The complete Genius radio series, in which Dave Gorman and his celebrity guests consider the ridiculous, unworkable, but sometimes genius inventions of the public.
Guests such as Stewart Lee, Johnny Vegas, Germaine Greer and Charlie Brooker peruse a parade of proposals, be they innovations, gadgets, gizmos, philosophies or follies, in an attempt to sort the worthy from the worthless. Will they unearth some genuine gems of genius? And which pitch will win the legendary Genius trophy?
Ideas include the use of breathalysers on mobile phones to stop you making regrettable calls, a 99p coin, genetically-engineered mini-elephants as pets, Bovril as a fizzy drink, virtual reality headsets for chickens, Lego prisons and the best thing since sliced bread – perforated bread.
If you've ever had an ingenious invention, a sublime plan for solving problems both small and large, or a twisted scheme for making the world a better, or more interesting, place then Genius is the midwife to your brainchild.
The guests are Paul Daniels, Richard Madeley, John Fortune, Neil Innes, Stewart Lee, Johnny Vegas, Armando Iannucci, Chris Addison, Brian Sewell, Carol Vorderman, Sid Waddell, Germaine Greer, Gyles Brandreth, Matthew Wright, Rob Newman, Charlie Brooker and Simon Munnery. This complete collection also includes the Christmas Special edition of the show featuring Lee Mack.
Bonus content: Dave Gorman’sPub Olympics. In this one-off, very silly panel show, contestants Chris Addison, Roisin Conaty, Geoff Lloyd and Seymour Mace compete for gold medals in a series of ridiculous rounds, very loosely based on sports. Usain Bolt can run the 100m in 9.58 seconds. What do the panellists think they could do in 9.58 seconds? And what Olympic themed panel show would be complete without Quiz Akabusi?
All 18 episodes of Radio 4's word-obsessed comedy panel game hosted by Gyles Brandreth, where stars from across the world of wordplay come together to guess the meanings of now-obsolete words, invent their own clichés and cockney rhyming slang, discuss their own favourite words and phrases - and suggest words they would like to ban.
This witty and unexpected show brings you toponyms, abbreviations, euphemisms, old words, new words, cockney rhyming slang and Greek gobbledegook. Find out the meaning of words like giff-gaff, knock-knobbler and buckfitches; the difference between French marbles, French velvet and the French ache; hear the glorious poetry of the English language, as practiced from writers varying from William Shakespeare to Vanilla Ice; and spend time laughing and learning with some of the finest Wordaholics in the business.
With top guests including Stephen Fry, Jack Whitehall, Michael Rosen, Susie Dent, Alex Horne, Paul Sinha, Robin Ince, Josh Widdecombe, Natalie Haynes, Dave Gorman, Richard Herring, Ed Byrne, Jenny Eclair and Milton Jones.
Written by Jon Hunter and James Kettle. Produced by Claire Jones.
Nick Warburton (Author)
, Full Cast (Read by), Helen Longworth (Read by), John Rowe (Read by), Kate Buffery (Read by), Sam Dale (Read by), Trevor Peacock (Read by)
Trevor Peacock (The Vicar of Dibley) stars as inspired chef Warwick Hedges, in this comedy drama set in an idiosyncratic restaurant in the Cambridgeshire Fens. Warwick’s son Jack works alongside his father, which makes him permanently anxious. They are assisted by Samuel, an earthy odd-job man "who crawled out of the slime with the eels", and Zofia the Polish waitress.
Whether hosting unusual guests, dealing with flooding, fuelling father-son rivalry, or moving strange stones from the edge of the Fen to his restaurant 'at his own peril', Warwick certainly keeps Mardle Fen on its toes.
The mixture of food, family relationships and Fenland legend is handled with Nick Warburton's characteristic deft comic touch.
Other parts played by Chris Pavlo, Liza Sadovy, Christine Kavanagh, Liz Sutherland, Lizzy Watts, Victoria Inez Hardy, Malcolm Tierney, Paul Rider, Lauren Mote, Claire Rushbrook, Tony Bell, Adam Billington, Ben Crowe, Tilly Tremayne, Paul Bazely and Gyles Brandreth.
The history of espionage is far older than any of today's intelligence agencies, yet the long history of intelligence operations has been largely forgotten. The first mention of espionage in world literature is in the Book of Exodus.'God sent out spies into the land of Canaan'. From there, Christopher Andrew traces the shift in the ancient world from divination to what we would recognize as attempts to gather real intelligence in the conduct of military operations, and considers how far ahead of the West - at that time - China and India were. He charts the development of intelligence and security operations and capacity through, amongst others, Renaissance Venice, Elizabethan England, Revolutionary America, Napoleonic France, right up to sophisticated modern activities of which he is the world's best-informed interpreter. What difference have security and intelligence operations made to course of history? Why have they so often forgotten by later practitioners? This fascinating book provides the answers.
