Front Row

BBC Radio 4

Society & Culture

Live magazine programme on the worlds of arts, literature, film, media and music


Ben Elton, Queen Coal, Transmitting Andy Warhol, Leviathan, Birds in Literature

November 5th, 2014

Episode 624 of 1300 episodes

Successful novelist, playwright and stand-up comic, Ben Elton, a central figure in the alternative comedy scene in the 1980s, joins Kirsty Lang to discuss his new novel, Time And Time Again. His book follows ex-soldier Hugh Stanton who is transported back to 1914 from 2025, in order to prevent the Great War and re-write history. Andy Warhol is the subject of a new show at Tate Liverpool which looks at how this quintessential 20th century artist sought to master the mass media of his day to ensure his art could reach as many people as possible. In the company of Darren Pih, the exhibition's curator, Kirsty Lang takes a look at Transmitting Andy Warhol. Bryony Lavery's latest play, Queen Coal looks at the impact of the 1980s miners strike on the lives of three people who bonded on the picket lines. Writer Joolz Denby reviews. Fresh from its recent win of the Best Film prize at the BFI London Film Festival, Leviathan - a tale of corruption in a small Russian town - opens in cinemas this week. Novelist Nicholas Royle reviews. Helen McDonald has just won the 20,000 Samuel Johnson prize for non-fiction for her memoir, H is for Hawk, about coming to terms with the death of her father by trying to win the trust of a goshawk, Mabel. What significance does the bird have here and elsewhere in literature? Kirsty is joined by Horatio Clare, writer and author of A Single Swallow.