Marlene Dietrich, Maria, 'Boy', Huntress ..... Edita Brychta
Don, Julius, Cedric Gibbons, Chico Marx, George Sanders, John Farrow, Humphrey Bogart, Bad Actor, King ..... Enn Reitel
Tony Gentry, 'Vic', Errol Flynn, Parrot, Ward Bond, Dad, Mac, Bad Director ..... Darren Richardson
Dolores del Rio, Lupe Velez, Katrina ..... Elisa Bocanegra

Sound by Mark Holden and David Thomas

Produced and directed by Kate McAll

A Pier production for BBC Radio 4


SUN 16:00 Open Book (m000q9cg)
Jonathan Lethem; Sylvia Townsend Warner; Edna O'Brien

Chris Power talks to Jonathan Lethem, author of Motherless Brooklyn and The Fortress of Solitude, about his latest novel The Arrest. Set in the near future, a mysterious event - The Arrest - has caused all modern technology to stop working and daily life has returned to a model of quiet self sufficiency. Journeyman, the book’s main character and a Hollywood screenwriter before the apocalypse, find his life turned upside down when his old friend Peter Todbaum, rolls into town in an impregnable nuclear-powered car!

Sylvia Townsend Warner published her first novel Lolly Willowes in 1926, and went on to write poetry, music and shorts stories, over 150 of which appeared in the New Yorker between 1930s and 1970s. Now, a reissue of Lolly Willowes and a new anthology of short stories English Climate: Wartime Stories offer the chance to modern readers to get to know her work better. Chris is joined by Helen Macdonald, author of H is for Hawk, and editor at Persephone, Lydia Fellgett to explore her life and writing.

And this week Dame Edna O'Brien turns 90, and to mark the occasion shares the Book She'd Never Lend.


SUN 16:30 Poetry Please (m000qbkl)
Simon Armitage

The Poet Laureate Simon Armitage is Roger McGough's guest with his pick of listeners' favourite poems. Many have an environmental theme and Simon talks about his responsibility as a poet to write about the natural world. There's also the chance to hear his own translation of an old English text documenting an argument between The Owl and The Nightingale

The programme includes:

Shakespeare - from Richard II
from The Owl and the Nightingale (anonymous - translated by Simon Armitage)
Alison Brackenbury - Honeycomb
Lorna Goodison - My Mother’s Sea Chanty
Shivanee Ramlochan - Caracara (or Kiskadee Bride)
William Wordsworth - a section from Michael
Thomas Hardy - A Light Snow-Fall After Frost
Wilfred Owen - Parable of the Old Man and the Young

Producer: Maggie Ayre


SUN 17:00 Death of a Headmaster (m000q3r0)
On 8th December 1995, London headmaster Philip Lawrence was stabbed to death at the gates of his school as he tried to protect a pupil. His murder shocked the nation and led to politicians on all sides calling for urgent action on knife crime.

Broadcaster Edward Adoo was a former pupil and 25 years on he takes a very personal look at the life and legacy of a man who was a hero in the eyes of the public but who he knew simply as Mr Lawrence - his strict but scrupulously fair head teacher.

Edward talks to those who knew Philip Lawrence best to hear the impact his death had on them. He also talks to politicians and knife crime campaigners to ask whether all the subsequent initiatives to reduce knife crime have had any lasting effect. Or whether what should have been a watershed moment became just another lost opportunity to make a difference.

Presenter: Edward Adoo
Producer: Ellie Clifford

A Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4


SUN 17:40 Profile (m000qbgg)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 on Saturday]


SUN 17:54 Shipping Forecast (m000qbkn)
The latest weather reports and forecasts for UK shipping.


SUN 17:57 Weather (m000qbkq)
The latest weather forecast.


SUN 18:00 Six O'Clock News (m000qbks)
The latest national and international news from BBC Radio 4.


SUN 18:15 Pick of the Week (m000qbkv)
Audrey Brown

From cautious optimism as the first mass vaccinations against coronavirus begin, to words spoken to bind us together in our common humanity.
There’s music and light as we celebrate advent and drawing nearer to Christmas, with presents for children who write to Santa Claus, and we hear the deep sadness behind trying to conceive a child and the pain of losing one. There’s the joy of collective singing - and the sky blazing in the dark.

Presenter: Audrey Brown
Producer: Miriam Williamson
Production support: Ellen Orchard
Studio Manager: Carwyn Griffith

Contact potw@bbc.co.uk

The full programmes of all of the selections featured can be accessed in the Related Links section on the Pick of the Week homepage.


SUN 19:00 Strictly Stories (m0005dzd)
Rumba

When a retired salesman and his wife attend the Pink Lemon's advanced rumba class, secrets from the past are suddenly revealed.

Written by Bethan Roberts and read by Martin Jarvis.

The music is Temptation by Diana Krall.

Directed by Kate McAll
A Pier production for BBC Radio 4


SUN 19:15 Dot (b0bgbyjy)
Series 3

London Can Take It

By Ed Harris

The Prime Minister is preparing to broadcast to the French Resistance and needs urgent help with his French vocab. Desperate to please, Dot and Millicent embark on a race across London to get to him first when an air raid stops them in their tracks. But could Dot's resemblance to Vera Lynn give her the upper hand? Comic adventures in Ed Harris' witty and quirky wartime comedy.

Director . . . . . Sasha Yevtushenko.


SUN 19:45 The Hotel (m000qbkx)
13: The Story

Juliet Stevenson continues Daisy Johnson's series of deliciously chilling of ghost stories, set in a remote hotel on the Fens.

Today, in 'The Story', although The Hotel is set finally to close its doors for ever, the owner finds that it still has a few more secrets....

Writer: Daisy Johnson
Reader: Juliet Stevenson
Producer: Justine Willett


SUN 20:00 Feedback (m000q3ld)
Just as Woman’s Hour listeners were getting used to the idea of losing long-standing presenter Dame Jenni Murray, there came the news that another favourite, Jane Garvey, was also heading for the exit.

So what is going on at one of Radio 4’s staple programmes? Jane joins Roger Bolton to talk about the reasons for her departure, and what is next on her agenda.

And do we need to question the genius of Beethoven? Two listeners give their verdict.

Presenter: Roger Bolton
Producer: Kate Dixon
Executive Producer: Samir Shah

A Juniper Connect production for BBC Radio 4


SUN 20:30 Last Word (m000q3l2)
Mario Molina, Irina Antonova, Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, Peter Alliss

Matthew Bannister on

Mario Molina, the chemist who won the Nobel prize for revealing the devastating impact of CFCs on the ozone layer.

Irina Antonova, the director of the Pushkin Museum in Moscow for more than fifty years. She was caught up in a controversy over her refusal to send back priceless works of art looted by the Soviet Army at the end of the Second World War.

Valery Giscard d’Estaing, President of France between 1974 and 1981. He introduced liberal social reforms and was a passionate supporter of closer European integration.

Peter Alliss, the jovial former player who became known as TV’s “Voice of Golf”

Interviewed guest: Tony Adamson
Interviewed guest: Prof James Shields
Interviewed guest: Konstantin Akinsha
Interviewed guest: Dr Tony Cox

Producer: Neil George


SUN 21:00 Money Box (m000qbfp)
[Repeat of broadcast at 12:04 on Saturday]


SUN 21:25 Radio 4 Appeal (m000q9cd)
[Repeat of broadcast at 07:54 today]


SUN 21:30 My Name Is... (m000lmsg)
My Name is Kabir

Kabir Hussein, a young man who suffered from a rare blood disorder during his formative years, wants to see what can be done to relieve trauma for children suffering from illnesses.

Conventionally, cancer patients and survivors are often associated with death and despair. Kabir is committed to a positive outlook on his own experiences, and he often feels like an anomaly. From literature to film depicting their stories as tragic, Kabir wants to change the discourse and explore the different ways in which children’s mental health can be prioritised alongside their physical health.

Now, fully recovered and in his early 20s, he takes a retrospective look on his illness, discovers how treatments for his condition are evolving, revisits the key figures who defined his own experience and explores the work the NHS is doing to provide genuinely rounded care for seriously ill children.

Producer: Dahaba Ali
Executive Producer: Robert Nicholson
A Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4


SUN 22:00 Westminster Hour (m000qbkz)
Radio 4's Sunday night political discussion programme.


SUN 23:00 The Film Programme (m000q3ql)
David Byrne

With Antonia Quirke

David Byrne discusses the film version of his Broadway musical American Utopia which was directed by Spike Lee. And he reveals why he's a changed man since his last concert movie Stop Making Sense.

Bait director Mark Jenkin is about to return to the film he had to abandon in March because of lockdown, Enys Men. But, thanks to social distancing rules, the film is very different from the one he had originally planned, with no crowd scenes, for instance, and a tighter budget. That's quite difficult for a horror movie with a cast of 200.

Andrew Kotting, the director of Gallivant and The Whalebone Box, has to leave the studio he has worked in for the last 15 years, packing up his paintings, his books, his work shed and his straw bear costume. He says goodbye to his studio in a plaintive series of audio diaries.


SUN 23:30 Something Understood (b01rfy4s)
[Repeat of broadcast at 06:05 today]



MONDAY 14 DECEMBER 2020

MON 00:00 Midnight News (m000qbl1)
The latest news and weather forecast from BBC Radio 4.


MON 00:15 Thinking Allowed (m000q3tc)
DIRT

DIRT: Laurie Taylor explores its material & symbolic meanings. Stephanie Newell, Professor of English at Yale University, traces the ways in which urban spaces and urban dwellers come to be regarded as dirty, as exemplified in colonial and postcolonial Lagos,Nigeria. They’re joined by Lucy Norris, Guest Professor of Design Anthropology and Material Culture at the Weissensee School of Art and Design, Berlin, who asks if the resistance to recycled clothes relates to our fear that they may intimately link us with 'dirty' & contagious bodies.

Producer: Jayne Egerton


MON 00:45 Bells on Sunday (m000qbgz)
[Repeat of broadcast at 05:43 on Sunday]


MON 00:48 Shipping Forecast (m000qbl3)
The latest weather reports and forecasts for UK shipping.


MON 01:00 Selection of BBC World Service Programmes (m000qbl5)
BBC Radio 4 joins the BBC World Service.


MON 05:20 Shipping Forecast (m000qbl7)
The latest weather reports and forecasts for UK shipping.


MON 05:30 News Briefing (m000qbl9)
The latest news from BBC Radio 4


MON 05:43 Prayer for the Day (m000qblc)
Good morning. Over recent months, I’ve grown to appreciate my daily walk and one of my favourite routes is around Roath Park Lake in Cardiff. At the end of the lake there’s a memorial to Captain Scott, consisting of a lighthouse with plaque and also a themed garden once entered in the Chelsea flower show. This is because it was from Cardiff that Scott and his party set off, aiming to become the first explorers to reach the south Pole. But it was on this day in 1912 that they were beaten to it by the Norwegian explorer, Roald Amundsen, although Scott wasn’t to discover this until his party reached the Pole some five weeks later. Their return journey was one marked by mishap and misadventure as the weather worsened and they missed their planned rendezvous with the dog-teams. In the end, their supplies ran out and they died in a blizzard in a tent some 12 miles short of the next depot.

In papers found in their tent, Scott wrote ‘Had we lived, I should have had a tale to tell… which would have stirred the heart of every Englishman…’ But they didn’t and in subsequent generations Scott has come to epitomise that kind of heroic failure often associated with the end of Empire. But perhaps a more generous truth is that not all ventures succeed, many people come second, and the value of human endeavour does not always depend on its apparent success. Christians, above all, should be aware of this, as the event at the heart of their faith is the Cross, a symbol of shame and record of a painful death, but for those who believe a pointer to Christ who is the resurrection and the life.

Almighty God, You reveal your power in weakness and your triumph in the despair of the Cross; help us to face our own failures and disappointments in the strength of the One who meets us from the Grave, even your Son, Jesus Christ, Amen.


MON 05:45 Farming Today (m000qblf)
The latest news about food, farming and the countryside.


MON 05:56 Weather (m000qblh)
The latest weather forecast for farmers.


MON 05:58 Tweet of the Day (b09fy6fv)
Fyfe Dangerfield on the Black-throated Diver

The jewel-like patterns of the black-throated diver have musician Fyfe Dangerfield in awe as he heads to Highlands in search of space to write.

Producer: Mark Ward
Photograph: Paul Jessett.


MON 06:00 Today (m000qblk)
News and current affairs, including Sports Desk, Weather and Thought for the Day.


MON 09:00 Start the Week (m000qblm)
Inspiring awe – from the heavens to the oceans

Look into the night sky in the coming days and Jupiter and Saturn will appear closer than they’ve been since the early 17th century, according to the astronomer Stuart Clark. He tells Tom Sutcliffe it’s a beautiful great conjunction that happens once every 20 years, but this year is especially rare. In his book, Beneath the Night, Clark explores how the stars have shaped the history of humankind, inspiring awe and fascination throughout the centuries.

It was the extremity and majesty of whales that inspired the writer Rebecca Giggs. In her latest book, Fathoms: the world in the whale, she fuses natural history, philosophy and science to look at our relationship with this most magnificent of mammals. She asks how far the lives of whales might shed light on the condition of our seas, and the impact of climate change.

Artists have long taken inspiration for their work from the heavens and the natural world around them. In Shaping the World: Sculpture from Pre-History to Now, the world-renowned sculptor Antony Gormley explores this art form, alongside the art critic Martin Gayford. Gormley argues that the desire to make objects can be found in every culture throughout the world, and is a fundamental part of our human journey and need for expression.

