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4extra's Newsletter 27/01/2012

Posted by Truthyness 
4extra's Newsletter 27/01/2012
January 27, 2012 07:58PM
Radio 4 Extra Newsletter - Friday 27th January

New Programmes Coming Up
The Selection
Classic Comedy
Comedy Zone
Comedy Club
Young Classics
7th Dimension
Crime and Thrillers
Fact and Fiction
The 4 O'Clock Show
...and finally

Hello again,

Last week I had the privilege and pleasure of visiting the BBC Scotland headquarters, Pacific Quay, situated just outside Glasgow at a beautiful location by the River Clyde.

This state of the art building, with a sheer glass façade which changes throughout the day and seasons, is a dynamic broadcasting centre where all BBC Scotland's national output is created, in addition to television and radio programmes for other networks.

Radio 4 Extra's The 4 O'Clock Show is produced at Pacific Quay and, as part of my visit, I was able to sit in the studio where the presenter, Mel Giedroyc , was "batch-baking" her programmes for us.

I was expecting a large, spacious studio, but no - the studio where Mel records, is called a DAW (Digital Audio Workshop) and is so compact it is jokingly referred to as a Digital Audio Wardrobe! It is a great use of space, with innovative production methods and technology delivering high quality programmes.

Senior Producer for The 4 O'Clock Show, Elizabeth Clarke, had brought in a plateful of home-made muffins, which looked and tasted so delicious that she could certainly be a contender for the Great British Bake-Off.

As in any organisation there is always the need for meeting rooms of various sizes, and these rooms normally have numbers - for example the main meeting room for Radio 4 Extra is Room 4023. But the BBC Scotland meetings rooms are imaginative and quirky - they are all named after programmes which were made in Scotland.

Having worked for BBC Scotland many years ago, I was fascinated to see the names; here are a few of the meeting rooms with nostalgic programme titles which might sound familiar to some of you: Dr Finlay's Case Book, The White Heather Club, Sunset Song, Hootenannie, Tutti Frutti, Monarch of the Glen, Balamory, Scotch and Wry and The McFlannels. Ah, those were the days!

The 4 O'Clock Show is a great success on Radio 4 Extra, and has received many accolades. Here is one of them, from The Spectator magazine: " it's radio at its most versatile, veering from laugh aloud comedy to crucial questions and their answers and on to brilliant sallies of the imagination without missing a beat. I just hope enough young listeners find it and get hooked".

If you haven’t been hooked already, whatever your age, you can catch The 4 O'Clock Show at 4.00pm every weekday.

Elizabeth has just taken time off from making her muffins to write us a piece on what's coming up in programmes for the week ahead - you can read it further on in the newsletter.

But now on to other 4 Extra programmes for you to enjoy:

New Programmes Coming Up
Garrison Keillor's Radio Show - Saturday
The Darkest Room - Saturday
The Painted Veil Omnibus - Saturday
Agatha Christie - Endless Night - Sunday
The Scarifyers - Sunday
Nick Warburton - Toad Squad - Sunday
A History Of The World In 100 Objects - Sunday
As Told To Craig Brown - Sunday
The Problem With Adam Bloom - Sunday
Desert Island Discs Revisited - Angela Gheorghiu - Sunday
The Comedy Club Interview - Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday
The 4 O'Clock Show - Monday to Friday
Poirot - Mrs McGinty's Dead - Monday
Tales from the Backbench - Monday
Says On The Tin - Monday
The Unbelievable Truth - Monday
Loose Ends - Monday
The News Quiz Extra - Monday
Another Case Of Milton Jones - Monday
Mr And Mrs Smith - Tuesday
Ayres On The Air - Wednesday
Everyone Quite Likes Justin - Wednesday
Rubbish - Wednesday
Listen Against - Wednesday
The Men From The Ministry - Thursday
Artists - Thursday
Know Your Place - Thursday
Clare In The Community - Thursday
All The Young Dudes - Thursday
The Castle - Thursday
What's So Funny? With Ed Byrne (pictured) - Friday
Fat Chance - Friday
What's So Funny? - Friday
The TV Lark - Friday
Elvenquest - Friday

