One to One, Radio 4, Tuesday
Punk Britainnia: John Lydon's Playlist, 6 Music, Saturday
When killing is all in a day's work
Could you kill? You may think not – but what if it was you or him (or her)? I suspect that might concentrate the mind. It certainly had that effect on Chantelle Taylor, and as a result she's gone down in history.
In the first of three One to One programmes talking to people who've taken a life, Independent columnist Mary Ann Sieghart met Taylor, a former army medic who was revealed last year as the first British woman known to have killed in combat. She remains unruffled, and her very dispassion made it compelling listening.
Caught in a Taliban ambush, she took cover in a Land Rover: "There was a guy firing from my side of the vehicle ... and that was it – I engaged him and moved on to the next thing." You could almost hear Sieghart suppressing a double take. "You 'engaged' him?" she said. "You shot him."
"Yeah, I shot him. It took me seven shots – I was really disgusted." And does it haunt her? Does she relive it?
"No, not that one," she said. "The sorts of thing that gets me are the child combatants I saw in Sierra Leone or guys I know who have lost limbs."
Which sounds fair enough. Now bodyguard to a Middle East potentate, she doesn't think gender matters when it comes to killing: "It's a matter of training." And how does she feel about making history? "You have to suck it up and get on with it." If I were in the trenches, I'd definitely want Chantelle Taylor by my side.
Whereas that Johnny Rotten's an old softie. He assembled some of his favourite songs in John Lydon's Playlist, part of the BBC's Punk Britannia season – and as he predicted, it was mostly surprises: Jim Reeves, Noël Coward, Abba, Pete Seeger, Petula Clark. His plan was to say as little as possible – "Yippee!", after "Don't Put Your Daughter on the Stage, Mrs Worthington" was typical – and it did mean he could cram in more music.
I could have done with more self-indulgence. There was one 24-carat memory: he played "I'm Eighteen" by Alice Cooper – which was the record on the jukebox in Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood's shop SEX to which he auditioned for the Sex Pistols. More like that would have been great. After all, that karaoke spot is as much a part of history as Sgt Taylor seeing off a terrorist.
Arts & Ents blogs
Sherlock's Benedict Cumberbatch 'first sexy Holmes', says Mark Gatiss
Too upsetting? Academy members voted for Oscar-winning 12 Years A Slave 'without watching it'
Liam Neeson turned down James Bond role because Natasha Richardson said she wouldn't marry him if he took it
Jessica Alba interview: From Hollywood superwoman to household product CEO
Captain Phillips actor Barkhad Abdi struggles financially despite Oscar nomination
Apple's Tim Cook: Business isn’t just about making profit
Thousands of young people forced to go without food after benefits wrongly stopped under 'draconian' new sanctions regime
Ukraine crisis: New navy chief 'defects' and surrenders Crimean HQ as Putin claims ultranationalists forced intervention
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Ukraine crisis: Russia dismisses '3am ultimatum' as 'total nonsense'
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
- 1 To those who can’t see the point of International Women’s Day: you are the very reason it exists
- 2 International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Orgasm machine to deliver climax at the push of a button
- 5 Liam Neeson turned down James Bond role because Natasha Richardson said she wouldn't marry him if he took it