From Our Home Correspondent

Mishal Husain introduces dispatches from journalists and writers around the United Kingdom that reflect the range of contemporary life in the country. From politics to pastimes, from hallowed traditions to emerging trends, from the curious to the ridiculous, the programme presents a tableau of Britain today.

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20160529Mishal Husain presents dispatches from around the UK.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

In the latest programme of a new series,

This month's programme features contributions from: Felicity Evans of BBC Wales; Ben Judah, author of "This is London"; Dominic Casciani, BBC Home Affairs correspondent; Elizabeth Day, writer and journalist; and Adrian Goldberg of BBC 5Live and BBC WM.

20160717Mishal Husain presents reports and perspectives on Britain now by a range of journalists.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

In the latest programme of this new monthly series, Mishal Husain introduces dispatches from writers and journalists around the United Kingdom that reflect the range of contemporary life in the country.

Among the contributions this month: Peter Taylor on why Britain has so far not suffered an attack like the recent ones in Paris, Brussels - and now Nice; Ian McMillan asks why we talk to things that can't answer back; Sarah Oliver muses on life as the wife of an infantry officer still being posted to Afghanistan; Stephen Smith meets the creator of a great pageant in Bishop Auckland which charts British history from the Romans to the Second World War and Mark Cooper-Jones tells us about life as a supply teacher.

Producer Simon Coates.

20160731Mishal Husain presents the latest dispatches by writers and reporters from around the UK.

In the latest programme of the new monthly series, Mishal Husain introduces dispatches from journalists and writers around the United Kingdom that reflect the range of contemporary life in the country. Andrew Rawnsley considers how politicians, business people and their advisers emerge from the parliamentary investigations into the collapse of the retail chain BHS; Sian Grzeszczyk finds out how Staffordshire traffic wardens are tackling motorists' abuse; Garry Owen reports on how the Welsh National Eisteddfod reflects the culture and history of the country; Anushka Asthana, a job-sharer, reveals how well the concept stood up to the political turmoil of recent weeks; and James Piekos discovers how the outlook of a group of Hull school children is affected by a cruise along the River Humber.

Producer Simon Coates.

20160828Mishal Husain presents the latest dispatches by writers and reporters from around the UK.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

In the latest programme of a new series,

20160925Mishal Husain introduces dispatches on Southern trains, Aberfan, Royston Cave and Dovecot.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

This month's edition features contributions from: Paddy O'Connell on the wider importance of the disruption on Southern trains; Felicity Evans draws parallels between the Aberfan disaster, the fiftieth anniversary of which falls in October, and the deaths at Hillsborough in 1989; Hugh Levinson finds that a mystery in the Home Counties steadfastly resists being solved; John Forsyth celebrates contrariness in Scots - the language; and Roger Hill finds that in one part of Liverpool relations between the young and older people are very far from being the inter-generational conflict beloved of headline writers.

Producer Simon Coates.

20161030In a programme which considers issues, ideas and people outside the mainstream, Martin Bashir discusses the role of faith in politics in the United States and Britain and why the divergent attitudes that used to exist in the two countries on the subject may be about to converge. Torcuil Crichton looks at the issues raised by Brexit from the perspective of those living and working in his native Western Isles. Alex Strangwayes-Booth, who's spent much time recently observing gypsies and travellers in the north-east of England, reports on their growing engagement with the Pentecostalist Life and Light movement and why this transformation has been happening. After the recent killings carried out by a small number of mental health patients, Michael Buchanan ponders the findings of the reviews into these cases and what they reveal about the balance to be struck between the care of psychiatric patients and respect for their rights and the protection of the public. And, in an era of blurred gender identities, Caroline Davies reports on the women who choose to perform as theatrical stereotypes of men: the burgeoning number of drag kings in the UK.

Faith and politics, Hebridean Brexit, drag kings and gypsies and God feature this month.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

20161127Social care, UK citizenship, the Goodwin Sands and Glasgow rivalries feature this month.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

Alison Holt considers the challenges facing social care in Britain; Hugh Muir ponders the enduring appeal of UK citizenship, especially among the very wealthy; Kevin McKenna analyses the social background to the fierce rivalry between the supporters of Glasgow's two principal football teams; Susie Mesure visits the Goodwin Sands off Kent's coast to discover what lies at the heart of a very contemporary row there between developers and conservationists; and Shaun Ley wonders if Lloyd George, the centenary of whose ascent to the premiership during World War I falls early next month, has more in common with Britain's new prime minister, Theresa May, than might first appear. The programme is presented by Mishal Husain.

20161225Including pieces on a special partridge, books, Jesus and Mary in Islam and Welsh carols.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

In this special edition,

In a special edition for Christmas Day, Mishal Husain introduces dispatches by a range of writers on subjects as varied as a refugee partridge; night working when the days are at their shortest; why smart phones signal the demise of the Christmas phone call; the British seasonal getaway and the revival of traditional Welsh carols. H.R.H. Princess Badiya El Hassan of Jordan discusses the significance of Jesus and Mary in Islam; Kate Humble explains what she - and those also disillusioned with contemporary Christmas celebrations - do instead; Marina Warner hails the importance of social and political comment in pantomime; James Naughtie thinks he detects the apparent renaissance of one of the longest-standing of Christmas gifts - the printed book - and Sarah Oliver tells a ghost story with a personal twist.

