Imagine a jazz musician, improvising on a theme. Then imagine that he is able to play half a dozen instruments – not one after another, but almost simultaneously, switching effortlessly between instruments and musical styles with hardly a pause for breath. If you can countenance that, you are halfway towards appreciating the extraordinary song of the nightingale…
From reconstructing Shakespeare’s accent to the rise and fall of Received Pronunciation, actor Ben Crystal and his linguist father David travel the world in search of the stories of spoken English. Witty, authoritative and jam-packed full of fascinating facts, You Say Potato is a celebration of the myriad ways in which the English language is spoken – and how our accents, in so many ways, speak louder than words.
At the time of writing, Robert Mugabe has just secured his seventh term in office. Peter Godwin’s The Fear records the journalist’s travels through his home country after the 2008 elections to see the torture bases, the burned villages, the death squads, the opposition leaders in hiding, the last white farmers, the churchmen and the diplomats putting their own lives on the line to stop the carnage. He currently serves as President of PEN’s American Center.
Jennifer Clement (former president of PEN Mexico) and Cristina Henríquez discuss their work.
‘The theme of Prayers for the Stolen is the wanton violence inflicted on women and the destruction of communities as a result of the drug trade in Mexico, but Clement’s eye for the revealing detail, the simple poetry of her language and the visceral authenticity of her characters turn that deadening reality into a compelling, tragically beautiful novel’ – Yann Martel. Henríquez tells the passionate and powerful love story of a Panamanian boy and Mexican girl living the brutal reality of the immigrant’s American dream.
The TV presenter and wildlife champion shares his passion for the natural world and his deep understanding of the animals that live in it. In his latest book he looks at the incredible journeys animals make as they migrate across the globe. He is joined by illustrator Jason Crockcroft.
What are the limits of free speech and civility? What is the nature of ‘offence’? What earns ‘respect’? If words can hurt you, are sticks and stones and broken bones the answer?
Two readings: the geographer, Dorling, tells the stories of the people who live along The 32 Stops Of The Central Line to illustrate the extent and impact of inequality in Britain today. Wadham introduces her Heads And Straights: The Circle Line, an autobiographical tale of bohemians, punk, the King’s Road in the 1970s and family.TFL celebrates 150 years of the Tube with Penguin
The story of the frigate Mercedes and the return of its treasures to Spain has caught people’s attention over the last few months. But one question remains unanswered. Why has Spain still not managed to set up a major scientific study of the galleon and its treasure? Carlos León, archeologist, technical director of the exhibition The last voyage of Mercedes; writer Mari Pau Domínguez, author of Las dos vidas del capitán, and lawyer José María Lancho, specialist in underwater archeological heritage, talk to Jesús García Calero, director of the culture section of ABC newspaper.
Guy Parker-Rees’ exuberant illustrations have made him a bestseller. You’ll recognise his work from the worldwide hit, Giraffes Can’t Dance, a World Book Day book for 2013. Join the fun!
Duration 45 mins.
The extraordinary story of Mary’s Meals: after watching a news bulletin about war-torn Bosnia, two brothers agreed to take a week’s hiatus from work to help. What neither of them expected is that what began as a one-off road trip in a beaten-up Land Rover rapidly grew to become Magnus’s life’s work – leading him to leave his job, sell his house and direct all his efforts into feeding thousands of the world’s poorest children. He talks to Sarah Crompton.
Find out about life behind the scenes in Ambridge with the Editor of The Archers, Sean O’Connor, and Graham Harvey, the programme's Agricultural Advisor.
Not for broadcast.
From a less-than-satisfactory press trip to the Galapagos Islands to encounters with orcas in Argentina and Iceland and an invisible tiger in India, the former Goodie and Springwatch presenter gives a humorous take on some of his experiences animal- and bird-watching around the world.
Please click here to prebook dinner at Relish Restaurant on site.
The story of Jake Mann, a Jesuit priest who is posted to Nigeria where he suppresses his obsessive desire for women but proves too radical for both the Church and the local security forces, getting involved in campaigns against Big Oil, and discovering a talent for exorcism. A series of bizarre killings follow, both in Nigeria and back in the UK. Most terrifying for Jake is when he realises the identity of the darkest heart behind these killings…