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Leading artists, writers, thinkers discuss the ideas shaping our lives & links between past & present and new academic research. Broadcast as Free Thinking Tues – Thurs 10pm on BBC Radio 3 + Proms Plus events
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An antidote to today’s frenzied world. Step back, let go, immerse yourself: it’s time to go slow. Listen to the sounds of birds, mountain climbing, monks chatting as you go about your day. A lo-fi celebration of pure sound.
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Building a Library: a guide to the best recordings of the greatest classical music. Each week an expert and enthusiast brings along a wide range of recordings of a well-known piece. They explore the music and the different ways of performing it, ending with a recommendation for your library
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Uncanny

BBC Radio 4

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From ghostly phantoms to UFOs, The Battersea Poltergeist's Danny Robins investigates real-life stories of paranormal encounters. Written and presented by Danny Robins Editor and Sound Designer: Charlie Brandon-King Music: Evelyn Sykes Theme Music by Lanterns on the Lake Produced by Danny Robins and Simon Barnard A Bafflegab and Uncanny Media production for BBC Radio 4
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Unplucked

BBC Radio 3

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How do you get into the biggest classical music festival in the world? Follow composer and comedian Vikki Stone as she unbuttons the BBC Proms and asks the questions everyone else is afraid to ask.
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Britten 100

BBC Radio 3

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Britten 100. Highlights from Radio 3’s Britten centenary weekend in Aldeburgh with special features, interviews and on location reports recorded in Suffolk.
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SciFi OTR

Radio Nostalgia Network

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Welcome to the Old Time Radio Scifi , From its earliest time, radio has always been interested in Science Fiction. There has been science fiction on the radio since before Buck Rogers in 1932. Radio SciFi characters leaped into your living room as the listener would be taken on an adventure into time and space each week. Join us each week as we explore the unknown universe of science fiction only on the Old Time Radio Network.
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Getting Better Acquainted

