Radio and TV

I regularly contribute to Radio 3’s Free Thinking programme and to other radio programmes on social affairs and social history. Here are a few.

A Taste of Honey

On 18 February 2014 I reviewed the National Theatre Company’s new production of Shelagh Delaney’s A Taste of Honey on Radio 3’s Free Thinking, after which I joined in a discussion about class and why the play still matters today. You can hear the programme here and you can read Charlotte Delaney’s blog about her mum and A Taste of Honey here

Poverty and Class

I love Radio 4’s Thinking Allowed and I’m always delighted to go on and talk about the connections between academic research and everyday life. In February 2012 I joined Laurie Taylor and Mark Peel to discuss poverty and class. You can also listen to it as a podcast.

Hidden histories

My BBC ‘Listen Again’ page is constantly focused on the wonderful Radio 3’s Nightwaves, so I’m delighted to be invited to contribute from time to time. In 2013 I discussed whether working-class life is properly represented in Britain’s museums. I argued that the middle-class perspective adopted by museums leads us to equate ideas of ‘quality’ and ‘taste’ with very partial, middle-class ways of seeing the world. You can listen to the programme here


Here’s a book discussion about evacuation that I contributed to on Radio 4. We all know that evacuation was a momentous and formative experience for the generation who grew up in the 1940s, but there aren’t all that many books that talk about the diverse experiences of evacuees.

The affluent society?

I was delighted to discuss my work on postwar poverty and affluence with that terrific sociologist Professor Bev Skeggs on Radio 4 in 2009, available here.

Nation on Film

Documentary art played a big part in shaping, as well as documenting, 20th century British society. What was perhaps most exciting was that ordinary people got hold of the means of producing art, through photography and the cine-camera. In this BBC 2 series I discussed how this happened.

Young women, work and youth culture

Laurie Taylor read about my first book in the London Review of Books, and invited me onto Thinking Allowed to talk about young women’s lives in interwar Britain. Here is the programme.

Work experience

I was invited onto Woman’s Hour to discuss what my research tells us about the pros and cons of work experience for schoolchildren. The item is available to listen to here.