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Giving up on the Dream – combating the myths of ‘making it’ in the arts

This is my 3 part series for the One to One slot on Radio 4. It tries to look beyond the myth peddled by most arts journalists, Disney films and well meaning people which is that making it in the creative industries depends on determination and courage. That talent will out. Try try try again, and you will prevail. Not so, i think.

This first interview is with Debbie Bayne, who has been writing for a long time and who has yet to publish a novel. As she says, it’s not the quality of her writing but just the fact that being published depends a lot on luck.

Episode two features opera singer Patrick Egersborg discussing success and failure.

In episode three amateur actor Ben Hopwood talks about ‘living the dream’ on his own terms.

Stories from the Squeezed Middle


BBC Radio Four, May 6th 2013

This documentary featured families with an average income ranging from £25,000-£40,000 from across the UK. In it I asked how they were coping with the recession, and what choices they were having to make.

Was it the piano lessons for the children which were ring-fenced, holidays or meals out? The answers were quite surprising.

Children and Culture

BBC Radio 4, Woman’s Hour, Children in Galleries, 16th February

A survey just out reveals that millions of children have never visited an art gallery, a theatre or a stage show. The research, which was commissioned by Visit Birmingham, covered 5-12 year olds, and suggests that four out of ten children have never seen the inside of an art gallery and 17 percent have never visited a museum with their parents. 

Is it a good idea to introduce your children to art and culture, or are gallery and museum visits with younger children a waste of time if they’re just not interested? And if you are keen to make sure your child knows their Monet from their Michelangelo – what’s the best way to go about it? Jenni Murray discusses with Jeanette Winterson and Rosie Millard.

Find out more:

Why Camping is Worth it


Here I am on Radio 4′s BH programme extolling the joys of camping in the rain with your children. And singing Leonard Cohen around the campfire at night.

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The Breakfast Show

BBC London, 07:50 Paper Review, 27th December 2011

This is an example of the paper review I often do on BBC London at 0750 in the morning; it’s such a hoot, I run in, (this sounds more impressive than it is, it’s really not far) – sit down with the papers and a cup of tea, tell them what I think, then run home again and take the kids to school. 0830 am and I’ve already digested all the news! Perfect.


Blitz Season

BBC Radio 4, The Blitz – London, 5th to 10th September

To mark the 70th anniversary of the start of the London Blitz, broadcaster and author Rosie Millard examines the technology that was devised to defend the capital from German bombing.

The London Blitz started on 7 September 1940. In an attempt to crush British morale and force surrender from Churchill, Hitler ordered his bombers to embark upon a ferocious and sustained bombing campaign. By the time the bombing ended in May, thousands of people had been killed and over a million people had lost their homes.

Read more on the BBC website >

London – Another Country

BBC Radio 4, Towering Ambition – A Tale of Two Cities, 14th July 2011

Rosie Millard explores whether skyscrapers – once seen as an essential accessory of a go-ahead, ambitious city – are really the best way to express pre-eminence and modernity.

In London, Mayor Boris Johnson, who pledged to stop the “plague of towers” promised by his predecessor, has given the go-ahead for a privately funded tower to mark the 2012 Olympics.

Read more on the BBC website >