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Midweek

BBC Radio 4

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Midweek
Midweek

Midweek

BBC Radio 4

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Followers
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Plays
OVERVIEWEPISODESYOU MAY ALSO LIKE

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Lively and diverse conversation with weekly guests

Latest Episodes

Harriet Walter, Richard Curtis, Suzi Quatro, Declan Murphy

Actor Dame Harriet Walter; writer and director Richard Curtis; singer and songwriter Suzi Quatro and former jockey Declan Murphy join Libby Purves for the final edition of Midweek. Richard Curtis CBE is a writer, director and campaigner. His films include Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, Bridget Jones's Diary, Mr Bean, Love Actually and The Boat That Rocked. His television comedies include Blackadder and the Vicar of Dibley. He is vice-chair of Comic Relief which he co-founded after visiting Ethiopia during the 1985 famine. He has co-produced the Red Nose Day Live night for the BBC since 1988 and the charity has made over £1 billion for projects in Africa and the UK. Red Nose Day USA is broadcast in May. Declan Murphy is a former jockey who survived a catastrophic fall at Haydock Park in May 1994. His injuries were so severe that the Racing Post published his obituary. In his memoir, Centaur, he recounts his upbringing in rural Limerick, his life as a leading amateur jock...

41 MIN2017 MAR 29
Comments
Harriet Walter, Richard Curtis, Suzi Quatro, Declan Murphy

Alfie Boe, John Agard, Katy Brand, Allan Jenkins

Tenor Alfie Boe, poet John Agard, writer Allan Jenkins, and comedian and writer Katy Brand join Libby Purves. Alfie Boe is one of our most popular tenors. He is starring as Billy Bigelow in Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel alongside Katherine Jenkins at ENO's London Coliseum. He has performed in opera and musical theatre alike, from Baz Luhrmann's La Boheme on Broadway to leading the cast of Les Miserables in the West End. The youngest of nine children, he left school to work as a mechanic before being plucked off the shop-floor to stardom. Carousel is at ENO's London Coliseum. John Agard is a poet. Winner of the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry, his new show Roll Over Atlantic is a reimagining of the voyage of Christopher Columbus and his discovery of the 'New World'. Born and educated in Guyana, John came to the UK in 1977. His most famous poems explore identity and belonging and he writes for children as well as adults and is well known for his skill in performing poetry. Roll Ove...

41 MIN2017 MAR 22
Comments
Alfie Boe, John Agard, Katy Brand, Allan Jenkins

Omid Djalili; Diana Moran; Jack Thorne; Dashni Morad.

Comedian and actor Omid Djalili; playwright Jack Thorne; fitness expert Diana Moran and singer and presenter Dashni Morad join Libby Purves. Diana Moran is well known as The Green Goddess who, back in the 1980s and clad in emerald green lycra, encouraged television viewers to shape up. Her new book Sod Sitting, Get Moving! urges people in their 60s, 70s and 80s to exercise and eat healthily to help with fitness, strength and suppleness in their later years. The former catwalk model discovered the joy of keeping fit in her 30s as she convalesced from a major operation, devising her own exercise regime to help her recovery. Sod Sitting, Get Moving! By Diana Moran and Muir Gray is published by Green Tree. Dashni Morad is a television presenter and singer. She is a former Kurdish refugee whose family fled from Iraq and Saddam Hussein's persecution when she was five. The family finally settled in the Netherlands where her broadcasting career blossomed. Dashni set up a charity, Green Kids...

41 MIN2017 MAR 15
Comments
Omid Djalili; Diana Moran; Jack Thorne; Dashni Morad.

David Rodigan; Loudon Wainwright III; Jackie Malton; Hisham Matar

Singer and songwriter Loudon Wainwright III; reggae DJ David Rodigan; former detective Jackie Malton and writer Hisham Matar join Libby Purves. David 'RamJam' Rodigan MBE is a DJ, famed for his selections of reggae and dancehall music. He has played on stations from Capital 95.8 and Kiss to BBC 1Xtra and Radio 2 and is a regular on the club and festival circuit. A 65-year-old white man from Oxford who speaks in RP, he seems the very antithesis of the music that he loves and represents. In 2012 he won the highest reggae sound system honour by winning the World Clash Re-Set contest in New York. His autobiography, Rodigan: My Life in Reggae is published by Constable. Hisham Matar is a Libyan writer and the son of Jaballa Matar, a prominent political activist who opposed Colonel Gaddafi's regime. When Hisham was 19 his father was kidnapped while the family were living in exile in Cairo. Hisham would never see his father again. After the fall of Gaddafi in 2011 Hisham was finally able to...

