How to Play

We eavesdrop on rehearsals as the young cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra prepare for a performance of Elgar’s Cello Concerto.
Radio 4: July 2020


Home Birds

Naturalist Brett Westwood considers the journeys that both cuckoos and people make from the DRC to get to the UK. Exploring why and how they come and perils encountered en route.
Radio 4: July 2020


Write Brummie

A portrait of a writing day in Birmingham. With specially composed verse by Gregory Leadbetter.
Radio 4: Feb 2020


Wild Geese

A few years ago, a man committed a crime and spent time in prison. In this programme, a group of his friends explore the role a poem played in their collective story. The poem is Wild Geese by the recently deceased American poet Mary Oliver.
Radio 4: July 2019


Concerts Inside

Ex-inmate Carl Cattermole explores the power of concerts that have taken place in jails.
Radio 4: June 2019


The Piano Man

Uli Gerhartz and I joined forces to make a programme about his incredible work preparing Steinway pianos for the world’s leading pianists. A study in dedication and goodwill. Who knew that pianos could sound so very different from each other?
Radio 4: March 2018


Ich Habe Genug

What a pleasure to make another edition of Soul Music for Radio 4. And what a piece of music!
Radio 4: January 2018


Open Country: Visions of Birmingham

A fascinating collaboration with Adrian Goldberg as we met brilliant people transforming Birmingham’s landscape for the future. John Christophers and Jo Hindley’s Zero Carbon House in Balsall Heath was mind blowing:
Radio 4: January 2018


Composer of the Week: Alexander Goehr

I've recently had the great pleasure of making a Composer of the Week for Radio 3. It was a daunting task because I'm in awe of this strand. But nerves were soon put aside for the sheer privilege of meeting and listening to the life story and music of composer Alexander Goehr and working alongside Donald Macleod. 
Radio 3: 11th - 15th Sept 2017


Behind the Scenes: Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla

Verity Sharp and I had a wonderful time making this documentary with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Their new conductor Mirga is a force of nature and every encounter with her was inspirational.


All in a Chord

Ivan Hewett and I have made a series for Radio 4 about ways in which musical chords reflect the date in which they were conceived. For the Mahler programme we talked with composer David Matthews and psychoanalyst Anthony Cantle.
Here's the series:


Fantasy Festival

We made a pilot for a new series for Radio 4.  Children's author Frank Cottrell Boyce was guided by presenter Tim Samuels to create the festival of his wildest dreams

The Documentary - The Rhetoric of Cancer

Andrew Graystone and I made a programme for the World Service questioning the language used to describe the experience of having cancer.


Something Understood: The Greatest of these is Love?

Beginning with I Corinthians 13, John McCarthy was joined by writer Salley Vickers to consider the centrality of love in our lives.

Something Understood: Holding Hands

John McCarthy reflected on the significance of holding hands as an act of  trust, commitment, unity and love between human beings.  Featuring an interview with Professor Tony Pinching

Something Understood - Pieta

John McCarthy explored the significance of the Pieta in art and life. With Anthony Gormley