The Single Life

Series exploring the lives of the thousands of ordinary people in the UK today who are not in a relationship.

Episodes

EpisodeFirst
Broadcast
RepeatedComments
20150115

Second-hand shops are littered with tatty old 7 inch records that were self-made by bands. Mark Hodkinson, who was in one of those bands, buys a handful of the singles and tracks down the people involved. What happened to the dreams and ideals of people who created a lasting plastic monument to their youth? And how is the experience of making and packaging a 7 inch single different from the modern practice of up-loading a file to a website.

The DIY single took commitment and ingenuity. Hopeful bands would scrape together money to record, press, package and distribute their music in the hope of fame, fortune or at least an appearance on the radio. Now, the bargain bins of second-hand shops are full of these records and each one marks a significant milestone in someone's career. But a stepping-stone to where?

Mark Hodkinson, now a journalist, learns how people coped with the disappointment of failure and how they continue to try and satisfy their creative desires. He meets a saxophonist who once supported Adam Ant and now is a designer for a computer gaming company; a bassist who went on to marry a Bond villain; a guitarist who still hopes to make it big; and a singer who did make it big, and id still selling records 30 years later.

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A look at the tricky task of searching for a partner, as well as the difficulties presented by modern life.

Does perfection exist or is it part of the folly of youth?

A look at the tricky task of searching for a partner.

A look at the tricky task of searching for a partner, as well as the difficulties modern life presents as people increasingly find themselves needing to juggle careers, friends and freedom with the need to be part of a couple.

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The expectations and stereotypes of being single and gay can sometimes clash with the reality of being alone.

Can a person's sexuality affect their decision to stay single?

The expectations of being single and gay can clash with the reality of being alone.

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Single parents have to think about more than themselves when choosing to stay alone or find someone new after separation.

Single parents have to choose whether to stay alone or find someone new after separation.

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An exploration of the freedom and joy of living as a single person and never wanting to be tied down by relationships.

An exploration of the freedom and joy of living as a single person.

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Nearly four million people in the UK are single again after the death of their husband or wife. In the final episode of the series about being single in the modern world, Terry talks about facing life on his own. Widowed after 31 years of marriage, he reflects on trying to reconcile grief and loss with a new found freedom.

Producer: Jo Meek

An All Out production for BBC Radio 4.

A look at the loneliness of loss and the single life, as well as facing the prospect of starting relationships again after a lifetime with one person.

A look at the loneliness of loss and the single life.