2013 - the year in review: The best radio of the year
The People’s Songs
Radio 2’s year-long mega-series, a labour of love for its presenter Stuart Maconie, was consistently wonderful on people, the times through which they have lived and the songs that sound-tracked those times. A landmark social and cultural retrospective.
Russell Brand and Noel Gallagher on XFm
What a double act. This one-off collaboration in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust was a non-stop treat as Brand, drunk on his own verbiage and forever teetering on the edge of a lawsuit, was repeatedly cut down to size by Gallagher.
Tweet of the Day
A simple idea brilliantly executed. Radio 4’s series of early-morning shorts about British birds based on their dawn song, accompanied by the mellifluous murmurings of Sir David Attenborough, proved to be an excellent way to start the day.
Derbyshire’s Five Live show is the best of its kind, shining a light on controversial topics without hectoring or hysteria. “The Abuser’s Tale”, an investigation into domestic violence which talked to abusers involved in rehabilitation was bold and important radio.
Tony Harrison’s V
This expletive-laden poem didn’t provoke as much fuss as it did 25 years ago when there were calls for it to be banned. But Harrison’s late-night reading on Radio 4 was power - ful nonetheless, not least because, with its portrait of social and cultural divisions, Britain didn’t seem so different now to how it was then.
Discovery of the year
Blood, happiness and how Manhattan disposes of its poo. No subject is too big or bizarre for Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich’s podcast on the US station WNYC, which brings wit and intelligence to matters scientific and philosophical.
Turkey of the Year
There was a sort of bravery in Five Live’s decision to air a disastrous interview with the actress Naomi Watts on Kermode and Mayo’s Film Review. It was also a cringing illustration of the orchestrated nature of the celebrity interview. Watts cut the conversation short and we all breathed a sigh of relief.
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression
tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros
Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awardsTheatre
Grace DentChannel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 This is what happens when you tattoo Charmander on yourself, drunk, and with no experience
- 2 BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
- 3 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 4 The Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer has leaked – watch
- 5 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a white stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
Russian warships in English Channel 'to conduct anti-aircraft and anti-submarine military drills'