On Holiday with Nietzsche

BBC Radio 3; Spring 2019

Ken Hollings’ encounters with Friedrich Nietzsche…whilst on holiday in Europe.

Rewiring Raymond Scott

BBC Radio 3; 2019

Raymond Scott – electronic engineer, inventor, musician, composer. Ken Hollings tells the story of how this overlooked pioneering  American changed the sonic landscape of the twentieth century and how his legacy is now inspiring a growing number of composers in the twenty first.



Along the Peaceline

BBC Radio 4

Two Northern Irish writers, Maria Fusco and Glenn Patterson, separately revisit a ‘peaceline’ from their youth in the city they both grew up in, Belfast. They reflect on their own place and identity within the city’s turbulent past and its now rapidly changing landscape.

“….absorbing…” Guardian

“….fascinating and moving…” Telegraph

A Radio 4 Pick of the Week

Echo in a Bottle

BBC Radio 4

Composer Sarah Angliss weaves a beguiling sound tapestry around the echo.

The Observer’s Pick of the Week

A Radio 4 Pick of the Week

The programme can be heard via our Soundcloud site here

Dancing the Poem

BBC Radio 4

Two choreographers illuminate their different takes on how poetry and dance interrelate, playing, as poetry and dance both do, between the said and the unsaid, between the rhythms of words and the rhythms of the body.

Whatcha Doin’, Marshall McLuhan?

BBC Radio 3

“…riveting programme, very sharply put together…Sunday Times

Ken Hollings looks back at the life and work of academic and 60s counterculture hero Marshall McLuhan and asks how well his theories on the relationship between media and society stand up today.

Runner-up; Best UK Audio Award (Professional) category, Telling Tales documentary festival 2018

The programme can be heard via the BBC website here

The Danube Ain’t Blue, It’s Green

BBC Radio 4

The musician and humorist Rainer Hersch reassesses the classical piece ‘Blue Danube’, tracing its history from nineteenth century waltz to Nazi morale booster to the Vienna of today.

Leaving The Fold

BBC World Service

“…sensitive and thoughtful documentary…Telegraph

An exploration through personal testimony of the difficult, often traumatic journey of religious disaffiliation.

Winner of the Best UK Audio Award, Telling Tales documentary festival 2017

A Radio 4 Pick of the Week.

The programme can be heard via the BBC website here

Cutting up the Cut-Up

BBC Radio 4

          “…an innovative delight…a glorious half hour of radio…”  Telegraph

Digital technology has allowed multi-media satirists like Cassetteboy to mock politicians and tv celebs by meticulously ‘cutting up’ or re-editing their broadcast speeches or interviews. The technique’s become something of a phenomenon.

The writer Ken Hollings traces the evolution and impact of recorded voice cut-ups, both as art and satire. Contributors include Cassetteboy and Armando Iannucci.

A Radio 4 Pick of the Week.

Cutting Up the Cut-Up can be heard via the BBC website here

You can also listen to the Cutcast Up-Pod, a special podcast about the techniques some of the artists featured in Cutting Up the Cut-Up have used to make their own audio cut-ups.

Fast and Furioso

BBC Radio 4

Speedy fingers on guitars, pianos and violins have bred supercharged performances. Musical skill is rising to new levels across all genres.

In Fast and Furioso pianist and entertainer Rainer Hersch tries to make sense of this new phenomenon. He meets various musical virtuosi and asks if you can describe anything this furious as music or whether it’s just an extreme display of a strange musical gift.

The programme can be heard via the BBC website here

Fast and Furioso was a BBC Radio 4 Documentary of the Week and appeared on Radio 4’s Pick of the Week.

The Buchan Tradition

BBC Radio 4

“…superb…top documentary…”  The Oldie

The Scottish writer John Buchan may be best known for his thriller The Thirty Nine Steps but he also wrote over a hundred other books, including biographies, poetry, historical novels and short stories. Nicholas Rankin examines Buchan’s literary legacy and the significance of his work today.

The programme can be heard via the BBC website here

Codename: Madeleine

BBC World Service

Shahidha Bari traces the extraordinary story of Noor Inayat Khan, the World War 2 secret agent deployed by the British Special Operations Executive as a radio operator in Occupied France.

Woolf in the Jungle

BBC Radio 4

“…one of those radio gems…sparkling with insight…” The Spectator

Nicholas Rankin looks back at Leonard Woolf’s time as a colonial officer in Sri Lanka at the turn of the twentieth century, before he married his soon-to-be famous wife Virginia. Rankin finds out how Woolf turned his observations and experiences in then Ceylon into what became a pioneering work of English fiction, The Village in the Jungle.