World Book Club
World Book Club
Apr 8, 2019
Tessa Hadley
49 min
This month World Book Club comes from the FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival in the elegant surroundings of The Mathematical Institute, part of the university, and we’re talking to the highly acclaimed British author Tessa Hadley about her award-winning novel The Past.

Over three long, hot summer weeks four siblings and their children assemble at their country house for a family reunion, where simmering tensions and secrets come to a head.

Tessa Hadley skillfully evokes a brewing storm of lust and envy, the indelible connections of memory and affection, the fierce, nostalgic beauty of the natural world, and the shifting currents of history running beneath the surface of these seemingly steady lives.

(Picture: Tessa Hadley. Photo credit; Mark Vessey.)
Comedy of the Week
Comedy of the Week
BBC
Earwig
Earwig is a new naturalistic sketch show by BAFTA-winning comedy writer Brian Dooley (The Smoking Room). While not immediately topical, our characters will of course discuss the main talking points of the day. As people do. They say the age of the expert is over, but this is what you get when amateurs wade in on the big issues. Every episode we hop around different conversations the length and breadth of Britain. Covering every age, sex, race and class. A snapshot of the country today. An everyday family in Cardiff, a young couple dining out in Canterbury, an office of app-developers in Newcastle, a couple of bricklayers in Sheffield - as varied as possible. 
Much of the comedy is observational, but noting everyday eccentricities - and how enjoyably surreal those can be. Each episode takes a different theme, but loosely so, and not grandly tackling the big questions, though they do of course arise. The theme will be obvious after the first couple of sketches. The theme of the pilot episode is Britain is going through a November heatwave. 
At the heart of Earwig is the comedy of overheard conversations, played deadpan and real; a look at what's happening when nothing's happening. To aid this, we recorded on location with an excellent diverse comedy cast (Debbie Chazen (Sherlock, The Smoking Room), Nimisha Odedra (Newsjack), Nathan Bryon (Benidorm), Jason Forbes (Daphne) and Duncan Wisbey (Dead Ringers) that brought genuine regionality to the series. Earwig is written by Brian Dooley The cast are Debbie Chazen, Nimisha Odedra, Nathan Bryon, Jason Forbes and Duncan Wisbey. Production co-ordinator Mabel Wright Produced by Simon Nicholls A BBC Studios Production
30 min
Woman's Hour: Daily Podcasts
Woman's Hour: Daily Podcasts
BBC
Women and underpaid state pensions, Women's emotional labour at Christmas, Female footballers and dementia
It was found that thousands of married women could have been receiving underpaid state pensions. The Department of Work and Pensions has since been investigating its records and making payments. The former pensions Minister Steve Webb, who first highlighted the issue, believes that many more women, such as divorced and widowed women could be effected, and that the DWP could be looking at a bill in excess of £100 million. We speak to Steve Webb and to financial expert Jasmine Birtles about pension planning, and the impact coronavirus could have on future pensions. The Sage Christmas document says that 'women carry the burden of creating and maintaining family traditions and activities at Christmas'. “Messaging should be supportive of women adapting traditions and encouraging those around them to share the burden and to be supportive of any alterations to adapt for Covid-19 restrictions.” We speak to the behavioural scientist Dr Pragya Agarwal. We catch up with Pip Hare who is currently competing in the Vendee Globe solo round the world sailing race. It is considered to be one of the toughest sporting competitions: 24,000 miles as the crow flies, no help, no stops and no turning back. Are women footballers more at risk of dementia than men? Dr Michael Grey is a neuroscientist who is running a project at the UEA to monitor ex-footballers for early signs of dementia. He’s looking for more women to take part. He joins Jane along with footballer and former Crystal Palace player Freya Holdaway. The Duchess of Cambridge’s new report on children’s early years has revealed the struggle many parents face – from feeling lonely and struggling to find time for themselves, to feeling judged by other parents. How have those problems persisted through the pandemic? Ipsos Mori’s Kelly Beaver and Dr Guddi Singh join us to discuss the report and give some practical advice. Presenter: Jane Garvey Producer: Dianne McGregor
53 min
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