Producer: Katy Hickman


MON 09:45 A Promised Land by Barack Obama (m000qh4t)
Ep 1 - The Move to the Senate

Former President Barack Obama reads from the highly anticipated first volume of his new presidential memoirs. Elected in 2008, he became the 44th president of the United States and the first African American to sit in the Oval Office and A Promised Land offers a unique and deeply personal account of his campaign to get elected and some of the landmarks of his first term. With extraordinary frankness he explores his own ambition and drive to achieve real change and how he had to confront the limitations of presidential power.

Covering his early ambition and the steps first to the Senate and then to the highest office in the land, Obama’s book explores both his personal reflections and his political highs and lows. From the grind of campaigning to the Inauguration, through the financial crisis and fight for the Affordable Care Act, to the moral dilemmas of foreign policy and his place on the world stage he also reveals private moments of self-doubt. This book charts the unrelenting demands on the President of the USA, and threaded through it all he gives tantalising glimpses of family life with Michelle, Malia and Sasha at one of the world’s most famous addresses.

In today’s episode Obama reflects on the ‘sheer chutzpah’ of launching a Senate race and the fun of the early days of campaigning in Illinois. “Being shot from a canon’ was how his strategist David Axelrod referred to it as Obama draws ahead in the popularity stakes. Then Hurricane Katrina blows them off course and Michelle Obama has her reservations about the financial toll of campaign expenses and the demands on her husband’s time.

Abridged by Katrin Williams.
Produced by Julian Wilkinson; the editor is Di Speirs.


MON 10:00 Woman's Hour (m000qblp)
The programme that offers a female perspective on the world


MON 10:45 Curious Under the Stars (m000qblr)
The Writer

The Writer, Part 1

By Annamaria Murphy

First in the final series of the magical drama set in Glan Don, a mysterious village perched on the wild Welsh coast.

Emlyn enlists Gareth in a gruesome task. And Diane and Megan prepare the caravan for the arrival of a mysterious guest.

Starring Elis James (Josh), Emma Sidi (Pls Like) and Ifan Huw Dafydd (Gavin and Stacey).

Curious Under the Stars was created in 2015 by writer Meic Povey, who breathed life into the magical village of Glan Don. After his death in 2017, writers Annamaria Murphy and Alan Harris have continued to chart the courses of Gareth, Diane and a host of mythic characters. Now, eleven series later, the story of Curious Under the Stars is coming to an end.

All series of Curious Under the Stars are available on BBC Sounds.

Gareth.... Elis James
Diane.... Emma Sidi
Emlyn..... Ifan Huw Dafydd
Megan.... Aimee Ffion Edwards
Gwynn.... Matthew Gravelle
Anwen.... Juno Robinson

Series created by Meic Povey
Directed by James Robinson
A BBC Cymru Wales Production


MON 11:00 The Untold (m000qblt)
The Warehouse that Jack Built

Young entrepreneur Jack needs to earn big this Christmas if he wants to save his global company.

Jack is only 27, but he's already CEO of his own firm. He left school to start up an online business, establishing a successful international trade in fancy dress costumes...until the pandemic hit. With everything he'd built under threat, he's decided to risk it all on a new venture: BargainFox, an online store selling discounted items.

It's an industry full of big players, with whom he'll have to compete. He's invested a lot and expanded the workforce, including hiring school friends, but needs to see huge returns if they are going to survive.

Grace Dent follows Jack and his team through the autumn and into a make or break Christmas season.

Producer: Sam Peach


MON 11:30 How to Vaccinate the World (m000qblw)
Episode 5

Tim Harford reports on the global race to create a vaccine to end the Covid-19 pandemic.


MON 12:00 News Summary (m000qbly)
The latest national and international news from BBC Radio 4.


MON 12:04 The Midnight Library by Matt Haig (m000qbm0)
Episode 6

Between life and death there is a library - The Midnight Library.

Nora Seed finds herself there and discovers that each book in the Midnight Library is an opportunity - to explore the lives she might now lead if she had acted differently, and to undo her regrets (of which she has many).

None of these lives is what she imagined.

As the librarian in The Midnight Library tells her, ‘Sometimes the only way to learn is to live.’ But what is the best way for Nora to live?

Episode Six
Exploring a life as a glaciologist, Nora faces down a polar bear and meets a fellow-traveller.

Matt Haig is the bestselling author of Reasons To Stay Alive and Notes On A Nervous Planet. An award-winning writer of books for children and young adults, he has written seven novels for adults. The Midnight Library was published in July 2017.

Writer: Matt Haig
Reader: Bryony Hannah
Abridger: Jeremy Osborne
Producer: Jeremy Osborne

A Sweet Talk production for BBC Radio 4


MON 12:18 You and Yours (m000qbm2)
News and discussion of consumer affairs


MON 12:57 Weather (m000qbm4)
The latest weather forecast


MON 13:00 World at One (m000qbm6)
Mon-Thurs: Analysis of news and current affairs, presented by Sarah Montague. Fri: Analysis of news and current affairs, presented by Mark Mardell.


MON 13:45 Arthur Cares (m000qbm8)
Emma

Emma lives in Manchester. During lockdown, she found walks in the countryside helped distract her. But then she started to bring parts of her walk home with her - now she needs Arthur's help. Welcome to Arthur Cares!

In 2019, in a documentary for Radio 4, 11-year-old Arthur tried to fix his dad’s life. We heard how Arthur likes dinosaurs and plays the cello. His dad, Babak, avoids the gym, drinks and has panic attacks. For three weeks, Arthur set about trying to improve his dad’s life, tackling health, a messy flat and the biggest challenge - how to ride a bike.

Arthur now 12, about to turn 13, wants to help more people. He is still wise beyond his years, his self-deprecating comedic humility balances the seriousness of life. Five people, with minor problems, are looking for Arthur’s advice.

Perhaps there has never been a greater need for guidance. Self-help fills bookshops, conference rooms, gyms and therapist offices - telling people to help themselves is big business. And yet, somehow, this doesn't seem to work.

Perhaps the real guidance can come from the idealistic mind of Arthur?

Produced by Barney Rowntree
Research by Tess Davidson
A Reduced Listening production for BBC Radio 4


MON 14:00 Tracks (m000qc90)
Series 5: Abyss

Abyss: Episode Eight

By Matthew Broughton

Episode eight of the conspiracy thriller's final series.

As the search for Arca Island continues, Helen is offered fresh hope that her life could be saved.

A gripping thriller, Tracks was the first drama to hit the top of the iTunes podcast chart back in 2017. It went on to win Best Sound (BBC Audio Drama Awards) and Best Fiction (British Podcast Awards). Now Tracks is back with a fifth and final 9 part series.

All four previous series of Tracks are available now in full on BBC Sounds.

Helen… Olivia Poulet
Freddy…. Jonathan Forbes
Professor Manuel.... Peter Marinker
Amina.... Emma Fryer
Frances.... Juno Robinson

Directed by James Robinson
A BBC Cymru Wales Production


MON 14:45 Welcome to the Quiet Zone (b05vcsl4)
We Are Technological Lepers

Pocohontas County has strict rules about the emission of radio signals, so that the Green Bank Telescope can conduct observations without interference.
This can cause some irritation to locals, who might want to use mobile phones but can't, but the National Quiet Zone is a legally controlled are of radio quiet, so the area has remained Wi-Fi free, as the rest of the world get increasingly addicted to their smart phones.
Now a new group of people have started to make their way into the area - living in cabins, or 'faraday cages', they are the people who believe themselves to be electromagnetically hyper sensitive. Mobile phone towers can give them headaches; smart metres stop them sleeping. Emile Holba heads into the woods to meet the Wi-Fi runaways, and self-describing 'technological lepers'.

Producer: Sara Jane Hall.


MON 15:00 Counterpoint (m000qbmb)
Series 34

Heat 2, Series 34

(2/13)
Three more amateur music lovers join Paul Gambaccini for radio's most eclectic music quiz. The questions range across every musical genre, from the classical repertoire to show tunes, jazz, film music, indie rock and chart music of the past 60 years.

The competitors also have to choose a special topic on which to answer individual questions, with no advance warning of the categories on offer and no chance to prepare.

Taking part today are:
David Hale, an audio technician from South London
Dr Victoria Kingham, a landlady from Hackney
Jamie Sellers, a copywriter from St Leonards on Sea

Producer: Paul Bajoria


MON 15:30 The Food Programme (m000qbkb)
[Repeat of broadcast at 12:32 on Sunday]


MON 16:00 Faith in Music (m000qbmf)
Richard Wagner

Catholic composer Sir James MacMillan considers the faith lives of four very different composers.

James talks with Professor Richard Bell, Barbara Eichner and Stephen Johnson. They discuss ways in which Richard Wagner’s religious upbringing, political experiences and wide reading of philosophy and theology informed and imbued his colossal music dramas.

And James reveals his own obsession with Wagner, which began in teenage years, and describes ways in which Wagner has influenced his own compositions.

Over the centuries, composers have created musical masterpieces which many listeners have come to regard as spiritual touchstones. For example, Tallis's motet Spem in alium, Wagner’s opera Parsifal, Elgar's oratorio The Dream of Gerontius, Bernstein's Mass. But what did these composers actually believe about God, faith, compassion, an afterlife and redemption? And do we need to share these beliefs in any way, to have a spiritual experience as listeners to their music?

Answers to these questions are complex, fascinating and challenging.

Produced by Rosie Boulton
A Must Try Softer production for BBC Radio 4


MON 16:30 Beyond Belief (m000qbmh)
Beethoven's Spirituality

Born into a musical family in Bonn towards the end of the 18th century, Ludwig van Beethoven became one of the greatest composers who ever lived. But whilst much is written about his life and music, little attention is paid to his faith and spirituality. To mark the 250th anniversary of his birth, Ernie Rea explores Beethoven's interest in God, Eastern religions and how his spirituality influenced his music with the pianist Stephen Hough; Professor Barry Cooper, editor of the Beethoven Compendium and Professor of Music at the University of Manchester and Birgit Lodes, Professor of Historical Musicology at the University of Vienna.

Producer: Amanda Hancox


MON 17:00 PM (m000qbmk)
Afternoon news and current affairs programme, reporting on breaking stories and summing up the day's headlines


MON 18:00 Six O'Clock News (m000qbmm)
The latest national and international news from BBC Radio 4.


MON 18:30 I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue (m000qbmp)
Series 73

Lockdown Recording 1

A remote recording for lockdown of the nation's favourite wireless entertainment sees Marcus Brigstocke, Rachel Parris, Miles Jupp pitted against Rory Bremner, Jo Brand and Andy Hamilton with Jack Dee in the chair. Colin Sell provides piano accompaniment.

Producer - Jon Naismith. It is a BBC Studios production.


MON 19:00 The Archers (m000q9fy)
Susan makes her farewell and Oliver gets stuck in.


MON 19:15 Front Row (m000qbmr)
Live magazine programme on the worlds of arts, literature, film, media and music


MON 19:45 Curious Under the Stars (m000qblr)
[Repeat of broadcast at 10:45 today]


MON 20:00 The Magic Money Forest (m000q8yk)
There have been years of austerity policies designed to reduce the deficit. And political opponents, who claimed that more money should be made available for public services, were told they were living in a fantasy world. “There is no magic money tree,” became a mantra for debt-averse economists and politicians.

But in the face of the pandemic, the Conservative government has now overseen an enormous programme of spending, and propping up businesses and wages on an unprecedented scale. Alongside the government's efforts, the Bank of England is also pouring new money into the economy with fresh programmes of quantitative easing.

So where is the money coming from? And who will pay the piper in the end?

Talking to people who've had their hands on the lucre levers of government and central banking, Dharshini David goes in search of the roots, branches and shadows of the new magic money forest.

Producer: Robert Nicholson
Presenter: Dharshini David

A Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4.


MON 20:30 Crossing Continents (m000q3n7)
Syria's Soldiers of Fortune

The bitter war between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the Caucasian region of Nagorno Karabakh may have come to an end, but the business of fighting may continue for at least some of its combatants. There’s growing evidence that hundreds of soldiers in this war were mercenaries recruited from mostly rebel-held regions in northern Syria - even though that's strongly denied by Azerbaijan. In this week’s Crossing Continents Ed Butler hears testimony from a number of young Syrians, who say they fought in a war which in most cases they didn't realise they were signing up for. Some speak of shame at having to work this way – a symptom of the increasing economic desperation that's affecting the embattled regions of northern Syria where they live.

Produced and presented by Ed Butler
Editor, Bridget Harney


MON 21:00 Don't Log Off (m000q3m3)
Series 12

Resilience

Alan Dein searches for the stories that connect us in a changed world. Inspiring and moving accounts of how the pandemic has changed people's lives on every continent. New series.

Today, Alan connects with Sakie in Myanmar, who tells of a heroic 24 hour journey from his remote village in order to save his mother’s life.

He also catches up with Maria Ester in Ecuador, who Alan first spoke to six months ago when it looked as if her family business was on the verge of collapse.

Alan also connects with Mursalina in Afghanistan, Mohammed in Gaza and Kenyan wildlife photographer Jahawi who describes the wonders of the underwater world.

