London Nights

Writer Andrea Levy presents ten anthologies of short pieces for radio that capture a certain off-beat spirit of London and Londoners - a whole world of experience within one sprawling city.

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0120100705

In this first programme, we join the crew of one of London's police helicopters looking down on city streets as they carve their circling way through the London sky on the shortest night of the year; on the ground, Andrea hears from Zimbabwean David Mwanaka who farms 60 - yes 60 - acres in Enfield, growing white maize; and on the final day of paid-for local newspapers on the streets of London, Alan Dein talked to the vendors calling "Standard! Evening Standard!" for the last time in October.

Regular features include Pairs in Squares, in which Jonathan Glancey randomly selects a section from the grid of London's famous streetmap and explores it in company with a well-known London companion; and The Other Londons - five places with a 'London' name NOT found within the M25.

Andrea Levy was born in London and holds the city close to her heart; her experience growing up here as a black Londoner pervades her novels and is the thread woven through this mix of the day-to-day and the nocturnal...

of pieces taking a sidelong glance as well as a more direct approach.

A blend of poetry and prose, of the factual and the fictional that together make up this diverse and diverting nightly series.

Executive Producer: Simon Elmes.

0220100706

In the second programme: a railway runs through it...

Trains are one of the most audible heartbeats of the capital, threading their way through the suburbs above ground and pulsing millions of commuters deep beneath the London clay, from the outer fringes to the centre and the centre to the fringes.

Writer Claire Macdonald remembers an unexpected and uplifting chance encounter on a commuter train, while Jonathan Glancey's guests in the nightly Pairs in Squares feature find themselves on Page 19, Square 2J on the London streetmap - featuring the railway hub that is Old Oak Common - Also on the menu, London's bikers pause for a cuppa in Epping Forest and free-runner Dan takes a leap across the city's night-time rooftops.

0320100707

Tonight, the rhythms of a north London estate with young musicians Kyle and Marius prompt Andrea to memories of her own childhood adventures, car-minding for sixpence near Highbury Stadium on matchday.

She invites us to eavesdrop on an all-night suburban prayer vigil; and we hear a spooky modern ghost story of unaccountable disappearances from Brockwell Lido...

Plus: in the nightly feature, Pairs in Squares, Jonathan Glancey's pin lands in the map-section devoted to Soho, as revealed by ad-man John Hegarty

0420100708

Including tonight: London Talking - Steve Chandra Savale of the Asian Dub Foundation listens to the output of just two of London's hundreds of community and pirate radio stations that provide a public voice for the capital's many ethnic communities.

Plus - out of town with The Other Londons...

a trip to London Apprentice, two miles south of St Austell in Cornwall.

And as usual, Jonathan Glancey sticks a pin randomly into the London streetmap to find out from his famous guests just what makes that corner of the city tick...in Pairs in Squares.

0520100709

In tonight's programme: The Other Side of the River - South Londoner Arthur Smith conducts musician Suggs round his manor in a vain attempt to convince the north Londoner that his is the better end of town.

On Monday, Suggs returns the compliment.

Also: writer Peter Blegvad rings a doorbell in Hammersmith and is ushered into the fantasy world of the Central London Hatcheries and Conditioning Centre - or is he?

Plus, the regular feature Pairs in Squares, in which Jonathan Glancey randomly selects a section from the grid of London's famous streetmap and explores it in company with a well-known London companion.

0620100712

As Radio 4's "London, Another Country?" season swings into its second week, writer Andrea Levy continues her series of anthologies of short pieces for radio that capture a certain off-beat spirit of London.

Including tonight: The Other Side of the River - North London champion Suggs tries to convince South Londoner Arthur Smith of the merits of his corner of the capital; and bling meets posh as polo comes to central London in summer.

Plus: nightly feature Pairs in Squares in which Jonathan Glancey invites another duo of lively and knowledgeable speakers to enthuse about the qualities of a randomly-picked square from the London street-map.

Executive Producer: Simon Elmes.

Bling meets posh as polo comes to central London in summer.

0720100713

Writer Andrea Levy presents ten anthologies of short pieces for radio that capture a certain off-beat spirit of London.

In tonight's programme: on a warm summer night, we join the elite Trauma team rushing to the aid of victims of accidents in central and east London...

And meet a Korean hairdresser in New Malden who's mad about Shakespeare and is bringing a Korean Romeo and Juliet to Britain.

Plus: another London beyond London - tonight, Little London in Leeds - and the regular feature Pairs in Squares, with Jonathan Glancey and guests.

Executive Producer: Simon Elmes.

On a warm summer night, we join a trauma team rushing to the aid of accident victims.

0820100714

Writer Andrea Levy presents a late night anthology of short pieces for radio that capture a certain off-beat spirit of London.

In tonight's programme: A Million Miles from London - former London-dweller and passionate Ulsterman Gerry Anderson visits the Northern Ireland town that is he says the polar opposite of the capital - Strabane; And a visit to London's Scar studios where, all night long, amateur musicians abandon the day job to record music together.

Plus Jonathan Glancey's nightly lucky dip into the London streetmap.

Executive Producer: Simon Elmes.

A visit to Scar studios, where amateur musicians abandon their day job to record music.

0920100715

Writer Andrea Levy with her penultimate anthology of short pieces for radio that capture a certain off-beat spirit of London.

In tonight's programme, we join a working gravel barge setting out from Colchester as it travels through the night up the whole length of the Thames Estuary and into the heart of the city, while Mario Petrucci greets dawn over the river in a poetic interpretation.

Plus The Other Londons goes to another river, the Medway, to find the significance of The London Stone; and Jonathan Glancey and guests reveal the latest delights of their randomly selected square of the London streetmap in Pairs in Squares.

Executive Producer: Simon Elmes.

A gravel barge travels through the night up the length of the Thames Estuary.

10 LAST20100716

Writer Andrea Levy presents the last of her anthologies of short pieces for radio that capture a certain off-beat spirit of London.

Tonight: noise and peace - the deaf-signing symbol for 'London' is the same as that for 'noise': actor Sophie Woolley, who has hearing difficulties, travels home amid the capital's hubbub, while for Irene and her colleague Colin and his family, days - and nights - are spent in timeless tranquillity behind the railings of Grove Park cemetery in south-east London.

Because it's their home.

Plus the final square in Jonathan Glancey's exploration of the London streetmap and another spooky Story from the London Underbelly.

Executive Producer: Simon Elmes.

Actor Sophie Woolley, who has hearing difficulties, travels home amid the capital's hubbub