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This week on Fortunately Fi and Jane are joined by the journalists Sirin Kale and Pandora Sykes, hosts of the podcast Unreal, a critical history of reality TV. Unreal looks back to the earliest days of the format and takes us all the way to today, featuring iconic shows and stars. Before their guests' arrival Fi and Jane have had some niche PhD tit…
 
Kathy Clugston is joined by experts Matthew Wilson, Anne Swithinbank and Matt Biggs as they head to this year's RHS Chelsea Flower Show. To celebrate 75 years of the programme, for the first time ever, Gardeners' Question Time has its very own exhibit at the show.The exhibit, designed by Matthew Wilson and planted by the whole team, exemplifies all…
 
The play Lotus Beauty set in a beauty salon in Southall tells the story of the Punjabi immigrant women it serves where culture meets the desire to fit in. The beauty salon is a backdrop for exploring themes such as domestic abuse, suicide, and a desperation for belonging. We hear from the plays Director Pooja Ghai, and from Kiran Landa, who plays t…
 
Chris Pearson and Ella Watts recommend Sci-Fi Audio Drama. We hear from the creator of 'Midnight Burger' Joe Fisher, who discusses why a dimension-hopping, time travelling diner is the perfect setting for a hopeful, human story.Plus long time friends Jonathan Williams and Alan Mandel discuss 'Red Valley', and offer advice on just how to develop ide…
 
Sir Robert Goodwill is the new chairman of the EFRA select committee which keeps an eye on DEFRA. He's a Yorkshire farmer and former farming minister.The UK market for cut flowers and ornamental plants was £1.4 billion in 2020, according to government statistics and around 90% of these flowers are imported. Producer Jane Scotter grows fruit and veg…
 
Meg Mason is the latest in our series of interviews with authors shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction. Her novel Sorrow and Bliss is narrated by Martha, a woman whose path in life is shaped by her mental health. Katie Puckrick and Diran Adebayo join us to review the screen adaptation of John Wyndham's fable, The Midwich Cuckoos, the Edvard…
 
This week, we begin with a disturbing medical mystery. Since the start of the year, almost 200 children worldwide have fallen ill with hepatitis—or liver inflammation—without any apparent cause. Most of the children are under five, and nearly half of the cases were in the UK. Vic Gill asks clinical epidemiologist Deepti Gurdasani, Queen Mary Univer…
 
Dame Cressida Dick, the newly-departed Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, says policing has become ‘too politicised’. When her force has been criticised on the right for investigating ‘Partygate’ and on the left for letting the Prime Minister off too lightly, and when the Durham Police must now decide whether to end the career of the leader o…
 
Take a look down the aisle of any high street chemist and the array of electric toothbrushes on offer is as dazzling as the teeth they promise to give you. You can pay upto £500 for the latest versions whiose myriad features include interactive apps that give you feedback on your brushing technique.The market is dominated by two big brands, both pr…
 
Amongst all his other difficulties, Boris Johnson has promised to improve the outcome for rape victims, saying he will fix the system. It was a pledge made after the murder of Sarah Everard. Today, long awaited guidelines on evidence in trials have been published which campaigners say will do just the opposite. They'll deter women from coming forwa…
 
Reports have emerged of terrible atrocities committed against civilians in Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine. Some people have tried to escape, braving bullets and artillery fire in order to reach government-controlled areas. Among those helping them are volunteers carrying out rescue missions by driving into Russian held territory to pick up those…
 
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the accounts by Eusebius of Caesarea (c260-339 AD) and others of the killings of Christians in the first three centuries after the crucifixion of Jesus. Eusebius was writing in a time of peace, after The Great Persecution that had started with Emperor Diocletian in 303 AD and lasted around eight years. Many died unde…
 
The price farmers are being paid for milk is rising faster than ever before and is likely to hit rates never seen before over the next couple of months. But dairy farmers won’t be rushing off to book their next holiday or buy a new tractor, in fact some of them will be barely breaking even in spite of these record high prices. We hear who MPs have …
 
Radical Horizons: The Art of Burning Man is an outdoor exhibition on the Chatsworth House estate - a series of monumental sculptures from the festival in the Nevada Desert. Geeta Pendse speaks to Chatsworth’s Senior Curator, Dr Alex Hodby, and to Burning Man artist Dana Albany from San Francisco, who has come to Chatsworth to make a Burning Man scu…
 