Producers: Sarah Shebbeare & Laurence Grissell


MON 21:30 Start the Week (m000qblm)
[Repeat of broadcast at 09:00 today]


MON 22:00 The World Tonight (m000qbmv)
In depth reporting, intelligent analysis and breaking news from a global perspective


MON 22:45 The Midnight Library by Matt Haig (m000qbm0)
[Repeat of broadcast at 12:04 today]


MON 23:00 Loose Ends (m000qbgd)
[Repeat of broadcast at 18:15 on Saturday]


MON 23:30 Today in Parliament (m000qbmy)
News, views and features on today's stories in Parliament



TUESDAY 15 DECEMBER 2020

TUE 00:00 Midnight News (m000qbn0)
The latest news and weather forecast from BBC Radio 4.


TUE 00:30 A Promised Land by Barack Obama (m000qh4t)
[Repeat of broadcast at 09:45 on Monday]


TUE 00:48 Shipping Forecast (m000qbn2)
The latest weather reports and forecasts for UK shipping.


TUE 01:00 Selection of BBC World Service Programmes (m000qbn4)
BBC Radio 4 joins the BBC World Service.


TUE 05:20 Shipping Forecast (m000qbn6)
The latest weather reports and forecasts for UK shipping.


TUE 05:30 News Briefing (m000qbn8)
The latest news from BBC Radio 4


TUE 05:43 Prayer for the Day (m000qbnb)
Good morning – and it’s now ten shopping days before Christmas, so I hope your plans and purchases are well in hand. But many of us already know this Christmas isn’t going to be the kind of shopping bonanza most retailers were hoping for after all the recent restrictions. Lots of people simply don’t have the money to go out spending, whatever the bargains currently on offer, while others are asking themselves what’s the point of buying new things which they don’t need or new clothes which they’re not going to be able to go out and wear. There’s already evidence of reduced levels of borrowing reflecting a lack of confidence as people look to build up savings to be ready for whatever the future may bring.

But maybe there’s also a brighter side to this. Alongside our coronavirus fears there’s a growing awareness and concern about climate change. This week marks 5 years since the Paris climate agreement at which governments and businesses committed themselves to binding targets to reduce carbon emissions. Sadly, the planned COP26 Conference in Glasgow has had to be postponed for a year, but the pressure to reduce carbon emissions has only increased. One of the key factors driving this is the growth of ethical investment, the commitment of individual savers and fund managers to put their money not just where they can get the best return, but where socially engaged businesses can best preserve the earth’s resources. It’s about investing not just for a financial future but in the future of the planet. And investing in the future is a present we can all share this Christmas – and indeed anytime.

Heavenly Father, In our Christmas services we hear how you so loved the world that you spared not your only Son; help us in our planning not to lose sight of just how precious is the world he came to share and to save; for Christ’s sake, Amen.


TUE 05:45 Farming Today (m000qbnd)
The latest news about food, farming and the countryside.


TUE 05:58 Tweet of the Day (b08yn32k)
Eleanor Matthews on the Magpie

Writer Eleanor Matthews recalls how the magpie came into her life at a time of change for Tweet of the Day.

Tweet of the Day has captivated the Radio 4 audience with its daily 90 seconds of birdsong. But what of the listener to this avian chorus? In this new series of Tweet of the Day, we bring to the airwaves the conversational voices of those who listen to and are inspired by birds. Building on the previous series, a more informal approach to learning alongside a renewed emphasis on encounter with nature and reflection in our relationship with the natural world.

Producer Eliza Lomas.


TUE 06:00 Today (m000q9f1)
News and current affairs, including Sports Desk, Weather and Thought for the Day.


TUE 09:00 Soul Music (m000q9f5)
Sunshine on Leith

"While I'm worth my room on this earth......"

Sunshine on Leith was released in 1988 but didn't become the big hit The Proclaimers had hoped for. However it has endured and become an anthem of love and a celebration of life. It is the song played at Hibs FC matches and has come to symbolise the sense of community felt by supporters. Margaret Alcorn recalls how she and her husband were involved in the Hibs Supporters Club organising and taking part in social events for local people in Leith. When their club came under threat from a merger with rival Edinburgh team Hearts she and her husband worked tirelessly to preserve it. Craig and Charlie Reid played a benefit concert for the Club. Sunshine on Leith became the song that expressed the emotions of the fans during that time and has remained the song they still sing at the football ground. When her husband passed away the song played at his funeral was Sunshine on Leith.
Musician Ross Wilson grew up in Leith and is also a passionate Hibs Supporter. The feelings of comfort and solidarity he experiences at home games led him to create his own version of the song which he performed with a choir to celebrate one of his favourite songs that reminds him of home and that he calls true soul music.
Melinda Tetley's family would always sing Proclaimers songs at home in Edinburgh while her three children were growing up. But when her teenage son fell ill with leukemia Sunshine on Leith took on a special significance for them culminating in a spontaneous joyful singalong on a walk along a lochside.
The human rights lawyer Clive Stafford-Smith is a big fan of The Proclaimers and remembers seeing them perform Sunshine on Leith in New Orleans just days after 9/11 to an audience of exactly eight people - half of whom were the prosecuting team in a Death Row murder case he was defending. And musicologist Dave Robb who toured with The Proclaimers explains the song's lasting emotional appeal and spiritual beauty.

Producer: Maggie Ayre


TUE 09:30 In Their Element (m000ckvj)
Series 4

Silver

Andrea Sella, Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at University College London, explores the art and science of silver. Nina Gilbey at the London Jewellery Workshop teaches him how to work the metal and make a silver ring, and at the Science Museum he admires the handiwork of silversmiths who fashioned an elaborate microscope for King George the Third.

Rupert Cole, Curator of Chemistry at the Science Museum, shows Andrea a silver thimble that was used (with some zinc and a few drops of an acid) to generate an electric current that was sent through a transatlantic telegraph cable in 1866. And Andrea finds out about silver's antibacterial properties from Jean-Yves Maillard, Professor of Pharmaceutical Microbiology at Cardiff University.


TUE 09:45 A Promised Land by Barack Obama (m000qh4w)
Ep 2 - Hard Times on the Campaign Trail

Former President Barack Obama reads from the first volume of his presidential memoirs. Today in Springfield Illinois he announces his candidacy for presidency eleven months before the final Democratic nominations take place. Up against Hillary Clinton he has to confront the sheer magnitude of the grind, sixteen hour days, life on the road and endless motels. But the results in Iowa are ‘seismic’ as he has mobilised the Black vote. His rallies take on ‘rock star’ proportions which also means his security detail is now round the clock. He becomes aware of the pitfalls of his increasing popularity, but the notion of getting into the White House is now within his grasp.

Elected in 2008, Barack Obama became the 44th president of the United States and the first African American to sit in the Oval Office. A Promised Land offers a unique and deeply personal account of his campaign to get elected and some of the landmarks of his first term. From the grind of campaigning to the Inauguration, through the financial crisis and fight for the Affordable Care Act, to his place on the world stage, Obama also reveals the private moments of self-doubt.

This book charts the unrelenting demands on the President of the USA, and threaded through it all he gives tantalising glimpses of family life with Michelle, Malia and Sasha at one of the world’s most famous addresses.

Abridged by Katrin Williams.
Produced by Julian Wilkinson; the editor is Di Speirs.


TUE 10:00 Woman's Hour (m000q9f9)
The programme that offers a female perspective on the world


TUE 10:45 Curious Under the Stars (m000q9fc)
The Writer

The Writer, Part 2

By Annamaria Murphy

Second in the final series of the magical drama set in Glan Don, a mysterious village perched on the wild Welsh coast.

Preparations are made for the re-opening of the Druid's Rest, but what's wrong with Matty?

Starring Elis James (Josh), Emma Sidi (Pls Like) and Ifan Huw Dafydd (Gavin and Stacey).

Curious Under the Stars was created in 2015 by writer Meic Povey, who breathed life into the magical village of Glan Don. After his death in 2017, writers Annamaria Murphy and Alan Harris have continued to chart the courses of Gareth, Diane and a host of mythic characters. Now, eleven series later, the story of Curious Under the Stars is coming to an end.

All series of Curious Under the Stars are available on BBC Sounds.

Gareth.... Elis James
Diane.... Emma Sidi
Emlyn..... Ifan Huw Dafydd
Megan.... Aimee Ffion Edwards
Matty.... Siw Hughes
Anwen.... Juno Robinson

Series created by Meic Povey
Directed by James Robinson
A BBC Cymru Wales Production


TUE 11:00 Don't Log Off (m000q9ff)
Series 12

Searching For Hope

Alan Dein searches for the stories that connect us in a changed world. Inspiring and moving accounts of how the pandemic has changed people's lives on every continent.

Today, Liana in Armenia celebrates her 30th birthday as her country finds itself at war with Azerbaijan - as well as covid-19.

We also catch up with 25 year old entrepreneur Fahad in Bangladesh, who Alan first spoke to in March when it looked like he might lose his hard-earned fortune.

Plus, Ugandan midwife Marion faces the toughest year of her career and Fish in China describes how lockdown is affecting her fellow students’ mental health.

Producers: Sarah Shebbeare & Laurence Grissell


TUE 11:30 When Will Theatre Come Black? (m000q9fh)
As the sector rebuilds in the wake of Covid-19, theatre critic and poet Bridget Minamore imagines a new future for Black British theatre.

Setting out her vision, Bridget asks if the confluence of the Black Lives Matter movement and the devastating impact of the pandemic on the theatre industry might be an opportunity to build a more egalitarian theatre sector with greater opportunity for black makers, performers, backstage workers, and audiences - and, as a consequence, for other marginalised groups.

For over 100 years, Black theatre groups have worked on the periphery of the industry, while making work that moved the conversation around race and representation forward. What can this history of creating in the face of adversity tell us now about the future of theatre?

Talking to those working on the frontiers of the contemporary scene, Bridget explores whether black theatre workers could be empowered to build alternatives to the establishment, and end the uneasy and often gestural culture of diversity schemes that many feel stand in place of genuine change and opportunity.

Right now, the fear in the industry is that the panic to save venues and companies will lead to a new conservatism, and risk-averse programming (for 'safe' read 'white'), reversing some of the hard won gains made by black and minority ethnic professionals in theatre in recent years - not to mention those from queer, disabled and other identities deemed peripheral.

So - Bridget asks - could this response be countered with a fresh attitude to what is 'safe' to attract audiences?

With reflections from voices across theatre including, Tobi Kyeremateng, Kwame Kwei Armah, Lynette Gordon, Paulette Randall MBE and Roy Alexander Weise MBE, Jasmine Lee Jones and more.

A Boom Shakalaka production for BBC Radio 4


TUE 12:00 News Summary (m000q9w0)
The latest national and international news from BBC Radio 4.


TUE 12:04 The Midnight Library by Matt Haig (m000q9fm)
Episode 7

Between life and death there is a library - The Midnight Library.

Nora Seed finds herself there and discovers that each book in the Midnight Library is an opportunity - to explore the lives she might now lead if she had acted differently, and to undo her regrets (of which she has many).

None of these lives is what she imagined.

As the librarian in The Midnight Library tells her, ‘Sometimes the only way to learn is to live.’ But what is the best way for Nora to live?

Episode Seven
Nora explores the life in which she sings and writes songs for the best-selling rock band The Labyrinths.

Matt Haig is the bestselling author of Reasons To Stay Alive and Notes On A Nervous Planet. An award-winning writer of books for children and young adults, he has written seven novels for adults. The Midnight Library was published in July 2017.

Writer: Matt Haig
Reader: Bryony Hannah
Abridger: Jeremy Osborne
Producer: Jeremy Osborne

A Sweet Talk production for BBC Radio 4


TUE 12:18 You and Yours (m000q9fp)
News and discussion of consumer affairs


TUE 12:57 Weather (m000q9fr)
The latest weather forecast


TUE 13:00 World at One (m000q9ft)
Mon-Thurs: Analysis of news and current affairs, presented by Sarah Montague. Fri: Analysis of news and current affairs, presented by Mark Mardell.


TUE 13:45 Arthur Cares (m000q9fw)
Kash

You are not the work you do, you are the person you are. For Kash, this year has been one of reflection, and he's ready for a change in direction. But how does he tell his dad? Maybe Arthur can help....

In 2019, in a documentary for Radio 4, 11-year-old Arthur tried to fix his dad’s life. We heard how Arthur likes dinosaurs and plays the cello. His dad, Babak, avoids the gym, drinks and has panic attacks. For three weeks, Arthur set about trying to improve his dad’s life, tackling health, a messy flat and the biggest challenge - how to ride a bike.

Arthur now 12, about to turn 13, wants to help more people. He is still wise beyond his years, his self-deprecating comedic humility balances the seriousness of life. Five people, with minor problems, are looking for Arthur’s advice.

Perhaps there has never been a greater need for guidance. Self-help fills bookshops, conference rooms, gyms and therapist offices - telling people to help themselves is big business. And yet, somehow, this doesn't seem to work.

Perhaps the real guidance can come from the idealistic mind of Arthur? Welcome to Arthur Cares!

Produced by Barney Rowntree
Research by Tess Davidson
A Reduced Listening production for BBC Radio 4


TUE 14:00 The Archers (m000q9fy)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 on Monday]


TUE 14:15 Drama (m000q9g0)
Dot and the Russian Dossier

By Ed Harris

May, 1941. The future of the war hangs in the balance, and Dot has been selected for a most perilous mission. Ed Harris' witty wartime comedy sees Dot casting off the shackles of her desk job in the personnel department in Whitehall's War Rooms and entering the field of conflict. Disguise, deception and dastardly doings await.

