Jean-Dominique Bauby died soon after producing The Diving Bell and The Butterfly (BBC, unabridged, 2hrs 15mins, pounds 8.99), which was enough to make me skitter nervously away from the prospect of the tear-jerking experience of hearing how a stroke to his brain at the age of 42 left him with only the twitch of an eyelid between communication and solitary confinement. But his short, exquisite essay from the heart, dictated letter by letter in an ingenious code, proved both disarming and inspirational.

The poetry of U A Fanthorpe first makes you giggle, then ponder, then lodges itself for good with unforgettable phrases like "haphazard by starlight". She introduces each poem in Double Act (Penguin, 1hr 30mins, pounds 8.99) herself, but the reading is done in part by Rosie Bailey, whose husky, thoughtful voice is a perfect foil for Fanthorpe's quirky eagerness.

Christina Hardyment

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