Getting Better Acquainted

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A weekly podcast: Join Dave Pickering on his journey to get better acquainted with the people he knows. Part interview show, part oral history project and part autobiography through conversation. British Podcast Award 2017 winner (bronze in Best Interview category) GBA was nominated for a 2012 Radio Production Award, aired for 3 seasons on Resonance 104.4 FM and was featured on BBC Radio 4's In Pod We Trust, BBC Radio 5 Live’s Helen and Olly's Required Listening and has been recommended by T ...
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Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough presents a collection of quirky tales gathered from the corners of history by an intrepid band of time travelling correspondents, with a new theme every week.
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Written by Mike Walker, from an idea by Michael Crick. A tragicomic take on the months Tsar Peter the Great spent in London learning about ship-building and naval tactics, destroying the house and garden of diarist John Evelyn; roistering with the ambitious young actress Letitia Cross; and preparing himself for an onslaught upon Evelyn’s treasured …
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Adam Smyth loves books - as well as being a Professor of English Literature he runs an experimental printing press from a cold barn in Oxfordshire. Who better then to tell us about the quirky pioneers of print, the subject of his new publication The Book-Makers? In this programme he takes us to 1490s London to tell the story of Wynken de Worde, a D…
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Jess Gillam swaps favourite music with pianist Keelan Carew, and between them they put together a boundary-pushing playlist with songs by Kurt Weill and Nat King Cole - pianistic fireworks by Busoni and Chopin, orchestral fireworks by Shostakovich and some classic Japanese jazz fusion by Casiopea. Playlist:KURT WEILL: Der Abschiedsbrief [Teresa Str…
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Lucy Worsley travels back in time to revisit the unthinkable crimes of 19th century murderesses from the UK, Australia and North America. In this episode Lucy is joined by Cameron Esposito, stand-up comic, actor, writer and host of the hit podcast Queery. They investigate the case of 19-year-old Alice Mitchell who killed 17-year-old Freda Ward in M…
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Travelling in Woody Guthrie's footsteps inspired a history of hitchhiking written by Jonathan Purkis. He joins Matthew Sweet for a conversation which ranges across hitchhiking in the UK and in Eastern Europe, where Poland operated a kind of voucher system. We look at the influence of film depictions from the Nevada desert depicted in Fear and Loath…
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For the last three months, we have followed the Williams and Mercedes teams as they prepared and built their cars for the 2024 season. Holly Samos and Sarah Holt have been our guides as we’ve gone with them inside the factories - but now it’s almost time to return to the track. First, the teams have to launch their race cars and reveal them to the …
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Recycling Victorian clothes, the history of costume design, the messages conveyed in art made from textiles and the stories encoded in ancient embroidery are explored by Shahidha Bari and her guests Isabella Rosner, Rianna Norbert-David, Jade Halbert and Danielle Dove. They also look at exhibitions at the Barbican Gallery in London and the Museum o…
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Lewis Hamilton has returned from the Christmas break with some shocking news for his Mercedes team. His bombshell makes headlines around the world - with some calling it the biggest story in Formula 1 this century. Even if that’s a little far-fetched, there is no doubt that his decision has sent shockwaves through the F1 community. At Mercedes, tea…
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Kirsty Young talks to the artist Sir Grayson Perry about what he’s learned from his life so far. Once cross-dressing punk rebel, now ennobled member of the British establishment, Grayson Perry’s extraordinary life has given him plenty of material to inspire his art. He reflects on how his traumatic childhood resulted in him retreating into a rich f…
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Inside their high-tech Formula 1 factories, Mercedes and Williams are in a constant cycle of pushing the boundaries in the car build. And the clock is ticking. With just a few weeks to go until the start of the 2024 season, Williams are working overtime as the final components of the car go into manufacture. Team principal James Vowles says these c…
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Linton Stephens tries out a classical playlist on Strictly Come Dancing judge, entertainer and author Anton Du Beke. Anton's playlist: Marquez: Conga del FuegoEmilie Mayer: Piano Quartet in E flat major, i Allegro con motoJanet Wheeler: Beati quorum viaPiazzolla arr. Storlokken: Estaciónes porteñas: No. 3, Invierno ProrteñoAnonymous: Folia: Rodrigo…
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In 2017, audio producer Phil Smith travelled to Ukraine to attend his friend's wedding. There, somewhere between the cities of Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv and Odessa, he fell in love with the soundworld of the sleeper train: its steady hypnotic rhythms, the melody of hurtling through time and space, the calls of distant tannoy speakers drifting across pl…
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Many of the most instantly recognisable works in classical music are inspired by the Earth’s moon – Debussy’s ‘Clair de Lune’, Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight Sonata’, Dvořák’s ‘Song to the Moon’. Tom Service takes us on a musical voyage to the moon (and back), from the cosmic-scale classical to the lesser known music invoking and inspired by our mysterious…
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Michael Winterbottom is one of Britain’s most prolific and eclectic film directors: his work encompasses political thrillers and pop culture, reworkings of classic novels and retelling real events. He’s made three films based on the novels of Thomas Hardy, including a version of Jude the Obscure with Christopher Eccleston and Kate Winslet. He’s wor…
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Back at base, Williams and Mercedes are returning to work after the winter shutdown. Now is the time for new beginnings – and whatever lies ahead for our two teams and the cars they are busy bringing to life inside their high-tech facilities. F1 experts Holly Samos and Sarah Holt are our guides as we catch up with the teams. At Mercedes, there is o…
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Sara Mohr-Pietsch talks to renowned American pianist, Jeremy Denk, ahead of his Wigmore Hall recital of Bach Partitas. He discusses his passion for Bach and the profound impact and connection he has when he plays his music. Sara talks to Grammy-nominated composer Missy Mazzoli ahead of the day-long immersion into her work with the BBC Symphony Orch…
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When it comes to designing and building the new Williams and Mercedes Formula 1 cars for the looming 2024 season, there is precision and, most importantly, there is a plan. There has to be because all 10 teams are facing their first winter shutdown - a new ruling by the sport’s governing body, the FIA. But things don’t always go to plan - and the t…
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This week it’s the ‘cabaret of cuteness’ as this week Ian McMillan and his guests examine all things small, fluffy, wide eyed and sleepy in The Cute Verb. Ian is joined by poet Isabel Galleymore who reads from her new collection Baby Schema which asks what we ask cuteness to do for us and follows Mickey Mouse’s journey towards cuteness across the p…
