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ERA’s Top Radio Picks 22nd December 2018 – 4th January 2019

Here’s a double bill of your weekly recommendations of radio broadcasts for teaching and learning! The end of the year is upon us, but there are still some great things to come before 2018 is done.

Saturday 22nd December

  • Sound of Dance
    BBC Radio 3, 3pm – Recommended for… Music, Media Studies, and Dance
    How is dance captured on film? This is the topic that Katie Derham explores in this show, looking back as far as Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers all the way up to 2016’s La La Land, talking to choreographer Mandy Moore.
  • Archive on 4: How Santa Stole Christmas
    BBC Radio 4, 8pm – Recommended for… Religious Studies, Business Studies, and Sociology
    The big-bellied jolly man is synonymous with our modern Christmas, but how this came (and stayed) about, given the heavy Christian beliefs in the USA, is a bit of a mystery. Christopher Frayling talks to filmmakers, advertisers, comedians, and even the Archbishop of Canterbury in his attempt to unravel the question.
  • Hear and Now: Hansel and Gretel 
    BBC Radio 3, 10pm – Recommended for… English
    This re-imagining of the Grimm’s fairy tale through poetry and music, courtesy of Simon Armitage and Matthew Kaner respectively, is perfect for those looking to present the tale in a fresh way.

Sunday 23rd December

  • Living World: Winter Ravens
    BBC Radio 4, 6:35pm – Recommended for… Biology and Zoology
    Britain’s ravens have an unstable kind of luck – sometimes they are incredibly lucky, and others, they struggle to survive. Presenter Lionel Kelleway travels to Shropshire to gain a better understanding of this from experts from the Shropshire Raven Study Group in the Stiperstones National Nature Reserve.

Monday 24th December

  • Game Over, Humans
    BBC Radio 4, 8pm – Recommended for… Computer Science
    We have all seen the nightmarish science-fiction films that see Artificial Intelligence taking over from humans and picking us off one by one. But, as it stands, AI technology is developing faster and faster than we could ever have imagined. So when humans are beaten at contests such as chess by robots, stand-up comedian Ken Cheng decided to investigate what this sort of development means for both technology and society.

Tuesday 25th December

  • Jo Whiley Meets… Jodie Whittaker 
    BBC Radio 2, 7pm – Recommended for… Drama and Music
    Fresh from her outing as the daring Time Lord, Jodie Whittaker talks music and the highlights of her career.

Wednesday 26th December

  • Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology
    BBC Radio 4, 3pm – Recommended for… Ancient History and English Literature
    Master of fantasy Neil Gaiman’s retelling of the Norse myths comes to the radio with an adaptation by Lucy Catherine. There are so many resources for Greek mythology, so some Norse resources are always welcome!
  • Thinking Allowed: Identity
    BBC Radio4, 8pm – Recommended for… Philosophy
    Laurie Taylor explores what is it that makes us who we are and helps us feel like we belong – race, religion, and nationality are but a few of the topics covered in this programme.

Thursday 27th December

  • In Our Time: Venus
    BBC Radio 4, 9am – Recommended for… Physics and Chemistry
    Carolin Crawford, Colin Wilson, and Andrew Coates join Melvyn Bragg for a discussion about our neighbouring planet, Venus.

Friday 28th December

  • Drama: Porcelain
    BBC Radio 4, 2:15pm – Recommended for… Drama, Psychology, and Philosophy
    A modern-day take on the changeling myth that is bound to chill you to the bone.

Saturday 29th December

  • Drama: The Canterbury Tales
    BBC Radio 4, 2:30pm – Recommended for… English Literature
    In this slightly bizarre adaptation, the characters of The Archers take up the starring roles in Chaucer’s famous Canterbury Tales.

