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Tag: Radio 4

September 6, 2018

Fame & The Beeb

by Matthew Steeples

John Stoddart exhibition of silkscreen prints of his iconic works at Chelsea Arts Club attracts the attention of some BBC heavyweights   On Tuesday, at the Chelsea Arts Club in London, photographer John Stoddart illustrated his versatility as an artist in exhibiting silkscreen prints created from his works.   Present at the preview were a … Continue reading “Fame & The Beeb”

April 30, 2017

Miriam Margolyes OBE

by Matthew Steeples

In April 2017, esteemed actress Miriam Margolyes described Theresa May as “that awful woman” and hinted that she had little-to-any enthusiasm for Jeremy Corbyn’s “hell of a mess” also. In the same interview, in her “distinctive voice”, she added: “It is the job of the arts to engage in life… That’s what I care about”. … Continue reading “Miriam Margolyes OBE”

May 12, 2016

Pricking Bonneville

by Matthew Steeples

Hugh Bonneville shares his views on the self-satisfied classes

March 3, 2015

The hypocrisy of England

by Matthew Steeples

Playwright Alan Bennett chooses ‘hypocrisy’ as Britain’s best achievement

July 28, 2014

Investigating Tulisa

by Matthew Steeples

In the wake of the collapse of the Tulisa Contostavlos drugs trial, we examine the merits of investigative journalism   Tulisa Contostavlos declared she’d had a “rollercoaster of a week” after she was convicted of assault in one case yet saw off another after it was thrown out due to the “serious misconduct” on the part … Continue reading “Investigating Tulisa”

December 19, 2013

Grace Dent

by Matthew Steeples

This Carlisle born author, broadcaster and columnist loathes Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland but loves Tartufo in Cadogan Gardens, SW3. Dent’s witty weekly Evening Standard column ‘Grace and Flavour’ is a must read as her acerbic commentaries about London’s best and worst eating spots are just brilliant. She has nearly 200,000 followers on Twitter and has … Continue reading “Grace Dent”

November 6, 2013

Victoria Beckham

by Matthew Steeples

The Fleet Street Fox spoke sense in November 2013 when she said of Beckham: “Take a bow, Savvy Spice. We got you wrong”. This former Spice Girl turned business maven deserves to be admired for her work ethic and success. She won the Designer of the Year award at the British Fashion Awards in 2011 … Continue reading “Victoria Beckham”

September 19, 2013

Popping pageants

by Matthew Steeples

Parents should steer well clear of child beauty pageants   This morning on Radio 4’s Today programme, a strange woman named Pam Boon was interviewed about beauty pageants featuring children and “pop up pageants” in general.

May 10, 2013

Martha Kearney

by Matthew Steeples

This “avid bee-keeper” is the main presenter of BBC Radio 4’s World At One. When interviewed by The Guardian in 2011, Oxford educated Kearney stated: “I wouldn’t think of myself as a Loose Woman”. We’re glad to hear it. This voice of reason is indeed far from that.

May 4, 2013

Libby Purves OBE

by Matthew Steeples

This British radio presenter, journalist and author is a much respected and reassuring voice of reason. Whilst at Oxford she was the librarian of the Oxford Union and then wrote a travel book, One Summer’s Grace, based on a 1,700 mile sailing journey she made around Britain with children aged three and five in 2002. … Continue reading “Libby Purves OBE”

April 29, 2013

Popping out

by Matthew Steeples

The overuse of the word “pop-up”   On Radio 4 this morning, a presenter commented: “I refuse to call it a ‘pop-up’. If we have any more of them, I’ll pop”. At a lunch yesterday I debated the description with a number of others and was surprised to find that the majority felt that it … Continue reading “Popping out”

April 4, 2013

Disgusted of Ambridge

by Matthew Steeples

“Archers addicts” are up in arms   BBC Radio 4’s The Archers is an institution and its devoted following object to those who mess with it at their peril.  

March 30, 2013

You’re booked

by Matthew Steeples

Matthew Steeples argues against the idea of bookshops charging customers to browse in an article first published in “The Good Web Guide”   What is going on in the world of bookselling?   First, in January 2012, the last remaining chain of bookstores in Britain, Waterstone’s, dropped the apostrophe in their name and became Waterstones … Continue reading “You’re booked”

March 17, 2013

Sandi Toksvig

by Matthew Steeples

In 2013, this Danish-British former Liberal Democrat author and presenter stated: “The Duchess of Cambridge lacks a single [relevant] opinion”. The nation were far from impressed. “Toxic Toksvig”, as some refer to her, is a Cambridge educated lesbian and mother of three whose works number Hitler’s Canary and Heroines & Harridans. She started her career … Continue reading “Sandi Toksvig”

March 15, 2013

Kathy Clugston

by Matthew Steeples

Belfast born Clugston is known as “The Posh Radio 4 Lady” or “The PR4L” and is BBC Radio 4’s continuity announcer. This witty lady’s voice is familiar to millions as a result of this but she’s also the female Irish voice for TomTom satellite navigation systems and the creator of the “Radio4minus1letter” Twitter based game. … Continue reading “Kathy Clugston”

February 11, 2013

Bubble (2012 – 2013)

by Matthew Steeples

His life was short but he brought joy throughout it and wherever he went. He looked like Colonel Gadaffi, loved the voice of Radio 4’s Jenni Murray and was particularly partial to a visit to Chelsea’s Sette restaurant. He even liked travelling by bus. This boisterous Standard Poodle will be greatly missed.

