Thursday, 24 November 2016


To greet all my American friends (and to amuse those with a taste for the curiosities of past generations) here are some intriguing – often, frankly, bizarre – Thanksgiving greetings from yesteryear...


Sunday, 6 November 2016


Today, at 3:00 pm, on BBC Radio 4: the first episode of my two-part dramatisation of Richard Adams' Watership Down...

Monday, 31 October 2016


A curious juxtaposition of 90th anniversaries this month: the birth of Winnie-the-Pooh on 14 October and the death of Harry Houdini on Halloween 1926, ninety years ago today. 

Back in 1996, I made a radio programme marking the 70th anniversary of Houdini's passing: twenty years on, it's still quite a good listen...

Saturday, 22 October 2016


Tonight on BBC Radio 3 (21:30), 'Between the Ears' is presenting Between Ballard's Ears: two of J G Ballard's short stories – both of which have an obsessive fascination with sound.

'Venus Smiles', dramatised by Frank Cottrell Boyce is about a audio sculpture that takes on a life of its own and is preceded – as a sonic curtain-raiser - by my adaptation of Ballard's 'Track 12' starring Anton Lesser and Elliot Levey.

Both plays are recorded in binaural sound, using a Neumann dummy head which is designed to replicate average-sized human head and is equipped with pinnae and ear canals in which small microphones are placed, one in each ear.

The dummy head is designed to record multiple sounds at the same time and the recorded tracks are then listened to through headphones allowing for the listener to hear from the dummy’s perspective.

'Track 12' begins innocently enough but quickly develops into a disturbing duel of words that – we discover – can only have one outcome...

 To read more about Between Ballard's Ears, click here

Here are some photos of Anton Lesser and Elliott Levey during the recording session at the BBC's Maida Vale Studio last month, featuring the Neumann dummy head that will be your head if you listen to the play on stereo headphones...

 Elliot Levey with Keziah Joseph, the voice of the elusive Susan who is the reason for the dramatic confrontation at the heart of Ballard's story...

Here's Anton with producer and director Mark Burman...

And a couple 'head shots'...

Photos: David Weeks

Friday, 14 October 2016


So Owl wrote... and this is what he wrote: 


Pooh looked on admiringly. 

"I'm just saying 'A Happy Birthday'," said Owl carelessly. 

"It's a nice long one," said Pooh, very much impressed by it.

And today, is Winnie-the-Pooh's 90th Birthday!

Yes, 90 years ago today, on 14 October 1926, A A Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh was published, introducing not just "The Best Bear in All the World", but also Piglet, Eeyore, Rabbit, Owl, Kanga and Baby Roo – Tigger made his debut two years later oin The House at Pooh Corner.

But today also happens to be the 40th anniversary of my first-ever radio programme for the BBC.

Broadcast in 1976, it was presented by the well-known character actor and teddy bear authority Peter Bull (Dr Strangelove, Doctor Dolittle etc) and featured Norman Shelley (radio's original 'Voice of Pooh') and singer, pianist and editor of The Pooh Song Book, Antony Miall.
The programme celebrated (as you will have already worked out for yourself having taken 40 away from 90!) Winnie-the-Pooh's 50th birthday and it was entitled: Three Cheers for Pooh.
And here (if you have a half-an-hour to spare) it is...

Happy Birthday to Us!

Friday, 16 September 2016


Rabbit was rushing along through the Hundred Acre Wood in a great hurry.

"Can't stop, Pooh," he said as he hurtled by, "I've got to order my copy of next Sunday's Sunday Telegraph."

Pooh was wondering what a 'Next-Sunday's-Sunday-Telegraph' was, when Eeyore wandered by, stopped and looked gloomily at Pooh. "I don't suppose I'll be in it," he said.

"In what?" asked Pooh.

"What indeed?" echoed Eeyore and shambled away in search of a thistle with which to console himself.

Pooh went to ask Piglet what he thought and then they both went to ask Owl whether he thought they were right and Owl said it was all to do with something called a 'Sequel' that was Coming Very Soon. 

"You see," said Owl, "a sequel is Something That Comes After Something That Went Before and really needs to be the Same but Different, if you see what I mean." 

Unfortunately, they didn't, so they went to ask Christopher Robin What it All it Meant.

Two jars of honey and a plate of haycorns later, Christopher Robin explained that because Pooh was about to celebrate being 90, the nice people at Egmont, who looked after his books for him, had invited four writers – Paul Bright, Jeanne Willis, Kate Saunders and Brian Sibley – to tell four new stories about Pooh and his friends and Mark Burgess to make lots of pictures of them all doing the Sequely things that happen in Sequels.

And when Sunday eventually arrived, Rabbit rushed round to Pooh Corner with a copy of The Sunday Telegraph, which had an interview with Brian in the newsy part, and an article by Brian in what was called the 'Living' part along with a thrilling extract from Brian's story that everybody crowded round and read with great interest and excitement: because, as well as Pooh and Piglet and Eeyore and Rabbit and Owl and Everyone Else, there was Somebody New, called–––––––––

But I really you can't tell you any more than that, because if I do, we will find ourselves being pursued by something called an Embargo, which, as Rabbit has reminded me, is a Very Fierce and Potentially Litigious Creature indeed!

And THAT is why, if you really want to know what this is all about (and Pooh says that You Really Do), you will have to buy The Sunday Telegraph this Sunday...


And, of course, the answer was –– a Penguin...

Inspired by this Milne family photograph... 


Tuesday, 5 July 2016


For the past 15 years I've been coming to Kalymnos: the first thing I have done on arrival is stop the battery in my watch so as to be able to live solely by my body clock.

Alas, my time in the place where time stands still has come to an end, so I need to let Jiminy restart the process of calibrating my seconds, minutes and hours...

Farewell, Kalymnos!

Sunday, 26 June 2016


Regrettably nowadays (and for a number of years past) I have been unable to take the hill walks I used to enjoy here on Kalymnos. The spirit is still willing – but the joints are weak!

Fortunately, David can still take to the hills and bring me back a few photographic memories...

Saturday, 18 June 2016


Kalymnos with islands, Telendos and Kalavros

Pothia, port and town, Kalymnos

Monastery of Saint Savvas of Kalymnos

[Photos: David Weeks]

Wednesday, 15 June 2016