Dot . . . . . Fenella Woolgar
Myrtle . . . . . Kate O'Flynn
Peabody . . . . . David Acton
Archie . . . . . Carl Prekopp
Sister Frances . . . . . Clare Corbett

Editing . . . . . Peter Ringrose

Director . . . . . Sasha Yevtushenko


TUE 15:00 Short Cuts (m000q9g2)
The Caretakers

Short documentaries and audio adventures on considering parenthood, modern caretakers and re-imagining the places we love. With Josie Long.

Production team: Andrea Rangecroft
Series Producer: Eleanor McDowall
A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4


TUE 15:30 The Curious Cases of Rutherford & Fry (m000q9g4)
Series 17

The Martian Mission

What would it take for humans to live permanently on Mars? asks Martin in Weston-super-Mare, UK. The doctors dig into requirements and possibilities of a long-term Martian outpost.

We know that many missions to Mars have failed, for a range of reasons – malfunctions, crashes and even a mix-up between imperial and metric units. Getting to Mars – let alone decelerating from 30,000 miles per hour to a safe landing speed in about seven minutes – is not straightforward. Aerospace engineer Anita Sengupta helped land NASA’s Curiosity rover on Mars. She knows first-hand the challenges of putting a robot on the red planet.

But getting robots to Mars is an easier proposition than doing the same for humans. Even if we work out how to survive the radiation exposure on the eight-month journey and the pulverising descent, Mars’ surface isn’t easily habitable. Principal investigator for NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission (MAVEN) Bruce Jakosky describes the conditions on Mars: Freezing, with an atmosphere containing mostly carbon dioxide and very little water, and subject to annual global dust storms.

However, this isn’t deterring space agencies and private companies from researching the challenge. The European Space Agency and Russian Institute for Biomedical Problems focussed on finding out the physiological and psychological tolls by selecting six candidates to spend 520 days in a simulated spacecraft and landing module. Diego Urbina explains the personal challenge of taking part in the Mars500 experiment.

Some private company owners have gone even further. As well as making technology based on the current physical conditions, could those constraints themselves be altered? Could Mars be terraformed, or warmed, for easier human survival? Bruce Jakosky shares just what that would take – and compares these requirements with what’s actually available.

Presenters: Hannah Fry & Adam Rutherford
Producer: Jen Whyntie
A BBC Audio Science Unit production for BBC Radio 4


TUE 16:00 Living British (m000q9g6)
Adrian Chiles tries to eat, drink, wear and travel British for a week. As the UK prepares for the end of the transition period with the EU and during a global pandemic, what we consume and where it comes from has never felt so relevant. So how self-sufficient are we and does it matter?

As a vegetarian, Adrian is hoping food will be the least challenging tasks of the week. But many of the staples in his cupboards and fridge have to go and there’s a long list of produce where the provenance is unclear. He heads to his local shops and one of the big supermarkets to find out what actually is British and plan his week’s menu. He also talks to other consumers about what’s in their totes and trolleys. Traditionally brand allegiance, quality and price have been more of a motivator than provenance. Will Brexit and a global pandemic change our buying habits?

Getting dressed poses further problems. Adrian buys most of his clothes from high street British retailers but practically nothing in his closet is made in the UK. Adrian speaks to industry insiders to find out what’s left of Britain’s clothing industry. And does buying British mean buying ethically?

Travelling brings new obstacles and he’s got to get to work in Manchester, Bradford and central London. Adrian’s Yamaha bike, BMX and German car aren’t an option. He looks at public transport and asks if there is a wholly British car left to drive. Where can we legitimately stamp ‘Made in Britain’?

The British industry of today is not as big, simple or as visible as it once was. Much of what we export is less tangible, like financial and IT services, or not vital to a daily existence - as Adrian discovers in his avocado-free week. Does that matter? Should focus stay on the service industry or do we need to boost domestic production in these unprecedented and uncertain times.

It’s not just a week of denial and gloom and doom. Throughout the week, Adrian’s diet improves as he makes new home-grown culinary discoveries. And glossing over the fact that his electronic devices are made in China, there’s no shortage of home-grown music and TV. All of which can be consumed with a whisky, beer, cider or even wine.

Producer: Henrietta Harrison
A Loftus Media production for BBC Radio 4


TUE 16:30 Great Lives (m000q8pq)
David Spiegelhalter on Frank Ramsey

Frank Plumpton Ramsey contributed original ideas to the fields of logic, mathematics, economics and philosophy. He was a friend and respected interlocutor of Keynes, Wittgenstein, Russell and Moore, who considered him to be one of the sharpest minds around. His contributions are all the more remarkable given that he only lived to be 26.

Matthew Parris and David Spiegelhalter are joined by Cheryl Misak, author of "Frank Ramsey: A Sheer Excess of Powers".

Producer: Ellie Richold


TUE 17:00 PM (m000q9g8)
Afternoon news and current affairs programme, reporting on breaking stories and summing up the day's headlines


TUE 18:00 Six O'Clock News (m000q9gd)
The latest national and international news from BBC Radio 4.


TUE 18:30 Help! My Head's in Wookey Hole (m000gc4l)
Anneka Rice goes on the hunt for her Madame Tussaud's waxwork head. This leads her into a hilarious and honest look back at her own life and career.

It's time to ask some tough questions. Why did she even have a waxwork in the first place? Is it because she was once famous? And does that mean she is now 'unfamous'?

Producer: Harriet Jaine
A Talkback production for BBC Radio 4


TUE 19:00 The Archers (m000q8z3)
Philip’s making plans and Kirsty’s looking forward to Christmas.


TUE 19:15 Front Row (m000q9gg)
Live magazine programme on the worlds of arts, literature, film, media and music


TUE 19:45 Curious Under the Stars (m000q9fc)
[Repeat of broadcast at 10:45 today]


TUE 20:00 Scientists in the Spotlight (m000q9gj)
Since the pandemic hit, scientists have been in the media spotlight and generating headlines daily. Never before have so many of us been exposed to so much science and, a year on, our insatiable appetite for science shows no sign of diminishing. Clinical trials for different vaccines are reported as if they were matches in the football Premier League, with live updates every time a particular vaccine makes it through to the next round; and the Deputy Chief Medical Officer talks about penalty shoot outs to describe the state of play. Epidemiology, immunity and the molecular mechanics of different vaccines are widely discussed. New words have entered the general lexicon: R numbers, T-cells and even, mRNA.

Not so long ago, most scientists struggled to get any media attention. In 2020, everyone wants to know what ‘the scientists’ know. Jim Al-Khalili looks back on a year when more scientists than ever have become public figures and explores how the relationship between science and the media has changed during the pandemic. He talks to scientists about some of the personal challenges they have faced, working harder than ever to further our understanding of the virus and being bombarded by the media for interviews or comments. Some have been caught in the headlights. Others have stepped into the footlights. All have been caught up in a highly politicised set of conversations, often with commercial implications. And the fact that everyone is now an expert has created a new set of challenges.

What does it feel like to see yourself, as a scientist, quoted on the front page of a newspaper saying ‘I haven’t got the foggiest notion’. Or be hounded by abusive trolls on Twitter? Even seasoned science communicators have had to learn new skills. In the words of one: “when a presenter asks on live TV, ‘so that’s good news’ isn’t it?’ and it is broadly true, do you just say ‘yes’? Or do you launch into a long list of caveats and conditions?”. How can our chronic desire for certainty be reconciled with the cautious way in which science proceeds?

Scientific knowledge is always provisional and uncertain and this is particularly true with a virus that has never been seen before and an evolving epidemic. Science self-corrects and weeds out findings that don’t stand up. The evidence base grows and, it’s hoped, crystallizes into a consensus over time. We may look to science for certainty (all the more so during uncertain times) but there is no magic moment when scientists can announce with absolute certainty that ‘this is how it is’.

During the pandemic, science is being reported in real time, revealing all the ups and downs on the bumpy road to discovery. Papers shared on pre-print servers are now breaking news, before they have been peer-reviewed. Does this risk undermining our faith in science? Or could the lasting legacy of the pandemic be a much greater appreciation of the true nature of scientific knowledge and how it’s formed? Can good journalism help science to progress by synthesising scientific findings and interpreting what they mean? The narratives that are created in the media can help us all to understand what’s going on, scientists included.

Amid all the frustration and misunderstanding on both sides perhaps a new way of scientists engaging with the public has been forged. Jim Al-Khalili asks researchers, journalists and editors if, during these difficult times, the relationship between science and the media has finally come of age.

Producer: Anna Buckley


TUE 20:40 In Touch (m000q9gl)
News, views and information for people who are blind or partially sighted


TUE 21:00 All in the Mind (m000q8z7)
Programme exploring the limits and potential of the human mind


TUE 21:30 Soul Music (m000q9f5)
[Repeat of broadcast at 09:00 today]


TUE 22:00 The World Tonight (m000q9gn)
In depth reporting, intelligent analysis and breaking news from a global perspective


TUE 22:45 The Midnight Library by Matt Haig (m000q9fm)
[Repeat of broadcast at 12:04 today]


TUE 23:00 Date Night (m00035wh)
Episode 2

Semi-improvised comedy show written and performed by Marc Wootton with Catherine Tate, Monica Dolan, Katherine Parkinson, Hammed Animashaun, Ellie White and Jamie Demetriou. Together they portray a series of couples all embracing the modern phenomenon of date night.

DATE NIGHT, noun: A pre-arranged occasion when a couple who have been together for a long time commit to a regular night out in order to keep their relationship alive.

The series follows a collection of couples who are desperately trying to keep their relationship functioning by creating a weekly date night intervention. For some, the relationship is already broken, for others it's their pre-emptive strike in the hope of new-found longevity. More often than not, the stakes are high, involving children, careers and homes.

Date Night is written and created by Marc Wootton whose previous credits include High & Dry (Ch4), La La Land (Showtime), Shirley Ghostman (BBC) and My New Best Friend (Ch4).

Cast:
Terry/Richard/Fiona/Rob ….. Marc Wootton
Terri ….. Catherine Tate
Maddy ….. Katherine Parkinson
Jamali ….. Hammed Animashaun
Rita ….. Ellie White
Gary ….. Jamie Demetriou
Narrator ...... Fi Glover

Sound Designers: David Chilton and Lucinda Mason Brown
Assistant Producer: James Peak
Producer: Anna Madley

A Black Hat production for BBC Radio 4


TUE 23:30 Today in Parliament (m000q9gq)
News, views and features on today's stories in Parliament



WEDNESDAY 16 DECEMBER 2020

WED 00:00 Midnight News (m000q9gs)
The latest news and weather forecast from BBC Radio 4.


WED 00:30 A Promised Land by Barack Obama (m000qh4w)
[Repeat of broadcast at 09:45 on Tuesday]


WED 00:48 Shipping Forecast (m000q9gv)
The latest weather reports and forecasts for UK shipping.


WED 01:00 Selection of BBC World Service Programmes (m000q9gx)
BBC Radio 4 joins the BBC World Service.


WED 05:20 Shipping Forecast (m000q9h1)
The latest weather reports and forecasts for UK shipping.


WED 05:30 News Briefing (m000q9h5)
The latest news from BBC Radio 4


WED 05:43 Prayer for the Day (m000q9h9)
Good morning. One of the things I’ve missed most in recent months is attending concerts at St. David’s Hall in Cardiff. One of the last events to be held there was a double-bill, an afternoon and evening concert celebrating the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, which according to most experts (including the man himself) took place on this day in 1770. Sadly, the lockdown will have closed down many other such celebrations, but we can still listen to recordings of his music. Our appreciation of it may be influenced by the struggles of his life and career: the younger revolutionary, the unrequited lover, the disputes with family, and when older the challenge of increasing deafness. Or we can link his music to experiences in our own lives. For me, it’s coming in quietly to school assemblies to ‘Fur Elise’; my Dad playing a record of Beethoven’s 7th at home on a Sunday afternoon; or hearing the ‘Moonlight Sonata being played in the background on a romantic evening – and perhaps you will have your own memories and favourites too.

But perhaps his best known piece is his final Symphony the 9th, with its majestic closing chorus set to the words of Schiller’s ‘Ode to Joy’. It seems to me something hugely profound that despite all his struggles, his (almost) last and (possibly) greatest piece includes an invitation to ‘rejoice’. For this is a theme which runs through the psalms and the scriptures – and is found supremely Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi. ‘Rejoice in the Lord always’, Paul says, ‘and again, Rejoice!’ It’s not always easy, but it’s a truth of which Beethoven reminds us and which we do well to remember this Christmas season.

Creator God, We thank you for the gift of music and for all musicians who have opened our ears to the harmony at the heart of creation; help us in this season of celebration to share in the joy which you reveal to the world, for Christ’s sake, Amen.


WED 05:45 Farming Today (m000q9hf)
The latest news about food, farming and the countryside.


WED 05:58 Tweet of the Day (b098jn2p)
YOLOBirder on the Peregrine Falcon

Birdwatching's irreverent Tweeter YOLOBirder tells how a kindly hotel owner took him to see peregrine falcons and got him hooked on watching these magnificent flyers for the rest of his life.

Producer: Andrew Dawes
Photograph: Adrian Dancy.


WED 06:00 Today (m000q8y9)
News and current affairs, including Sports Desk, Weather and Thought for the Day.


WED 09:00 The Reith Lectures (m000q8yc)
2020: Mark Carney - How We Get What We Value

From Covid Crisis to Renaissance

Mark Carney, the former Governor of the Bank of England, observes that the pandemic has forced states to confront how we value health, wealth and opportunity. During the first few months of the crisis, most states chose to value human life more than the economic well-being of the nation-state. But if that seems to be changing how do we assess value in this sense?

