Eyes Down on Clubland Radio 4, Saturday 10.30am
The working men’s club has been an important staple in the professional career of many a reader of The Stage, and we have sadly been reporting on the industry’s decline in recent years. In this one-off programme, comedian Dave Spikey (who cowrote clubland comedy Phoenix Nights with Peter Kay) explores the history of this British institution. As the recession bites, could venues with free entertainment and cheap alcohol actually make a comeback?
Celebrate the Burkiss Way Radio 7, Saturday 10am (repeated 8pm)
From today, Radio 7 starts its new schedule, with children’s programmes running from 5am to 10am on weekends, and 5am-8am to 4pm-5pm on weekdays. As a result, the archives shows which used to start at 9am on Saturday now start an hour later - starting with this plundering of the archives of sketch show The Burkiss Way, written by Andrew Marshall and David Renwick.
The Saturday Play: Lambeth Palace Radio 4, Saturday 2.30pm
Christopher William Hill’s play examines the politics behind the appointment of a fictional Archbishop of Canterbury. With an ultra-Establishment conservative and a barely-believing Liberal both in the running for the job, how far will each of them go to win the position?
The Reunion: National Theatre Radio 4, Sunday 11.15am (repeated Friday 9am)
Sue MacGregor’s series reuniting the people behind momentous events returns with a meeting of some of the actors involved in the opening of the National Theatre under Laurence Olivier in 1963. Michael Gambon, Derek Jacobi, Maggie Smith, Joan Plowright and Bill Gaskill reminisce.
Elaine Paige on Sunday Radio 2, Sunday 1pm
Paul O’Grady Radio 2, Sunday 5pm
Some tweaks to Radio 2’s weekend format, which will later this month see Alan Carr take up a residency on Saturday evenings, this week result in EP’s show extended to two hours. This week, she is joined by Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus, who celebrate the 25th anniversary of the recording of Chess, and the 10th anniversary of the Mamma Mia! stage show.
Later, Paul O’Grady, who only recently finished a stint covering for Paige, gets his own show on Radio 2 at last, including listener letters and dedications and what is euphemistically described as a “camp-friendly” playlist.
Woman’s Hour Drama: Restless Radio 4, Monday-Friday 10.45am (repeated 7.45pm)
Dame Eileen Atkins heads the cast of a ten-part adaptation (continuing next week) of William Boyd’s thriller. Ruth (Fenella Woolgar) finds that her mother (Atkins) was not born Sally Fairchild, but Eva Delectorskaya, a Russian who spied for the British in the Second World War.
Blonde on Blonde Radio 2, Tuesday 10.30pm
Hollywood Charmers Radio 2, Tuesday 11.30pm
Two series profiling some of Hollywood’s most iconic performers start tonight. Mariella Frostrup’s three part series starts with an hour-long look at the life and career of Doris Day, followed by a half-hour profile of the suave actor David Niven, presented by fellow thesp Michael York.
I’m Spartacus Radio 2, Thursday 10.30pm
The aforementioned changes to Radio 2’s weekend schedule mean that its comedy hour moves to Thursday evenings. After a half-hour of the ever-dependable Clive Anderson’s Chat Room, this pilot panel show hosted by Adam Buxton pitches funny people, including Radio Times film editor Andrew Collins and recent Book of the Week author Emma Kennedy against one another in film-related tasks.