Full cast radio adaptations of The Big Sleep, The Lady in the Lake, Farewell My Lovely, The Long Goodbye, The High Window, and three more Raymond Chandler mysteries. Starring Toby Stephens as Philip Marlowe.
First broadcast on Feb 5th 1924, the BBC's Greenwitch Time Signal has collected some history. The pips have marked the hour with six (or seven) beeps for over 90 years. Sometimes the pips arrive on time, but the merely human announcers "crash the pips" by talking over them. Sometimes, the pips go missing entirely, throwing the BBC and its listeners off-kilter. In 2014, Radio 4 celebrated their 90th birthday in musical fashion. A short medley of announcers playing with, swearing at, and missing the pips (via). [more inside]
In the 1970s and early 1980s, there was a massively popular BBC sitcom called Are You Being Served, about the “antics” of the staff of the Grace Brothers department store ... [One of the main characters] was devoted to her cat, Tiddles. She would regale her colleagues each day with tales of its various misfortunes, and was always keen to finish work on time to get home and attend to its catly needs. She rarely called the moggy by its proper name, though – it was always referred to as “my pussy”.A tribute to Mrs. Slocombe's Pussy.
RIP Sir Terry Wogan, Irish radio and television presenter whose long career at the BBC included many notable shows including Wake up to Wogan, the Wogan chatshow, Blankety Blank and The Eurovision Song Contest. [more inside]
A study has examined how long alleged conspiracies could "survive" before being revealed - deliberately or unwittingly - to the public at large.Here is the paper itself.
After more than 100 women and girls came forward with reports of sexual assault and robbery by gangs of men in the German city of Cologne on New Year's Eve, Cologne's police chief has been removed from his post. [more inside]
A German Christmas card with just "England" on the envelope has reached the right address in Gloucestershire.
"This caption is a blatant lie." On the 2nd April 2005, BBC Four broadcast the BBC’s first live drama for over 20 years which was a remake of The Quatermass Experiment, starring Jason Flemyng. A dvd was eagerly anticipated but as this exhaustive investigation demonstrates people did not end up buying the version which was originally broadcast.
BBC Arts::Photography - "Billy Name was the in-house photographer at Andy Warhol's Factory studio, where he lived from 1964-1970. A newly published book, Billy Name: The Silver Age, collects his work to tell the story of that heady time." [more inside]
A long time ago in a TV studio not so far away, the stars of the original Star Wars film came to the BBC to promote their then-unknown movie Star Wars at the BBC (Iplayer) (Youtube) [more inside]
Whether you know the basic story or not, you may enjoy Mark Steel's lecture on Beethoven's life for its entertaining (and decidedly informal) presentation.
In 1993 the BBC produced a television series known as "From A to B: Tales of Modern Motoring." One episode in particular stands out for shining a rare light on the peculiar practice of badge engineering cars to reflect subtle gradations in status. The result is somewhere between the Maysles' Salseman and Easton Ellis' American Psycho.
As part of the one-hour special Adele at the BBC hosted by Graham Norton, the program featured an audition of Adele impersonators demonstrating their talents. Among the performers was a mild-mannered nanny calling herself Jenny. Actually, that's probably not the name they know her by.
RIP actor Warren Mitchell who had significant career on both stage and screen but will always be best remembered for playing the iconic and controversial bigot, Alf Garnett in the British television series Till Death Us Do Part and In Sickness and in Health [more inside]
The Stone Tape is a television play, first broadcast on the BBC as a Christmas ghost story back in 1972. It was written by Nigel Kneale, best known as the writer of Quatermass. BBC radio is broadcasting a new adaptation tonight (along with an adaptation of The Ring)
BBC: "If you're white, male and poor enough to qualify for a free meal at school then you face the toughest challenge when starting out in life. That's what the Equality and Human Right Commission (EHRC) has said in "the most comprehensive review ever carried out on progress towards greater equality in Britain"."
Suspended Fifa president Sepp Blatter has suggested there was an agreement in place for Russia to host the 2018 World Cup - before the vote took place. The 79-year-old told Russian news agency Tass of a "discussion" in 2010 about future World Cups.