Alastair Jessiman (Author)
, Full Cast (Read by), Jimmy Chisholm (Read by), Julie Duncanson (Read by), Robin Laing (Read by), Sheila MacDonald (Read by)
The complete series of off-beat thrillers about psychic detective Thomas Soutar, who uses his skills in police investigations. Set in Glasgow and featuring fantastic full casts, these unique police dramas star Robin Laing as Thomas Soutar.
The Sensitive Police call in Thomas Soutar to help find a missing woman. Thomas is adept at solving crimes - but is his extraordinary gift a blessing or a curse?
The Hanged Man Thomas Soutar discovers some unsettling connections between his own uncle's past and the murder of a young boy.
A Possession When Thomas agrees to help in the search for a missing music student, he becomes obsessed by the missing girl in ways that he had not expected.
A Nobody Thomas suffers a crisis of confidence when he is asked to investigate a potential serial killer. An old girlfriend, Kat, persuades him to take a break for a few days, but Thomas soon becomes convinced that they are being followed.
A Casualty of War Thomas' mother has been forced to close her guest house due to emergency building work. An old friend offers her the use of his guest house, now lying empty. But Thomas senses a malignant presence in the isolated house, and one night Thomas' mother is sure she sees a face in her bedroom mirror – the face of a woman not seen since 1945...
The Protector Thomas is asked to investigate the disappearance of a family friend. It's believed the missing man may have committed suicide, but the voices in Thomas's head suggest a different explanation…
Queen of the Dead A grieving daughter finds hundreds of cassette recordings made by a woman obsessed with her late father, a Professor of English. Thomas Soutar is hired to trace the identity of the woman behind the tapes, who styles herself the ‘Queen of the Dead’.
Terma Thomas is brought helps investigate when a journalist goes missing after building up a dossier on a powerful crime family.
Black Island Thomas and Kat go on holiday to the Western Isles. But Thomas is soon drawn into a dangerous game with a celebrated actor.
Underground Man (2 parts) Glasgow's disused underground tunnels are the hunting ground for an injured ex-soldier who threatens to kill three men he holds responsible for cheating him out of an inheritance. When one of the men under threat goes missing, Thomas helps the police in their search - but he soon discovers that there is danger much closer to home.
Heart of Darkness (2 parts) A religious retreat in the Scottish Highlands is the venue for the final investigation by the psychic Thomas Soutar. Thomas and Kat discover that the extreme views of their host have alienated many people in the community, and a quiet few days away become unexpectedly life-changing when Thomas has a fateful reckoning with his psychic abilities.
Written by Alastair Jessiman Produced and directed by Bruce Young
Marcus Brigstocke persuades his reluctant guests to try new experiences: things that they've perhaps always meant to try but haven't had the time, the courage or possibly the inclination.
Enjoy hearing some famous names embrace new challenges, such as Phill Jupitus drinking absinthe, Mark Steel constructing flat-pack furniture, Esther Rantzen finally joining Facebook, Kelly Holmes trying her first deep-fried Mars bar, Giles Coren having a go at being vegan, and Frank Skinner getting a spray tan.
The curious guests include: Phill Jupitus, Paul Daniels, Mark Steel, Esther Rantzen, Suggs, Sandi Toksvig, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Jon Culshaw, Jenni Eclair, Ardal O’Hanlon, Kate Adie, Ian Hislop, Frank Skinner, Alan Davies, Kathy Burke, Sarah Millican, Meera Syal, Dave Gorman, Benjamin Zephaniah, Rebecca Front, Reece Shearsmith and Kelly Holmes.
Whether the experiences are banal or profound, the show is all about getting out of our comfort zones and embracing the new.
Ever wondered what sort of a police officer you might make?
Alfie Moore spent eighteen years on the Humberside police force before turning to stand-up comedy. In each episode of this live stand up show, he takes his audience through a scenario based on a real life case, and tasks them with deciding how they would have acted in the circumstances.
From drink driving to a missing gnome, road traffic collisions to the tricky subject of Stop and Search, not to mention a case in which you must imagine what it would be like if Bruce Lee came from Scunthorpe and had been hammering the kebabs for twenty years…
Along the way Alfie spills the beans on what it's really like to be one of Britain's finest, tells us some great anecdotes about law breakers and makers that he's come across and gets his audience to divulge secrets about their own, sometimes less than strictly law-abiding lives.