January 31, 2013

Clare Balding

by Matthew Steeples

She’s been named the “most fascinating person in the public eye” by Tatler and a “21st century role model” by The Telegraph. This superb TV presenter and journalist is also a retired amateur jockey, has beaten thyroid cancer and is in a civil partnership with Alice Arnold, the BBC Radio 4 continuity announcer.

November 12, 2012

John Gaze (1947 – 2011)

by Matthew Steeples

A gent who operated by routine, whisky and 40 cigarettes a day. This clubman’s knowledge of London history was phenomenal and he was dedicated to his role as parish clerk at St. Michael’s Cornhill. Gaze, a Russian icon dealer with a shop in the Piccadilly Arcade, lived a life full of dramas that included being … Continue reading “John Gaze (1947 – 2011)”

November 6, 2012

Derek Paravicini

by Matthew Steeples

This echolaliac prodigy has absolute pitch and has been described as “the human iPod.” His abilities as a musician are amazing given that he’s both blind and autistic. The cousin of The Duchess of Cornwall’s children, Tom Parker Bowles and Laura Lopes, Paravicini unexpectedly played Big Spender to the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair … Continue reading “Derek Paravicini”

October 28, 2012

Redefining Rachman

by Matthew Steeples

A different side to Peter Rachman is revealed   Whenever the name Rachman is mentioned, the first things that come to mind are greed, extortion and intimidation. The word is so engrained in such that “Rachmanism” now features in the dictionary, defined as:   “The exploitation of tenants of slum properties by unscrupulous landlords.”   … Continue reading “Redefining Rachman”

October 23, 2012

Twittering S-Pam

by Matthew Steeples

Pam Ayres makes a poem of Matthew Steeples   Yesterday, I found myself listening to a self-proclaimed “writer, broadcaster and entertainer” named Pam Ayres on BBC Radio 4.   An example of her style numbers:   “I am sittin’ on the sofa. By the fire and stayin’ in. Me head is free of comfort. And … Continue reading “Twittering S-Pam”

October 22, 2012

Pam Ayres MBE

by Matthew Steeples

This supposed “First Lady of Comedy” spouts lines like: “He had a bull name Floyd, but he was unemployed.” How long did it take her to come up with that? Her appearances on Radio 4 and elsewhere are peppered with references to “blummin’ people” and how she’s “stuck all [she] can stick.” Could someone please … Continue reading “Pam Ayres MBE”

October 13, 2012

Bravo the Beeb

by Matthew Steeples

Matthew Steeples reacts to the BBC quietly dropping the “Sir”   This morning when I turned on Radio 4’s Today programme, as has become customary in the last weeks, the first item on the news was about a man who will forever be associated with abuse and paedophilia, Jimmy Savile.   In recent days, as … Continue reading “Bravo the Beeb”

August 14, 2012

Kate Mulvey

by Matthew Steeples

Author and journalist Kate Mulvey is an expert on fashion, emotional intelligence and lifestyle. Mulvey’s article about how people reacted to her travelling around London in a pair of pyjamas is the stuff of legends and she is also the co-author of Decades of Beauty, Key Moments in Fashion; Defining Moments in Art and Vintage … Continue reading “Kate Mulvey”

June 17, 2012

Susan Hill CBE

by Matthew Steeples

Best known for her chilling novel The Woman in White, this writer also did a stint on the BBC’s The Archers and runs a small publishing house named Long Barn Books. Married to the Shakespeare scholar Professor Stanley Wells, Hill lives in a farmhouse with 50 acres of woodland in the Cotswolds and describes ghosts … Continue reading “Susan Hill CBE”

May 22, 2012

Captain Simon Mann

by Matthew Steeples

This former army officer boldly led a coup d’état in Equatorial Guinea in 2004. He was imprisoned for 34 years but received a presidential pardon from President Teodoro Obiang Nguema in 2009. This Old Etonian’s account of the episode, Cry Havoc, is a great read and he now lives peacefully in Hampshire with his wife … Continue reading “Captain Simon Mann”

May 21, 2012

Karen Matthews

by Matthew Steeples

She told “The Mother Of All Lies” when she arranged for her degenerate boyfriend to help her kidnap her own daughter, Shannon, in 2008. She hid the poor child under a bed and basked in the media attention. Not being very bright was what resulted in her being caught and resultantly she failed to collect … Continue reading “Karen Matthews”

May 13, 2012

Nicholas “Nick” Witchell

by Matthew Steeples

This newscaster and royal correspondent reports for the BBC daily. He’s lesser known these days for having sat on a lesbian protestor who invaded his studio in 1988 and for having written a book, The Loch Ness Story, in which he declares his belief in the existence of the creature to be “quite unshakeable.” There’s … Continue reading “Nicholas “Nick” Witchell”

May 7, 2012

The Rt. Hon. The Lord Archer

by Matthew Steeples

Jeffrey’s invented a lot of tales but is rightly renowned for spinning them brilliantly. This former politician wrote some brilliant diaries whilst in prison and now is mostly likely to be found doing charitable deeds. His shepherd’s pie and Krug parties are still the stuff of legends.

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