BBC Four Presents three programmes about the psychedelic era of British pop: Psychedelic Britannia, 60s Psychedelic Rock at the BBC, Arena - Magical Mystery Tour. Tune in, turn on, chill out.
Between 1973 and 1983, Vincent Price starred in twenty-two episodes of radio horror for the BBC. Price claimed the stories were drawn from his own reminiscences, though certain plots bear strong resemblances to classic pieces by Roald Dahl and Bram Stoker. Click on and listen, if you can afford...THE PRICE OF FEAR. [more inside]
"A growing number of people on low incomes are now living in shared housing - known as "houses in multiple occupation" - where each room is rented separately. But there's concern that many tenants are living in poor conditions." [SLBBC]
Half-heard whispers. A creaking door. A missed step. From Vertigo to Videodrome, the scariest movies exploit our greatest – and most basic – fears. Fear Itself - BBC Documentary (SLYT NSFW)
After thirteen seasons, Stephen Fry has announced he is stepping down as host of the BBC panel show QI. He will be replaced by Sandi Toksvig.
The Sherlock special trailer (SLYT)
When the Kashmir earthquake struck in October 2005, Tabinda Kokab was a teacher in a remote village close to the epicentre. She recalls the day that changed her life, and how it forced her to throw off the expectations that Pakistani society had placed on her as a woman. [more inside]
Vankadarath Saritha, Delhi's first female bus driver - "Women have been to space so why can't we drive a bus?"
After the triumph of OK Computer, Radiohead fell into a creative tailspin -- and frontman Thom Yorke into a nervous breakdown. Exhausted from touring, hounded by press, and jaded by copycats, he escaped into the electronica scene pioneered by Kraftwerk and Warp Records -- fertile ground, the band discovered. Trading spacey rock for apocalyptic brooding, they teased their new sound not with singles or music videos but with innovative web streaming and cryptic, dreamlike "blips" -- winterlands, flocks of cubes, eyeballs, bears. After nearly breaking up over tracklist angst, they cut the kid in half. Thus fifteen years ago today, Kid A and (later) Amnesiac debuted, a confounding mix of electronic fugue, whalesong, pulsing IDM, drunken piano, and epic jazz funeral whose insights into anxiety, political dysfunction, and climate crisis would make it one of the most revered albums of the twenty-first century. See the documentary Reflections on Kid A for interviews and live cuts, or look inside for much more. [more inside]
After teasing for hours on the official BBC Doctor Who twitter feed about #bigdoctorwhonews leading to a fever pitch of speculation re potential mega famous guests stars, new companion(s) or the recovery of lost episodes... it was finally announced that there will be a new spin-off YA series Class written by Patrick Ness centered around Coal Hill School in London
"'I was reading an article in the Radio Times the other day,' says Andrew Davies. 'The journalist was asking, "Why have all these classic serials got to be about the male lead getting his kit off?" And I thought, 'Hey! I started that!'" - Pride and Prejudice at 20: The scene that changed everything, by Nicholas Barber for BBC Culture. [more inside]
BBC Radio's From Our Own Correspondent (previously on Metafilter) turns 60 this month. To celebrate, they've released several special editions: the first ever UK edition; a discussion panel on foreign reporting's past, present and future (includes a thoughtful discussion of how much a reporter's personal point of view should inform their reporting); and a compilation of notable stories from the past 60 years.
Great 1977 video interview with Mrs. Jessie Roestenberg describing a 1954 UFO experience in Staffordshire, West Midlands, England. This blog post shows part of a 1959 newspaper clipping with a photo of Mrs. Roestenberg (presumably from 1954, going by the apparent age of her children in the photo; click image for larger view), and a drawing she made of what she reported seeing, as well as an undated, unsourced photo of the by-now-elderly Mrs. Roestenberg holding an artist's rendering of the figures she described. [more inside]
A cow in Northamptonshire has gotten its head stuck in a lawn chair. The County of Northamptonshire in England's East Midlands was first recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (1011), as Hamtunscire: the scire (shire) of Hamtun (the homestead). There are 129 things to do in Northamptonshire, the best of which is a llama farm. But all that changed today, when Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service were summoned to save a cow who had somehow gotten its head stuck in a lawn chair. [more inside]
Squeeze - Take Me I'm Yours (2012) | Squeeze - Bands Reunited (2003). Previously: Up the Clapham Junction
Harry Enfield & Paul Whitehouse: Smashie and Nicey - The End Of An Era Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 (note: the very end edited out). [Previously: "Do you... do you like Tina Turner, Ted?"]