40 MIN2017 MAR 8
Comments
David Rodigan; Loudon Wainwright III; Jackie Malton; Hisham Matar

Patti Boulaye, Charlie Condou, Tracy Tynan and David Toole.

Singer Patti Boulaye; dancer David Toole; actor Charlie Condou and costume designer Tracy Tynan join Libby Purves. David Toole is an actor and dancer who played a starring role in the 2012 Paralympic Opening Ceremony. Born without the use of his legs, he turned his back on a job with the post office to study at the Laban Centre of Movement and Dance and follow his dream of becoming a dancer. He is performing with Stopgap Dance Company in The Enormous Room, a new touring piece about grief and the relationship between a father and daughter. The Enormous Room is at Lilian Baylis Studio, Sadler's Wells before heading off on tour. Patti Boulaye OBE is a singer and actor. Her autobiography, The Faith of a Child, charts her life growing up in Nigeria during the Biafran War to her West End debut in the musical Hair. In her new show, Billie and Me, she considers the parallels between Billie Holiday's troubled life and her own - at times difficult - experiences. The production starts its UK t...

41 MIN2017 MAR 1
Comments
Patti Boulaye, Charlie Condou, Tracy Tynan and David Toole.

Patrick Stewart; Shappi Khorsandi; Oscar Duke; Mischa Pearson.

Actor Sir Patrick Stewart; comedian and writer Shappi Khorsandi; medic Oscar Duke and charity worker Mischa Pearson join Libby Purves. Mischa Pearson set up the Teapot Project in Ipswich, Suffolk. The charity collects good food from restaurants and supermarkets that would otherwise go to waste and distributes it to the local homeless through charities, youth hostels and churches. As a teenager Mischa was homeless for two years and spent time living in hostels before finding employment in the catering business. Around 4,000 people a month benefit from meals provided by the Teapot Project and there are plans to open a new café with an adjacent food boutique offering ''pay as you feel' produce in the heart of the town. Sir Patrick Stewart is an actor. He plays Professor Charles Xavier in Logan, the latest in the American superhero series of X-Men films. Patrick has appeared on Broadway and West End stages in productions ranging from A Life in the Theatre, The Master Builder, and The T...

41 MIN2017 FEB 22
Comments
Patrick Stewart; Shappi Khorsandi; Oscar Duke; Mischa Pearson.

Michael Mosley, Camille O'Sullivan, Peter Laws, Pradyumna Kumar

Broadcaster Michael Mosley; singer and actor Camille O'Sullivan; Baptist minister and writer Peter Laws and artist Pradyumna Kumar join Libby Purves. Peter Laws is an ordained Baptist minister who has written his debut crime novel, Purged. The protagonist is Matt Hunter, a sociology professor who also assists the police tackle religiously-motivated crimes. Peter also hosts a podcast and YouTube show, The Flicks That Church Forgot, which reviews horror films from a theological perspective. Purged by Peter Laws is published by Allison and Busby. Pradyumna Kumar, known as PK, was born in a remote part of Orissa in eastern India. His childhood as an untouchable was one of hardship and prejudice. Yet during these years, he kept a palm leaf bearing an astrologer's prophecy: 'You will marry a girl who is not from the village, not even from the country; she will be musical, own a jungle and be born under the sign of the ox'. It was a prophecy that would come true, but only after a 7,000 mil...

41 MIN2017 FEB 15
Comments
Michael Mosley, Camille O'Sullivan, Peter Laws, Pradyumna Kumar

Levison Wood; Kimberley Chambers; John de St Jorre; Annie Siddons.

Explorer and writer Levison Wood; author Kimberley Chambers; journalist and writer John de St Jorre and performer and playwright Annie Siddons join Libby Purves. Kimberley Chambers is a former market trader, DJ and minicab driver who is now a best-selling author. She came to fiction late in life, writing during her down time as a cabbie. Inspired by her 'colourful life', the books are gritty crime novels with a twist of dark humour set in and around London's East End and featuring a cast of spirited characters. Her latest release, Backstabber is published by Harper Collins. John de St Jorre is a journalist and writer. In his memoir, Darling Baby Mine, he writes about the search for his mother who was erased from the family history. Unable to find so much as a photo of her, the distant memory of a woman laughing while smoking is the only image of her he has. He grew up in wartime Britain under the care of his father and stepmother and it wasn't until he reached adulthood that he bega...

