Tuesday, 24 December 2013


Christmas is the perfect time to do so many things - eat, sleep, argue with loved ones - but it's also the ideal time to catch up on TV & radio you've missed over the year.  One of the things I will be catching up on is the Radio 4 documentary series Short Cuts.

This series, which finished its third season in October (I like saying "season" as if it's an American sitcom) is brilliant.  It's funny, moving and often utterly surreal.  Each episode has one overarching idea or theme, such as communication or growing up, and within that are lots of mini documentaries on the same subject.  The result is 30 minutes of blissful listening, but that isn't to say the audience isn't challenged; I've heard so many ERR WHAT?! stories from the programme.  For instance, did you know that exam invigilators often play games to pass the time while they're watching over students?  One particularly mean game involves taking turns standing next to the pupil they're most convinced will fail.

I particularly enjoyed the absolute horror/amusement in presenter Josie Long's voice after hearing that particular revelation.  Josie is the perfect presenter: she shares her own experiences alongside those from the mini documentaries, which are always delightful and often quite personal.  Plus, you know, she's hilarious.

Sometimes audio clips are combined with beautiful animations online - for instance this story of a man who survived being eaten by a whale.

Anyway, you can download all the episodes as podcasts on iTunes.  I recommend them highly, especially when accompanied by a chocolate orange and the echoes of post-sibling-fight-rage.

Have a WONDERFUL Christmas. xxx

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