80 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
D'autres épisodes de "Seriously..."
A Life in Miniatures
il y a un jour
29:24People become writers for myriad reasons - novelist Max Porter suspects that for him the crucial spur was his fascination with Bekonscot model village, which he visited scores of times as a child. It was there that he discovered the pleasure and value of people watching at a life-size and miniature scale. In A Life In Miniatures he returns to Bekonscot to celebrate not just the care, craft and love that have gone into its construction, but also the opportunity it affords to create complicated stories out of the various people and scenes on show. He interrogates whether these places are necessarily escapist and reactionary or offer a more radical opportunity to critique society. He visits Jimmy Cauty of KLF fame to hear about the dystopian model village he has toured around the world in a shipping container and talks with Douglas Stuart, author of Shuggie Bain, about the miniature appearance of a miniature village that appears in that book. Max also speaks with academic Melinda Rabb about the rise of miniatures in 18th Century England - and how smart phones are keeping the tradition alive in various unexpected ways. Produced by Geoff Bird A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4
We're All Living in OK Computer Now...
58:02On the 25th anniversary of Radiohead’s breakthrough album, admirers from literature, music, science and politics examine the album’s prophetic qualities. Did OK Computer actually shape and predict the future? In June 1997, an also-ran band in the Britpop wars put out a third LP. Moving clear of their musical peers, who were engaged in 60s nostalgia, this was a sonically and psychologically sophisticated record. Released in the first days of the New Labour government, it subverted the era's idealism and “things can only get better”, and lit a flare at the dawn of a new age of postmodern anxiety. Recently, OK Computer was voted the “ultimate 90s album” on BBC Radio 2. But this was more than just a 90s record. Much more. OK Computer is rock music as science fiction. A musical version of George Orwell or JG Ballard. Each song yields a vivid premonition of life as it is lived now, a quarter of a century on. It speaks directly to the major events of our time, from Trump to the climate emergency, big data and surveillance. Author, Booker-nominee, and Radiohead superfan Sarah Hall speaks to contributors including: Lauren Beukes, sci-fi author Daphne A Brooks, academic Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester John Harris, journalist Steve Hyden, rock critic Conor O'Brien, Villagers musician Musa Okwonga, musician and broadcaster Dr Adam Rutherford, scientist Producer: Jack Howson Additional Production: Tess Davidson Executive Producer: Sarah Cuddon Sound Mix: Mike Woolley A Reduced Listening production for BBC Radio 4 With special thanks to Tom Gatti and Bloomsbury Publishing, whose book 'Long Players' inspired this programme.
28:34Over 700 clocks may adorn the walls of their Cheshire home, but as Roman and Maz Piekarski contemplate their futures, neither can understand where all the time has gone. For more than 30 years, the brothers have dedicated their every waking minute to building and sustaining Cuckooland - the world’s largest collection of antique cuckoo clocks. With neither having married, nor had children, tracking down, restoring and preserving their treasured timepieces has been a never-ending labour of love - a lifetime’s work. Once a busy tourist destination, changing tastes had already seen footfall declining. And since the onset of the pandemic, the gates to their museum and home - a 19th century schoolhouse perched by the side of the A556 - have been shut. Covid has only compounded the brothers’ ever-present predicament - with nobody poised to take stewardship over their prized possessions, what happens when they no longer have the capacity to continue as the custodians of Cuckooland? They may be slowing down, but time isn’t. And as their clocks’ constant ticking reminds them, it’s running out. In Time Flies, the Piekarskis once again open up the doors to Cuckooland, but this visit takes a different direction to the usual tour. Steeped in nostalgia, the clocks connect them to people and places now long in the past. And with real concerns for the future, their mantra of making the most of every moment is coming under strain. Because for its curators, Cuckooland is more than a celebration of craftsmanship and a shrine to a slice of European history. It’s a living, cacophonous collection that - without a caretaker - might slowly fade away. Original music composed by Jeremy Warmsley Produced by Eleanor McDowall and Michael Segalov A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4
Mother, Nature, Sons
28:48Writer Nell Frizzell has spent years agonising about whether climate change should stop her from having a second child. She invites listeners to join her as she strives to make an intensely personal decision about her future. As the biological and doomsday clocks tick away, Nell calls upon friends, campaigners and experts at different stages of life to explain their reproductive decisions, in the hope that the path to a conclusion will reveal itself. Nell speaks to Dr Matt Winning, comedian and author of Hot Mess, a book about raising a baby and understanding climate change. She also hears from musician Blythe Pepino, who formed and then disbanded the campaign group BirthStrike, and Les Knight, a campaigner for the extinction of the human race. Finally, she interviews reproductive epidemiologist Dr Shanna Swan, whose book Count Down predicts the potential end of natural conception. Produced by Elly Lazarides A 7digital production for BBC Radio 4
Blood, Sweat and Tears
28:45As the BBC’s former defence correspondent, Caroline Wyatt spent more than a decade covering the war in Afghanistan. She first went there just after the 9/11 attacks, to report on the British troops joining the US-led coalition against Al Qaeda and their Taliban hosts. By the time combat operations ended in 2014, 454 British military personnel and civilians had died - and many more Afghan civilians. Following the final withdrawal of US troops last year – and the scramble for safety by Afghans who’d worked with the West – she set out to speak to British veterans of the conflict. To find out what had made them sign up to fight, despite the risks, and what the campaign’s ultimate failure means to them now. Like many who served in Afghanistan, Louise Jones signed up because she “wanted to make a difference”. She found watching the scenes unfold on television “painful”. It made her question how much she trusted those in power “when they say we want to commit to Ukraine, for example.” Harry Parker, a former captain in the 4th Battalion The Rifles, signed up at 26 just as the fighting in Afghanistan was reaching a crescendo. Eight weeks into his tour of duty he stepped on an improvised explosive device and lost both his legs. Meanwhile, his father General Sir Nick Parker was preparing to head out to Afghanistan to take over as commander of British Forces. “It only made me even more committed to make sure that we achieved our military objectives,” he says, “that we didn't squander young men and women's lives.” As a commando trained chaplain with the Royal Marines, Stuart Hallam ministered to young soldiers as they fought and died on the front lines. “We never come back to being normal in the same sense as we were normal before. It can be a very positive transformation. But nevertheless, it's a transformation.” Presenter: Caroline Wyatt Producer: Emily Williams A Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4
Licence to Kill?