41 MIN2017 FEB 8
Comments
Levison Wood; Kimberley Chambers; John de St Jorre; Annie Siddons.

Professor Femi Oyebode; Sheila Kohler; Stephen Boxer; Heloise Tunstall-Behrens

Actor Stephen Boxer; writer Sheila Kohler; psychiatrist and poet Professor Femi Oyebode and composer Heloise Tunstall-Behrens join Libby Purves. Heloise Tunstall-Behrens is a composer and bee-keeper. Her new work The Swarm, a 60-minute opera performed by the Quorum, follows a swarm of bees in their search for a new home as they encounter a deadly extractor fan, a thunder storm and a fierce debate over two potential sites on which to build a hive. Inspiration for the piece came after Heloise inserted a recording device into her hives during a particularly dynamic phase of swarming. The Swarm is at the Vault Festival, The Vaults, London SE1 . Professor Femi Oyebode is professor of psychiatry and head of department at the University of Birmingham. Winner of the Royal College of Psychiatrists Lifetime Achievement Award, he has also written six volumes of poetry. Professor Oyebode believes medicine is increasingly technology-based, meaning the patient can easily get lost, and he regards ...

41 MIN2017 FEB 1
Comments
Professor Femi Oyebode; Sheila Kohler; Stephen Boxer; Heloise Tunstall-Behrens

Evelyn Glennie; Milton Jones; Xiaolu Guo; Arno Geiger.

Percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie; comedian Milton Jones; writer and filmmaker Xiaolu Guo and novelist Arno Geiger meet Libby Purves. Evelyn Glennie is an award-winning percussionist. She played the first percussion concerto in the history of The Proms at the Albert Hall in 1992, which paved the way for orchestras around the world to feature percussion concerti. She also played a leading role role in the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games. Profoundly deaf since childhood, she set out to use her body as a resonating chamber, 'hearing' partly through her bare feet on the floor. As part of the Celtic Connections Festival she is playing a new piece marking the 70th anniversary of the partition of India alongside fellow percussionist Trilok Gurtu. The Rhythm in Me premieres at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. Xiaolu Guo is a Chinese born writer and film-maker. In her memoir, Once Upon a Time in the East, she recounts her tumultuous life from meeting her parents for the first ti...

41 MIN2017 JAN 25
Comments
Evelyn Glennie; Milton Jones; Xiaolu Guo; Arno Geiger.

Latest Episodes

Harriet Walter, Richard Curtis, Suzi Quatro, Declan Murphy

Actor Dame Harriet Walter; writer and director Richard Curtis; singer and songwriter Suzi Quatro and former jockey Declan Murphy join Libby Purves for the final edition of Midweek. Richard Curtis CBE is a writer, director and campaigner. His films include Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, Bridget Jones's Diary, Mr Bean, Love Actually and The Boat That Rocked. His television comedies include Blackadder and the Vicar of Dibley. He is vice-chair of Comic Relief which he co-founded after visiting Ethiopia during the 1985 famine. He has co-produced the Red Nose Day Live night for the BBC since 1988 and the charity has made over £1 billion for projects in Africa and the UK. Red Nose Day USA is broadcast in May. Declan Murphy is a former jockey who survived a catastrophic fall at Haydock Park in May 1994. His injuries were so severe that the Racing Post published his obituary. In his memoir, Centaur, he recounts his upbringing in rural Limerick, his life as a leading amateur jock...

41 MIN2017 MAR 29
Comments
Harriet Walter, Richard Curtis, Suzi Quatro, Declan Murphy

Alfie Boe, John Agard, Katy Brand, Allan Jenkins

Tenor Alfie Boe, poet John Agard, writer Allan Jenkins, and comedian and writer Katy Brand join Libby Purves. Alfie Boe is one of our most popular tenors. He is starring as Billy Bigelow in Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel alongside Katherine Jenkins at ENO's London Coliseum. He has performed in opera and musical theatre alike, from Baz Luhrmann's La Boheme on Broadway to leading the cast of Les Miserables in the West End. The youngest of nine children, he left school to work as a mechanic before being plucked off the shop-floor to stardom. Carousel is at ENO's London Coliseum. John Agard is a poet. Winner of the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry, his new show Roll Over Atlantic is a reimagining of the voyage of Christopher Columbus and his discovery of the 'New World'. Born and educated in Guyana, John came to the UK in 1977. His most famous poems explore identity and belonging and he writes for children as well as adults and is well known for his skill in performing poetry. Roll Ove...

