Preview: More Than Words festival

14 02 2012

The art of sound, storytelling and listening will come to Bristol next month at the three-day More Than Words festival, hosted by Radio 4 and taking place in venues across the city, including St George’s, the M Shed, Bristol University, UWE, QEH, the Folk House, and the Pervasive Media Studio at the Watershed.

Highlights of the free festival over the weekend of March 16-18 come thick and fast, with a host of popular programmes being recorded in front of live audiences.

Jonathan Dimbleby will host Any Questions?; Jamie Cullum will be Kirsty Young’s castaway in a special edition of Desert Island Discs; With Great Pleasure has Cerys Matthews joined by actors and musicians as she shares her favourite poetry, prose and song.

Paddy O’Connell and Roger McGough will present live editions of Broadcasting House and Poetry Please; and Clive Anderson will be joined by Arthur Smith for Loose Ends.

Clare McGinn, head of Radio 4 production in Bristol, says: “Bristol forged a special connection with BBC radio during the war years when 700 BBC staffers were sent from London to help keep the BBC on the air.

“We’ve been producing programmes for Radio 4 here since 1967. Bristol is unique in that it’s the only city in the UK that has an official partnership with the BBC thanks to the Anchor Agreement signed by the Director General in 2009. That has energised media and cultural bodies in this region and the listening festival is part of that.”

From 9am on Monday, February 20, you can register for free tickets at Due to the size of the venues, only a limited number of tickets will be available. Registration for tickets will close on Monday, February 27 at 5pm.

Full programme of ticketed events:

Friday, March 16

6.30pm Desert Island Discs
The festival kicks off with a special 70th anniversary recording of Desert Island Discs. Singer-songwriter and jazz pianist, Jamie Cullum will be Kirsty Young’s castaway.

7.45pm Broadcasting House Workshop
A chance to see how Paddy O’Connell’s Broadcasting House programme is made. Join Paddy and the team for an editorial meeting… and bring your ideas.

9pm Great Lives with Matthew Parris
Radio 4’s biographical series looks at some of the world’s most fascinating and influential characters. Matthew Parris invites a special guest and an expert to reveal the real person behind the reputation.

Saturday, March 17

11am Loose Ends with Clive Anderson and Arthur Smith
Lively conversation, music and comedy brought to you by the Loose Ends team headed by Clive Anderson and Arthur Smith. Surprising and engaging guests and live music.

3pm Bristol Readings
Three ground-breaking and talented writers from Bristol push the boundaries of radio fiction in specially commissioned stories bringing together words and sounds.

5.30pm A Good Read
Lively conversation and passionate opinions as presenter Harriett Gilbert and two guests recommend their favourite reads for one of Radio 4’s best loved programmes

8pm Wondermentalist Cabaret
Poet, performer and enemy of all that’s difficult and upsetting, Matt Harvey presents a comedy-infused, musically-enhanced, slightly interactive poetry cabaret.

Sunday, March 18

9am Broadcasting House with Paddy O’Connell
Join Paddy O’Connell and his guests for a live broadcast of news, views and discussion with a difference.

11.30am Readings with AL Kennedy… Are You Inexperienced?
A trilogy of short stories comes from award-winning writer, dramatist, performer and long term aerophobic AL Kennedy.

2pm With Great Pleasure… Cerys Matthews
A chance to hear singer-songwriter, broadcaster and multi-instrumentalist Cerys Matthews as she shares an eclectic and personal mix of some of her favourite pieces of poetry, prose and song, joined by actors and musicians.

For more information, visit



One response

16 02 2012
Jon Crocker

Reblogged this on OISE Bristol Blog and commented:
Yet another example of why Bristol is just a dynamic and interesting place to live.

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