Tag Archives: BBC Radio 4

The Man of the Mani – BBC Radio 4 Monday 22 June

johnhumphMS2010_468x402Final scheduling for the John Humphrys’ BBC Radio 4 programme about Paddy is available on the BBC website. It will broadcast at 1600 hours on Monday 22 June and will be available later on the BBC website. Which tells us …

John Humphrys travels to Greece, to the village of Kardamyli in the Mani, to explore the life and work of travel writer Patrick Leigh Fermor.

Fermor is arguably the most influential travel writer of the 20th Century. At the age of eighteen he took off, with notebook in hand, on a walk across Europe. During the Second World War he fought in Greece and Crete, and is still remembered in the country today for his daring exploits with the resistance. His most celebrated action came in 1944 when he led a commando operation to abduct the German General Heinrich Kreipe.

In the early 1960s he moved to Greece, to the Southern Peloponnese. He built a house in the village of Kardamyli in the Mani. It was here that he wrote much of his most celebrated work and where he remained until his death in June 2011.

John Humphrys visits Fermor’s village to explore the influence that Greece had upon his life and work, and also to consider the impact that he had on the village and the people he lived alongside. John visits Fermor’s former home, now in the care of the Benaki Museum in Athens, and discusses the plans for its future. He meets those in the village who met Leigh Fermor when he first arrived in the 1960s – a man in his nineties recalls how they “danced on the tables into the night” – and he hears tales of influential guests, great writers like Bruce Chatwin and John Betjeman, even a King and Queen.

Accompanied by Fermor’s book ‘Mani: Travels in the Southern Peloponnese’, John Humphrys also travels into the deep Mani, one of the remotest, wildest and most isolated regions in Greece.

Visit the BBC website here for further details.


John Humphrys presents Paddy’s world on BBC Radio 4

John Humphrys on the Today programme

A little while ago I was approached to help provide some background information to help with research for a one-off Radio 4 programme about Paddy and his life in and around Kardamyli which will be presented by John Humphrys.

Kevin Dawson from Whistledown productions has confirmed that all is on schedule and the programme should be transmitted at 11.00 am on Monday 22 June. It will include interviews with Artemis Cooper and her father John Julius Norwich, as well as a contribution from the Benaki which may update us on progress about the house.

John Humphrys has a property in the Kardamyli area and is a fan of Paddy’s work. I believe that this may be his own idea which is great and will go someway to making up the deficit of BBC programming about one of our greatest writers.

Listen to Dolores Payas on the Midweek programme

Drink timeA fascinating, amusing and loving contribution from Dolores Payas, author of Drink Time! on BBC Radio Four’s Midweek programme.

Catchup and listen to the programme by clicking this link. Dolores’ main contribution starts at the 14 minute spot.

Buy Drink Time!: In the Company of Patrick Leigh Fermor: a Memoir by Dolores Payás (translated by Amanda Hopkinson)

Drink Time! Dolores Payas on BBC Radio 4’s Midweek at 0900 26 November

Just a short notice to say that Dolores will be on Libby Purves’ BBC Radio 4 Midweek show at 0900 today. I presume talking about her time with Paddy in his last few years and her delightful book Drink Time.

More details here.

Thank you to my spy in Jedburgh for spotting this one.

Buy Drink Time!: In the Company of Patrick Leigh Fermor: a Memoir by Dolores Payás (translated by Amanda Hopkinson)

William Dalrymple and Artemis Cooper discuss Abducting a General on BBC’s today programme


Justin Webb introduces this package on BBC Radio Four’s Today programme on Thursday 9 October 2014. Sir Patrick Leigh Fermor was one of the world’s great travel writers. In the grand old tradition he was a scholar and a war hero and a general all-round high achiever. Top of his achievements was the capture of a German general on Crete – and today for the first time his account of that capture is published. Travel Writer and historian William Dalrymple and biographer Artemis Cooper discuss.

You can listen to the programme on BBC iPlayer for a further four weeks if the BBC let you listen in your country. Click here to find the webpage for Thursday then slide the cursor to 02.23 to start the interview which lasts about six minutes. I had problems using it with Firefox. OK with IE.

Abducting a General: The Kreipe Operation and Soe in Crete by Patrick Leigh Fermor is available to purchase. Click on the highlighted text.

Nick Hunt on BBC Radio 4’s Saturday Live

Nick Hunt and James Naughtie

Nick Hunt after his walk with James Naughtie

Many of you will now be reading Nick Hunt’s fine new book, Walking the Woods and the Water. As is usual Nick is hard at work promoting the book in a number of ways and this Saturday, 3 May, will find him on the quirky BBC Radio 4 programme Saturday Live from 9.00 am. 

He will be joined by the acerbic food critic Jay Rayner who has managed to achieve the nickname Acid Rayner due to his sour demeanor – [Edit – listening to the show Mr Rayner comes over as a pretty friendly type].

I am sure Nick and Jay will get down to discussing the quality of food on such a long journey. If you have read the book it is no surprise to say that it was extremely variable.

We wish Nick well with this excellent opportunity to let more people know about his journey and wonderful book. Brief programme details are available here.

Patrick Leigh Fermor: An Adventure as BBC Radio 4’s Book of the Week 19-23 November

Don’t forget that you can listen to Artemis Cooper’s biography being read as the BBC Book of the Week on Radio 4 (the world’s greatest radio station) from today.

If you are working or miss an episode you have seven days to catch up via the BBC iPlayer.

Visit the Book of the Week webpage here to find out more.

‘Biography is dirty work; someone has to do it’

Mariella Frostrup

Listen to Paddy’s biographer Artemis Cooper on the BBC Radio 4 programme Open Book discussing the art and challenges of writing a biography, and of course the writing of Patrick Leigh Fermor: An Adventure.

A very interesting conversation between Artemis, presenter Mariella Frostrup, and the prolific biographer Hunter Davis. Their discussion starts at 11 min 30 seconds after the first package with Michael Chabron.

Listen online here

Download the MP3 by clicking here.

If you have difficulties go to the Open Book download page and look for the October 14 2012 episode.

Media coverage and updated events for Patrick Leigh Fermor: An Adventure by Artemis Cooper

Patrick Leigh Fermor: An Adventure b yArtemis Cooper

For those who want to catch an early glimpse of Paddy’s biography you will need to get down to the newsagent or on-line this weekend as the carnival is beginning.

Publicity kicks off this week. There will be an interview with Artemis in the Daily Telegraph tomorrow 28 September, and an extract in the Daily Telegraph Weekend section on Saturday 29 September. On the same day there will be a PLF feature in the Guardian travel pages (will that actually be a LPF feature?), with heaps more to come including a big Financial Times Magazine feature, Guardian Review feature, BBC Radio 4 Open Book interview, and a full programme of events between now and December, which you can download here. This is updated but you will need to check all details. I cannot be held responsible for errors or omissions.

Best of all Patrick Leigh Fermor: An Adventure will also be the BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week from 19th November onwards.

You can buy the book here.

Don’t forget to visit Artemis Cooper’s Facebook page for further information.