Proms, August 2017: I always look forward to my annual summer involvement in the BBC Proms. This year I presented a Proms Extra Live Event and Broadcast featuring readings of literary passages describing Arrivals in America, in discussion with novelist Aminatta Forna.
John Berger: Ways of Listening, July 2017: “Novelist, art critic, TV presenter, philosopher..it’s impossible to capture John Berger’s rich and multifarious output in a single word. In the company of actor Simon McBurney, biographer Tom Overton, arts activist Gareth Evans, writer and friend Jay Griffiths, and others, Radio 3 will spend the evening looking back over Berger’s career, celebrating and explaining his ideas whilst also remembering the man. Along the way there will be treasures from the archive of Berger’s long association with Radio and TV including his seminal series Ways of Seeing, editions of Between the Ears and a dramatisation of his novel, To The Wedding. Plus the man himself in various interviews from the last 40 years. If you know Berger well there will be much to enjoy and if you don’t know Berger at all you will be drawn into the ideas, politics and personality of this most distinctive and fertile intellectual figure. Sarah Dillon presents. Producer: Tim Dee” (from the BBC Radio 3 Website)
Hay Festival, May 2017: Writing History with Sebastian Barry, Jake Arnott, Madeleine Thien. A special edition of BBC Radio 3’s flagship Arts & Ideas programme, Free Thinking, recorded live at the Hay Festival 2017.
Proms, August 2016: Proms Extra Live Event and Broadcast. As part of a series of Radio 3 Proms Extra broadcasts examining Shakespeare’s portrayal of the professions, I interviewed actor, director and author Michael Pennington about Shakespeare’s portrayal of actors and acting.
Proms, August 2015: Proms Extra Live Event and Broadcast. In my second visit to the Royal College of Music this proms season, I had the pleasure of interviewing literary biographer Dame Professor Hermione Lee about Willa Cather on the centenary of the publication of her pioneer and feminist novel The Song of the Lark.
Proms, July 2015: Proms Extra Live Event and Broadcast. In the impressive surroundings of the Royal College of Music I interview composer Steven Price who won the Oscar for Best Original Score for his music for Alfonso Cuaron’s film Gravity. We talk about film music, Holst and the anxiety of influence. Proms Extra events are recorded in front of a live audience and produced for broadcast during the interval of that evening’s Proms Concert.
Free Thinking Festival, November 2013: ‘Wombs on Legs?: Science Fiction and the Control of Reproduction’. Recorded live at the Free Thinking festival, in this BBC Radio 3 15 minute essay I take listeners on a late night journey aboard the Wombcraft, to explore what science fiction can teach us about the incendiary relationship between freedom and reproductive control.
June 2013: BBC Radio 3 Night Waves Column on Literature, Science and Analogy. My first outing as a New Generation Thinker was a column for BBC Radio 3’s flagship Arts and Ideas programme Night Waves (now Free Thinking). In the light of the publication of Pulitzer prize winning cognitive psychologist Douglas Hofstadter and his collaborator Emmanuel Sander’s new book Surfaces and Essences: Analogy as the Fuel and Fire of Thinking (2013), which is making waves in the science world, I reflect upon the relationship between literature, science and analogy.