On Wheels

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0120121105

Michael Holroyd describes his love of - and his family's struggle with - the motor car.

Michael Holroyd confronts an army of automobiles in this charming memoir. Weaving together personal stories and historical anecdote, he traces his relationship with cars through a lifetime of biography.

Learning to drive was no easy matter for Michael. The lessons required military precision when practising how to get in and out of his car correctly. His biographical subjects also had their difficulties: Bernard Shaw drove with reckless gusto when overtaking his eightieth year; Vita Sackville-West's car became a chamber for sudden romantic assignations and getaways; Augustus John and his family careered through vulnerable villages as the poor vehicle, piled high with bohemian friends, stuttered and jerked along in first gear.

Wry, thoughtful and very funny, On Wheels is an elegy to the glamour of the car. Subtle and perceptive, Michael Holroyd finds surprising ways to understand the past and challenge our view of the future.

Producer: David Roper

A Heavy Entertainment production for BBC Radio 4.

0220121106

Michael Holroyd confronts an army of automobiles in this charming memoir. Weaving together personal stories and historical anecdote, he traces his relationship with cars through a lifetime of biography.

Learning to drive was no easy matter for Michael. The lessons required military precision when practising how to get in and out of his car correctly. His biographical subjects also had their difficulties: Bernard Shaw drove with reckless gusto when overtaking his eightieth year; Vita Sackville-West's car became a chamber for sudden romantic assignations and getaways; Augustus John and his family careered through vulnerable villages as the poor vehicle, piled high with bohemian friends, stuttered and jerked along in first gear.

Wry, thoughtful and very funny, On Wheels is an elegy to the glamour of the car. Subtle and perceptive, Michael Holroyd finds surprising ways to understand the past and challenge our view of the future.

Episode 2 of 5

Despite holding some unusual views on driving, Michael Holroyd finally gets hold of a driving licence, thanks to a colourful array of instructors. He then sets about passing on his new wisdom to the writer Margaret Drabble.

Producer: David Roper

A Heavy Entertainment production for BBC Radio 4.

0320121107

Michael Holroyd's first car was a Daf. However, Bernard Shaw had no such luck.

Michael Holroyd confronts an army of automobiles in this charming memoir. Weaving together personal stories and historical anecdote, he traces his relationship with cars through a lifetime of biography.

Learning to drive was no easy matter for Michael. The lessons required military precision when practising how to get in and out of his car correctly. His biographical subjects also had their difficulties: Bernard Shaw drove with reckless gusto when overtaking his eightieth year; Vita Sackville-West's car became a chamber for sudden romantic assignations and getaways; Augustus John and his family careered through vulnerable villages as the poor vehicle, piled high with bohemian friends, stuttered and jerked along in first gear.

Wry, thoughtful and very funny, On Wheels is an elegy to the glamour of the car. Subtle and perceptive, Michael Holroyd finds surprising ways to understand the past and challenge our view of the future.

Episode 3 of 5

In the third episode of On Wheels Michael Holroyd describes the pleasures of driving a Daf, and the danger of doing so in Northern Ireland. And he gives us a taste of playwright Bernard Shaw's rather individualistic approach to driving.

Producer: David Roper

A Heavy Entertainment production for BBC Radio 4.

0420121108

Michael Holroyd reveals the important role cars played amongst the Bloomsbury set.

Michael Holroyd confronts an army of automobiles in this charming memoir. Weaving together personal stories and historical anecdote, he traces his relationship with cars through a lifetime of biography.

Learning to drive was no easy matter for Michael. The lessons required military precision when practising how to get in and out of his car correctly. His biographical subjects also had their difficulties: Bernard Shaw drove with reckless gusto when overtaking his eightieth year; Vita Sackville-West's car became a chamber for sudden romantic assignations and getaways; Augustus John and his family careered through vulnerable villages as the poor vehicle, piled high with bohemian friends, stuttered and jerked along in first gear.

Wry, thoughtful and very funny, On Wheels is an elegy to the glamour of the car. Subtle and perceptive, Michael Holroyd finds surprising ways to understand the past and challenge our view of the future.

Episode 4 of 5

Michael explains the delight the Bloomsbury set took in motor cars, both as objects of desire and locations for illicit assignations. And he explains how the motor car allowed Augustus John to reveal his true, colourful and cavalier character.

Producer: David Roper

A Heavy Entertainment production for BBC Radio 4.

05 LAST20121109

Bernard Shaw struggles with the motor car - and Michael Holroyd battles with his satnav.

Michael Holroyd confronts an army of automobiles in this charming memoir. Weaving together personal stories and historical anecdote, he traces his relationship with cars through a lifetime of biography.

Learning to drive was no easy matter for Michael. The lessons required military precision when practising how to get in and out of his car correctly. His biographical subjects also had their difficulties: Bernard Shaw drove with reckless gusto when overtaking his eightieth year; Vita Sackville-West's car became a chamber for sudden romantic assignations and getaways; Augustus John and his family careered through vulnerable villages as the poor vehicle, piled high with bohemian friends, stuttered and jerked along in first gear.

Wry, thoughtful and very funny, On Wheels is an elegy to the glamour of the car. Subtle and perceptive, Michael Holroyd finds surprising ways to understand the past and challenge our view of the future.

Episode 5 of 5

In the final episode, Michael Holroyd describes playwright Bernard Shaw's enthusiastic, if cavalier, approach to driving - only thwarted by the outbreak of world war. For Michael Holroyd, however, it was the satnav that did for him.

Producer: David Roper

A Heavy Entertainment production for BBC Radio 4.