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Steve Punt and Hugh Dennis present the week via topical stand-up and sketches in front of a remote audience - and all from their own home!In the first show of the new series, they are joined by Jessica Fostekew who relays her time volunteering in a vaccination centre. Ken Cheng talks about his experiences as a Chinese Briton plus music from Beardym…
 
Kazuo Ishiguro has just published his eighth novel, the first to be written since he won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2017 and was knighted. Klara and the Sun is about an Artificial Friend, a robot whose role is to be a companion to the teenage Josie, though it becomes apparent that more may be expected of Klara. With resonances of two of his p…
 
As the government announces plans for summer school and tutoring to help children catch up on their learning we hear from parents who think it’s more important to just let them go out to play with their friends. Recent polling suggests that mums in the “Red Wall” seats of the Midlands and North of England – areas which traditionally voted Labour bu…
 
Genetically modified crops were introduced in the US in the 1990s. They're not grown commercially in the UK at the moment, but the government is currently holding a consultation on whether gene editing should be allowed. Professor Wendy Harwood leads the ‘Crop Transformation Group’ at the John Innes Centre and explains the difference between gene e…
 
What is the current school meal model, how well is it working and how has the pandemic highlighted existing problems and created new ones?More importantly, given the very public problems that have cropped up in recent months, how can the system be improved and made more sustainable and resilient?Sheila Dillon brings together a panel of school food …
 
Claire Horton is the former chief executive of Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, and is currently director general of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.She joined Battersea in 2010 during its landmark 150th year, spearheading a campaign which transformed the animal rescue service into a UK top 10 charity brand. During her years in charge, income a…
 
In her first in-depth broadcast interview since winning the High Court disqualification case regarding the disbanded children's charity Kids Company, its founder, Camila Batmanghelidjh, explains why she fought so long and hard to be cleared.David Watkins is one of the first single men in the UK to have a surrogate baby after a law change in January…
 
Nearly a million carers will get an increase of just 35p a week from April. 939,000 people receive a benefit called Carer’s Allowance — currently £67.25 a week — for looking after another person who is severely disabled. In order to qualify people must provide for at least 35 hours a week - though most will spend considerably more time caring than …
 
New York was hit hard in the pandemic, and more than 29 000 died since the first outbreak there. Residents and workers saw a changed landscape – gone were the tourist throngs, and bustling streets – social distancing signs thinned out the crowds and demarcated the streets. Now the city is re-opening and the soul-searching has begun. But Nick Bryant…
 
This week Caz Graham looks at trawler fishing and how it's being affected by Brexit and the Coronavirus pandemic. It's not been an easy 12 months for the fishing industry, the tonnage of fish being landed has decreased - with vessels staying in the harbour, rather than risking catching fish they cannot sell. The owner of one of the UK's biggest tra…
 
Cases of Covid 19 began to soar in the US in the autumn. By early January there were around 300,000 new cases a day. But since then the numbers have fallen steeply. What caused this dramatic drop? From herd immunity to the weather, Tim Harford explores some of the theories with Derek Thompson of The Atlantic magazine and Professor Jennifer Dowd, de…
 
We review a new biopic of jazz singer Billie Holiday, directed by Lee Daniels, which tells the story of the FBI’s campaign against her. They were afraid that performing her most famous song Strange Fruit, about the lynching of Black Americans, would incite unrest. Andra Day stars as Holiday. Barb Jungr and Be Manzini give their verdict, comment on …
 
Peter Gibbs hosts the gardening panel show. This week he's joined by Matt Biggs, Anne Swithinbank, James Wong and a live virtual audience, to answer questions from listeners about subjects from pomegranate trees to hardy houseplants. Away from the questions, we get an update from Matthew and Jane Wilson on their cut flower border project, and Clair…
 
This week Fi Glover and Jane Garvey are joined by BBC New York Correspondent, Nick Bryant. Nick takes Fi and Jane back to relive their own experiences of the big apple. He also gives the lowdown on his last four years of 'heavy metal' reporting and how it built into his new book When America Stopped Being Great. Before Nick dialled in from the NYC …
 
Why the latest lockdown has left so many women feeling at breaking point as they try to juggle home schooling and working from home simultaneously. Annie tells us her story and we hear from Leann Cross the Director of Homestart Greenwich and Sam Smethers the former Chief Exec of the Fawcett Society,. Model and TV personality, Zara McDermott talks a…
 
People wanting to start a family, who need to use a sperm donor say they feel forced into finding sperm online in unregulated spaces because NHS funding is rationed or they don’t qualify for it and it's too expensive to go to a private clinic. The UK’s fertility regulator has warned that doing so carries “significant risks”. We hear from the Chair …
 
The owners of a Hull-based trawler, which catches about 1 in 10 of every fish we buy from the chippy, warn they will be forced to stop fishing unless the government sorts out quotas.The Kirkella forms most of the UK’s distant waters fleet - she can take 12 tonnes of fish in one haul and then process and freeze it in an onboard factory. But since Br…
 
Psychologist Kimberley Wilson and Dr Xand van Tulleken take a journey around the human body, to find out what it can tell us about our innate capacity for change. In this episode, Kimberley and Xand focus on the heart, which has been branded the seat of emotion by generations of poets and songwriters.They find out whether it’s medically possible to…
 
The whole Podcast Radio Hour team - Amanda Litherland, Chris Pearson, Moy McGowan and Laura Grimshaw - come together to share the podcasts that give them hope, happiness and inspiration.Laura speaks to comedian Charlie George and anthropologist Mary-Ann Ochota about Happiness and How To Get It, an Audible Original series where they test out happine…
 
Britain's transition period with the EU ended on December 31st. For the first time since the inception of the single market in 1992, British companies were on the outside. A trade agreement was reached meaning that no tariffs would be paid on imports or exports, but it did mean that trade would no longer be entirely friction free. It’s still early …
 
Artists Gilbert & George open a new exhibition at the White Cube next week. The pair first met in 1967 whilst studying sculpture at Central St Martin’s art college. They’ve lived and worked together in East London for fifty years. The show - New Normal Pictures - consists of twenty-six new pictures which feature the pair in gritty London landscapes…
 
On Thursday, The UN Environmental Programme published a report called Making Peace With Nature. It attempts to synthesise vast amounts of scientific knowledge and communicate “how climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution can be tackled jointly within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals”. But it also offers clear and digestible…
 
Simon Gudgeon is one of our leading sculptors, but he didn't practice his art until his mid 40s. He'd worked as a solicitor, a photographer, and a landscape gardener before, one day, picking up a lump of clay to see what he could create. It wasn't long before he knew that sculpting was all he wanted to do. His distinctive creations, often inspired …
 
Paul McCartney has always resisted the idea of an autobiography but is now going to publish the story of his life through his lyrics. It's based on conversations over five years with Paul Muldoon, the Pulitzer prize-winning Irish poet. In his first interview about the book with Martha Kearney, Muldoon gave some insights into the writing process.(Im…
 
Afghanistan has seen a surge in civilian casualties since US-brokered peace talks with the Taliban resumed last year. Ashraf Ghani, the Afghan President, however, still sees reason for optimism, thanks to the new-US administration with whom he hopes to have better relations. Lyse Doucet reflects on Kabul's battle to shake off a violent past.Busines…
 
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