Radio 4 to record the nation chatting

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The Independent Online

"And he said... and she said... and then I said..." And then the BBC went and recorded the lot to broadcast on national radio.

In an exercise designed to show not just that the art of conversation is far from dead but has historic value, Radio 4 wants to record the nation chatting.

The intention is to record intimate moments between lovers, revelations within family groups and life-changing exchanges between friends. Even idle chit-chat will be of value to all historians. The recordings will be passed to the British Library.

Spontaneity may, however, be a struggle since the exchanges will have to be booked in advance to make sure suitable recording equipment can be present.

A selection of the recordings will be broadcast on a new programme, The Listening Project, presented by Fi Glover, from the end of March.