RADIO WEEK; Susan Jeffreys Picks the Best of the Week's Radio

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Fever Pitch and My Teenage Diary give us adolescent angst and laughs. Tom Ripley hears a voice from beyond the grave in Ripley Under Water, while Beryl Bainbridge and others wonder if you can have A Good Death. There are frightening revelations about mind control in The Medicalisation Of Normality and Revealing The Mind Bender General, and headlong bravery in The Men Who Fell To Earth. Bill Nighy gets lascivious over Vongole, while Johnny Vegas and Ricky Tomlinson get in trouble over A Question Of Royalty. And there's live music for every taste throughout the schedules in this perfect mix of a week.


Fever Pitch Monday- Friday, 1pm, BBC Radio 7 ****

Giving no thought to the pain it would bring, Nick Hornby falls inexplicably, uncritically in love with football. All this week, he reads from his bestselling account of agony and ecstasy on the terraces of Highbury.

Safety Catch Wednesday, 11.30am, Radio 4 ****

Simon thinks of himself as a thoroughly decent, liberal kind of chap, despite having a job as an arms dealer. First of a new run of the controversial comedy drama, which will draw complaints, but is a finely done satire about an ordinary bloke who gets caught up in a dirty business in order to pay his bills.

A Question Of Royalty Wednesday, 2.15pm, Radio 4 ***

Johnny Vegas, who's always so good on radio, and Ricky Tomlinson play two plasterers who steal the Queen's wedding certificate and spark a constitutional crisis A comedy drama inspired by real events.

My Teenage Diary Wednesday, 11pm, Radio 4 ***

Bravely, six comedians read extracts from their teenage diaries, all pimples and pentup passion, and tell the background story to the angst they've spilt on to the pages. Truelife Adrian Mole stuff from Richard Herring, Russell Kane, Josie Long and others

With Great Pleasure Thursday, 11.30am, Radio 4 ****

Playwright and all-round good thing Alan Ayckbourn picks some of his favourite pieces of prose and poetry, plumping for comedy pretty much every time. There's some prime-quality Wodehouse, an extract from Winnie The Pooh, a cautionary tale from Hilaire Belloc, and more.

4 Stands Up Thursday, 6.30pm, Radio 4 ***

Chris Addison, the fresh-faced stand-up comedian, presents a new, six-part series of up-and-coming stand-up acts from around the country. A bit of a mixed bag, but there's some good stuff in the mix.


The Medicalisation Of Normality Monday, 9pm, Radio 4 ****

New mood-controlling drugs, developed to alleviate serious mental illness, are also being used to 'treat' perfectly normal states of mind and behaviour. John Naish wonders where our heads are headed.

The Essay: A Good Death Monday- Friday, 11pm, Radio 3 ****

The Greeks and Romans thought a 'good death' came heroically, on the battlefield. We think a 'good death' is a painless, dignified slipping away, surrounded by loved ones. This week's essays compare past and present attitudes to death.

The Men Who Fell To Earth Tuesday, 11am, Radio 4 ****

Sports commentator John McDonald was in the 1st Parachute Battalion. In 1981, he sustained multiple injuries when his 'chute failed to open. John tells the dangerous story of military parachuting, and hears from other survivors. Heroic stuff.

File On 4 Tuesday, 8pm, Radio 4 ****

Criminal gangs are taking out fraudulent mortgages on other people's homes, using the Land Registry as a way of getting the information they need. Shari Vahl reports on a white-collar crime that could leave you homeless. Truly alarming.

Wasting Away In The Outback Tuesday, 9pm, Radio 4 ***

A group of Australian Aborigines have volunteered to have some of their land used as a nuclear waste dump - in exchange for 12 million Australian dollars. …