Dr Carney elucidates surprising differences in the financial value put on a human life in different nations – and goes on to argue that this reductionist approach fails to take into account deeper thinking about the worth of human existence.

Presenter: Anita Anand
Producer: Jim Frank
Editor: Hugh Levinson


WED 09:45 A Promised Land by Barack Obama (m000qh4y)
Ep3 - The Race to the White House

Former President Barack Obama reads from the first volume of his presidential memoirs offering a unique and deeply personal account of his campaign to get elected and some of the landmarks of his first term. Today he faces Republican John McCain in the final election. Which combination of states does he need to get those requisite 270 seats? His campaign takes him overseas to meet European leaders and to Afghanistan and Iraq where he considers a phased military withdrawal should he become President. Then McCain introduces his wild card in the form of Sarah Palin. What will happen on Election Day in November 2008?

Elected in 2008, Barack Obama became the 44th president of the United States and the first African American to sit in the Oval Office. A Promised Land explores both his personal reflections and the political highs and lows he encounters. From the grind of campaigning to the Inauguration, through the financial crisis and fight for the Affordable Care Act, to his place on the world stage, he also reveals the private moments of self-doubt. Threaded through it all there are tantalising glimpses of family life with Michelle, Malia and Sasha at one of the world’s most famous addresses.

Abridged by Katrin Williams.
Produced by Julian Wilkinson; the editor is Di Speirs.


WED 10:00 Woman's Hour (m000q8yf)
A Strictly Come Dancing Special with Shirley Ballas.

As we approach this year's final another chance to hear Jane Garvey celebrating all things Strictly.

A dance special with chief Strictly judge Shirley Ballas, Love Island participant and professional ballroom dancer Curtis Pritchard, Professor of Dance History Theresa Buckland from Roehampton University, Sujata Banerjee, a Kathak artist and educator and Ingrid Mackinnon, a choreographer who teaches jazz, ballet, modern & African dance. We find out why dancing makes you feel good plus Curtis gives Jane a twirl round the dance floor and proves it's never too late to put on your dancing shoes.

Presenter Jane Garvey
Producer Rebecca Myatt.
Musical accompaniment Joe Stilgoe


WED 10:45 Curious Under the Stars (m000q8yh)
The Writer

The Writer, Part 3

By Annamaria Murphy

Third in the final series of the magical drama set in Glan Don, a mysterious village perched on the wild Welsh coast.

Gareth's gone missing. And the strange secret of Glan Don's mystery visitor is revealed.

Starring Elis James (Josh), Emma Sidi (Pls Like) and Ifan Huw Dafydd (Gavin and Stacey).

Curious Under the Stars was created in 2015 by writer Meic Povey, who breathed life into the magical village of Glan Don. After his death in 2017, writers Annamaria Murphy and Alan Harris have continued to chart the courses of Gareth, Diane and a host of mythic characters. Now, eleven series later, the story of Curious Under the Stars is coming to an end.

All series of Curious Under the Stars are available on BBC Sounds.

Gareth.... Elis James
Diane.... Emma Sidi
Emlyn..... Ifan Huw Dafydd
Megan.... Aimee Ffion Edwards
Matty.... Siw Hughes
Gwynn.... Matthew Gravelle
Anwen.... Juno Robinson

Series created by Meic Povey
Directed by James Robinson
A BBC Cymru Wales Production


WED 11:00 The Magic Money Forest (m000q8yk)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 on Monday]


WED 11:30 The Cold Swedish Winter (m000q8ym)
Series 5

Lagom Lockdown

Adam Riches returns in The Cold Swedish Winter, Danny Robins' series of comedy and culture shock. Recorded partly on location in Stockholm, and at times simultaneously between three countries, this romantic comedy features a line-up of some of Sweden’s best known comic actors. British comedian Geoff has settled with his Swedish partner, Linda (Sissela Benn), in the frozen north in the tiny, unpronounceable town of Yxsjo. This year he's up against British and Swedish views of viruses, his mother's (Mel Hudson) endless calls, cross country skiing, a predatory American cousin and, of course, his redoubtable in-laws, Sten and Gunilla (Thomas Oredsson and Anna-Lena Bergelin). We join his family as spring breaks and Sweden faces lockdown, taking a very different path to its European neighbours.

Full Cast
Geoff ..... Adam Riches
Linda ..... Sissela Benn
Sten ..... Thomas Oredsson
Gunilla ..... Anna-Lena Bergelin
Jean ..... Mel Hudson
Ian ..... Danny Robins
Henning ..... Thomas Eriksson
Soran ..... .Farshad Kholgi
Customs Guy ..... Fredrik Andersson
John ..... Harry Nicolaou

Written by Danny Robins
Directed by Frank Stirling

A 7digital production for BBC Radio 4


WED 12:00 News Summary (m000q8yq)
The latest national and international news from BBC Radio 4.


WED 12:04 The Midnight Library by Matt Haig (m000q8ys)
Episode 8

Between life and death there is a library - The Midnight Library.

Nora Seed finds herself there and discovers that each book in the Midnight Library is an opportunity - to explore the lives she might now lead if she had acted differently, and to undo her regrets (of which she has many).

None of these lives is what she imagined.

As the librarian in The Midnight Library tells her, ‘Sometimes the only way to learn is to live.’ But what is the best way for Nora to live?

Episode Eight
Nora chooses a quieter life, working with dogs at the Animal Shelter in Bedford.

Matt Haig is the bestselling author of Reasons To Stay Alive and Notes On A Nervous Planet. An award-winning writer of books for children and young adults, he has written seven novels for adults. The Midnight Library was published in July 2017.

Writer: Matt Haig
Reader: Bryony Hannah
Abridger: Jeremy Osborne
Producer: Jeremy Osborne

A Sweet Talk production for BBC Radio 4


WED 12:18 You and Yours (m000q8yv)
News and discussion of consumer affairs


WED 12:57 Weather (m000q8yx)
The latest weather forecast


WED 13:00 World at One (m000q8yz)
Mon-Thurs: Analysis of news and current affairs, presented by Sarah Montague. Fri: Analysis of news and current affairs, presented by Mark Mardell.


WED 13:45 Arthur Cares (m000q8z1)
Tom

Tom lives alone in a world that has shifted online. He loves to sing but is not confident with technology. Time for Arthur to help...

In 2019, in a documentary for Radio 4, 11-year-old Arthur tried to fix his dad’s life. We heard how Arthur likes dinosaurs and plays the cello. His dad, Babak, avoids the gym, drinks and has panic attacks. For three weeks, Arthur set about trying to improve his dad’s life, tackling health, a messy flat and the biggest challenge - how to ride a bike.

Arthur now 12, about to turn 13, wants to help more people. Arthur is still wise beyond his years, his self-deprecating comedic humility balances the seriousness of life. Five people, with minor problems, are looking for Arthur’s advice.

Perhaps there has never been a greater time for guidance. Self-help fills bookshops, conference rooms, gyms and therapist offices - telling people to help themselves is big business. And yet, somehow, this doesn't seem to work.

Perhaps the real guidance can come from the idealistic mind of Arthur? Welcome to Arthur Cares!

Produced by Barney Rowntree
Research by Tess Davidson
A Reduced Listening production for BBC Radio 4


WED 14:00 The Archers (m000q8z3)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 on Tuesday]


WED 14:15 Where This Service Will... (m00051k9)
Where This Service Will Separate

By Katherine Jakeways

Suzie receives an unexpected guest at her husband’s funeral. The latest instalment of the romantic comedy about a couple who met on a train.

Suzie is struggling through one of the hardest days of her life – the funeral of her husband Frank. David arrives, unexpectedly, to support her through it. But there’s only so much support you can accept from the man you’re steadily falling in love with, when you’re supposed to be busy burying your husband.

It's over two years since Suzie and David sat next to each other on a train journey from London to Penzance. Both married, they shared an intense and unforgettable five and a half hours. Since then they’ve both enjoyed escaping their middle-aged lives together. But now there’s no escape from reality; it’s crunch time for their relationship.

A romantic comedy from writer Katherine Jakeways. The Radio Times described Katherine as the 'new Victoria Wood' saying "her character comedy is so acutely observed and so sharp that it's in danger of causing permanent injury." Starring Rosie Cavaliero (Prey) and Justin Edwards (The Thick of It).

Suzie…. Rosie Cavaliero
David…. Justin Edwards
Josh…. Luke Nunn
Gareth…. Michael Bertenshaw
Pam…. Katherine Jakeways

Directed by James Robinson
A BBC Cymru Wales Production


WED 15:00 Money Box (m000q8z5)
Financial Abuse

How do you recognise and bring an end to financial abuse? Maybe you’ve spotted that a relative is no longer eating properly, heating their home, or that money and jewellery has gone missing.

Or perhaps somebody close to you is taking money, trying to take control of your bank account or even suggesting you should change your will.

How do you tackle such difficult personal issues and suspicions?

Paul Lewis and guest will be here to answer your questions about protecting yourself or a loved one from financial abuse on Wednesday’s Money Box Live. Joining Paul will be:

Veronica Grey, Elder Abuse Charity, Hourglass
Gary Ryecroft, Solicitor & Partner, Joseph A Jones & Co
Sandra McDonald, former Public Guardian for Scotland

E-mail your experiences and questions about financial abuse to moneybox@bbc.co.uk

Presenter: Paul Lewis
Producer: Diane Richardson
Editor: Emma Rippon


WED 15:30 All in the Mind (m000q8z7)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Tuesday]


WED 16:00 Thinking Allowed (m000q8z9)
Laurie Taylor explores the latest research into how society works.


WED 16:30 The Media Show (m000q8zc)
Topical programme about the fast-changing media world


WED 17:00 PM (m000q8zf)
Afternoon news and current affairs programme, reporting on breaking stories and summing up the day's headlines


WED 18:00 Six O'Clock News (m000q8zh)
The latest national and international news from BBC Radio 4.


WED 18:30 Sandi Toksvig's Hygge (m000q8zk)
Episode 3

‘Hygge’ (pronounced hoo-ga) along with ‘tak’ (the word for ‘thank you’ that we learnt from watching Borgen and other Scandi dramas) is one of the few Danish words to have become known to us in the UK.

It’s a word that means comfort, contentment and cherishing the simple pleasures in life. In lifestyle magazines it’s faux fur throws, cups of hot cocoa and scented candles; but to the Danish it has simpler and less commercial roots. As these cold Winter nights draw in after a difficult year of scant comfort, it feels like we all need some hygge and legendary Dane, Sandi Toksvig, will do her best to bring it to you.

Broadcasting from her wooden cabin near a lake deep in the Danish countryside Sandi will explore the concept of "hygge" with BBC Stargazing's Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock who helps point out the constellations we can see when there is no light pollution and Youtubers Rose and Rosie who try to embrace digital detoxing and the joys of glamping.

Guests for the series are Grayson Perry, Alan Davies, Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, Bridget Christie, Clive Myrie, Sindhu Vee, Professor Brian Cox, Zoe Lyons and presenters and podcasters Rose and Rosie . We look forward to you joining Sandi in her cabin (there will be mulled wine).

Host...Sandi Toksvig
Producer...Julia McKenzie
Material for Sandi's script opening script... Simon Alcock and Charlie Dinkin
Production Coordinator...Carina Andrews
Sound Recordist and Editor...Rich Evans
A BBC Studios Production


WED 19:00 The Archers (m000q8zm)
Roman drops a bombshell and Eddie’s concocts a plan.


WED 19:15 Front Row (m000q8zp)
Live magazine programme on the worlds of arts, literature, film, media and music


WED 19:45 Curious Under the Stars (m000q8yh)
[Repeat of broadcast at 10:45 today]


WED 20:00 Grounded with Louis Theroux (p08ybsww)
12. Sia

Covid-19 hasn’t gone away and, due to travel restrictions, neither has Louis Theroux. In the second outing of his podcast series, he tracks down more high-profile guests he’s been longing to talk to - a fascinating mix of the celebrated, the controversial and the mysterious.

In the second episode of the new series, singer-songwriter Sia talks to Louis Theroux about being catapulted to superstardom, the Aussie drinking holes of West London and her lockdown addiction to reality TV. Plus Louis gets the chance to sing Sia some of her most famous songs…

Produced by Sara Jane Hall and Catherine Murnane
A Mindhouse production for BBC Radio 4


WED 20:45 Full Circle (m00027n0)
[Repeat of broadcast at 05:45 on Saturday]


WED 21:00 The Senses (m000qcqg)
Vision

Vision is a complex process involving light rays, special nerve cells and electrical signals sent to the brain, which processes the information and tells us what we’re seeing. But even tiny disruptions to any part of this system can result in remarkable visual problems.

Neurologist, Dr Guy Leschziner, meets 25 year-old filmmaker Oli, who’s only recently discovered something alarming: he’s missing half his vision in one eye - probably caused by a stroke he had before he was born. What’s more surprising, Oli can see moving objects in his ‘blind spot’, but not stationary ones.

We hear from Dawn, whose eyes are working properly and yet she’s almost completely blind. Her visual problems are caused by damage to a vital nerve connecting her eyeballs and her brain.

Susan describes how her epilepsy is causing visual distortions that mean she can see through a person as if they were transparent

And we meet Nina who’s been robbed of her sight after two separate accidents. And yet, she sees colours and terrifying images of zombie faces. She discovers she has Charles Bonnet Syndrome – visual hallucinations caused by loss of sight.