You can find a link to this week's schedule here: Radio 4 Extra Schedule

The Selection
Comedy Greats
The Sixties - Part 1
Barry Cryer (pictured) once more delves into the archives, this week unearthing a feast of treasures from the swinging sixties. His selection is Beyond Our Ken (1960), It’s a Fair Cop (1961), The Navy Lark (1967), Benny Hill Time (1964), The Clitheroe Kid (1968) and I’m Sorry I’ll Read That Again (1968).
Saturday at 9am and 7pm

Classic Comedy
Take it From Here
A special edition of the show this week - we join the cast (pictured) back in 1958 as they celebrated 10 glorious years of Take It From Here. A Pygmalion spoof and The Operatic Weather Forecast help mark the anniversary. Starring Jimmy Edwards, Dick Bentley and June Whitfield and produced by Charles Maxwell.
Sunday at 8am, 3pm, 8pm and 3pm

The TV Lark
The crew of HMS Troutbridge, now having left the navy, have all found themselves new jobs at the newly formed commercial TV station Troutbridge Television, or TTV. In order to boost revenue, the shipmates try to make a live drama for the fledgling channel. Leslie Philips, Jon Pertwee and Stephen Murray star in this comedy, first broadcast in 1963.
Friday at 8am, midday and 7pm

Gert and Daisy return for more vintage comedy set in their village shop in Russett Green. Elsie and Doris Walters star alongside Joan Sims and Ronnie Barker. The producer was Alistair Scott-Johnston.
Sunday at 8.30am, 3.30pm and 8.30am

Steptoe and Son
Come Dancing
Long before Strictly Come Dancing, Albert tries to help his son Harold conquer the ballroom. Wilfrid Brambell and Harry H. Corbett star in this episode from June 1974. The producer was Bobby Jaye.
Friday at 8.30am, 12.30pm and 7.30pm

Comedy Zone
Says on the Tin
1/6 Toothpaste
Michael Brandon (pictured) plays a disgraced American ad man who's transferred to an agency in England – the land of gross teeth! Samantha Bond and Pippa Haywood also star in Christopher William Hill's comedy from 2008. The producer was Liz Webb.
Monday at 9.30am and 2.30am

The Stanley Baxter Playhouse
1/3 The King’s Kilt
A recalcitrant Highland kilt maker is given the task of making one for King George IV for his first historic visit to Edinburgh in 1822. John Guerrasio and Gordon Kennedy also feature in Rona Munro's comedy, from January 2008.
Thursday at 5pm and 5am

Know Your Place
8/8 Out of the Closet
Caretaker Ramsay Potts needs help after a close-call with a local gangster. Roy Dotrice, Patricia Hayes and Bernard Breslaw star in the last of this comedy series first broadcast in August 1983. The producer was Edward Taylor.
Friday at 9am and 2am

Comedy Club
The News Quiz Extra
Sandi Toksvig presents an extended version of the topical panel quiz show, this week featuring Jeremy Hardy, Marcus Brigstocke, Hugo Rifkin and Rebecca Front.
Monday at 11pm, Tuesday at 9am and 2am

Mr. and Mrs. Smith
1/4 The Dinner Party
A new sitcom about a couple seeking marriage guidance, written by and starring Will Smith. This week Will and Annabelle argue over a dinner party, as they explain in great detail to their counsellor Guy. Sarah Hadland also features in this episode from 2010, produced by Tilusha Ghelani.
Tuesday at 7.30am and 10pm

Big Booth Too
It’s back to January 2001, as we join Boothy Graffoe for some unadulterated nonsense, recorded at the Edinburgh Festival. Steven Frost and Kevin Eldon join in the fun.
Tuesday at 11.30pm

Old Harry’s Game
Hell is getting seriously overcrowded, so Satan attempts to tackle the problem by hiring an assistant demon. Written by and starring Andy Hamilton, James Grout and Robert Duncan also star in this comedy from April 1998. The producer was Paul Mayhew-Archer.
Friday at 11pm.

