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Maria Williamson

Listen Without Mother

Archive on 4 BBC Radio 4 April 5th 8pm

If you're mum's stuck in her ways about motherhood, best listen to this without her: Fi Glover gets stuck in to generations of mothers in the radio archive: Ambridge’s Jennifer Aldridge and her shockingly illegitimate baby; Kim Cotton the first official surrogate mother ; Nicola Horlick the billionaire hedge fund supermum and Lesley Brown the UK's first test tube mum. Fi also consults motherhood experts like Penelope Leach, Dr Miriam Stoppard and Gina Ford. This personal journey into the BBC archives critically tracks the changing concept and practice of motherhood over the last five decades. We hear how tone and advice have changed over the years and how (eventually) mothers learned to laugh at themselves and not be browbeaten.

Fry Fry

Fry's English Delight with Stephen Fry

Series 6 available on CD and download

The new series of Fry’s English Delight, available here starts with a programme on Rhetoric. Once an ancient and noble oratorical art. Now, taken to mean the misleading language of politicians and dictators. Stephen tries to restore its original meaning, with the help of 3 very different speeches. Then a programme on Spelling: how on earth did our spelling become so irregular, and can we do something about making it easier? Stephen discovers how a history of attempted language reform has probably made things steadily worse. Then Words Without End: Stephen, a self-confessed dictionary addict, looks at how dictionaries have changed since Dr Johnson’s day, and how new words get into the dictionary – and into your vocabulary. The fourth programme WTF is a history of the word fuck and features actress Kathy Burke and writer Graham Linehan, as well as Denis Norden and Geoffrey Robertson QC. Its first broadcast was met with delight online, and a mere five complaints to the BBC!

Previous titles in box set form available here
And details of all 25 programmes with some free bonus audio here