The variety of programmes on Radio 4 is always astonishing, and as someone who rarely watches television I think I'd happily pay my BBC licence fee for this service alone, which has managed to both educate and entertain me over many years. If only I could write and listen to radio programmes at the same time! Alas, during periods of writing the radio has to be switched off until I break at lunchtime (here I must confess to having been hooked into the Helen & Rob marital abuse storyline of late in Radio Four’s daily soap The Archers!). I've really enjoyed some of the drama offerings, especially Killing Time by Peter Jukes, starring Lenny Henry, and The Clerks' Room by Janice Okoh, plus a number of one-off plays and some serials like Home Front, about the First World War, which relates itself to a day exactly a hundred years ago. But the Radio 4 diet is completely omnivorous, and this week I've also particularly relished hearing Thinking Allowed and The Media Show.
There is one fifteen minute programme that I've found immensely engaging though, and I'm so glad I didn't miss any of it: Free Speech, written and presented by Timothy Garton Ash. Basically this is a series of essays on a subject I truly believe we should all feel passionate about - the hard won right to express ourselves without prejudice. This is a terrific short series and I can highly recommend listening to it.
So, mostly thanks to BBC Radio, the decorating has been getting along nicely and relatively pain-free!