Through the extraordinary experiences of these individuals, we learn how vision is not like a video camera, a straightforward process of turning light into a picture. These malfunctions in our visual system illustrate that we see with our brains and nervous system, not just our eyes.

Presenter: Dr Guy Leschziner
Producer: Sally Abrahams


WED 21:30 The Media Show (m000q8zc)
[Repeat of broadcast at 16:30 today]


WED 22:00 The World Tonight (m000q8zr)
In depth reporting, intelligent analysis and breaking news from a global perspective


WED 22:45 The Midnight Library by Matt Haig (m000q8ys)
[Repeat of broadcast at 12:04 today]


WED 23:00 Felicity Ward - Appisodes (m000q8zt)
Series 2

Smoking

The series in which stand up Felicity Ward uses phone apps to help her cope with modern life. In this episode, Felicity enlists the help of an anti-smoking app “Stop Smoking with Barbara” (voiced by Fern Brady). Can a phone app help her kick the habit and set her on the path to a better healthier Felicity?

Written and performed by Felicity Ward.
Script Editor: Gareth Gwynn
Production Co-Ordinator: Caroline Barlow
Producer: Adnan Ahmed

A BBC Studios Production


WED 23:15 Ken Cheng: Chinese Comedian (m000fgst)
Series 2

5: Racism

Stand-up series exploring British Chinese culture from BBC New Comedy Award finalist Ken Cheng.

Dave's Joke of the Fringe Winner, Cambridge mathematics dropout and professional poker player Ken Cheng returns with a brand-new series in which he’ll explore free speech, social status, racism and money…

Producer: Adnan Ahmed
Ken Cheng - Chinese Comedian is a BBC Studios Production.


WED 23:30 Today in Parliament (m000q8zw)
News, views and features on today's stories in Parliament



THURSDAY 17 DECEMBER 2020

THU 00:00 Midnight News (m000q8zy)
The latest news and weather forecast from BBC Radio 4.


THU 00:30 A Promised Land by Barack Obama (m000qh4y)
[Repeat of broadcast at 09:45 on Wednesday]


THU 00:48 Shipping Forecast (m000q900)
The latest weather reports and forecasts for UK shipping.


THU 01:00 Selection of BBC World Service Programmes (m000q902)
BBC Radio 4 joins the BBC World Service.


THU 05:20 Shipping Forecast (m000q904)
The latest weather reports and forecasts for UK shipping.


THU 05:30 News Briefing (m000q906)
The latest news from BBC Radio 4


THU 05:43 Prayer for the Day (m000q908)
Good morning. Human fascination with flight goes back to the story of Icarus, but it became more of a practical possibility after the Wright brothers’ first powered flight (on this day) in December 1903. Much of our modern history is shaped by the development of aircraft, first in exploration and mapping out the world, then as a weapon of war in territorial conflicts, and more recently as a means of transport for people to travel across the globe. Once there was a certain glamour attached to it, but with the arrival of cut-price airlines and increasing security concerns following 9/11, perhaps something of that has been lost. And now the airline industry has been severely curtailed by Coronavirus restrictions and big questions are being asked of its future.

One of the great attractions of flying above the clouds is the sense of perspective it gives, seeing for a time what the world looks like from above, a perspective previously permitted only to God. Part of that fresh perspective now is the realisation that air travel contributes significantly to carbon emissions and the warming of the planet. This means that in planning for the future, aircraft will need to become more efficient and human beings more disciplined about the amount of flying we do. ‘When I consider the heavens, the work of your hands…. What are human beings that you are mindful of them?’ asks the psalmist. And I guess today’s answer might be, people who use this perspective to ensure that we preserve the earth and the heavens for future generations to enjoy.

Creator God, The heavens tell of your glory and the earth proclaims your handiwork; help us in our travelling not just to be sight-seers but preservers of vision, so that we do what is needed to sustain your creation; for Christ’s sake, Amen.


THU 05:45 Farming Today (m000q90b)
The latest news about food, farming and the countryside.


THU 05:58 Tweet of the Day (b0939v81)
Hugh Thomson on the Woodpigeon

For this Tweet of the Day writer and explorer Hugh Thomson suggests his love of the call of the wood pigeon song in an English woodland is as good as that of the nightingale.

Tweet of the Day has captivated the Radio 4 audience with its daily 90 seconds of birdsong. But what of the listener to this avian chorus? In this new series of Tweet of the Day, we bring to the airwaves the conversational voices of those who listen to and are inspired by birds. Building on the previous series, a more informal approach to learning alongside a renewed emphasis on encounter with nature and reflection in our relationship with the natural world.

Producer: Tom Bonnett
Picture: Steve K.


THU 06:00 Today (m000q9b2)
News and current affairs, including Sports Desk, Weather and Thought for the Day.


THU 09:00 In Our Time (m000q9b6)
The Cultural Revolution

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Chairman Mao and the revolt he led within his own party from 1966, setting communists against each other, to renew the revolution that he feared had become too bourgeois and to remove his enemies and rivals. Universities closed and the students formed Red Guard factions to attack the 'four olds' - old ideas, culture, habits and customs - and they also turned on each other, with mass violence on the streets and hundreds of thousands of deaths. Over a billion copies of Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book were printed to support his cult of personality, before Mao himself died in 1976 and the revolution came to an end.

The image above is of Red Guards, holding The Little Red Book, cheering Mao during a meeting to celebrate the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution at Tiananmen Square, Beijing, August 1966

With

Rana Mitter
Professor of the History and Politics of Modern China and Fellow of St Cross College, University of Oxford

Sun Peidong
Visiting Professor at the Center for International Studies at Sciences Po, Paris

And

Julia Lovell
Professor in Modern Chinese History and Literature at Birkbeck, University of London

Produced by Simon Tillotson and Julia Johnson


THU 09:45 A Promised Land by Barack Obama (m000qh58)
Ep 4 - Inauguration Day

Former President Barack Obama continues reading from the first volume of his presidential memoirs offering a unique and deeply personal account of life in high office. Today he shares his early impressions of working in the Oval Office and the heady first days of being President Elect. He is shown the ropes by outgoing President Bush Jnr and he begins to appoint his immediate team of advisers – a team which includes Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton. In January he and his family experience the glitz of his Inauguration and the crowds on the Mall. Now he is officially President can he live up to their expectations?

Elected in 2008 Barack Obama became the 44th President of the United States and the first African American in the White House. A Promised Land charts the unrelenting demands of presidential life and the landmarks of his first term. Threaded through it all there are tantalising glimpses of family life with Michelle, Malia and Sasha at one of the world’s most famous addresses.

Abridged by Katrin Williams.
Produced by Julian Wilkinson; the editor is Di Speirs.


THU 10:00 Woman's Hour (m000q9bb)
The programme that offers a female perspective on the world


THU 10:45 Curious Under the Stars (m000q9bf)
The Writer

The Writer, Part 4

By Annamaria Murphy

Fourth in the final series of the magical drama set in Glan Don, a mysterious village perched on the wild Welsh coast.

The Druid's Rest finally re-opens it's doors. But as the snow begins to fall, the villagers must pull together in the face of a desperate crisis.

Starring Elis James (Josh), Emma Sidi (Pls Like) and Ifan Huw Dafydd (Gavin and Stacey).

Curious Under the Stars was created in 2015 by writer Meic Povey, who breathed life in the magical village of Glan Don. After his death in 2017, writers Annamaria Murphy and Alan Harris have continued to chart the courses of Gareth, Diane and a host of mythic characters. Now, eleven series later, the story of Curious Under the Stars is coming to an end.

All series of Curious Under the Stars are available on BBC Sounds.

Gareth.... Elis James
Diane.... Emma Sidi
Emlyn..... Ifan Huw Dafydd
Matty.... Siw Hughes
Megan.... Aimee Ffion Edwards
Anwen.... Juno Robinson

Series created by Meic Povey
Directed by James Robinson
A BBC Cymru Wales Production


THU 11:00 Crossing Continents (m000q9bk)
Darfur: A Precarious Peace

After 17 years of conflict costing 300,000 lives a peace agreement offers new hope to Sudan’s troubled Darfur region. It comes as UNAMID, the United Nations and African Union peacekeeping force, prepares to finally pull out at the end of this month. But with nearly two million displaced people still living in camps and some armed groups yet to sign the agreement, who will protect civilians if the peace fails? For Crossing Continents, Mike Thomson gains rare access to Darfur to hear the stories of those still living with deep uncertainty.

Producer, Bob Howard.
Editor, Bridget Harney


THU 11:30 A Plague On All Our Houses (m000q9bp)
On the registry of births and deaths in Stratford-upon-Avon from 1564, an entry appears - three months after Shakepeare's birth - of the death of a man. Next to it, written in Latin, "hic incepit pestis" - 'here begins the plague'.

Throughout this year of living with the Covid pandemic and with theatres closed, Greg Doran, Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, comes to a new understanding of Shakespeare and how the various outbreaks of the plague during his lifetime must have affected his writing more than perhaps previously thought. He charts the progression of Shakespeare's writing from comedy to tragedy, thinking about the impact of the plague and in particular how it may have influenced Shakespeare to change the ending of one play in particular - King Lear.

With contributions from Professor James Shapiro Professor Emma Smith Roz Sklar and Amy Hurst of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and Professor Miri Rubin.

Producer: Maggie Ayre


THU 12:00 News Summary (m000q9bt)
The latest national and international news from BBC Radio 4.


THU 12:04 The Midnight Library by Matt Haig (m000q9bz)
Episode 9

Between life and death there is a library - The Midnight Library.

Nora Seed finds herself there and discovers that each book in the Midnight Library is an opportunity - to explore the lives she might now lead if she had acted differently, and to undo her regrets (of which she has many).

None of these lives is what she imagined.

As the librarian in The Midnight Library tells her, ‘Sometimes the only way to learn is to live.’ But what is the best way for Nora to live?

Episode Nine
In Cambridge with a family and a writing and teaching career, Nora wonders if she has found the perfect life. But even this has consequences.

Matt Haig is the bestselling author of Reasons To Stay Alive and Notes On A Nervous Planet. An award-winning writer of books for children and young adults, he has written seven novels for adults. The Midnight Library was published in July 2017.

Writer: Matt Haig
Reader: Bryony Hannah
Abridger: Jeremy Osborne
Producer: Jeremy Osborne

A Sweet Talk production for BBC Radio 4


THU 12:18 You and Yours (m000q9c2)
News and discussion of consumer affairs


THU 12:57 Weather (m000q9c4)
The latest weather forecast


THU 13:00 World at One (m000q9c6)
Mon-Thurs: Analysis of news and current affairs, presented by Sarah Montague. Fri: Analysis of news and current affairs, presented by Mark Mardell.


THU 13:45 Arthur Cares (m000q9c8)
John

John likes going to weddings but when the music starts and the bride and groom take the floor, he disappears from view. Can Arthur help?

In 2019, in a documentary for Radio 4, 11-year-old Arthur tried to fix his dad’s life. We heard how Arthur likes dinosaurs and plays the cello. His dad, Babak, avoids the gym, drinks and has panic attacks. For three weeks, Arthur set about trying to improve his dad’s life, tackling health, a messy flat and the biggest challenge - how to ride a bike.

Arthur now 12, about to turn 13, wants to help more people. Arthur is still wise beyond his years, his self-deprecating comedic humility balances the seriousness of life. Five people, with minor problems, are looking for Arthur’s advice.

Perhaps there has never been a greater time for guidance. Self-help fills bookshops, conference rooms, gyms and therapist offices - telling people to help themselves is big business. And yet, somehow, this doesn't seem to work.

Perhaps the real guidance can come from the idealistic mind of Arthur? Welcome to Arthur Cares!

Produced by Katie Callin
A Reduced Listening production for BBC Radio 4


THU 14:00 The Archers (m000q8zm)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 on Wednesday]


THU 14:15 Drama (m0001d99)
Close Both Eyes

Fiona Shaw stars in a new psychological thriller from writer Matthew Graham.

For professional skeptic Julie Salander, the internet vlogger Patrick Starr is just another online psychic who thinks he can speak to the dead. But then one day out of the blue, he rings her up. Why has he got in touch today of all days? A chilling look at the borders of reason and emotion.

Matthew Graham is the co-creator of Life On Mars and Ashes To Ashes. His previous drama for Radio 4, Jayne Lake, won the Sarah International Audio Fiction award in 2018.

Cast:
Julie Salander – Fiona Shaw
Patrick Starr – Toby Jones
Woman In Crowd – Lucy Russell
Darren – Christian J Wilde

Writers – Matthew Graham and Sam Graham

Sound design – Alisdair McGregor
Director – Kate Rowland
Producer – Russell Finch

A Somethin' Else production for BBC Radio 4


THU 15:00 Open Country (m000q9cb)
The Lighthouse on the Headland of the Great Seas

Ardnamurchan Lighthouse, on the westernmost tip of the UK mainland, is one of a number of 19th century “Stevenson” lighthouses and has a unique Egyptian style of architecture – inspired by the ancient Lighthouse of Alexandria. On a clear day there are spectacular views towards Skye and the Outer Hebrides. On a dark, stormy night it's a desolate, forbidding place.

The Ardnamurchan light is operated remotely from Edinburgh by the Northern Lighthouse Board but a local community trust recently bought the site and wants to develop its tourism potential.

On a wet and windy day, Helen Mark is shown around the site by the trust's manager and retained light keeper, Davie Ferguson. Despite sophisticated new technology, mariners still rely on lighthouses for guidance and Davie leads Helen up the dizzying climb to the lantern room to show her the modern LED light which casts its beam 24 miles out to sea.

