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.
'At times I thought he was me'film
Review: One Direction, Fourmusic
Review: The World of Ice and Firebooks
Film More romcom than S&M
Review: The Imitation Gamefilm
Comedy...to show her mastectomy scars
TVNetflix gets cryptic
TV review A moving film showing kids too busy to enjoy their youth
Books Not even a Man Booker prize could save Richard Flanagan from a nomination
Arts & Ents blogs
- 2 Tower Bridge glass walkway 'smashed' by night-time visitor dropping bottle of beer
- 4 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 5 Grayson Perry: London needs affordable housing because 'rich people don't create culture'
Christmas 2014: The three most intriguing celebrity panto appearances
Lee Evans announces his retirement from comedy on The Jonathan Ross Show
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars
Iggy Azalea responds to Eminem rape lyrics: 'I'm bored of old men threatening young women'
Beyonce '7/11' music video: Star bounces on bed and films daughter Blue Ivy in lo-fi homage to viral video
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
Rochester aftermath: Sacking of Emily Thornberry will make work of Labour MPs '10 times harder'