Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Other websites are available: Speechification

One brilliant thing leads to another. Speechification is dedicated to reducing the chances that great speech radio from all over the English-speaking world just floats into the ether and disappears, never to be heard by anyone outside of the producer's family and friends. It curates the best stuff and makes it available for further listening. It even does a podcast.
Through it I rediscovered "Don't Hang Up", one of the greatest radio programmes I have ever heard. This was the work of interviewer/oral historian Alan Dein and producer Mark Burman. The idea was simple but immensely time consuming. They just rang phone boxes all over the world and recorded conversations with whoever answered. The best one features a teenager on the front at Margate, a security guard in the Florida Everglades and a Kiwi transexual. It's superbly produced with an atmosphere that you rarely get on Radio Four.


  1. David,

    Thank you for introducing me to "Don't Hang Up" - it's superb.

    You got the feeling that the teenager from Margate had never spoken like that to anyone in a long time and I can't help wondering what became of her.

  2. Anonymous8:15 pm

    Thanks David.

    I scrolled through and found Stephen Fry's excellent "Current puns". Australia, unsurprisingly, doesn't have anyone like Fry. 30 minutes of radio magic.

  3. Thanks DH. Best 'unexpected' half hour I've spent in a long time; it always surprises me just how much people have to say if you approach them in the right way. Uplifting; I hope they're all doing ok!