Category Archives: Radio
On Tuesday 6 November, a listener to the BBC Radio 4 series Making History asked about the role of the fool in history, and specifically about why two such figures appear in the arches of this Royal Collection painting of The Family of Henry VIII (1545).
Making History’s presenter Dr Helen Castor, and her producer, Nick Patrick, went to speak to Simon Callow about fools in Shakespeare, and then came to me (from the sublime to the ridiculous) to discuss the historic fool – especially those at the court of Henry VIII. I told them all about the research I’d done as part of All The King’s Fools, the distinction between artificial fools and natural fools, and my belief – from the historical evidence – that natural fools had learning disabilities. You can hear the interviews on the programme here (starting at 9.16 minutes in - though the rest of the programme is well worth a listen too!)
It was a pleasure and a privilege to spend Sunday 3 June 2012 commentating on the Thames Jubilee River Pageant.
I spent the morning on BBC Radio 5 Live as a presenter’s friend to Jane Garvey and Sam Walker on Double Take. We were on location in Battersea Park, close to where the flotilla was gathering, to discuss what it means to be British, and how it has changed over the last 60 years of the Queen’s reign.
Then in the afternoon, I joined James Whale on LBC 97.3FM for four hours at Westminster Tower, from where we had a bird’s eye view on the unfolding river pageant.
From our perspective, the continual wall of boats, against the backdrop of the Palace of Westminster, looked like a modern-day Canaletto.
This impressive pageant seemed a fitting tribute with which to celebrate the long, glorious and historic reign of Her Majesty the Queen.
Back in 2009, I recorded a programme on Henry VIII’s annus horribilis, 1536, for BBC Radio 3. Today I discovered that you can – at least technically – still listen again to it on the BBC Radio 3 website.