You are browsing the archive for Radio 4.

Profile photo of Royston

by Royston

Bill Stott to address the nation

April 15, 2013 in Events, News

Bill Stott at Big Board

Bill Stott at last year's Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival

Bill Stott, cartoonist, founder member of Procartoonists.org and all-round raconteur, is to appear on this week’s edition of Midweek on Radio 4, chatting to Libby Purves and fellow guests.

He told us: “Libby is very pro-cartoonist. I have worked with her many times over the years. Hopefully she’ll ask me nice questions. It’s all unscripted, so it’s anybody’s guess.”

Bill is also a member of the organising committee of the Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival, so we’d hazard a guess that the 10th festival, which is held this weekend, might come up.

Midweek is a famously eclectic show which sees Libby Purves, who is a patron both of the festival and of Procartoonists.org, steering the conversation among a wide variety of guests. So who will be be sharing the microphone with Bill?

Bill: “Fellow guests include a brother and sister who have a remarkable collection of letters from their father, and an American sailor who sailed the wrong way around the world. I’m reliably informed that this does not mean blunt end first. The only spanner in the works is that the programme clashes with Mrs Thatcher’s funeral.”

That sounds to us like a useful listening alternative.

Midweek is on Radio 4 at 9am on Wednesday and will be available online.

Big Draw 2012: The compere tweets

October 2, 2012 in Comment, Events, News

The final word on this year’s Big Draw launch goes to Libby Purves, journalist, broadcaster, compere of the event and Procartoonists.org patron, who sent us this dispatch from the front line of the Battle of Cartoonists

Libby Purves

Libby Purves files her Twitter report at the V&A

I may not be a trained war correspondent but here goes: In that echoing temple of Papal tapestry-based art, the Raphael Room at the V&A, the Battle of the Cartoonists was duly joined last Sunday. Given the utter impossibility of commentating in an acoustic like a giant’s bathroom,  after the initial draw for subjects – and the scuttle of massed cartoonists towards the free felt markers – I resolved to chronicle it on Twitter.

Someone had to. It is not every day (thank goodness) that you see, beneath sombre Biblical scenes, the wild-eyed geniuses of Private Eye, the Telegraph, the Guardian/Observer, Big Girls Drawers, Readers Digest, Procartoonists.org and the soaraway Sun gathered together in a sort of stone barn.

They were all fiercely at it, fending off swirling crowds of public, and working round not only the Stygian gloom of the gallery but dozens of small, inquisitive fingers groping at the side of their canvases. For the V&A on a Sunday, frankly, is always a bit like a middle-class family version of the last 20 minutes of the Roman Empire, with brats tearing round, lying on the mosaic floor drawing their own pictures, and intermittently going out to fall into the fountain and come back soggy but unbowed.

Libby Purves_2 at the Big Draw 2012 @procartoonists.org

Big Girls Drawers spent some time decorating their table with enormous knickers, while the rest knuckled down to sketching and muttering and stealing one another’s pens. The girls got The Healing of the Lame Man, the Telegraph The Conversion of the Proconsul, Private Eye got St Paul at Athens, the Guardianista faction The Death of Ananias, Readers’ Digest The Draught of Fishes and The Sun got Christ’s Charge to Peter.

The Procartoonists team rather got the short straw with The Sacrifice of Lystra. This involved members of the public – and the commentator – sidling up to them with “Who?” [Ed’s note: It’s actually AT Lystra, but it was very dark in the room!] and wondering if it had anything to do with Lycra, therefore the Olympics, therefore something we had heard of.

So on it went, good-humoured and frenetic, and on went the tweets:

“Honeysett & co have given St Paul three toes. PCO team working Will and Kate and Pope into Bible scene”

“Telegraph team huffily say Proconsul themes are secret. Readers Digest are drawing a dog. Andy Davey of the Sun drawing manically, subject as yet unclear”

“Big Girls Drawers team just added fab corgi joke. I love cartoonists”

“330 pm. Brilliant. Adults and kids now lying on cold stone floor drawing their own cartoons. Professionals battle on.”

“Aha! Everyone breaking out colours now. And Daleks. And Harry’s bum. Private Eye v funny already”

“Guardian team being impeded by small children. Excellent temper-management. Kipper on fire!”

“Hmm NHS satire creeping in to Healing of the Lame banner. Telegraph team having Ionic columns pawed by infants”

“Sun team on Harry gags. Guardian too. Procartoonists gone insanely Biblical. Telegraph got good V&A in-joke”

“There are even Ninja Turtle jokes! From Readers Digest! Not many national art events span such cultural richness”

“5 mins to go. Huge variety of styles from stark b&w to exuberant larkiness”

And then there was the judging.

Popular cheering and clapping having been banned by anxious curators, in case dust was dislodged and damaged the Raphaels, the Big Draw decided the clever thing would be to get people to cluster round their favourite and see who had most.

This profoundly, confusingly, almost Old-Labourishly block-vote system proved unreliable and, given the loud cheering that happened anyway, really quite suitably absurd. Private Eye won. But actually, everyone did.

Libby Purves_3 at the Big Draw 2012 @procartoonists.org

Profile photo of Royston

by Royston

Mocking the twits of the 19th century

June 21, 2011 in News

Prince Regent by George CruikshankTwitter is a thorn in the side of the courts today, with the superinjunctions row, but in the early 19th century the publisher William Hone used the communications technology of his day — pamphlets and cartoons — to keep one step ahead of the law.

Jonathan Freedland looks at these seditious cartoons, and takes a trip to the Cartoon Museum to view the work of George Cruikshank, in the first in a new series of Radio 4’s The Long View.

This 1819 caricature of the Prince Regent by Cruikshank, right, is from Hone’s The Political House that Jack Built. Freedland finds that as with Twitter today, information spread through the populace far ahead of the law’s ability to keep up with it, via the collaboration between Hone and Cruikshank.

The Long View is on BBC Radio 4 at 9.30pm tonight, and is available on the BBC iPlayer now. It is also available as a podcast for 30 days.

Matt Lucas to play Gerard Hoffnung

June 17, 2009 in Comment

Actor and comedian Matt Lucas (probably best known for Little Britain) is set to play cartoonist Gerard Hoffnung in a Radio 4 play. The play, titled Hoffnung – Drawn to Music is to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the death of the cartoonist and is due to be broadcast in September. Hoffnung, famous for his cartoons of musicians and orchestras also played the tuba and was responsible for organising a number of music festivals at the Royal Festival Hall.

Why bother with cartoons? Ask an expert

April 17, 2008 in General

Cartoonists always go cheerfully and happily straight to the heart of the issue, or the trend, or the argument: they are wise, because they have seen the truth about life, which is that at the heart of everything there lies a joke.”

Libby Purves, columnist, broadcaster and patron of the Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival.

British cartoon talent