Mad About The Boy

The Songs of Noel Coward

Pet Shop Boys lead singer, songwriter and composer Neil Tennant presents a series of programmes about Noel Coward.

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20140128

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Hysterical girls have been pathologised for centuries but, in the last two or three generations, they've also helped define pop culture, further feminism and shape society.

Jude Rogers and Ruth Barnes - both music journalists and pop fans - look at the empowering flipside of pop fandom and how new, tribal rites of passage in teen pop culture have offered women an interesting new mode of expression.

Taking listeners on a journey from the Beatlemaniacs to the Directioners, they reveal the real power of female music fans. It's a power that helped form the fan clubs that fed the music industry, created a safe space for pubescent females to escape traditional gender roles and go wild, once terrified the authorities and silenced the world's biggest boy bands, and, today, drives social networks.

Featuring contributions from Beatlemaniac Lillian Adams; David Cassidy-fanatic - and writer - Allison Pearson; the woman behind one of One Direction's biggest hits, Fiona Bevan and ex-East 17 songwriter Tony Mortimer.

Produced by Eleanor McDowallA Falling Tree Production for BBC Radio 4.

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The Songs of Noel Coward

Pet Shop Boys lead singer, songwriter and composer Neil Tennant presents a series of programmes about Noel Coward.Songs poured out of Coward, over 400 of them and from the 1920s to the 1960s they filled his revues and musicals.

Tennant talks to fellow performers and enthusiasts about the enormous range of Coward's work - tender love songs, yearning melodies, sharp lyrics and skilful wordplay.

Coward's own performances make the songs particularly his own, but Tennant also presents versions by today's singers and bands, and talks to those who recognise his influence as one of the greats of British musical theatre.

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Focusing on the man, and what made Coward such a creative genius as well as a star performer of his own songs.

His friend, actress and singer Elaine Stritch, remembers his support and professionalism, and Neil talks to those who are keeping the flame burning today.

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Neil looks at the major influence Coward has had on British musical theatre and how his songs still have a relevance to life in the 21st Century.