41 MIN2017 MAR 22
Comments
Alfie Boe, John Agard, Katy Brand, Allan Jenkins

Omid Djalili; Diana Moran; Jack Thorne; Dashni Morad.

Comedian and actor Omid Djalili; playwright Jack Thorne; fitness expert Diana Moran and singer and presenter Dashni Morad join Libby Purves. Diana Moran is well known as The Green Goddess who, back in the 1980s and clad in emerald green lycra, encouraged television viewers to shape up. Her new book Sod Sitting, Get Moving! urges people in their 60s, 70s and 80s to exercise and eat healthily to help with fitness, strength and suppleness in their later years. The former catwalk model discovered the joy of keeping fit in her 30s as she convalesced from a major operation, devising her own exercise regime to help her recovery. Sod Sitting, Get Moving! By Diana Moran and Muir Gray is published by Green Tree. Dashni Morad is a television presenter and singer. She is a former Kurdish refugee whose family fled from Iraq and Saddam Hussein's persecution when she was five. The family finally settled in the Netherlands where her broadcasting career blossomed. Dashni set up a charity, Green Kids...

41 MIN2017 MAR 15
Comments
Omid Djalili; Diana Moran; Jack Thorne; Dashni Morad.

David Rodigan; Loudon Wainwright III; Jackie Malton; Hisham Matar

Singer and songwriter Loudon Wainwright III; reggae DJ David Rodigan; former detective Jackie Malton and writer Hisham Matar join Libby Purves. David 'RamJam' Rodigan MBE is a DJ, famed for his selections of reggae and dancehall music. He has played on stations from Capital 95.8 and Kiss to BBC 1Xtra and Radio 2 and is a regular on the club and festival circuit. A 65-year-old white man from Oxford who speaks in RP, he seems the very antithesis of the music that he loves and represents. In 2012 he won the highest reggae sound system honour by winning the World Clash Re-Set contest in New York. His autobiography, Rodigan: My Life in Reggae is published by Constable. Hisham Matar is a Libyan writer and the son of Jaballa Matar, a prominent political activist who opposed Colonel Gaddafi's regime. When Hisham was 19 his father was kidnapped while the family were living in exile in Cairo. Hisham would never see his father again. After the fall of Gaddafi in 2011 Hisham was finally able to...

40 MIN2017 MAR 8
Comments
David Rodigan; Loudon Wainwright III; Jackie Malton; Hisham Matar

Patti Boulaye, Charlie Condou, Tracy Tynan and David Toole.

Singer Patti Boulaye; dancer David Toole; actor Charlie Condou and costume designer Tracy Tynan join Libby Purves. David Toole is an actor and dancer who played a starring role in the 2012 Paralympic Opening Ceremony. Born without the use of his legs, he turned his back on a job with the post office to study at the Laban Centre of Movement and Dance and follow his dream of becoming a dancer. He is performing with Stopgap Dance Company in The Enormous Room, a new touring piece about grief and the relationship between a father and daughter. The Enormous Room is at Lilian Baylis Studio, Sadler's Wells before heading off on tour. Patti Boulaye OBE is a singer and actor. Her autobiography, The Faith of a Child, charts her life growing up in Nigeria during the Biafran War to her West End debut in the musical Hair. In her new show, Billie and Me, she considers the parallels between Billie Holiday's troubled life and her own - at times difficult - experiences. The production starts its UK t...

41 MIN2017 MAR 1
Comments
Patti Boulaye, Charlie Condou, Tracy Tynan and David Toole.

Patrick Stewart; Shappi Khorsandi; Oscar Duke; Mischa Pearson.

Actor Sir Patrick Stewart; comedian and writer Shappi Khorsandi; medic Oscar Duke and charity worker Mischa Pearson join Libby Purves. Mischa Pearson set up the Teapot Project in Ipswich, Suffolk. The charity collects good food from restaurants and supermarkets that would otherwise go to waste and distributes it to the local homeless through charities, youth hostels and churches. As a teenager Mischa was homeless for two years and spent time living in hostels before finding employment in the catering business. Around 4,000 people a month benefit from meals provided by the Teapot Project and there are plans to open a new café with an adjacent food boutique offering ''pay as you feel' produce in the heart of the town. Sir Patrick Stewart is an actor. He plays Professor Charles Xavier in Logan, the latest in the American superhero series of X-Men films. Patrick has appeared on Broadway and West End stages in productions ranging from A Life in the Theatre, The Master Builder, and The T...