Hello. This is David Bowie. It's a bit grey out today, but I've got some Perrier water and I've got a bunch of records. I think if I was walking outside at the moment, I'd like to be walking on this street. It's Love Street by The Doors. In May of 1979 Bowie sat down at BBC Radio One and played two hours of his favourite music. [SLYT, track list inside] [more inside]
BBC: George Osborne has launched his spending review with a call for £20bn cuts to Whitehall budgets. Each unprotected department has been asked to come up with savings plans of 25% and 40% of their budget. The chancellor said departments had also been asked to help meet a target of 150,000 new homes on public sector land by 2020. The NHS and per-pupil schools budgets will be protected in the review, which will be published on 25 November. Mr Osborne, who is currently giving evidence to MPs, said that "with careful management of public money, we can get more for less".
"The thing I find very exciting is waiting for the subway train and sometimes you'll get a glorious one that arrives decorated like a birthday cake!" Watching My Name Go By is a short 1976 BBC documentary about graffiti, artists, and graffiti artists in New York City. The film is based on Norman Mailer's 1974 essay for Esquire magazine, "The Faith of Grafitti." [via]
The history of British slave ownership has been buried: now its scale can be revealed The T71 files have been converted into an online database; a free, publicly available resource.
BBC: "Thirteen million UK families will lose an average of £260 a year due to the freeze in working-age benefits, says the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS)." BBC: Benefit Changes, who will be affected? "Hundreds of thousands of UK families will be affected by cuts of £12bn in the UK's welfare budget announced by the chancellor." BBC: Budget Calculator.
The BBC micro:bit – a pocket-sized, codeable computer that allows children to get creative with technology. In the BBC’s most ambitious education initiative for 30 years, up to 1 million devices will be given to every 11 or 12 year old child in year 7 or equivalent across the UK, for free. "We happily give children paint brushes when they’re young, with no experience - it should be exactly the same with technology. The BBC micro:bit is all about young people learning to express themselves digitally, and it’s their device to own."
BBC: "A clampdown on "taxpayer-funded subsidies" for "higher earners" living in social housing is to be announced by the chancellor in Wednesday's Budget. Local authority and housing association tenants in England who earn more than £30,000 - or £40,000 in London - will have to pay up to the market rent, George Osborne will say. The move is expected to raise up to £250m a year by 2018-19. It is thought that this could affect 340,000 households." George Osborne said: "the Budget would "reward work over welfare" and allow people to keep more of the money they earned."
In 1965, 14 year old Elsie Frost was murdered, and her killer was never caught. BBC Radio 4 is releasing serialized podcast episodes of its current investigation into the half-century old cold case. As listeners across Britain contribute new theories, the West Yorkshire police have agreed to review the old evidence. [via Answer Me This]
The bat-crocodile war. This is real and nature is amazing!
Can any mortal control this foul, pulsating orifice? Stewart Lee on Top Gear by way of HP Lovecraft. Stewart Lee previously on Top Gear
SNUB-TV was an alternative music TV show that began life in 1987 as part of Night Flight on the USA Network. It was subsequently picked up by the BBC, and ran for three seasons (1989-91) as part of Janet Street-Porter’s DEF II ‘Youth TV’ strand. A diligent YouTube user has compiled a playlist of 64 SNUB-TV clips, featuring artists such as The Cure, The Sugarcubes, Fugazi, The Cramps, The Stone Roses, Ride, Sonic Youth, The Breeders, Primal Scream, The Butthole Surfers among many others. Marvel at the strange haircuts and peculiar music from this faraway time… [more inside]