I’ve written and presented five different programmes for a BBC radio four series this coming week. They shall be broadcast at 3.45pm from Monday to Friday. The series is called Into The Gap. The idea was formulated and transported through the commissioning process by producer Philip Sellars.
I have worked with Philip this past few years on documentaries particularly
concerned with travel: Songlines of steel on the Ghan train in Australia, An English Journey, following JB Priestley’s journey around England . By the time it was ready to record and produce Into The Gap Philip was no longer available so Neil George, whom I had worked with before on a programme abut British pubs named The Black Boy, took it on.
Off we went for 24 hours on location at Watford Gap Service Station to see what stories we could find inside the people inside the gap. And we found them, lots and lots of them. The experience I have gained through working with Philip over the past few years consolidated in the interviewing and script writing for this series.
On the first programme on Monday at 3.45pm I explored an idea. I found from the steps of the service station that the traffic on the motorway sounded like the sea. So I wrote the entire first script with reference to The Coleridge poem, The Ancient Mariner.
All this may pass by unnoticed by the listener, no matter it should work beyond the reference. This series is something I am proud of. Mostly I pride myself in respecting the Radio 4 listener. I should say that I treat the interviewees as if they are all radio four listeners, though some are patently not. Here’s a good place to let you know that I
shall be returning to BBC radio 4’s Saturday live too.
I don’t know what impression my writing like this gives you. But today the Radio Times announced Into The Gap as “Enchantingly Brilliant”. Jane Anderson says of the series “This is subject matter that definitely falls into my “only on radio four” category that
I would fight to the death to keep the station”. You can here the programme online too here.
31 Mar 2009
15:45–16:00 Episode 2 2/5. Lemn discovers exotic tales from Africa and an arranged marriage in operation.
1 Apr 2009
15:45–16:00 BBC Radio 4 Episode 3 3/5. Lemn encounters a Coronation Street actor going to a party and students going to Amsterdam
2 Apr 2009
15:45–16:00 BBC Radio 4 Episode 4 4/5. Lemn meets a family who work at the services and a lorry driver whose coy carp just died.
3 Apr 2009
15:45–16:00 BBC Radio 4 (FM only) Episode 5 5/5. Lemn meets two businessmen with thermal imaging cameras.