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ERA’s Top Radio Picks 21st December 2019 – 3rd January 2020

Welcome back to our Radio Picks of the Week! This week, we’ve got a double bill to last you over the holidays, so there’s plenty o f content out there for everyone!

Saturday 21st December

  • Dan Dare: 21st Century Spaceman
    BBC Radio 4 Extra, 6pm – Recommended for… English Literature, History, and Computer Science
    Science journalist Richard Hollingham considers whether space exploration has finally caught up with Dan Dare’s adventures.
  • Archive on 4: Divided Nation
    BBC Radio 4, 8pm – Recommended for… Politics, Sociology, and PSHE
    After the political turmoil of recent years, is the UK more divided than ever?

Sunday 22nd December

  • Something Understood: Parochialism 
    BBC Radio 4, 6:05am – Recommended for… Psychology
    Mark Tully explores the strenghs and limitations of a ‘small pond’.

Monday 23rd December

  • Book of the Week: Last Christmas 
    BBC Radio 4, 9:45am – Recommended for… English Literature
    Greg Wise and Emma Thommpson curate a colletion of stories and essays on the meaning of Christmas.
  • The Secret Commonwealth
    BBC Radio 4, 12:04pm – Recommended for… English and Religious Studies
    The second book of Sir Phillip Pullman’s Book of Dust trilogy, read by Simon Russell Beale.
  • The Essay: Open Endings – Lord of the Flies
    BBC Radio 3, 10pm – Recommended for… English Literature
    Ian Rankin discusses Lord of the Flies and his imagining of what happened next.
  • Matthew Herbert’s World of Sound
    BBC Radio 4, 11:30pm – Recommended for… Music and PSHE
    Composer and Producer Matthew Herbert investigates the impact of everyday sounds on our lives.

Tuesday 24th December

  • In Their Element: Aluminium 
    BBC Radio 4, 1:45pm – Recommended for… Chemistry
    Chemist Andrea Sella explores the ways in which aluminium improves our lives.
  • James Bond
    BBC Radio 4 Extra, 4:30pm – Recommended for… Geography and English Literature
    Toby Stephens stars at 007 in From Russia With Love

Wednesday 25th December

  • Three Vicars Talking
    BBC Radio 4, 1:15pm – Recommended for… Religious Studies
    Revs Kate Bottley, Richard Coles and Giles Fraser discuss the role of vicars in the Church of England.
  • Northanger Abbey
    BBC Radio 4 Extra, 2:30pm – Recommended for… English Literature
    Adaptation starring Mriam Margoyles
  • Neil Gaiman’s Chivalry
    BBC Radio 4, 4pm – Recommended for… English
    light-hearted and gentle Christmas story starring Glenda Jackson and Kit Harington
  • The Woman Who Invented James Bond? 
    BBC Radio 4 Extra, 4:30pm – Recommended for… English Literature, History
    Miles Jupp presents a profile of the British novelist Phyllis Bottome who might have invented the character of James Bond…

Thursday 26th December

  • Crossing Continents: Iceland: the Great Thaw
    BBC Radio 4, 11am – Recommended for… Geography
    Investigating the effects of climate change in Iceland.

Friday 27th December

  • Puss-in-Boots
    BBC Radio 4 Extra, 10am – Recommended for… English and Drama
    Traditional Panto recorded in 1979 and starring Arthur Askey.
  • No Triumph, No Tragedy
    BBC Radio 4, 11am – Recommended for… PSHE and Law
    Interview with Haben Girma, the first deaf-blind graduate from Harvard Law school and now anti-discrimination activist.
  • Correspondents’ Look-Ahead
    BBC Radio 4, 8pm – Recommended for… Journalism, Politics, and Geography
    Correspondents discuss the outlook for 2020 including the US election, fears for the global economy and the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Saturday 28th December

  • So Many Books, So Little Time
    BBC Radio 4, 2pm – Recommended for… English Literature
    Author Mark Hodkinson talks about his huge collection of books , and what drives people to collect so many despite not having time to read them all. He picks out favourite authors and those he has not yet read, but hopes to do so soon.
  • Where Words Fail, Music Speaks
    BBC Radio 4, 3:30pm – Recommended for… Music, Medicine, and Health & Social Care
    Scientist and musician Emer Maguire looks at the ways in which music can be used to make connections with people suffering from dementia and considers the science behind using music as a therapeutic tool.

Sunday 29th December

  • Wild Music 
    BBC Radio 4, 4:30pm – Recommended for… Music and Geography
    The poet John Burnside and the composer ERland Cooper have together created a work exploring the beauty and magic of the Orkney Islands.

Monday 30th December

  • Witness
    BBC Radio 4, 9:30am – Recommended for… History
    Looking back at 1942 and the arrival of the first African American GIs in the UK.
  • Drama: Road to Lautrec
    BBC Radio 4, 2:15pm – Recommended for… French
    Romance set in a hilltop medieval French village.

Tuesday 31st December

  • Fidget on Four
    BBC Radio 4, 11am – Recommended for… Psychology
    Kat Arney investigates the psychological impulses behind fidgeting.
  • Disagreeing Better 
    BBC Radio 4, 8pm – Recommended for… Politics and Law
    Labour politician Douglas Alexander argues for the importance of respective debate.
  • Welcome to the World of George the Poet
    BBC Radio 4, 9pm – Recommended for… PSHE and Music
    Spoken-word artist George the Poet explains how rap music can be an important tool for education.

Wednesday 1st January

  • Little Dorrit
    BBC Radio 4 Extra, 3pm – Recommended for… English Literature
    Iam Mckellan narrates this dramatisation of Dickens classic.
  • Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats 
    BBC Radio 4, 2:15pm – Recommended for… English and Drama
    Coinciding neatly with the release of the new film by Tom
    Hooper, this programme celebrates the 1937 publication of the first 5 pf TS Eliot’s ‘Cats’ poems, read by Jeremy Irons.

Thursday 2nd January

  • The End of the World Has Already Happened 
    BBC Radio 4, 11:30am – Recommended for… Geography and Psychology
    First in a three part series in which Timothy Morton rethinks people’s psychological relationship with climate change.

Friday 3rd January

  • A Good Read 
    BBC Radio 4, 4:30pm – Recommended for… English Literature
    Leone Ross and Nickesh Shukla join host Harriet Gilbert to discuss a selection of books.
  • Build the Wall! 
    BBC Radio 4, 8pm – Recommended for… History
    A repeat of the programme originally broadcast in November to coincide with the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall. Katy Longs asks why some politicians could still consider building border walls.