38:12On October 14, 2016, Michael Hoolickin was murdered by a man he had never met. His killer, Tim Deakin had 55 previous offences. His last crime was to bite a man's ear off in a pub fight. Deakin was a high risk and prolific offender who had been freed early - "on Probation Service Licence" - to serve what was left of his sentence in the community. Deakin was later jailed for 27 years. At Michael's inquest, the family discovered Deakin had been stopped following a car chase just a few days earlier with no insurance and carrying drugs. The Coroner outlined serious failures by the people who were supposed to be monitoring Deakin that meant he stayed out of prison and remained free - on license - to kill. Along with the Hoolickin family, Radio 4 discover the true extent of crimes, many of them violent, committed by people who have been released on license, including where the advice was that they were still a danger to the public. At the heart of this are Michael’s parents, Garry and Leslie, and the torment over their son’s death. It’s this that drives them to uncover and understand the reasons why his murderer wasn't in prison on that night. We follow them as they meet another mother and father still mourning their son after his life was taken in the same circumstances. Producer: Matt O'Donoghue
29:21The Mother-Daughter relationship is a special one - but what happens to little girls who lose their mums early? Missing Mother is an intimate window into the life of women who have experienced arguably the most significant loss - the loss of a mother. Jacqueline Shepherd, broadcaster and presenter, who lost her mum at the age of 10 explores whether there is an unspoken or unrealised academic, relational and mental connection between their loss as a girl and the women they later go on to become. Produced by Tobi Olujinmi A Hill 5.14 Media production for BBC Radio 4
38:28Over the past 20 years, our workplaces have changed for the better. The MeToo movement and Black Lives Matter have brought harassment and discriminatory actions to the fore, and our workplaces have generally become less tolerant of bad behaviour. But there’s another highly damaging aspect of workplace culture that often goes unchecked - workplace bullying. As members of the UK political class come under fire for bullying their staff, Matthew Taylor is putting bullying in the spotlight. Matthew Taylor is the Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation, author of the Taylor Review into Modern Workplace Practices, and has spent many years thinking about creating safer environments for the future of our workforce. Despite his extensive grounding in tackling workplace culture, when he fell victim to poor treatment at work, it took him a long time to realise that what he was experiencing was bullying. Anxiety, self-doubt and isolation meant that he never did anything about it at the time, but it set him on a path of thinking about this prevalent and hidden issue. The pandemic has given many of us a chance to consider what we want from our working lives, and the so-called “Great Resignation” has brought new demands on employers to provide positive, meaningful working environments for their employees. Given the big shifts that are happening in employment, Matthew brings new perspectives and solutions to the table which are aiming to ensure that the future of work is better than the environments many of us work in today. Is bullying an inevitable part of a stressful and high-pressure work environment or is the fundamental way many workplaces are organised and managed a breeding ground for bullying? Matthew examines how work culture and the law could radically change to help prevent it. Presenter: Matthew Taylor Producer: Emma Barnaby Executive Producer: Katherine Godfrey Sound Designer and Mix Engineer: Rob Speight A Novel production for BBC Radio 4
The End of Invention
29:18Someone born in the late 19th century would have lived through the most rapid period of technological progress in human history. By comparison, people born since the Second World War have seen stagnation and sclerosis. At least, that’s what some people claim - that we are living through “the great stagnation”. The productivity of scientists and inventors is slowing - and economist Sam Bowman is worried. There are fewer new drugs coming to market, and it takes more and more people to make smaller computer chips. It takes longer for PhD students to finish their studies, and research grants go to ever older scientists. The balance of research funding has shifted from government to companies, and companies look for profitable inventions rather than necessarily revolutionary ones. It looks as though big new ideas are getting harder to find. Can we fix the system, or are we doomed to permanent slowdown? Presenter: Sam Bowman Producer: Jolyon Jenkins Executive Producer: Katherine Godfrey Sound Design & Engineering: Rob Speight A Novel production for BBC Radio 4
The P Word
29:55Is the use of the ‘P’ word ever acceptable? Prompted by the recent allegations of racism at Yorkshire CCC by cricketer Azeem Rafiq, Rajan Datar and producer Rajeev Gupta go on a journey of personal exploration. Like many South Asians in the 1970s and 80s, Rajan was routinely called the P-word as he walked to and from school, but a new generation of young British Asians say they now claim the word and it can be used within the community as a sign of power. Rajan finds out for himself how true this is and does a context in which the use of the word is acceptable actually exist? Produced by: Rajeev Gupta