Twenty years ago - in the mind-numbing aftermath of the terrorist attacks on America - the immediate, mind-numbing response of the media was to ban laughter. All laughter, including jokes, chuckles and guffaws. This is the story of what happened next. With contributions from Private Eye to The Onion, via David Letterman, the News Quiz and Have I Got News for You. As well as 9/11 and the death of Bin Laden, Joe Queenan explores the pandemic and the US retreat from Afghanistan. "What a year 2021 has been – from the storming of the capitol in Washington to the fall of Kabul to the Taliban, this has not been a good time in the US. Probably not so great in the UK either. Throw in some riots, add in the climate crisis and the plague – none of this is worth the slightest lame joke. But is it worth a good joke?" With contributions from three US presidents, plus Ian Hislop and Adam MacQueen from Private Eye, Armando Iannuci (creator of The Death of Stalin), Susan Morrison of the New Yorker, and Robert Siegal editor of The Onion in 2001 - the first US publication to break the laughter ban with the headline, US Vows To Defeat Whoever It Is We Are At War With. A copy of that magazine is now in the Library of Congress. Also includes archive from David Letterman, Linda Grant, Michael Rosen, Rich Hall on Have I Got News for You, plus the News Quiz from September 2001. Joe Queenan is an Emmy Award-winning US broadcaster. His previous contributions to Archive on Four include Brief Histories on Blame, Shame and Failure. The producer for BBC Audio in Bristol is Miles Warde.
D'autres épisodes de "Seriously..."
The Coming Storm – Episode 1
35:46QAnon and the plot to break reality... When a mob storms the Capitol in Washington DC, reporter and presenter Gabriel Gatehouse sees someone he recognises: a man draped in furs with horns on his head. He is known as the Q Shaman. Gabriel had met him at a Trump rally in Arizona, ranting about a conspiracy theory involving Hillary Clinton and a cabal of satanic paedophiles plotting to steal the 2020 presidential election. The search for the origins of this strange and twisted tale begins in 1993, when the suicide of a White House aide during Bill Clinton’s presidency reveals the first signs of a new information ecosystem that is starting to spill over into the mainstream. Myths about his murder proliferate on the early internet. But that is just the tip of the iceberg. In Arkansas a parallel reality is forming, in which the Clintons are a corrupt and murderous couple who will stop at nothing in their quest for power. Producer: Lucy Proctor
29:08At night women say goodbye, telling each other "text me when you're home". We carry keys between our knuckles, avoid dark streets, cross the road, then cross back again, keep looking over your shoulder. In Night Watch, four women from different parts of Britain share stories of street harassment. Woven through this feature is a new, specially commissioned poem by Hollie McNish. The murders of Sarah Everard and Sabina Nessa compounded the perception of city streets as male spaces- unwelcoming and unsafe for women, and other marginalised groups. Is this the way it's always been? In these raw and unfiltered accounts women will hear their own experiences echoed back in others' words; stories of shouted insults, rejected come-ons, intimidation. Featuring the voices Nosisa and Alison Majuqwana, Aggie Hewitt, Katie Cuddon, Alice Jackson the co-founder of Strut Safe, author Rebecca Solnit, author and moral philosopher at Cornell University Kate Manne and design activist Jos Boys. If you've been impacted by any of the issues raised in this documentary contact details for support organisations can be found in this link: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/2MfW34HqH7tTCtnmx7LVfzp/information-and-support-victims-of-crime Producer: Caitlin Smith Poetry: Hollie McNish Sound Design: Joel Cox Executive Producer: Peter McManus
The Lullaby Project
29:01Felicity Finch reports on a pioneering project that sees members of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra working alongside inmates in HMP Norwich. The aim is to workshop, draft and perform personal songs that will help establish a bond between offenders and their children. A lullaby is the most immediate of musical forms. The singer is a parent, the audience a child. The communication is intimate and helps form intangible bonds. A reality of prison life is that those bonds are, to a great or lesser extent, broken. The Lullaby Project, run by the Irene Taylor Trust, is an attempt to create all the positives of that parental link, without undermining the reality of prison life. Felicity has been given unique access through the Irene Taylor Trust, to follow their artistic director Sara Lee. Sara and a group of musicians made three visits to Norwich prison to help the inmates write lyrics and work on ideas for melodies and rhythms that will result in lullabies that can be recorded. The process is rewarding in itself, but it also encourages inmates to reflect on the nature of their relationship with their children, and how they would like to be perceived by them. Similar projects have been tried in both the USA and the UK, but following the pilot this is the first time the media has been given access to the process. Felicity follows the process from the early and very nervous engagement between musicians and prisoners, through to the astonishment and delight at what emerges from the collaboration, a delight felt on both sides.
