Archive on 4: Open Sesame Radio 4, Saturday 8pm
Jim Henson’s Muppets have lived alongside humans in Sesame Street for forty years, educating children around the world as they entertain them. Konnie Huq looks back over the show’s four decade-long run, and the iconic characters (Big Bird, Bert and Ernie, Oscar the Grouch, Elmo) it has created.
The Wire: The Gold Farmer Radio 3, Saturday 9.45pm
Terry is a clerk in a Cardiff law firm, who only moved to Wales to be closer to his oblivious colleague Sally. Online, he plays the sword-and-sorcery game Kingdom of Dragons, where he adopts the persona of warrior Tork Thunderbolt. But his fellow gamer Greyhawk is harbouring a shameful secret… Rory Kinnear stars as Terry in the first of his two performances in Radio 3 dramas this weekend.
Desert Island Discs Radio 4, Sunday 11.15am
This week’s castaway is the normally gregarious TV fashion presenter Gok Wan. Away from the spotlight, as with so many presenters whose outrageousness is part of their schtick, he’s a lot calmer and, as a result, a delightful companion for three quarters of an hour.
Elaine Paige on Sunday Radio 2, Sunday 1pm
Today’s studio guest is Sheridan Smith, currently appealing to audiences as pink-clad wannabe lawyer Elle Woods in Legally Blonde at the Savoy.
How to Broadcast Radio 7, Sunday 2.10pm
How to Give a Party Radio 7, Sunday 2.50pm
Stephen potter and Joyce Grenfell’s satirical self-help guides were, apparently, a radio comedy highlight in the 1940s. Indeed, when the Third Programme started in 1946, How to Listen was the very first programme to be broadcast. Here, as part of Radio 7’s mini-Grenfell season to mark the centenary of her birth, we are given a 1951 show made to celebrate the Third’s fifth anniversary, followed by an earlier, 1943 edition.
Drama on 3: Amazonia Radio 3, Sunday 8pm
Rory Kinnear returns after yesterday’s drama to play author Arthur Ransome. Years before he became famous with the publication of children’s novel Swallows and Amazons, he became swept up in the events of the Russian Revolution, combining his role as a journalist with that as an agent of both the Bolsheviks and the Foreign Office. As the world prepared for war in 1917, he also found himself falling in love with Trotsky’s secretary, Evgenia Selepina (Michelle Dockery).
Afternoon Play: Raft to Bondi Radio 4, Monday 2.15pm
Ian Kershaw’s tale about a father and son struggling to come to terms with loss, set to a backdrop of England’s 1990 World Cup semi-final match against West Germany.
Book at Bedtime: Capturing America Radio 4, Monday 10.45pm
To coincide with a new Mark Lawson-fronted series about US authors, the Book at Bedtime slot is being given over to extracts from five different writers. Monday’s slot is of special interest to readers of The Stage, being David Mamet’s advice for actors from his essays on Emotions, The Rehearsal Process and The Play and the Scene.
Afternoon Play: Buffalo Bill and Little Matty Dyer Radio 4, Tuesday 2.15pm
In 1930s Leeds, the most famous American in the world, Buffalo Bill, arrives with Wild West show — and changes the life of 15-year-old Matty for ever. Kerry Shale stars as Bill, with Christian Foster as Matty.
Come Fly With Me: the Legacy of Jimmy Van Heusen Radio 2, Tuesday 11.30am
Rupert Holmes considers the legacy of four-times Oscar-winning song composer (and celebrated hellraiser) Jimmy Van Heusen, whose collaborations with Sammy Cahn and Johnny Burke have produced some classic numbers, including Love and Marriage, Come Fly With Me, Swinging on a Star.
Fags, Mags and Bags Radio 4, Wednesday 11.30am
Snajeev Kohli and Donald McLeary return with a third series of the sitcom set in a Scottish corner shop.
Afternoon Play: Postcards from a Cataclysm Radio 4, Wednesday 2.15pm
As Matt reported last month, Radio 4 is interested in experimenting with shorter dramas, and that’s part of the reason why Wednesday’s AP slot is taken up with nine short plays, all set as Earth prepares to be destroyed by an approaching asteroid. The quality’s variable, but the advantage of the format is that none of them outstay their welcome. The plays are:
- Lost & Found (Parts 1 and 2) by David Varela
- The Asteroid Hitters by Rommi Smith
- In Prints (Parts 1 and 2) by Lizzie Nunnery
- Josie’s Diary by Josie Long
- Amazing Grace by The Factory Theatre Company
- No Milk by Tim Crouch
- Phone Message by The Factory Theatre Company
- The Voice In The Rock by Carl Grose
- The NEO NDE [Near Earth Object, Near Death Experience] by Rommi Smith
Afternoon Play: Say What You Want to Hear - The Start-up Radio 4, Thursday 2.15pm
Stephen Tomkinson and Ewan Bailey are two entrepeneurs trying to get funding for a new website, Say What You Want To Hear. You send them your secret thoughts, they record people reading them out and put them on the website, almost like an audio version of PostSecret. No, I’m not convinced either. Nor am I convinced that such a high-concept drama necessarily works the day after Postcards from a Cataclysm.
Afternoon Play: Bad Faith - Vengeance is Mine Radio 4, Friday 2.15pm
After last week’s repeat of a 2008 pilot come three additional episodes about Jake Thorne (Lenny Henry), a police chaplain questioning his own faith. In this episode, Jake stands between a bereaved mother and the accidental killer of her child.
Claudia Winkleman Radio 2, Friday 10pm
As the Sheffield Crucible reopens after its major redevelopment, new artistic director Daniel Evans’ first production is Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People. Claudia talks to its stars Anthony Sher and Lucy Cohu.