Monday, November 25, 2019

Radio Secrets

In the winter of 1983, I was alone in my parents' house. Even they weren't there. I was 22 going on 23, and writing things nobody wanted to buy, or even read, and feeling very lonely indeed. I was about to move up to a bedroom in Edgware at the start of 1984.

The nearest thing I had to company was BBC Radio 4. (I remember listening to an audio sequel to Cold Comfort Farm. Also that it was the only time I have ever managed to actually follow The Archers for long enough to know who was actually who and what they all wanted.) I would sit in my parents' empty dining room with the radio on while I wrote short stories nobody would ever read and nobody would ever buy.

But the radio helped. The radio really helped.

It's nice, and odd, to feel that I'm now part of the thing that kept me going then.

My short story "Chivalry" will be broadcast at 4:00pm to 4:30pm on the 25th of December. It's about an old woman who buys the Holy Grail in a charity shop.

There's a generation gap vast as an ocean between people who are excited that Glenda Jackson is both our narrator and Mrs Whitaker, and those who have no idea who Glenda Jackson is and why she matters (wasn't she a British politician once?) but are very excited about Kit Harington.

And as if that wasn't enough...

Playing in the Dark will be broadcast on Radio 3 on the 23rd of December from 7:30pm until 10 pm.  That's me and some guests reading things aloud, and also the BBC Symphony Orchestra (and some of the guests) making music.

Here's a video of me introducing our final reader, who read a chunk of GOOD OMENS...

(If the video below doesn't work for you, as I hear it's region-locked, you can watch it on Twitter:

Playing in the Dark will also, in edited form, be going out really early on the morning of the 25th, on BBC Radio 4 from 6 am - 7 am.

If you are somewhere in the world where you cannot turn on the radio and hear Radio 3 or 4, you can still livestream it, and once it has been broadcast it will be up for a month. ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD YOU CAN ACCESS THE INTERNET, YOU CAN LISTEN TO THEM. FOR FREE.

This is a true thing.

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