Piers Plowright, Soundsmith
57:49Piers Plowright described himself as a 'radio man'. He'd grown up in a home where the wireless was moved into the living room of an evening for family listening. Others have called Piers, who died in July 2021, the Godfather of the British Radio Feature. His thirty-year BBC career began in 1968 as a trainee in English By Radio, after which he migrated via drama to documentaries. There, his programmes received radio's highest accolade, the Prix Italia, on three occasions. Yet he remained always modest, a practised listener, a supporter of colleagues, a composer of sound, silence and word, and - for all his erudition and love of culture - a mischievous spirit. All of this is felt in his many programmes (see below). In a medium described as having no memory, the quality and distinctiveness of Piers' radio programmes - and the grace of the man - are long remembered. You are invited to lend your ears to some of his work in this tribute from colleagues and admirers: Melvyn Bragg, his close friend from student days and distinguished broadcaster, Dr Cathy Fitzgerald, an award-winning feature-maker and presenter Seán Street, poet and Professor of Radio Marta Medvešek, the young Croatian recipient of the 2021 Prix Europa for radio documentary Matt Thompson, a younger colleague who fell under Piers' spell in the BBC documentaries department Julie Shapiro, formerly Artistic Director of the Third Coast Festival in Chicago, which awarded Piers the Audio Luminary Award in 2006 Martin Williams, a celebrated producer and amateur radio historian Redzi Bernard, producer and co-host of the Telling Stories podcast Tony Phillips, former production colleague and radio commissioning executive. Including interview excerpts with Piers from Roger Kneebone's Countercurrent podcast and Victor Hall's Pocketsize Studio and extracts from the following programmes in the BBC Sound Archive: Stepping Stones (R4, 2015) A Fine Blue Day (R4, 1978) Splashpast! (R4, 1993) Mirooo (R3, 1993) Mr B - a portrait of James Bellamy (R4, 1991) Setting Sail (R4, 1985) One Big Kitchen Table (R4, 1989) Mr Fletcher, the Poet (R4, 1986) Nobody Stays in This House Long (R4, 1983) What Are They Looking At? (R3, 1997) Produced by Alan Hall A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4 (Photo credit: Lucy Tizard)
Fümmsböwö (or What is the Word)
29:30What exactly is this strange genre called sound poetry? Is it underappreciated and misunderstood? Is it just glorious gobbledygook? “Fümms bö wö tää zää Uu, pögiff, kwii Ee ...” So opens Ursonate by Kurt Schwitters, the 40 minute work of meaningless noise in four movements - considered by many to be the greatest sound poem of all time. A century after it was written, it endures, almost like a classic jazz standard or folk tale that experimental vocal performers feel compelled to learn and interpret as a rite of passage. Jennifer Walshe is one of those daring performers, having recited Ursonate around the world and even “translated” it into Irish. One hundred years on, she wonders what secrets are held within every one of Schwitters’ “zee”, “tee” “wee” and “bee” sounds. Jennifer’s guests include: Vocalist Elaine Mitchener, who sees the political power of made-up words Linguist Marina Yaguello, who speculates on the original, primeval language of mankind Stand-up comedian Stewart Lee, who reflects on how alternative comedy might owe a debt to Schwitters and the Dada art movement Composer Tomomi Adachi, who harnesses Artificial Intelligence to imagine new languages And poet Jaap Blonk, who remembers Ursonate nearly getting him attacked. Produced by Jack Howson Mixed by Olga Reed Photography by Mike Cameron/Wysing Polyphonic A Reduced Listening production for BBC Radio 4
The Hidden History of the Staircase
29:07Join Rachel Hurdley as she climbs the staircase to discover a story of steps, status, segregation and grand entrances. Staircases go back thousands of years to the stepped temples of the ancient world. In this country they developed from simple ladders to the spiral staircases of medieval castles and the imposing stairways of Tudor mansions. Staircases may seem to be just a way of getting from one floor to another but, over the centuries, they’ve taken on a range of hidden meanings and symbolism. Rachel travels to Newark Castle to find the truth behind a medieval myth, discovers how the many flights of stairs at Tudor Hardwick Hall were used to impress visitors and visits Kedleston Hall to find out how Georgian landowners used staircases to reinforce their social position. Along the way, we learn about the Victorian hierarchy that governed who went down the stairs first. And grab the popcorn as we consider the role of the staircase in cinematic history. Interviewees: Sonia Solicari, Director of The Museum of the Home Jonathan Glancey, Architectural Writer and Historian Imogen Tedbury, Curator of Art, Royal Museums Greenwich speaking at the Queen’s House. James Wright, Buildings Archaeologist speaking at Newark Castle Denise Edwards, General Manager of Hardwick Hall Richard Swinscoe, Assistant Curator, National Trust speaking at Kedleston Hall Deborah Sugg Ryan, Professor of Design History at Portsmouth University Karen Krizanovich, Film Journalist Presenter: Rachel Hurdley Producer: Louise Adamson Executive Producer: Samir Shah A Juniper Connect production for BBC Radio 4
