It was with great pleasure that I sat down on Wednesday morning to listen to the broadcast of my first full-length documentary for BBC Radio 4, ‘Batting for the Middle Kingdom’. This was a programme very close to my heart – it took over a year to make, and included a trip back to my beloved China – and I’m hugely proud of the finished result. You can listen to the programme online here until Wednesday 27th November.
In advance of my upcoming BBC Radio 4 documentary on cricket in China, the programme’s presenter Fred Dove wrote a piece for BBC Radio 4′s From Our Own Correspondent. You can hear that here (Fred’s bit starts at about 23’30″), or read the print version here. The full documentary will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Wednesday 20th November 2013 at 11am.
I researched and coordinated a recent BBC Radio 4 documentary about poetry in San Francisco, produced by the wonderful Laura Parfitt of White Pebble Media. It is a gorgeous programme, unfortunately no longer available to listen to online, but here’s the programme page anyway. Part two of the series, on the poetry of Los Angeles, can be heard here.
I produced a 5-minute podcast documenting the ‘Little Bookniks’ children’s literary event at the Jewish Museum in March. You can hear that, and many other recordings from the day, here.
I produced the second edition of the Inspired by Audio Podcast, a collection of creative radio from around the world, curated by the radio collective In The Dark, with support from D&AD and RAB. My episode, ‘Inside My Head’, features stories from WNYC’s Pejk Malinovski, The Truth’s Jonathan Mitchell and RTE’s Ronan Kelly. You can hear it, right at the bottom of the page and on the right, here.
Over the past 6 months I’ve recorded four tape-syncs/simul-recs/double-enders/whatever-you-call-ems for two radio programmes in the US.
For America’s Test Kitchen, I recorded an interview with Mrs Patmore (aka the delightful Lesley Nichol) from Downtown Abbey. The interview with Lesley starts at about 26’30″ and you can hear it here. Also for America’s Test Kitchen, I travelled to Cambridge to record an interview with food writer and Sunday Telegraph columnist Bee Wilson. The interview with Bee begins at about 20’05″ and you can hear it here.
And for WUNC’s The Story, I recorded an interview with David Cundall, the British farmer digging for WWII planes in Burma. You can hear that story here. Also for The Story, I recorded an interview with the writer and campaigner Victoria Brittain, about her book ‘Shadow Lives’. You can hear that interview here.
My Chinatown Food Tour is featured in a new e-book, ‘Kiratiana’s Travel Guide to Multicultural London’, by American writer and journalist Kiratiana Freelon. Kiratiana found me via Google and a few months ago we sat down to an epic Skype conversation, some of which you can read in this blog post; my deepest thanks to Kiratiana for including me in her book.
If you’d like a food tour of London’s Chinatown, please email me at jessielevene AT gmail DOT com.
Four conversations that I co-edited for the BBC Radio 4 series The Listening Project are now available to listen to online.
The first, ‘Reluctant Retirement’, which was also broadcast on the Radio 4 programme, is an intimate conversation between sisters Lynn and Anna about Lynn’s recent, difficult decision to retire from her job as a primary school deputy head. It was recorded and submitted by my comrade in radio freelance-land (and Lynn’s daughter) Kirsty McQuire.
The second, ‘Life Changing Decision’, is a beautiful, emotional conversation between Janette and her daughter Helen, about the events that led to Helen entirely losing her hearing at the age of 19 months.
The third, ‘Wise Women’, is a chat between partners Sylvia and Alison and their friend Jenny, who is also a lesbian, about their thirty-year battle to have their sexuality accepted.
And in the fourth, ‘Unexpected Gift’, husband and wife Alan and Anne recall how a WWII bomb blast left Anne an unexpected gift and just how different their experiences as evacuees were.
If you’d like to record a conversation and be part of The Listening Project, please click here.
I contributed three short segments to the marvellous new Shambala Festival Podcast, produced by the lovely and very talented lady that is Mair Bosworth. It was a very happy moment early this summer when I got an email from Mair asking if I wanted to be a ‘roving food reporter’ at Shambala in August. I certainly did, and the weekend kicked off brilliantly with my following the arrival of the Sustrans-led bike rides to the festival on the Thursday afternoon. You can hear all about that in the first Shambala podcast (my bit starts at about 1’15″), as well as the stag do who dressed up as Tories, some fabulous music, and this woman.
In the second edition, you can hear my segment (starting at about 4’50″) about a wonderful wild food walk led by the legendary Mike Feingold, sample some beautiful music from the marvellous Hannah Williams & The Tastemakers, and have a chuckle at the infamous Shambala Cock Drawing Club.
And in the third edition, you can hear my segment (starting at about 7’54″) about the brilliant Surplus Supper Club, a project of the utterly inspiring charity Fareshare, listen to the inspiring words of Tony Benn, and hear the sounds of the infamous Big Burn.