At the end of the row of fishermen’s cottages by the harbour’s edge, stands an old granite house.
First it belonged to Ned’s parents; then Ned dropped anchor here after a life at sea and called it home. His nephew Hugo moved in too, swapping London for the small Cornish fishing village where he’d spent so many happy holidays.
It’s a refuge – and now other friends and relations are being drawn to the the house by the sea. Among them is Dossie, who’s lonely after her parents died and her son remarried. And cousin Jamie, who’s coming home after more than a year, since his career as an RAF pilot was abruptly cut short. Both have to adjust to a new way of life.
As newcomers arrive and old friends reunite, secrets are uncovered, relationships are forged and tested, and romance is kindled.
For those who come here find that the house by the harbour wall offers a warm welcome, and – despite its situation at the very end of the village – a new beginning . . .
Praise for Marcia Willett: 'A beautifully woven tale of families and their secrets...' Liz Fenwick, bestselling author of The Cornish House 'Riveting, moving and utterly feel-good' Daily Mail 'Sweeping powers of description transport her readers to another time and place' Rosanna Ley
'The Death of Mrs Westaway is Ruth Ware's best: a dark and dramatic thriller, part murder mystery, part family drama, altogether riveting' AJ FINN, bestselling author of THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW
When Harriet Westaway receives an unexpected letter telling her she’s inherited a substantial bequest from her Cornish grandmother, it seems like the answer to her prayers. She owes money to a loan shark and the threats are getting increasingly aggressive: she needs to get her hands on some cash fast.
There's just one problem - Hal's real grandparents died more than twenty years ago. The letter has been sent to the wrong person. But Hal knows that the cold-reading techniques she’s honed as a seaside fortune teller could help her con her way to getting the money. If anyone has the skills to turn up at a stranger's funeral and claim a bequest they’re not entitled to, it’s her.
Hal makes a choice that will change her life for ever. But once she embarks on her deception, there is no going back. She must keep going or risk losing everything, even her life…
The brand new psychological thriller from the Sunday Times and New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in Cabin 10.
One family, one meal. Super-easy, super-tasty weaning recipes you’ll love to eat yourself.
‘a breath of fresh air for new parents’ - Skye Gyngell
Award-winning food blogger Beth Bentley makes weaning fun and simple with a combination of baby-led and spoon-fed nutritious, wholesome recipes that are packed full of flavour. Say goodbye to fruit-sweetened, unidentifiable purees and instead make real, delicious food that the whole family can enjoy.
Focusing on just a few great ingredients, clever flavour combinations and easy cooking methods, this is food that can be scaled up easily so that the family is able to enjoy the one meal – together; a practice that will help your baby develop good eating and social habits. And even better, the majority can be made using just one hand and just one pan!
Including recipes such as Rainbow Ragu, Sweet Potato Cookies, Baby Burrito Bowls and No-roast Chicken Pot Roast, this step-by-step guide will take you from the daunting first stages of weaning right up to one year, with confidence and excitement.
Including over 60 meals for both baby and mum, here are healthy, flavoursome recipes for a happy baby.
Virginia Wrathmell has always known she will meet her death on the marsh.
One snowy New Year's Eve, at the age of eighty-six, Virginia feels the time has finally come.
New Year's Eve, 1939. Virginia is ten, an orphan arriving to meet her new parents at their mysterious house, Salt Winds. Her new home sits on the edge of a vast marsh, a beautiful but dangerous place. War feels far away out here amongst the birds and shifting sands - until the day a German fighter plane crashes into the marsh. The people at Salt Winds are the only ones to see it.
What happens next is something Virginia will regret for the next seventy-five years, and which will change the whole course of her life.
‘A dazzling novel ... An unforgettable portrait of a man and a little-known land’ Sara Wheeler
Song is just a boy when he sets out from Lishui village in China. Brimming with courage and ambition, he leaves behind his impoverished broken family, hoping he’ll make his fortune and return home. Chasing tales of sugarcane, rubber and gold, Song embarks upon a perilous voyage across the globe to the British colony of Guiana, but once there he discovers riches are not so easy to come by and he is forced into labouring as an indentured plantation worker.
This is only the beginning of Song’s remarkable life, but as he finds himself between places and between peoples, and increasingly aware that the circumstances of birth carry more weight than accomplishments or good deeds, Song fears he may live as an outsider forever.