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Donald Macleod delves into the world of Venetian composer, Maddalena Sirmen Maddalena Sirmen was born in Venice in 1745 and christened Maddalena Laura Lombardini. Her poverty-stricken family were unable to support her and by the age of seven she was admitted to one of Venice’s ‘Ospedali’. The Ospedali were hospitals and orphanages set up to help th…
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The World in Words. The Verb, presented by Ian McMillan, revisits the Contains Strong Language which was held in Leeds in September of last year. It was a gathering of poets from all over the world and featured Felene Cayetano from Belize, Andre Bagoo from Trinidad and Tobago, Ngwatilo Mawiyoo from Kenya, Lebo Mashile from South Africa, Chris Tse, …
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Inside the Williams and Mercedes factories, where F1 cars come to life, the workforce is putting its heart and soul into the winter tasks now well underway. There are just 14 weeks between the 2023 season and the first race of 2024 in Bahrain. In this series, we have been allowed rare access into the heart of the operations. And at the Williams fac…
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When Sabine’s body is found beneath the cliffs at Beachy Head in an apparent suicide, her sister Elly is convinced she was murdered. Elly's hunt for the killer takes her deep into the secret life her sister kept hidden. Elly has gone to Brighton to pack up her sister’s university room and wait for the results of the post-mortem. But things aren’t q…
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Formed in 1968, the German group Can's founding members included Irmin Schmidt and Holger Czukay who had both studied under Karlheinz Stockhausen. Joined by jazz drummer Jaki Liebezeit, guitarist Michael Karoli and Japanese vocalist Damo Suzuki for the group's 'classic' line-up that recorded Tago Mago (1971) and Ege Bamyasi (1972), their fourth alb…
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The Williams and Mercedes Formula 1 teams have given us unprecedented access to their top-secret facilities as they work over the winter preparing their cars for the 2024 season. At Mercedes, the team’s superstar driver Lewis Hamilton is going into a restricted area to see how that crucial work is coming along. We follow in his footsteps as F1 expe…
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Lucy Worsley travels back in time to revisit the unthinkable crimes of 19th century murderesses from the UK, Australia and North America. Lucy Worsley travels to Buckland Brewer, Devon, to investigate the death of a young servant girl on a remote farm. Far from bucolic idyll with roses around the door, this is the location of a grizzly crime where …
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In this series, we have been given unprecedented access to two of the biggest teams in Formula 1 - Mercedes and Williams. It’s a few days after the final race of the 2023 season, and the teams are returning home to their UK factories after an epic year. It’s time to enjoy the year’s hard-fought success with the workforce of hundreds back at base. A…
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Asked to picture a nineteenth-century ship, you might think of the HMS Victory or HMS Temeraire, symbolic of empire. Something epitomised by flag-waving and victory - Britannia rules the waves. In this edition of Free Thinking, Catherine Fletcher asks if we memorialise one aspect of our maritime past at the expense of others. Remember in Great Expe…
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Kirsty Young talks to philanthropist Melinda French Gates about what she’s learned from her life so far. A computer scientist by training, she dated her boss and became one half of one of the world’s most famous power couples. But as she travelled a road paved with gold, French Gates describes the tough lessons she learned along the way, the danger…
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Linton Stephens tries out a classical playlist on comedian, actor, presenter and writer Jo Brand. Jo's playlist: Alexander Glazunov - Violin Concerto in A minor, Op 82 (3rd mvt)Francisco Guerrero - Maria MagdaleneMeredith Monk - The Games: Memory Song (arr. J Wolfe for voices & chamber ensemble)Antonio Pasculli - Le Api (Etude Caractéristique for o…
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The percussionist Ray Cooper is often referred to as the ‘father of rock and roll percussion’. He is renowned for his exuberant stage presence and for incorporating unusual instruments, including cowbells, glockenspiels, timpani and tubular bells to name but a few. He has worked with many of the world’s leading musicians including Pink Floyd, the R…
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Jess Gillam meets violist Jordan Bak to share some of their favourite music. Jamaican-American violist Jordan Bak is a proud new music advocate – he’s performed world premieres of works by composers including Kaija Saariaho and Augusta Read Thomas. His debut album IMPULSE was released in 2022 and he’s performed with orchestras including London Moza…
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Karl Jenkins has had a career of contrasts – from accomplished jazz fusion, prog rock and the worlds of film and advertising, to phenomenal success in concert halls around the world as a composer of music that delights audiences and often defies categorisation; music that is rhythmic, emotional – and hugely popular: he just might be the most perfor…
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Eleanor Oldroyd looks at the latest developments regarding Red Bull Racing and their team principal Christian Horner. She is joined by Andrew Benson, Rebecca Clancy and Sam Bird as they hear from Horner himself, who spoke for the first time since allegations of inappropriate behaviour were made against him. And with Lewis Hamilton’s shock decision …
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The first condoms were made of cloth and intended to be used after sex. Later they were replaced by hand stitched animal gut ones – designed to be washed and reused. We chart the bizzare, fraught and sexist history of attempts to deal with the prevention of sexually transmitted disease - where medical practice came into conflict with the morals of …
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Chocolate is an indulgent luxury used to mark special points in the calendar like Valentine's Day, Easter and Christmas. But it's also everywhere, from breakfast cereals to protein shakes. Shahidha Bari unravels this paradox, tracing the meanings of chocolate from ancient Central America, via the Aztecs and Maya, over the Atlantic to the Spanish co…
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Lucy Worsley travels back in time to revisit the unthinkable crimes of 19th century murderesses from the UK, Australia and North America. In this episode Lucy is joined by Evy Poumpouras, former special agent with the Secret Service, where she protected five US presidents as part of the Presidential Protective Division. Lucy and Evy investigate the…
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Danny Robins looks back at Season 3 and answers your questions and theories, and we hear some incredible new evidence and witness testimony. Written and presented by Danny RobinsEditor and Sound Designer: Charlie Brandon-KingMusic: Evelyn SykesTheme Music by Lanterns on the LakeProduced by Danny Robins and Simon Barnard A Bafflegab and Uncanny Medi…
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Kirsty Young talks to the actor Peter Capaldi about what he’s learned from his life so far. Celebrated for iconic TV roles as Doctor Who and as Malcolm Tucker in The Thick Of It, Capaldi’s 40-year career also includes an Oscar in 1995 for work behind the camera. He reflects on his journey from a Glasgow tenement block, how he owes his career to a l…
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