Madam Mao’s Golden Oldies


Anna modeloperasAnna Chen revisits the Cultural Revolution Model Operas that she first heard as a child in sixties’ London and discovers how they are, somewhat surprisingly, enjoying a new lease of life. (1 x 28′)

First broadcast July 2012 BBC Radio 4

Contributors: Conductor Jindong Cai, journalist Sheila Melvin, novelist Anchee Min and film director Yan Ting Yuen.

Producer Mukti Jain Campion

Radio Choice:   The Daily Mail, The Daily Telegraph, The Independent

Stories from Notting Hill


KwamePlaywright and director Kwame Kwei-Armah takes an intimate look at the spirit and history of the Notting Hill Carnival. (5 x 14′)

First broadcast August 2011 BBC Radio 4

Producer Pam Fraser Solomon

Radio Choice: The Independent, Mail on Sunday, Time Out

Radio 4 Pick of the Week


  1. Origins    Kwame explores the beginnings of the Notting Hill Carnival and the difficult social conditions from which it emerged
  2. Innovation  How a motorway flyover gave the Notting Hill Carnival a new direction.
  3. Carnival Clash  The complex relationship between Carnival and the police.
  4. Enterprise  The highs and lows of the Notting Hill Carnival as it moved into a new era of sponsorship and expansion in the 1980s.
  5. Legacy   How the Notting Hill Carnival is positioning itself in a new era of tighter regulations and diverse stakeholders.

Photo of Kwame courtesy of Simon Marhold


Man vs God


iqbalStoryteller Seema Anand explores Muhammad Iqbal’s epic poem Shikwa, one of the most famous and enduring works of Islamic literature. The poem is an extended and heartfelt complaint in lyrical Urdu about all the many ways in which God has let Muslims down. When it was first recited by Iqbal at a public gathering in Lahore in 1911, a fatwa was issued by Islamic scholars who were shocked by its seemingly outrageous impudence. (1 x 28′)

First broadcast March 2011 BBC Radio 4

Contributors: Professor Javed Majeed and Navid Akhtar

Readings by Sagar Arya, Saeed Jaffrey and Pervaiz Alam

Producer Mukti Jain Campion


New Shoots, Old Tips


New Shoots Caroline and Katie*Winner of the Garden Writers Guild Award for Radio Broadcast of the Year 2001

Weird and wise gardening advice from the past two thousand years, sifted for modern day practical tips by garden historian Caroline Holmes and horticultural experts. (4 x 14′)

First broadcast May 2001 BBC Radio 4

Readings: Christopher Holmes & Malindi O’ Rorke

Producer Mukti Jain Campion


Just when you thought there was no such thing as an original gardening show, here comes an original gardening show.   – Peter Barnard, The Times


  1. Through Cunning with dibble
  2. Spread whole baskets of dung
  3. Seeds should be tried like witches
  4. To the realms of light I summon the worms

Radio Choice: The Times, Sunday Times, Daily Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph, Daily Mail, Radio Times.

Radio 4 Pick of the Week 

New Shoots, Old Tips (Series 2)


CarolineMore weird and wise gardening tips from the past two thousand years, sifted for modern day practical tips by garden historian Caroline Holmes with horticultural experts. (5 x 14′)

First broadcast November 2002 BBC Radio 4

Readings by Christopher Holmes & Anni Kurmis

Producer Mukti Jain Campion

A luscious mini series – Gillian Reynolds, The Daily Telegraph


  1. Weeding: A Fascinating Employment?
  2. Boundaries of Taste
  3. The Fruits of Your Labour
  4. Good Husbandry Goeth Not All By Much Expense
  5. A Dose of Wholeseome Horehound

Radio choice: The Daily Telegraph, The Daily Mail, Radio Times, The English Garden

Radio 4 Pick of the Week

Nusrat Was My Elvis


imgoOn the 10th anniversary of Nusrat’s death, Navid Akhtar examines the musical legacy of his spiritual and musical hero: the hugely influential Qawwali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan whose haunting voice enraptured millions across the globe and who successfully collaborated with western musicians such as Peter Gabriel. Singer Jeff Buckley once told an audience at a concert in New York “Nusrat: he’s my Elvis” – before performing one of Nusrat’s songs in Urdu. (1 x 28′)

First broadcast August 2007 BBC Radio 4

Producers: Nikita Gulhane & Chris Eldon Lee

A little gem of a music programme – Patricia Wynn Davies, The Daily Telegraph


Contributors include: singer Peter Gabriel, musician and composer Nitin Sawhney, theatre director Jatinder Verma of Tara Arts, Mohammed Ayuub of Oriental Star Agencies, Thomas Brooman of WOMAD, Amanda Jones of Real World Records, Robert del Naja of Massive Attack and veteran Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan.

Radio Choice: The Daily Telegraph, Guardian, Independent, The Times.

Radio 4 Pick of the Week

Hearing ear



St Ives & Me


St Ives and MEWriter and performer Anna Chen presents an intimate look at the rich cultural life of St Ives, past and present. Writers and artists from JMW Turner to Barbara Hepworth have been coming to this famous Cornish fishing village for the past 200 years, attracted by its special light and bohemian spirit. Anna has been holidaying there since she was a child and has a passionate connection to the place. She recalls long afternoons as a teenager watching artist Patrick Heron working in his studio, and meeting freespirits such as Molly Parkin. She visits her favourite haunts and performs at the annual St Ives Festival. (1 x 28′)

First broadcast  December 2011 BBC Radio 4

Producer Chris Eldon Lee

A lovely evocation of the town and what makes it special  – Clare Heal, The Sunday Express


Radio Choice:   Radio Times, The Observer, The Times, The Daily Mail, The Daily Telegraph, Time Out.

The Little Black Fish That Created Big Waves


Little Black FishNegar Esfandiary looks inside the covers of one of her favourite childhood books from Iran and discovers a powerful political allegory that has inspired countless activists and artists since it was first published in 1968. (1 x 28′)

First broadcast  August 2011     BBC Radio 4

Storyteller Richard Neville & Letter readings by Ravin Ganatra

Producer Mukti Jain Campion

A little hymn to freedomSimon O’ Hagan, The Independent


Radio Choice: The Times, The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, Radio Times

Word for Word


paul_allenPaul Allen traces the history of verbatim theatre from Peter Cheeseman’s early experiments in Stoke on Trent 50 years ago when he collected the stories of local people and put them on stage to the latest production at the town’s New Vic Theatre. (1 x 28′)

First broadcast April 2012 BBC Radio 4

Producer Chris Eldon Lee


The Other Mobiles


theothermobilesContrary to all the gloomy predictions, decades on and the Mobile Disc Jockey is alive and well – and still playing Bee Gees records. Andy Turvey takes a tongue-in-cheek look at the strobe-lit world of the Mobile DJ, from spinning shellacs in the 1940s to cueing computers today. (1 x 28′)

First broadcast  November 2004 BBC Radio 4

Producer Chris Eldon Lee

Radio 4 Pick of the Week