Dandy Dick
Alec McCowen (pictured) and Patricia Routledge star in Arthur Wing Pinero's farce about a Dean who's short of cash and who turns to gambling parish funds on the horses. John Tydeman was the producer of this play, first broadcast in April 1986.
Saturday at 6am, 4pm and 4am

Endless Night
Agatha Christie's dark tale of cursed land, romance and a touch of the supernatural. Jonathan Forbes, Chris Pavlo and Lizzie Watts star in Joy Wilkinson's adaptation from 2008. The director was Sam Hoyle.
Sunday at 1.30pm and 3.30am

Toad Squad
Amphibians may well provide the meaning of life to redundant Reg, who finds one crushed while crossing a road. Philip Jackson and Amanda Root star in Nick Warburton’s play from 2003. The producer was Peter Kavanagh.
Sunday at 2.30pm and 4.30am

Little Dorrit
Our Dickens season continues with Ian McKellen narrating this tale of social satire and imprisonment. Arthur Clennam returns from abroad and befriends Little Dorrit, a seamstress who introduces him to her extraordinary family in a debtors' prison. Julian Wadham, Margaret Tyzack and Jasmine Hyde co-star in Doug Lucie's dramatisation from 2001. The director was Janet Whitaker.
Monday to Friday at 10am, 3pm and 3am

Short Stories by John McGahern
Sean McGinley reads five stories from one of Ireland’s leading novelists.

1-2/2 Sierra Leone
A young man must assess his capacity for commitment after falling half in love with an ageing politician’s mistress.
A Slip Up
A retired Irishman keeps himself going while living in exile by imagining himself back home at the farm he lost.
When a young Dublin surveyor meets a country policeman, they ruthlessly compare their life choices.
The Stoat
A shy woman’s pursuit of his hopeless father is compared to a stoat’s steadfast quest for a rabbit.
Monday to Friday at 11am, 9pm and 4am

The Duvet Lady
Billie Whitelaw reads Peter Tinniswood's story of Edna, who recalls her younger days whilst wrapped in a duvet. Will she ever emerge to an evening engagement?
Tuesday at 11.15am, 9.15pm and 4.15am

Anton in Eastbourne
Peter Tinniswood's last play, set in a seaside hotel, was written for Chekov admirer Paul Schofield. Also starring Emma Fielding and Stephen Thorne, tt was produced by Enyd Williams and first broadcast in 2002.
Wednesday at 11.15am, 9.15pm and 4.15am

On The Whole It’s Been Jolly Good
Maurice Denham stars as Sir Plympton Makepeace, looking back on sixty glorious years in The House; Peter Tinniswood's monologue, written especially to celebrate Denham's diamond jubilee in broadcasting, was produced by Enyd Williams and first broadcast in 1998.
Thursday at 11.15am, 9.15pm and 4.15am

Mr Reliable
Peter Sallis stars as Mr Oakenshaw. It's his job to listen to elderly people except, that is, when he visits Mrs Flenswick. Peter Tinniswood’s radio play, from 2001, also features Edna Dore. The producer was Enyd Williams.
Friday at 11.15am and 9.15pm

Young Classics
Continuing Alan Garner's classic fantasy adventure, dramatised by Don Webb. Malebron continues to seek Findhorn in Elidor. Meanwhile, The Evil are closing in on the Treasures as they intensify their effort to break through worlds. Roland senses that he and his family are in danger, but his strong imagination threatens to tip the balance.Starring Mossie Cassidy, Raffey Cassidy, William Rush, Stephen Hoyle, Toby Hadoke and Fiona Clarke. Directed by Charlotte Riches, commissioned by our network and first heard last year.
Sunday at 9am, 4pm and 5am

7th Dimension
The Scarifyers
1/4 The Magic Circle
Uncanny investigators MI-13 are back on the case, as the popular supernatural series returns. Professor Dunning (Terry Molloy) is joined by a new right hand man, Harry 'Thumper' Crow, to help uncover the weird secrets of The Magic Circle. David Warner joins the cast in place of the late and much missed Nicholas Courtney, who played Lionheart. Produced by Simon Barnard for Cosmic Hobo Productions.
Sunday at 6.30pm and 12.30am

The Price of Fear
Is There Anybody There?
Horror film legend Vincent Price (pictured) continues to chill the airwaves with another week of eerie tales. In this episode, a phoney clairvoyant is approached by a client wanting a preview of eternity. Dilys Laye stars in William Ingram’s tale from 1983. The producer was John Dyas.
Tuesday at 6pm and midnight

The Last Days of Shandakor
The proud residents of a dying city on Mars resolve to go out in style in Leigh Brackett's epic adventure. Nathan Osgood reads the cult American sci-fi, which was abridged and produced by Gemma Jenkins.
Wednesday and Thursday 6.30pm and 12.30am

