Radio Week; TIM FANNING Picks the Best of This Week's Radio

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Talking History SUNDAY, 7PM, NEWSTALK ****

George Bernard Shaw is regarded as one of the finest playwrights in the English language, so why is he no longer celebrated in his country of birth? Patrick Geoghegan mulls over this conundrum and other aspects of Shaw with his panel.

Book Of The Week: The Popes MONDAY, 9.45AM (FM), 12.30AM, BBC RADIO 4 ****

John Julius Norwich reads from his recent book that traces the papal line from St Peter to Benedict XVI. From the pope who fathered eight children to the story of the supposed female pope, we hear about the grace and the disgrace of those who have held the papacy.

Arts Tonight MONDAY, 10.02PM, RTE RADIO 1 ***

French film director Agnes Varda, who has been working in cinema for over half a century, talks about her prolific career at the forefront of the New Wave.

Mathilda MONDAY, 10.45PM, BBC RADIO 4 ****

All this week, Emilia Fox reads this strange and passionate work by Mary Shelley. Told from a deathbed, Mathilda is a tale of guilt, incest and suicide. It was written in 1820, but not published until 1959 - and still has the power to disturb.

Where The God Of Love Hangs Out MONDAY, 11.15PM, RTE RADIO 1 ***

Love is the theme of this bestselling collection of short stories from Amy Bloom, read all this week by Karen Cogan.

Unreliable Evidence WEDNESDAY, 8PM, BBC RADIO 4 ****

Clive Anderson chews over the business of fighting terrorism and protecting civil liberties with a panel of experts. Precharge detention, deportation and stopand-search will be up for discussion.

In Our Time THURSDAY, 9AM (FM), 9.30PM, BBC RADIO 4 ***

Melvyn Bragg and guests look at theories as to where early European settlers' metal-making skills came from.

It's Your Round THURSDAY, 11PM, BBC RADIO 4 ***

A quartet of entertainers, including former Big Breakfast host Johnny Vaughan and comedian Alan Davies, pitch into this anarchic panel game that has the competitors making up the rounds. Angus Deayton is in the chair - he gets to make up the rules.


What's In A Meme? TUESDAY, 11.30AM, BBC RADIO 4 ***

Memes spread across the internet like crazes in a playground. Videos of cats attacking printers get forwarded around the world. Psychologist Susan Blackmore wonders why we get hooked on creating and spreading these memes.

House Beautiful THURSDAY, 11.30AM, BBC RADIO 4 ....

Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen strides through Leighton House, in London, gazing upon splendour. Visitors to this Victorian artist's house would wonder how they could gussy up their rooms to look like Lord Leighton's. Laurence traces the effect on modern interior design.

Different Voices: Pura Vida SATURDAY, 7AM, NEWSTALK ***

What exactly does 'carbon neutral' mean? And what are the benefits of being 'carbon neutral' to cities, communities and economies? Susan Cahill travels to Costa Rica and Sweden to see how these countries are rethinking energy policy.

The Music Of The New Deal SATURDAY, 12.15PM, BBC RADIO 3 ***

Twelve long-lost records from the 1930s have just been discovered in the New York Public Library. They are classical music broadcasts, funded by Roosevelt's New Deal. Nicholas Hytner tells the story behind an American experiment that saw the arts flourish during a severe economic depression. …