The area's connections with the lighthouse are deep rooted – its construction provided employment for local people during the potato famine and the keepers and their families were important members of the small crofting community. Former lighthouse keeper, Ian Ramon, now acts as a guide, tells visitors what life was like when the light was run on paraffin and when being caught asleep on shift meant instant dismissal!

As well as enjoying the stunning scenery and feeling the power of the wind and waves, visitors can tour the small museum and take shelter in the tearoom when the storms are sweeping in from the Atlantic. For many, the biggest attraction is the giant red foghorn which sits at the bottom of the lighthouse. It hasn't sounded for many years but the trust's recently appointed project officer, Stephanie Cope, tells Helen of her hope that it may, one day, blare out its warning signal again.

Ardnamurchan Point is also part of a network of viewing areas set up by The Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust along the west coast of Scotland. Volunteers record sightings around the peninsula in the summer months and arrange exhibitions and talks for visitors. Siobhan Moran, from the Trust, talks to Helen about the project's links with the lighthouse and the importance of Ardnamurchan as a whale watching site.

Presented by Helen Mark
Produced by Kathleen Carragher


THU 15:27 Radio 4 Appeal (m000q9cd)
[Repeat of broadcast at 07:54 on Sunday]


THU 15:30 Open Book (m000q9cg)
[Repeat of broadcast at 16:00 on Sunday]


THU 16:00 The Film Programme (m000q9cj)
Film programme looking at the latest cinema releases, DVDs and films on TV


THU 16:30 BBC Inside Science (m000q9cl)
Dr Alex Lathbridge and guests illuminate the mysteries and challenge the controversies behind the science that is changing our world.


THU 17:00 PM (m000q9cn)
Afternoon news and current affairs programme, reporting on breaking stories and summing up the day's headlines


THU 18:00 Six O'Clock News (m000q9cq)
The latest national and international news from BBC Radio 4.


THU 18:30 Sarah Kendall: Australian Trilogy (b0bgrsr7)
Series 2

Seventy-Five Years

Part 3: Seventy-Five Years

"Maybe there is neither good nor bad luck; maybe we're all just component part of an endless story"

Multi-award winning storyteller Sarah Kendal returns with more hilarious, gripping and moving stories.

This second volume of Sarah Kendall's Australian Trilogy, is one show in three parts. A collection of seemingly unconnected stories and memories, which, together, form a meditation on luck, survival and hindsight.

Scrolling backwards and forwards in time to different moments in her life, over the three parts Sarah creates an intricate montage, demonstrating the interconnectedness of life.

In this final part, Sarah tells of he grandparents lives, past and present. Stabbings, alien abductions and dementia wards. We find out why Halley's Comet meant so much to Sarah's dad and we conclude with a story about an astronaut's final trip.

Written by Sarah Kendall & Carl Cooper
Performed by Sarah Kendall
Producer - Carl Cooper
Production Co-ordinator - Beverly Tagg
This is a BBC Studios production

Photo Credit - Rosalind Furlong

Series One of Sarah Kendall's Australian Trilogy-

Winner - Writers' Guild Award - Best Radio Comedy
Winner - BBC Audio Drama Award - Best Scripted Comedy (Longform)
Winner -Silver ARIA Award - Best Fictional Storytelling
Nominee - Chortle Comedy Awards - Best Radio Show
Nominee - Music and Radio Awards - Best Storytelling.


THU 19:00 The Archers (m000q8nt)
Writers, Adrian Flynn & Sarah Hehir
Director, Rosemary Watts
Editor, Jeremy Howe

Neil Carter ….. Brian Hewlett
Susan Carter ….. Charlotte Martin
Eddie Grundy ….. Trevor Harrison
Tracy Horrobin ….. Susie Riddell
Kirsty Miller ….. Annabelle Dowler
Philip Moss ….. Andy Hockley
Gavin Moss ….. Gareth Pierce
Oliver Sterling ….. Michael Cochrane
Roman Trench ….. Ewan Bailey
Blake ….. Luke MacGregor
Kenzie ….. Ryan Walker-Edwards
Jordan ….. Billy Kennedy
Victoria ….. Ruth Gemmell


THU 19:15 Front Row (m000q9cs)
Live magazine programme on the worlds of arts, literature, film, media and music


THU 19:45 Curious Under the Stars (m000q9bf)
[Repeat of broadcast at 10:45 today]


THU 20:00 The Briefing Room (m000q9cv)
David Aaronovitch and a panel of experts and insiders explore major news stories.


THU 20:30 The Untold (m000jy13)
The Hive Opera

Grace Dent introduces the long and often agonised development of a modern Opera in creation, from the first work-shopping of a concept to a final, fully composed score. But the score then needs the backing to get it to performance.
The raw material, a study in the psychology of female serial killers, makes it a challenging sell for the woman behind the project, librettist Carole Hayman. However, from the outset in 2013 Carole demonstrates an extraordinary capacity to galvanise others, ride out setbacks and come back positive. With her composer colleague Harvey Brough she slowly pieces together the piece with hurried rehearsals and separate rehearsals and performances of the First and Second Acts with a year between the two. Much depends on a first performance of the full Opera at a festival in early 2020, with a major concert hall performance a few weeks later.

Producer: Tom Alban


THU 21:00 BBC Inside Science (m000q9cl)
[Repeat of broadcast at 16:30 today]


THU 21:30 In Our Time (m000q9b6)
[Repeat of broadcast at 09:00 today]


THU 22:00 The World Tonight (m000q9cy)
In depth reporting, intelligent analysis and breaking news from a global perspective


THU 22:45 The Midnight Library by Matt Haig (m000q9bz)
[Repeat of broadcast at 12:04 today]


THU 23:00 The Likely Dads (m000qcm8)
Series 1

Episode 8 - Kids' TV and Film

Tim Vincent, the middle-aged father of twin boys, hosts this comedy panel show about parenting from the paternal perspective. Once again, Tim is joined by comedians and series regulars Mick Ferry and Russell Kane.

In the final episode of the series, The Likely Dads discuss the TV programmes and films that have left a mark on memories of fatherhood. Is there anything they remember watching with their children that they enjoyed? Is there anything that they really couldn't stand? And was there anything they ever wanted their children to like that they simply refused to?

Dads' memories are put to the test as they're asked to name theme tunes from programmes their children might have watched and ones they might have watched themselves as kids.

In a regular feature, Russell and Mick compare fathering notes in the Dad-Off and one of The Likely Dads has to guess how their children responded to a series of questions about them.

Tim, Mick and Russell are joined by Hollyoaks and Broadchurch actor Will Mellor and comedian and Ireland's Got Talent star Sean Hegarty.

Producer: Kurt Brookes
Executive Producer: Ashley Byrne

A Made In Manchester production for BBC Radio 4 and BBC Sounds


THU 23:30 Today in Parliament (m000q9d0)
News, views and features on today's stories in Parliament



FRIDAY 18 DECEMBER 2020

FRI 00:00 Midnight News (m000q9d2)
The latest news and weather forecast from BBC Radio 4.


FRI 00:30 A Promised Land by Barack Obama (m000qh58)
[Repeat of broadcast at 09:45 on Thursday]


FRI 00:48 Shipping Forecast (m000q9d4)
The latest weather reports and forecasts for UK shipping.


FRI 01:00 Selection of BBC World Service Programmes (m000q9d6)
BBC Radio 4 joins the BBC World Service.


FRI 05:20 Shipping Forecast (m000q9d8)
The latest weather reports and forecasts for UK shipping.


FRI 05:30 News Briefing (m000q9db)
The latest news from BBC Radio 4


FRI 05:43 Prayer for the Day (m000q9dd)
Good morning. It’s a week to go before Christmas so this is the last day for delivering the second class post. This may seem an old-fashioned reminder given the range of electronic media now available to help us keep in touch, but I am more than happy still to send and receive Christmas cards (and to appreciate this year’s second class stamps with their stained glass picture of Madonna and child.) I recognise this will involve keeping a Christmas card list and facing the difficult questions whether we have heard from person x or are still in touch with family y; but it’s also a time to take stock and remember significant friendships, even if from long ago, and to reflect on how these relationships have enriched our lives. I confess that I even enjoy the much derided Christmas letters as a way of staying in touch with how the lives of friends and family are developing – and this year I note it won’t be so much a question of showing off our various travels and achievements as reflecting together on what’s proved impossible because of the pandemic.

Perhaps it’s a result of my boyhood experience of boarding school when I had to write a letter home each week. But equally I think it has something to say about the season we’re celebrating. For the message of the Incarnation is all about a God who comes to dwell among us and share our lives and relationships, and in so doing to enable our lives and relationships to speak of something divine. And if our Christmas cards are only a faint approximation to this, then they still remind us of the humanity of God.

Heavenly Father, In the birth of your Son you come to share this life and our relationships with each other; help us as we seek to stay in touch with those dear to us, to see how deep is your care for the whole human family; in Christ’s name, Amen.


FRI 05:45 Farming Today (m000q9dg)
The latest news about food, farming and the countryside.


FRI 05:58 Tweet of the Day (b03mztp0)
Mistle Thrush (Song)

Tweet of the Day is a series of fascinating stories about our British birds inspired by their calls and songs.

David Attenborough presents the story of the Mistle Thrush. Mistle thrushes are early singers and you'll often hear one singing from the top of a tall tree in windy winter weather. Because of this habit, an old name for the thrush is 'storm cock'.


FRI 06:00 Today (m000q8n1)
News and current affairs, including Sports Desk, Weather and Thought for the Day.


FRI 09:00 Desert Island Discs (m000q8n3)
[Repeat of broadcast at 11:00 on Sunday]


FRI 09:45 A Promised Land by Barack Obama (m000qh56)
Ep 5 - The First 100 Days

Former President Barack Obama reads from the first volume of his presidential memoirs offering a unique and deeply personal account of life in high office and some of the landmarks of his first term. Today the newly inaugurated President settles into his first 100 days in office and must confront the economic crisis that he has inherited from the Bush administration. It’s a brutal start and he contemplates what he can do to halt the economy’s collapse. Trying to get the biggest emergency spending bill in history through Congress is, as he himself says, ‘like trying to get a python to swallow a cow.’ He also appears for the first time at the G20 summit and observes the different characteristics of the European leaders with wry humour before he and Michelle are invited to meet the Queen.

Elected in 2008, Barack Obama became the 44th president of the United States and the first African American to sit in the Oval Office. A Promised Land offers a unique and deeply personal account of presidential life and its highs and lows, and threaded through it all there are tantalising glimpses of family life with Michelle, Malia and Sasha at one of the world's most famous addresses.

Abridged by Katrin Williams.
Produced by Julian Wilkinson; the editor is Di Speirs.


FRI 10:00 Woman's Hour (m000q8n5)
The programme that offers a female perspective on the world


FRI 10:45 Curious Under the Stars (m000q8n7)
The Writer

The Writer, Part 5

By Annamaria Murphy

The last ever episode of the magical drama set in Glan Don, a mysterious village perched on the wild Welsh coast.

The villagers of Glan Don search through the snow for the missing children. And Gareth confronts the writer in his caravan.

Starring Elis James (Josh), Emma Sidi (Pls Like) and Ifan Huw Dafydd (Gavin and Stacey).

Curious Under the Stars was created in 2015 by writer Meic Povey, who breathed life in the magical village of Glan Don. After his death in 2017, writers Annamaria Murphy and Alan Harris have continued to chart the courses of Gareth, Diane and a host of mythic characters. Now, eleven series later, the story of Curious Under the Stars is coming to an end.

All series of Curious Under the Stars are available on BBC Sounds.

Gareth.... Elis James
Diane.... Emma Sidi
Emlyn..... Ifan Huw Dafydd
Megan.... Aimee Ffion Edwards
Matty.... Siw Hughes
Gwynn.... Matthew Gravelle
Anwen.... Juno Robinson

Series created by Meic Povey
Directed by James Robinson
A BBC Cymru Wales Production


FRI 11:00 The Power of Three (m000q8nb)
Episode 3

Cole Moreton presents a deeply personal account of what it’s like to have and to be triplets, as his children Ruby, Josh and Grace prepare to leave home.

We hear from experts and the experiences of other parents of triplets. The series also examines how triplets can often think and feel differently to other children, facing challenges as they grow; retaining identity, and dealing with teachers and friends.

The Moreton family gather for a family holiday before Ruby starts a new job and Grace and Josh head to university. As the family finds ways of getting used to living apart, Grace and Josh are quarantined due to Covid-19.

Cole reflects on the future and the new challenges the family will face.

A TBI Media production for BBC Radio 4


FRI 11:30 Count Arthur Strong's Radio Show! (b06sbpn3)
The Christmas 'Do'

Christmas creeps up on Arthur, leaving him little time to plan his festive arrangements.

Count Arthur and his erstwhile protégé Malcolm (Terry Kilkelly) are surrounded by a host of regular characters created by his Radio Repertory Company - Mel Giedroyc, Alastair Kerr and Dave Mounfield. Dave, who played, among others, the much-loved characters Jerry and Geoffrey, sadly died in March 2020. His final Count Arthur recordings were two Christmas specials recorded in Autumn 2019, the first of which aired on Christmas Day 2019 and the second is yet to air. The 2020 hybrid return of the ever-popular family friendly sitcom is dedicated to his memory.

The long running series first aired on BBC Radio 4 in 2005 and ran for seven series until the former variety star transferred to BBC TV in his eponymous sitcom in 2013. A TV series that started out on BBC2 and transferred to BBC1, running for three series until 2017. The 52 episodes of Count Arthur Strong’s Radio Show! comprise seven series and ten specials since the programme first aired in December 2005.

