Five Radio 4 Programmes for the End of Term

The best from the wireless to help you at this difficult time.

archers bbc bbc radio 4 desert island discs just a minute radio woman's hour

Quite a few of us are stuck in limbo. Either we have finished exams or are one of the few stragglers waiting for a final headshot of Cava. During this difficult period, the BBC has an answer in the form of Radio Four.

Throughout my exam stress, relief and preparation, the most intellectual of stations has been my saviour. A religion of radio. A wireless church. Here is a selection of my personal favourites, to help you through those final papers or to relax on the backs with a glass of wine.

From Our Own Correspondent

This lovely number contains the reports from journalists embedded in foreign and exotic locations. If you ever saw yourself as a cultured tourist, or ever wanted to visit a warzone, this is the programme to let you escape the bubble and become immersed in the great tapestry of human existence.

Flowery language I know, but in many ways entirely appropriate.

Missed out on current affairs?

The Archers

I normally enjoy the ramblings in Ambridge while doing my Sunday ironing. The pastoral idyll can be enjoyed in many locations, the bath also being a particular favourite. Again a kind of escapism, but with a bit of a plot, if you consider characters’ farms losing their organic food status drama.

Escape from Cambridge to Ambridge.

Woman’s Hour

A firm favourite of mine, giving me relief from Chemistry and Plant Sciences lectures at 10am. The debate of wide ranging women’s issues provides an intellectual version of loose women, which is good procrastination for those of you left slogging away beneath the bookshelves. The topics discussed are interesting for men as well, providing an antidote to the “ram it down our throats” feminism often portrayed in student life.

Feminism without burning one of these

Just A Minute

Nicholas Parsons has always signalled the sound of a weekend in the Dowell household. Let his soothing voice and the frantic verbal gesticulations of his comic guests, remind you that at least you can repeat, hesitate and possibly deviate in your Tripos essays.

Repetition, deviation and erm hesitation…

Desert Island Discs

No list of Radio Four programmes would be complete without a nod to the lyrical sea gull punctuated programme. Who would not want to know what David Attenborough’s favourite tune is, or what Alastair Campbell’s luxury item is (preferably a pistol with one bullet)?

A high brow insight into the minds of celebrities is a great way to fill an empty three quarters of an hour. The archive on the BBC website provides an extensive collection.

My luxury item would be a supply of cashew nuts

At this difficult time, when you are either working hard or facing a void of nothingness until May week, perhaps take a few moments, tune in and relax to proper radio.

We British do light relief like no one else.