Tag Archives: Radio



Terry Jones introduces another tasty Renaissance tale, starring John Finnemore as a lovelorn knight.

The one hundred stories which make up Giovanni Boccaccio’s humane and comic masterpiece, come from all over the world. This Renaissance work is considered a landmark in world literature.

The stories are vividly reset by Boccaccio among the flourishing merchant classes in the cities of fourteenth-century Italy. But their witty, satirical, bawdy voice sounds utterly modern, and their subjects – love, fate, sex, religion, morality – are universal.

Today’s theme is “Lovers who, after many disasters, finally find happiness.”

Courtly Federigo spends every last groat trying to win the affections of the beautiful Monna. But there is only one thing of his that she wants. And it has feathers.

Don’t forget to listen to this, tonight at 10.45 on Radio 3. Starring John Finnemore & Carrie Quinlan!

It’s on in 2 minutes! Listen here!

Federigo and His Falcon, Decameron Nights: Ten Italian Indelicacies Remixed from Boccaccio, The Essay – BBC Radio 3

This is when the Marconi Company decided it was not enough to have a 1kW transmitter each in Calcutta and Bombay. These transmitters were small and away from the government’s sight. If the government were to spend money on installing a stronger one in Delhi, its hands would thereafter be tied and it would not speak of shutting down the radio ever again.

So Marconi wheeled and dealed to get the government to install a 20kW transmitter in Delhi. They also went to Peshawar and installed a 10kW transmitter there at their own expense, telling the Frontier government that it was very important for its voice to reach the tribes and it could experiment with the transmitter for free; if the experiment worked, they could pay for it, otherwise Marconi would just take the transmitter back.

The central government was unsure which ministry to make responsible for radio. It fit neither into the Public Works Department nor into Irrigation. After much consideration, this hopeless and helpless department was handed over to the Post Office.

It’s 7:00 a.m. and I’m rushing through my morning routine with an eye on the clock. My plan is to get into my car before 7:30 a.m. so I can tune in and listen to the Brekete Family Radio program. It is always the perfect companion during my 15-minute drive to work through Abuja’s bumper-to-bumper traffic. As I drive out of my compound, I am relieved to hear the voice of Ordinary Ahmed Isa, the president and host of the Brekete Family, come on the air with the familiar but strange greeting “Hembelembe,” to which his studio audience responds “Olololoooo.” You can’t help but mutter the response under your breath. The atmosphere is electrifying because you don’t know what to expect on this show. The Brekete Family Radio (BFR) is a reality radio program in Abuja, modeled after a public complaint forum or people’s court. Conducted in the local lingua franca (pidgin English), people call in to report on issues of impunity, whether public or private. The panel sitting in the studio discusses the issue and invites the public to give advice to the plaintiff.

I’ve been re-listening to Nat Segnit’s BBC radio series of superb spoof documentaries, Beautiful Dreamers. Apart from being tightly scripted, packed with allusion and barbs, and richly imagined, it’s also technically excellent radio and audio. It is, for me, on a par with some of Chris Morris’ work. Heartily recommended, if you can access it.

The episode that’s currently on iPlayer, for example, The Whalemen of Musungenyi, keeps unfolding, layer upon ever richer layer, from an uncanny premise, even managing to weave in, for example, an extended joke on children conceived from donor eggs.

I enjoyed, but didn’t love, Segnit’s comic novel, Pub Walks In Underhill Country (and I am yet to read his ippr report on media coverage of climate change, part of his work with Linguistic Landscapes). This looks fun, though.

Segnit’s wife Niki (mentioned in this interview) is a celebrated author in her own right – of a widely acclaimed (and ingenious) culinary book: The Flavour Thesaurus (which I did unconditionally love, and gift). More on that another time…