The Great Pyramids of Albania
37:51Throughout 1996, Albanians sold their houses and their livestock to buy into pyramid schemes that were doomed to fail. By the year’s end, this new kind of financial product had swallowed up almost 50 per cent of the country’s annual income, and touched nearly every adult’s life. How did an entire country fall victim to scammers? Gavin Haynes explores the psychology of one of history’s great mass delusions, 25 years on. He heads to Albania to hear how, in something like a fable, Europe’s most repressive Communist state was suddenly turned loose into a capitalist Wild West it was ill-prepared for. And how the knock-on effects of financial meltdown pushed the country to the brink of total anarchy. At the heart of his journey is an ongoing mystery - what became of the life’s savings of so many ordinary people? With: Prof. Dr. ARBEN MALAJ, President of the Institute of Public Policy and Good Governance, MP for Vlore LAZER SOKOLI, Lawyer and former prosecutor ETLEVA DEMOLLARI, Director of the House of Leaves Museum of Secret Surveillance, Tirana REMZI LANI, Executive Director of the Albanian Media Institute Dr ARTAN HOXHA, Chief Executive Officer Tirana Business School GJERGJI and MARIETA SPIRI – musician and violinist in Gjirokastre and their daughter STEFANIE; GEZIM ZILJA – former Mayor of Vlore GENC DEMIRAJ – theatre technician in Vlore and former video journalist/camera person Dr. JONILA GODOLE, Executive Director of the Institute for Democracy Media and Culture, Tirana ERION VILIAJ – Mayor of Tirana Presenter: Gavin Haynes Producer: Caroline Finnigan Executive Producer: Katherine Godfrey Fixer: Edit Pula Engineer: David Smith Music Sound Engineer: Martin Appleby Actor readings by Orli Shuka A Novel production for BBC Radio 4
A Family of Strangers
38:25How a simple DNA test turned a world upside down, leading to profound questions of identity. When 71-year-old Philip was given a genetic testing kit for Christmas, he assumed he would stumble across an ancient line of nobility or a novel identity to latch onto. Instead, he found himself unravelling a mystery with more twists and turns than a spiralling strand of DNA. David Reid meets an extraordinary group of people who sent in DNA samples and tested negative to the question: “Who am I?” Join them on a moving, funny and thought-provoking journey as they dig through layers of family myth and secrecy to unearth the incredible story of their origins. Produced and presented by David Reid Editor: Hugh Levinson Production Coordinator: Jacqui Johnson Sound: Tom Brignell
The Army Girls
28:4980 years after female conscription, the final few tell their extraordinary World War Two stories as part of the ATS. By war's end, 290,000 women of all backgrounds had served in the Auxiliary Territorial Service. It may have had a less glamorous image than its naval and air force counterparts but the ATS was by far the biggest military service for women. Initially the ATS had a reputation for dull demeaning work. That changed in 1941. In December of that year, for the first time in British history, young single women had to join Britain's war effort. Their choice of jobs expanded dramatically. Dr Tessa Dunlop unpacks some of the controversies that accompanied putting girls, en masse, into military uniform. With a rich cast of veterans she examines the impact and legacy of Britain's female army. Class, comrades, conflict, loss, love, work - for a generation of young women military service was life-changing. Presenter: Dr. Tessa Dunlop Producer: John Murphy Archive in the programme from BFI National Archive and British Pathe
A Line in the Water
37:43At the start of 2021 and the implementation of Brexit, a trade border was created between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. What does this mean for ordinary people who cross the Irish Sea? And where exactly is this border anyway? Neil McCarthy boards Stena Line's ferry 'Embla" which plies a daily and nightly course between Birkenhead and Belfast. He talks to passengers, and crew, lorry drivers and historians, crossing this body of water that both separates and binds the two islands on a search for the elusive line in the water. 'Meridians' written and read by Mark Ward Sound design by Phil Channell Produced and presented by Neil McCarthy