Sunday 30th December

  • Pursuit of Beauty: Art Beneath the Waves
    BBC Radio 4, 1:30pm – Recommended for… Art and Design
    Artists from all mediums, from sculpture to dance, talk to photographer and video artist Emma Critchley aobut creating underwater art and what the sea represents for them.
  • Drama: Graeae’s Amy Dorrit
    BBC Radio 4, 3pm – Recommended for… English Literature
    April De Angelis brings Dickens’ Little Dorrit into the 21st Century, following a young woman called Amy, who is stuggling to care for her disabled father, study for her A Levels, and campaign for justice for the people in her council estate. She finds solace in Dickens’ books, but will that be enough to help her turn her situation around? It’s an incredibly loose adaptation, but it’s a refereshing take that could engage a modern audience with ease.
  • Sunday Feature: Literary Pursuits: Les Misérables
    BBC Radio 3, 6:45pm – Recommended for… French and History
    Les Misérables is the focus of a lot of drama this winter, but who exactly is Victor Hugo, the man behind the novel? This documentary puts together pieces of information about the author’s life to try and get a better idea of who he was.

Monday 31st December

  • Amo Amas Amusical
    BBC Radio 4, 4pm – Recommended for… History
    Historian Mary Beard unravels the tale of the Victorian sisters behind the publication of this historic textbook, which has not come out of print since its publication.
  • Beyond Belief: Superheroes
    BBC Radio 4, 4:30pm – Recommended for… Sociology and Religious Studies
    Some consider superheroes to be a modern mythology of sorts – ask anyone about Batman or Spider-Man, the chances are that they know their origins, even if they don’t know much more. They are a fundamental part of our culture, but did they have any religious roots? Ernie Rhea, Angie Hobbs, Nathalie Haynes, and Ajinbayo Akinsiku discuss.
  • Right Click: The New Online Culture Wars
    BBC Radio 4, 8pm – Recommended for… Politics and Sociology
    Gavin Haynes discusses how the internet has changed and shaped a new political climate with young people in modern times.

Tuesday 1st January

  • Brexit: Bewitched, Bothered or Bewildered
    BBC Radio 4, 8pm – Recommended for… Politics
    Adrian Chiles returns to the West Midlands to gather people’s opinions on Brexit, and compares it to the responses that he got when he conducted the same survey back in July 2016.

Wednesday 2nd January

  • Drama: Me, Mum and Meena Kumari
    BBC Radio 4, 2:25pm – Recommended for… Health and Social Care and PSHE
    Based on a true story, young actor Akbar struggles with keeping his life in balance; on top of trying t get his career off the ground, he cares for his bi-polar mother (who sometimes believes that she is actress Meena Kumari) and figuring out his sexuality.
  • Angela Barnes: You Can’t Take It With You: Domestic Bliss
    BBC Radio 4, 6:30pm – Recommended for… Philosophy and Psychology
    A thought-provoking look by comedian Angela Barnes into the importance of objects in our life. Throughout the series, she talks to loved ones about which objects they would choose to send on with her, provoking a series of anecdotes and comedy sketches along the way.
  • Science Stories: Lady Montagu’s Smallpox Experiment
    BBC Radio 4, 9pm – Recommended for… Biology and History
    A Lady at the forefront of George I’s court, Mary Montagu found her life changed forever when she contracted smallpox. Presenter Naomi Alderman discusses how Lady Montagu fought in favour of the benefits on inoculation against diseases, even going so far as to experiment on her own child.

Thursday 3rd January

  • Black Girls Don’t Cry
    BBC Radio 4, 8pm – Recommended for… PSHE, Medicine, and Nursing
    Journalist Marverine Cole explores why women of colour (particularly those of African-Caribbean heritage, according to research) living in the UK are the most likely to suffer from anxiety, depressions and OCD, in the process meeting two women who have been struggling with their mental health for years and years.

Friday 4th January

  • The Art of Now: Architecture of Incarceration
    BBC Radio 4, 9pm – Recommended for… Architecture and History
    In this strange investigation, Danna Walker explores the relationship and difficulties that exist between architects and the judicial system when it comes to building prisons.