Radio Listener: Noise - A Human History | Neverwhere | No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency

PERHAPS the ultimate definition of radio is its ability to evoke total experience purely through sound.

Noise – A Human History

Monday, Radio 4, 1:45pm

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Today, Radio 4, 2:30pm

The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency

Wednesday, Radio 4, 2:15pm

We live surrounded by noises, and our hearing tends to be the last sensory faculty to deteriorate before death. Now a 30-part series on Radio 4, NOISE – A HUMAN HISTORY, examines just how our relationship with the sound world has shaped us over the last 100,000 years.

Presented by media historian Professor David Hendy, recorded on location across the world and drawing on the British Library’s Sound Archive, the series takes us from prehistory to the present day, evoking the shamanistic chanting of our distant ancestors, through the street noise of ancient Rome right up to the rumble of traffic in today’s cities.

Moving into the realms of unadulterated fantasy is a new, star-studded adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s tale of alternative London, NEVERWHERE. James McAvoy plays Richard Mayhew, the young Scot who helps an injured girl on a London Street and consequently finds himself inhabiting a subterranean metropolis of sewers and deserted tube stations, inhabited by disquietingly surreal characters, here voiced by such luminaries as Benedict Cumberbatch, Christopher Lee and Johnny Vegas. It starts this afternoon on Radio 4 and is taken up (and later repeated) by Radio 4 Extra.

Finally , and rather more down to (or should that be “up to”?) earth, Alexander McCall Smith’s popular THE NO.1 LADIES’ DETECTIVE AGENCY returns on Wednesday, with Claire Benedict as the eminently sensible Mma Ramotswe.