The Mortal Immortal
Shaun Dooley reads Mary Shelley's fantastical tale exploring man's fascination with eternal life and elixirs. Gemma Jenkins produced the Frankenstein creator's chilling tale.
Friday at 6.30pm and 12.30am

Fear on Four
Dreaming of Thee
Edward De Souza returns this week as The Man in Black , with more spooky stories. Lorna is obsessed with a certain dream, a dream which becomes a nightmare and threatens to become reality. Karen Archer and Moir Leslie star in Gwen Cherrell’s chilling tale, produced by Gerry Jones. First broadcast in 1989.
Sunday at 6pm and midnight

Crime and Thrillers
Mrs. McGinty’s Dead
Belgian sleuth Hercule Poirot gets to grips with a savage murder; with a man due to be hanged, it's a race against time to solve the crime. John Moffatt stars in Agatha Christie's 1962 murder mystery, dramatised by Michael Bakewell. The director was Enyd Williams.
Monday to Friday at 6am, 1pm, 8pm and 1am

The Lost Stradivarius
Joanna David (pictured) reads John Meade Falkner's strange tale of an Oxford student who discovers an ancient violin with strange powers. It was abridged by Doreen Estall and produced by Lawrence Jackson.
Monday to Thursday at 6.30am, 1.30pm, 8.30pm and 1.30am

The Last of Doctor Syn
Out on the wilds of Romney Marsh in Kent, the King's Men try to hunt down a band of smugglers and their elusive ringleader, Dr Syn - a parson by day and a smuggler by night. Rufus Sewell reads Russell Thorndike's swashbuckling tale, produced by Lawrence Jackson.
Friday at 6.30am, 1.30pm and 8.30pm

Fact and Fiction
Tales from the Backbench
Leslie Phillips (pictured) reads the unreliable memories of Sir Plympton Makepeace MP, by Peter Tinniswood.

The General Thingamajig
Sir Plympton is asked to stand for Parliament again.
Naming Names
The veteran MP's memory stretches back to the start of the Profumo Affair.
The 1929 Committee
Sir Plympton tries to keep honourable members out of trouble.
The Great Snitcher
An attempted seduction by a Russian spy is today’s memory.
The Campaign
Sir Plympton recalls a non-existent Election campaign planned in a pub.

Monday to Friday at 2.30pm

The 4 O'Clock Show

Mel Giedroyc presents the weekday family show, with a mix of conversation, entertainment and stories.

Let's hear from Elizabeth Clark, Senior Content Producer on The 4 O'Clock Show:

When I was young, I loved to write stories and dreamed of seeing my name on the cover of a book. I do actually have a collection of children’s stories written by one Elizabeth Clark, but it’s not me. Young story writers must tune into Monday’s programme when Mel will be chatting with Chris Evans (pictured) about this year's 500 WORDS competition.

The 4 O’clock Show is getting behind the campaign to find the most talented young writers in the land and later in the spring, we’ll be exclusively broadcasting the 50 top stories, ahead of the grand final at the Hay Festival on the 1 st of June.

Our own story next week is The Driftway by Penelope Lively and you’ll be able to hear from Penelope on Thursday’s show.

And sticking with writers of young adult fiction, Artemis Fowl author Eoin Colfer drops into Wednesday's show to share some of his favourite pieces of music.

Monday to Friday at 4pm

...and finally

Thursday this week, 25th January, was the 253rd anniversary of the birth of Scotland's National Bard, Robert Burns, and Scots all over the world will have been celebrating the life of "the people's poet" at Burns' Suppers.

In a recent poll to find out which Burns' poem was considered to be the favourite - the poem which came out tops was his marvellous, macabre masterpiece, the tale of Tam O' Shanter, written over two centuries ago.

Scottish writer and broadcaster Billy Kay says of this poem: "A masterpiece that strikes fear and excitement, an incomparable epic tale all Scots can be proud of."

Indeed they can, and no doubt Billy Kay will be reciting the epic work at one of his many Burns' Suppers this weekend.

If you've never heard Tam O' Shanter, here's your chance to listen to it, as it's one of Burns' poems read by Ian McDermid and Brian Cox on the BBC Scotland website celebrating the life and works of Rabbie Burns.

Wonderful - it still makes me shiver!


I leave you now with the schedule for the week ahead.


Mary Kalemkerian
Head of Programmes
BBC Radio 4 Extra

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