This beautifully written and evocative story spans nearly half a century and half the globe, and though it is set in another century, Song’s story of emigration and the quest for an opportunity to improve his life is timeless.
Do you remember what it was like to be a child? A time when your imagination would run rife and it was easy to imagine yourself as a superhero? What was your superpower? Flying at the speed of light, X-ray vision, invisibility or the ability to turn your brussels sprouts into ice cream?
In Creative Superpowers, we have assembled some of the world’s creative leaders to bring to life the modern skillset for creative problem-solving. It will help you re-learn key traits often forgotten from childhood, such as adaptability, curiosity, empathy and fearlessness; the superpowers of Hacking, Making, Teaching and Thieving.
The book includes contributions from architects, CEOs, creative directors, culture hackers, educators, fashion designers, marketers, musicians, storytellers and many more. People who will show you how hacking helps you tackle problems in different ways, how making opens up new parts of your brain, how teaching yourself and others consolidates experience in a fast-paced world and how looking to what already exists is a brilliant tool for solving problems.
Expect to come away inspired to use your newly learned creative superpowers to thrive in the Age of Creativity. The cape is optional.
The menopause. There - we've said it. It's a huge part of every woman's life and yet it remains one of society's last taboos. An emotionally complex issue that can trigger a whole host of physical and mental side effects, it's a big deal. So why aren't we talking about it?
Talking about stuff is what women do best; we share and offload, we laugh and we bond over the ridiculous and incredible things our bodies go through. Hearing other people's experiences is what makes our own so much more bearable - because we know that we aren't alone. This is the book that Andrea McLean wished for as she found herself in uncharted territory, grappling with the physical aftershock of a hysterectomy and the psychological fallout of a difficult menopause.
After announcing live on Loose Women that she would be absent from the screen as she recovered from surgery, Andrea was inundated with letters from other women struggling with the realities of the menopause, who were delighted that someone was finally talking openly and frankly about it. Typically candid, and including tips and tricks on diet, exercise and even your sex life, in Confessions of a Menopausal Woman Andrea brings her trademark humour and honesty to a very hot topic.
Vintage Feminism: classic feminist texts in short form
WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY JESS PHILLIPS
Soldier, criminal, militant, hooligan, revolutionary: these labels Emmeline Pankhurst took up and wore proudly in her long struggle for women’s suffrage. This shortened edition of her autobiography tells the inside story of this struggle: the tireless campaigning, the betrayals by men in power, the relentless round of arrests and hunger strikes, the horror of force-feeding. It is a reminder of the controversial means, the indomitable spirit and the sacrifices of life and liberty by which women won their political freedom.
ALSO IN THE VINTAGE FEMINIST SHORT SERIES:
The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf
Vintage Feminism: classic feminist texts in short form
WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY JEANETTE WINTERSON
‘What conditions are necessary for the creation of works of art?’ Security, confidence, independence, a degree of prosperity – a room of one’s own. All things denied to most women around the world living in Virginia Woolf’s time, and before her time, and since. In this funny, provoking and insightful polemic, Virginia Woolf challenges her audience of young women to work on even in obscurity, to cultivate the habit of freedom, and to exercise the courage to write exactly what we think.
ALSO IN THE VINTAGE FEMINIST SHORT SERIES:
The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf My Own Story by Emmeline Pankhurst
Haunting, uplifting, beautiful: the final work from Helen Dunmore
Helen Dunmore passed away in June 2017, leaving behind this remarkable collection of short stories. With her trademark imagination and gift for making history human, she explores the fragile ties between passion, love, family, friendship and grief, often through people facing turning points in their lives:
A girl alone, stretching her meagre budget to feed herself, becomes aware that the young man who has come to see her may not be as friendly as he seems.
Two women from very different backgrounds enjoy an unusual night out, finding solace in laughter and an unexpected friendship.
A young man picks up his infant son and goes outside into a starlit night as he makes a decision that will inform the rest of his life.
A woman imprisoned for her religion examines her faith in a seemingly literal and quietly original way.
This brilliant collection of Helen Dunmore’s short fiction, replete with her penetrating insight into the human condition, is certain to delight and move all her readers.
‘You empower yourself and then you reach out to others.’
Uplifting life lessons from one of the greatest leaders the world has ever known... through the eyes of the grandson whose life he changed forever.
In his book Going to the Mountain, Ndaba Mandela shares the story of his coming-of-age alongside South Africa’s rebirth. It is a remarkable journey, and one that took him from the violent, segregated Soweto ghettos to his grandfather’s presidential home.