41 MIN2017 FEB 22
Comments
Patrick Stewart; Shappi Khorsandi; Oscar Duke; Mischa Pearson.

Michael Mosley, Camille O'Sullivan, Peter Laws, Pradyumna Kumar

Broadcaster Michael Mosley; singer and actor Camille O'Sullivan; Baptist minister and writer Peter Laws and artist Pradyumna Kumar join Libby Purves. Peter Laws is an ordained Baptist minister who has written his debut crime novel, Purged. The protagonist is Matt Hunter, a sociology professor who also assists the police tackle religiously-motivated crimes. Peter also hosts a podcast and YouTube show, The Flicks That Church Forgot, which reviews horror films from a theological perspective. Purged by Peter Laws is published by Allison and Busby. Pradyumna Kumar, known as PK, was born in a remote part of Orissa in eastern India. His childhood as an untouchable was one of hardship and prejudice. Yet during these years, he kept a palm leaf bearing an astrologer's prophecy: 'You will marry a girl who is not from the village, not even from the country; she will be musical, own a jungle and be born under the sign of the ox'. It was a prophecy that would come true, but only after a 7,000 mil...

41 MIN2017 FEB 15
Comments
Michael Mosley, Camille O'Sullivan, Peter Laws, Pradyumna Kumar

Levison Wood; Kimberley Chambers; John de St Jorre; Annie Siddons.

Explorer and writer Levison Wood; author Kimberley Chambers; journalist and writer John de St Jorre and performer and playwright Annie Siddons join Libby Purves. Kimberley Chambers is a former market trader, DJ and minicab driver who is now a best-selling author. She came to fiction late in life, writing during her down time as a cabbie. Inspired by her 'colourful life', the books are gritty crime novels with a twist of dark humour set in and around London's East End and featuring a cast of spirited characters. Her latest release, Backstabber is published by Harper Collins. John de St Jorre is a journalist and writer. In his memoir, Darling Baby Mine, he writes about the search for his mother who was erased from the family history. Unable to find so much as a photo of her, the distant memory of a woman laughing while smoking is the only image of her he has. He grew up in wartime Britain under the care of his father and stepmother and it wasn't until he reached adulthood that he bega...

41 MIN2017 FEB 8
Comments
Levison Wood; Kimberley Chambers; John de St Jorre; Annie Siddons.

Professor Femi Oyebode; Sheila Kohler; Stephen Boxer; Heloise Tunstall-Behrens

Actor Stephen Boxer; writer Sheila Kohler; psychiatrist and poet Professor Femi Oyebode and composer Heloise Tunstall-Behrens join Libby Purves. Heloise Tunstall-Behrens is a composer and bee-keeper. Her new work The Swarm, a 60-minute opera performed by the Quorum, follows a swarm of bees in their search for a new home as they encounter a deadly extractor fan, a thunder storm and a fierce debate over two potential sites on which to build a hive. Inspiration for the piece came after Heloise inserted a recording device into her hives during a particularly dynamic phase of swarming. The Swarm is at the Vault Festival, The Vaults, London SE1 . Professor Femi Oyebode is professor of psychiatry and head of department at the University of Birmingham. Winner of the Royal College of Psychiatrists Lifetime Achievement Award, he has also written six volumes of poetry. Professor Oyebode believes medicine is increasingly technology-based, meaning the patient can easily get lost, and he regards ...

41 MIN2017 FEB 1
Comments
Professor Femi Oyebode; Sheila Kohler; Stephen Boxer; Heloise Tunstall-Behrens

Evelyn Glennie; Milton Jones; Xiaolu Guo; Arno Geiger.

Percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie; comedian Milton Jones; writer and filmmaker Xiaolu Guo and novelist Arno Geiger meet Libby Purves. Evelyn Glennie is an award-winning percussionist. She played the first percussion concerto in the history of The Proms at the Albert Hall in 1992, which paved the way for orchestras around the world to feature percussion concerti. She also played a leading role role in the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games. Profoundly deaf since childhood, she set out to use her body as a resonating chamber, 'hearing' partly through her bare feet on the floor. As part of the Celtic Connections Festival she is playing a new piece marking the 70th anniversary of the partition of India alongside fellow percussionist Trilok Gurtu. The Rhythm in Me premieres at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. Xiaolu Guo is a Chinese born writer and film-maker. In her memoir, Once Upon a Time in the East, she recounts her tumultuous life from meeting her parents for the first ti...

41 MIN2017 JAN 25
Comments
Evelyn Glennie; Milton Jones; Xiaolu Guo; Arno Geiger.