Sue Gray’s report into what went on in Downing Steet during lockdown has finally been published. We now know that staff broke covid rules with the approval of their bosses. Excessive drinking, with people being sick, abuse of cleaning and security staff – events, Sue Gray says, that “should not have been allowed to happen”. Details of some of the e…
 
Plutocratic London and dynastic wealth. Caroline Knowles, Professor of Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London, takes Laurie Taylor on a tour of plutocratic London, a city with more resident billionaires than New York, Hong Kong or Moscow. How have the fabulously rich re-made London in their own image and what is the cost to ordinary Londoner…
 
It has been just over two months since Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori returned to the UK from detention in Iran, and were reunited with their families. But for the family of London born businessman and wildlife conservationist Morad Tahbaz it’s been a different story. The family said they expected their father to be part of the same…
 
Why are a disproportionate number of black children being strip searched? File on 4 hears from teenagers taken in for a ‘strippy’ so often, it’s become part of life.The strip search of ‘Child Q’, a fifteen year old black girl in a London school, was headline news, sparking outrage and official inquiries. Her teachers claimed she smelled of cannabis…
 
Some recent, and surprising, estimates from the World Health Organisation suggested that the UK fared better than Germany in the pandemic. But did they get it right?At Eurovision this year an algorithm was apparently used to replace whole countries’ votes - was it responsible for the UK’s second-place finish?The global economy has been putting the …
 
“A small country, without the ability to flood any market…” That’s how Andrew Morrison - Chairman of New Zealand Beef and Lamb - described his country, in an attempt to allay the fears of farmers here. The new Trade Deal with New Zealand will allow over 2 hundred thousand tonnes of sheepmeat and beef into the UK tariff-free….in 15 years’ time. Brit…
 
48 years after the British jury gave them nul points at the Eurovision song contest, ABBA the avatars begin a long term arena residency in London. Samira talks to the director Baillie Walsh and the choreographer Wayne McGregor about creating the show.Terence Davies, director of some of the finest films ever made in the UK, such as Distant Voices, S…
 
Claudia Hammond reports on a trend which has emerged from the world-famous Chelsea Flower Show this year - a growing number of gardens designed with mental health in mind. So what is it about gardens and nature which makes us feel better? The Mothers for Mothers "This Too Shall Pass" garden is designed by Polly Wilkinson - a former counsellor who's…
 
Joan Rhodes picked by Anna Maxwell Martin, star of Line of Duty and Motherland. Her choice is a lovely surprise, a strongwoman who could rip up phone books and bend nails. There's archive of her holding up 14 stone cricket commentator Brian 'Johnners' Johnstone in 1949 as well as the voice of the woman who knew her well - Triona Holden, author of A…
 
It's said that the environment is the silent victim of war. In this programme, Tom Heap finds out how the conflict in Ukraine is affecting environmental work in the country. With so many people forced to flee, what happens to projects which were trying to protect fragile wildlife habitats? He talks to an award-winning Ukrainian environmentalist who…
 
Chi Onwurah tells Jim Al-Khalili why she wanted to become a telecoms engineer and why engineering is a caring profession. As a black, working class woman from a council estate in Newcastle, she was in a minority of one studying engineering at university in London and encountered terrible racism and sexism. She went on to build digital networks all …
 
The Government is presenting its Genetic Technology Bill to Parliament this week, which will allow the commercial growing of gene-edited crops in England. Speeding up approval for research into gene-editing has already been happening. Scientists at the John Innes Centre in Norwich have developed a Gene Edited (or GE) tomato which can produce pro-vi…
 
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe talks for the first time to Emma Barnett for this special Woman’s Hour programme.In this exclusive interview she reveals the full story of her imprisonment in Iran. Nazanin explains how she survived solitary confinement, how the love of her daughter kept her alive and what Prime Minster Boris Johnson told her about the rea…
 
Jason Solomons reports live from the Cannes Film Festival, with news of the surprise hits of this year's festival and who's in contention for the big prizes. The playwright John Godber on updating Teechers, a play that he wrote in the 1980s about his experiences as a drama teacher, for 2022. The British and Greek governments are due to meet this we…
 
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