As a young boy, Ndaba was constantly shunted from place to place. But at eleven years old he was unexpectedly invited to live with his grandfather, Nelson Mandela, even though he had met him only once before, during a prison visit. And, slowly, they built a relationship that would affect both of them profoundly.
Ndaba's teenage years were complicated, but as he approached his twenty-first birthday, Mandela decided that Ndaba was finally ready to ‘go to the mountain’ – a test of courage during which you become a man. At the end of this gruelling ritual journey, the elders of the Mandelas’ tribe gathered and Ndaba’s grandfather was there, as ever, to share his greatest life lessons.
From Nelson Mandela, Ndaba learned the spirit of endurance, the triumph of forgiveness, the power of resistance and the beauty of reconciliation. And as Mandela grew older, Ndaba had the chance to repay his grandfather’s love and support by demonstrating the ways in which he’d understood all that he had taught him.
Intimate and inspirational, Going to the Mountain is a powerful reminder of how one person can impact profoundly on another, and a testament to the awesome power within us to change ourselves and our world.
Mike Walker (Author)
, Al Weaver (Read by), Carl Prekopp (Read by), David Warner (Read by), Ed Stoppard (Read by), Full Cast (Read by), Luke Treadaway (Read by), Neil Stuke (Read by), Patrick Kennedy (Read by), Philip Jackson (Read by), Sam Troughton (Read by)
Inspired by Holinshed's Chronicles, this series of radio dramas about the Plantagenet dynasty tells the story of the birth of a new Europe after the dark ages. The issues of control, of freedom, of belief, and the temptations of power were new to an age which had no template for domination on this scale.
Henry II: What is a Man? - The first of the House of Anjou to be king of England, Henry II's long reign is beset by conflict with his sons. Starring David Warner as King Henry II and Jane Lapotaire as Queen Eleanor.
Richard I: Lionheart - Prince Richard has become heir apparent, but in the face of Henry II's refusal to acknowledge his position, he turns to the Crusades. Starring Ed Stoppard as Richard.
John, by the Grace of God - The fourth son of Henry II never expected to succeed to the English throne. When he does, he reveals a talent for making enemies. Starring Neil Stuke as King John.
Edward I: Old Soldiers - Edward Longshanks - the Hammer of the Scots - was grief-stricken after the death of his first wife. But he finds new love with Margaret, sister of the French King. Philip Jackson as Edward I and Ellie Kendrick as Margaret.
Edward II: The Greatest Traitor - While Edward's power is prey to his passions, his queen, Isabella, and his most powerful ally, Roger Mortimer, find a passion of their own. Starring Sam Troughton as Edward II.
Richard II: And All Our Dreams Will End in Death – Richard II, having proved his mettle in quelling the Peasants' Revolt, disappoints his courtiers as he pursues peace and culture as an alternative to fighting and swiving. Starring Patrick Kennedy as Richard II.
Henry V: True Believers - Young prince Hal will inherit an unstable throne, and a kingdom riven with heresy and rebellion. Victory over the rebel Hotspur will bring peace to England and glory to the king - but at what cost to the man? Starring Luke Treadaway as Hal.
Henry VI: A Simple Man - The once-great England of Henry V is bankrupt and losing territory in France, but the weak, idealistic Henry VI is incapacitated by bouts of insanity. Queen Margaret is forced to take up arms to protect her royal line. Starring Al Weaver as Henry VI and Aimee Ffion Edwards as Margaret.
Richard III: The Three Brothers: Edward IV manages to bring a modicum of stability to the kingdom of England, but discontent erupts into civil war after his death, and his brother Richard is forced to take drastic steps to uphold Plantagenet power. Starring Nancy Carroll as Queen Elizabeth, Simon Bubb as Edward IV and Carl Prekopp as Richard III.
Directed by Jeremy Mortimer, Jessica Dromgoole and Sasha Yevtushenko.
At 11.30 a.m. on Saturday 12 August 2000, two massive explosions roared through the shallow Arctic waters of the Barents Sea. The Kursk, pride of the Northern Fleet and the largest attack submarine in the world, was hurtling towards the ocean floor.
In Kursk (originally published as A Time to Die), award-winning journalist Robert Moore vividly recreates this disaster minute by minute. Venturing into a covert world where the Cold War continues out of sight, Moore investigates the military and political background to the tragedy. But above all, he tells the nail-bitingly poignant human story of the families waiting ashore, of the desperate efforts of British, Norwegian and Russian rescuers, and of the Kursk sailors, trapped in the aft compartnemt, waiting for rescue, as a horrified world followed their battle to stay alive . . .