Radio Review: Sweet selection in a pick n mix of the week

Claudia Hammond shared a thought-provoking selection on Radio 4's Pick of the Week
Claudia Hammond shared a thought-provoking selection on Radio 4's Pick of the Week

Pick of the Week - BBC Radio 4

Pick of the Week is an excellent way of discovering fresh voices and missed programmes.

Listening in real time is a little “yesterday” even though some argue that like a bag of pick n mix, you never know what you’ll pull out and it’s the surprise that makes it special.

Broadcaster and author Claudia Hammond struck the right note with her highlights from the past week on BBC radio.

She looked at the themes of determination and longing – and picked out actor Hugh Bonneville reading the statement of Vladimir Kara-Murza who was sentenced to 25 years in a Russian prison camp on charges linked to his criticism of the war in Ukraine.

He said he did not feel remorse – not only did he not repent but he was proud, he said.

“I know that the day will come when the darkness engulfing our country will clear. Our society will open its eyes and shudder when it realises what crimes were committed in its name.”

Reporting such news has undoubted impact – but the decision to ask actor Bonneville to speak Kara-Murza’s words gave them an added weight and poignancy. It felt more real.

Sometimes, it feels that the world is full of nothing but bad news. When will there be good news?

So how about a little kindness scrolling – positive news that lightens your day?

Google the word “hero” and see what it throws up.

And where do you find the good news if you’re not talking bible?

Cue The Conversation and positive news publishers Anuradha Kedia and Geri Weis-Corbley.

They are determined to change the news landscape for the better.

Viewers often provide the best stories.

Take the young man from LA who found a woman sleeping on the dirt near his house so he made her a tiny house – that story went viral.

“We do not put abortion stories on our websites, but we’re full steam ahead on environmental issues,” said one of the women.

In India, Anuradha steers away from politics and religion. If you’re looking for positive stories, that’s probably the best way to go.

Finally, Hammond offers a strong recommendation.

Assessing someone’s state of mind is a highly skilled job and here we have something of a masterclass.

This Thing of Darkness is a must listen on Hammond’s list – it’s a recommendation worth noting… watch this space.