Highlights include winning the Sony Radio Award for Best Comedy in 2009 and being voted as the Best Radio Sitcom by the British Comedy Guide in 2016, 2018 and 2019. The TV series also enjoyed wide critical acclaim and was nominated for the BAFTA for Best Sitcom and Best Comedy Writing, as well as getting the nod for three British Comedy Awards. In August 2019, Count Arthur Strong's TV sitcom featured in the top three of the Most Missed TV Shows of the 21st Century poll conducted in the Radio Times. Since 2014, Count Arthur has returned to BBC Radio 4 annually with his celebrated Christmas specials.

A 7Digital Komedia production for BBC Radio 4


FRI 12:00 News Summary (m000q8nd)
The latest national and international news from BBC Radio 4.


FRI 12:04 The Midnight Library by Matt Haig (m000q8ng)
Episode 10

Between life and death there is a library - The Midnight Library.

Nora Seed finds herself there and discovers that each book in the Midnight Library is an opportunity - to explore the lives she might now lead if she had acted differently, and to undo her regrets (of which she has many).

None of these lives is what she imagined.

As the librarian in The Midnight Library tells her, ‘Sometimes the only way to learn is to live.’ But what is the best way for Nora to live?

Episode Ten
Nora returns to the Midnight Library to find it crumbling around her.

Matt Haig is the bestselling author of Reasons To Stay Alive and Notes On A Nervous Planet. An award-winning writer of books for children and young adults, he has written seven novels for adults. The Midnight Library was published in July 2017.

Writer: Matt Haig
Reader: Bryony Hannah
Abridger: Jeremy Osborne
Producer: Jeremy Osborne

A Sweet Talk production for BBC Radio 4


FRI 12:18 You and Yours (m000q8nj)
News and discussion of consumer affairs


FRI 12:57 Weather (m000q8nl)
The latest weather forecast


FRI 13:00 World at One (m000q8nn)
Mon-Thurs: Analysis of news and current affairs, presented by Sarah Montague. Fri: Analysis of news and current affairs, presented by Mark Mardell.


FRI 13:45 Arthur Cares (m000q8nq)
Joe

In the final episode, we have a treat for Arthur. Joe is in Arthur's favourite band and has a creative dilemma. Can Arthur help his hero?

In 2019, in a documentary for Radio 4, 11-year-old Arthur tried to fix his dad’s life. We heard how Arthur likes dinosaurs and plays the cello. His dad, Babak, avoids the gym, drinks and has panic attacks. For three weeks, Arthur set about trying to improve his dad’s life, tackling health, a messy flat and the biggest challenge - how to ride a bike.

Arthur now 12, about to turn 13, wants to help more people. Arthur is still wise beyond his years, his self-deprecating comedic humility balances the seriousness of life. Five people, with minor problems, are looking for Arthur’s advice.

Perhaps there has never been a greater time for guidance. Self-help fills bookshops, conference rooms, gyms and therapist offices - telling people to help themselves is big business. And yet, somehow, this doesn't seem to work.

Perhaps the real guidance can come from the idealistic mind of Arthur? Welcome to Arthur Cares!

Produced by Barney Rowntree
Research by Tess Davidson
A Reduced Listening production for BBC Radio 4


FRI 14:00 The Archers (m000q8nt)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 on Thursday]


FRI 14:15 Drama (m000q8nw)
London Particular

Episode 3

By Nick Perry

Finding herself caught up in tumultuous historical events from London’s past, Alice is forced to question her sanity and her own true identity. Running for her life from a powerful conspiracy of shadowy forces, Alice embarks on series of bizarre adventures at the end of which she is convinced she will learn the fate of her missing brother.

Alice . . . . . Scarlett Brookes
Alan . . . . . Ian Dunnett Jnr
Morris . . . . . Joseph Ayre
Jack . . . . . Stefan Adegbola
Jill . . . . . Charlotte East
Isaac . . . . . Aaron Gelkoff
Churchill . . . . . Roger Ringrose
Mum . . . . . Jane Whittenshaw
Lizzie . . . . . Emma Handy

Pianist: Peter Ringrose

Director: Sasha Yevtushenko


FRI 15:00 Gardeners' Question Time (m000q8ny)
GQT at Home: Episode Thirty-Five

Peter Gibbs hosts the gardening panel show, joined by a team of experts - including Matthew Wilson, Bunny Guinness and Pippa Greenwood - to answer questions sent in by listeners from across the country.

Producer - Rosie Merotra
Assistant Producer - Jemima Rathbone

A Somethin' Else production for BBC Radio 4


FRI 15:45 Short Works (m000q8p0)
Baby by Tishani Doshi

During the long days of lockdown, Mrs Bhatia finds herself thinking back to her childhood in India. An original short story for radio by the poet and novelist Tishani Doshi, read by Chetna Pandya.

Tishani Doshi was born in the city formerly known as Madras in 1975. She has published six books of poetry and fiction. Her essays, poems and short stories have been widely anthologized.

Her first book, COUNTRIES OF THE BODY, won the prestigious Forward Prize for Best First Collection in 2006. GIRLS ARE COMING OUT OF THE WOODS was shortlisted for the TED HUGHES AWARD & a Firecracker Award. Tishani's debut novel, THE PLEASURE SEEKERS, was shortlisted for the Hindu Literary Prize and long-listed for the Orange Prize and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. SMALL DAYS AND NIGHTS, her second novel, has been shortlisted for the TATA BEST FICTION AWARD 2019 and the RSL ONDAATJE PRIZE 2020.

Read by Chetna Pandya
Produced by Mair Bosworth


FRI 16:00 Last Word (m000q8p2)
Matthew Bannister tells the life stories of people who have recently died, from the rich and famous to unsung but significant.


FRI 16:30 Feedback (m000q8p4)
The programme that holds the BBC to account on behalf of the radio audience


FRI 17:00 PM (m000q8p6)
Afternoon news and current affairs programme, reporting on breaking stories and summing up the day's headlines


FRI 18:00 Six O'Clock News (m000q8p8)
The latest national and international news from BBC Radio 4.


FRI 18:30 Dead Ringers (m000q8pb)
Christmas Specials 2020

Episode 2

Topical satire from Jon Culshaw, Jan Ravens, Lewis McLeod, Debra Stephenson and Duncan Wisbey.

The writing squad for the series: Tom Jamieson and Nev Fountain, Laurence Howarth, Sarah Campbell, Ed Amsden and Tom Coles, James Bugg, Jeffrey Aidoo, Alex Hardy, Athena Kugblenu.

Producer: Bill Dare. A BBC Studios Production


FRI 19:00 Front Row (m000q8pd)
Live magazine programme on the worlds of arts, literature, film, media and music


FRI 19:45 Curious Under the Stars (m000q8n7)
[Repeat of broadcast at 10:45 today]


FRI 20:00 Any Questions? (m000q8pg)
Baroness Casey, Professor Anand Menon, Lionel Shriver

Chris Mason presents political debate and discussion from Broadcasting House in London with a panel which includes the former homelessness adviser to the Westminster government Baroness Casey, the director of the UK in a Changing Europe thinktank Professor Anand Menon and the author and journalist Lionel Shriver.


FRI 20:50 A Point of View (m000q8pj)
Weekly reflections on topical issues from a range of contributors.


FRI 21:00 The Reith Lectures (m000q8yc)
[Repeat of broadcast at 09:00 on Wednesday]


FRI 22:00 The World Tonight (m000q8pl)
In depth reporting, intelligent analysis and breaking news from a global perspective


FRI 22:45 The Midnight Library by Matt Haig (m000q8ng)
[Repeat of broadcast at 12:04 today]


FRI 23:00 Americast (m000q8pn)
Emily Maitlis and Jon Sopel follow the aftermath of the US election.


FRI 23:30 Great Lives (m000q8pq)
[Repeat of broadcast at 16:30 on Tuesday]




LIST OF THIS WEEK'S PROGRAMMES
(Note: the times link back to the details; the pids link to the BBC page, including iPlayer)

A Plague On All Our Houses 11:30 THU (m000q9bp)

A Point of View 08:48 SUN (m000q3nd)

A Point of View 20:50 FRI (m000q8pj)

A Promised Land by Barack Obama 09:45 MON (m000qh4t)

A Promised Land by Barack Obama 00:30 TUE (m000qh4t)

A Promised Land by Barack Obama 09:45 TUE (m000qh4w)

A Promised Land by Barack Obama 00:30 WED (m000qh4w)

A Promised Land by Barack Obama 09:45 WED (m000qh4y)

A Promised Land by Barack Obama 00:30 THU (m000qh4y)

A Promised Land by Barack Obama 09:45 THU (m000qh58)

A Promised Land by Barack Obama 00:30 FRI (m000qh58)

A Promised Land by Barack Obama 09:45 FRI (m000qh56)

All in the Mind 21:00 TUE (m000q8z7)

All in the Mind 15:30 WED (m000q8z7)

Americast 23:00 FRI (m000q8pn)

Any Answers? 14:00 SAT (m000qbfw)

Any Questions? 13:10 SAT (m000q3n4)

Any Questions? 20:00 FRI (m000q8pg)

Archive on 4 20:00 SAT (m000qbgj)

Art of Now 23:30 SAT (m000mcgy)

Arthur Cares 13:45 MON (m000qbm8)

Arthur Cares 13:45 TUE (m000q9fw)

Arthur Cares 13:45 WED (m000q8z1)

Arthur Cares 13:45 THU (m000q9c8)

Arthur Cares 13:45 FRI (m000q8nq)

BBC Inside Science 16:30 THU (m000q9cl)

BBC Inside Science 21:00 THU (m000q9cl)

Bells on Sunday 05:43 SUN (m000qbgz)

Bells on Sunday 00:45 MON (m000qbgz)

Beyond Belief 16:30 MON (m000qbmh)

Broadcasting House 09:00 SUN (m000qbk2)

Charisma: Pinning Down the Butterfly 11:45 SUN (b067003h)

Count Arthur Strong's Radio Show! 11:30 FRI (b06sbpn3)

Counterpoint 23:00 SAT (m000q3fq)

Counterpoint 15:00 MON (m000qbmb)

Crossing Continents 20:30 MON (m000q3n7)

Crossing Continents 11:00 THU (m000q9bk)

Curious Under the Stars 10:45 MON (m000qblr)

Curious Under the Stars 19:45 MON (m000qblr)

Curious Under the Stars 10:45 TUE (m000q9fc)

Curious Under the Stars 19:45 TUE (m000q9fc)

Curious Under the Stars 10:45 WED (m000q8yh)

Curious Under the Stars 19:45 WED (m000q8yh)

Curious Under the Stars 10:45 THU (m000q9bf)

Curious Under the Stars 19:45 THU (m000q9bf)

Curious Under the Stars 10:45 FRI (m000q8n7)

Curious Under the Stars 19:45 FRI (m000q8n7)

Date Night 23:00 TUE (m00035wh)

Dead Ringers 12:30 SAT (m000q3mf)

Dead Ringers 18:30 FRI (m000q8pb)

Death of a Headmaster 17:00 SUN (m000q3r0)

Desert Island Discs 11:00 SUN (m000q8n3)

Desert Island Discs 09:00 FRI (m000q8n3)

Don't Log Off 21:00 MON (m000q3m3)

Don't Log Off 11:00 TUE (m000q9ff)

Dot 19:15 SUN (b0bgbyjy)

Drama 15:00 SUN (m00010lz)

Drama 14:15 TUE (m000q9g0)

Drama 14:15 THU (m0001d99)

Drama 14:15 FRI (m000q8nw)

Faith in Music 16:00 MON (m000qbmf)

Farming Today 06:30 SAT (m000qbf6)

Farming Today 05:45 MON (m000qblf)

Farming Today 05:45 TUE (m000qbnd)

Farming Today 05:45 WED (m000q9hf)

Farming Today 05:45 THU (m000q90b)

Farming Today 05:45 FRI (m000q9dg)

Feedback 20:00 SUN (m000q3ld)

Feedback 16:30 FRI (m000q8p4)

Felicity Ward - Appisodes 23:00 WED (m000q8zt)

From Our Own Correspondent 11:30 SAT (m000qbfk)

Front Row 19:15 MON (m000qbmr)

Front Row 19:15 TUE (m000q9gg)

Front Row 19:15 WED (m000q8zp)

Front Row 19:15 THU (m000q9cs)

Front Row 19:00 FRI (m000q8pd)

Full Circle 05:45 SAT (m00027n0)

Full Circle 20:45 WED (m00027n0)

Gardeners' Question Time 14:00 SUN (m000q3kr)

Gardeners' Question Time 15:00 FRI (m000q8ny)

Great Lives 16:30 TUE (m000q8pq)

Great Lives 23:30 FRI (m000q8pq)

Grounded with Louis Theroux 22:15 SAT (p08ybstk)

Grounded with Louis Theroux 20:00 WED (p08ybsww)

Help! My Head's in Wookey Hole 18:30 TUE (m000gc4l)

How To Make The World Add Up by Tim Harford 00:30 SAT (m000q3gq)

How to Vaccinate the World 11:30 MON (m000qblw)

I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue 12:04 SUN (m000q3gr)

I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue 18:30 MON (m000qbmp)

In Our Time 09:00 THU (m000q9b6)

In Our Time 21:30 THU (m000q9b6)

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Something Understood 23:30 SUN (b01rfy4s)

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