20170129Mishal Husain introduces dispatches from journalists and writers around the country that reflect the range of contemporary life in the UK. From politics to pastimes, from hallowed traditions to emerging trends, from the curious to the ridiculous, the programme presents a tableau of Britain today.

Producer Simon Coates.

Bin collections, a prisoner and his daughter's birthday, auctions and Brexit all feature.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

20170305In the latest programme,

Producer Simon Coates.

Hunting down a stolen camper van, childcare grannies and Russian debutantes all feature.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

20170326Property guardians, boys' nights, British Asian football fans and terrorism all feature.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

Mishal Husain introduces dispatches on why a boys' night is being convened in a Scottish primary school, involving fathers, grandfathers and even neighbours; on the reasons British Asian football fans in Bradford are excited; on whether property guardianship offers an imaginative way to overcome the housing crisis or is fraught with risk; on the growing pains of the technology companies that are now major social media firms; and on reflections about being a reporter yards from a terrorist incident but unable to find out what is happening.

Producer Simon Coates.

20170602Mishal Husain presents dispatches from writers and reporters across the UK.

Mishal Husain introduces pieces from journalists and writers around the United Kingdom. This month: Petroc Trelawny revisits his old primary school in Cornwall as a critical decision on its future approaches; Ruth Getz tells the story of the improvised singing group she has founded in Hull, this year's City of Culture; Julian May ponders the place of Morris dancing in English culture; Geeta Guru-Murthy reveals what her opera group gets up to; and Jordan Dunbar confesses all about his millennial male yearning for a rippling stomach.

Producer Simon Coates.

A school struggling with numbers, Morris dancing at dawn and shredded torsos all feature.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

20170625Mishal Husain presents writers' dispatches on a Cotswold utopia, leadership and diabetes.

In the latest programme, Mishal Husain introduces dispatches from journalists and writers around the United Kingdom that reflect the range of contemporary life. Among the contributions this month: Annalena McAfee charts the origins - and present day reality - of a residential Gloucestershire colony; former Test cricketer and "Test Match Special" commentator, Ed Smith, ponders leadership on the pitch as a new captain takes the helm for England; and Dr John Ashton considers how much - and how little - has changed as he lives with diabetes - a condition that killed his father. The programme will also feature topical news-related pieces.*

Producer Simon Coates

*The subjects and participants of each programme are subject to change.

In the latest programme, Mishal Husain introduces dispatches from journalists and writers around the United Kingdom that reflect the range of contemporary life. Among the contributions this month: Annalena McAfee charts the origins - and present day reality - of a residential Gloucestershire colony; former Test cricketer and "Test Match Special" commentator, Ed Smith, ponders leadership on the pitch and in the pavilion as a new captain takes the helm for England and Lord's acts as the home of the game; Dr John Ashton considers how much - and how little - has changed as he lives with diabetes - a condition that killed his father; and Andrew Dickson goes in search of the song of the nightingale - a bird which, it turns out, has a long association with the BBC.

Producer Simon Coates.

A Cotswold utopia, treating diabetes, the nightingale and leadership in cricket feature.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

20170723Grenfell Tower's locale, Swansea's drug roads, Jersey and a Brummie dog track all feature.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

Featuring reports from a Brummie dog track, the Somerset Levels and Swansea's drug roads.

In the latest programme, Mishal Husain introduces dispatches from journalists and writers around the United Kingdom that reflect the range of contemporary life in the country. This edition includes reports from Birmingham on the demise of a long-standing ornament of civic pride: Hall Green greyhound stadium and from the Somerset Levels on a stone mason's quarrying. We also hear the reflections of a former children's television presenter on approaching middle age. The programme will also include more topical items.

Producer Simon Coates.

In the latest programme, Mishal Husain introduces dispatches from journalists and writers around the United Kingdom that reflect the range of contemporary life in the country. This edition includes Adrian Goldberg's reflections from Birmingham on the demise of a long-standing ornament of civic pride: Hall Green greyhound stadium and we discover how communities living in the area surrounding Grenfell Tower are responding to the aftermath of last month's fire. We also hear from Jersey as childhood resident, Christine Finn, returns to the island and stays at Haut de la Garenne, once a notorious children's home and now an activity and accommodation centre. Former children's television presenter, Ayo Akinwolere, considers how "Blue Peter" shaped his career and Garry Owen of BBC Radio Cymru Wales visits Swansea to hear about the alarming increase in deaths caused by drug misuse and what might be done to reverse it.

20170820Including a vending machine cow man and a spiritual walk with some colourful pilgrims.

In the latest programme, Mishal Husain introduces dispatches from journalists and writers that reflect the range of contemporary life in Britain. The pieces this month feature Alex Strangwayes-Booth on a remarkably diverse group of pilgrims and their modern spiritual walk, Hazel Southam reveals how an ingenious dairy farmer has been able to turn the difficulties of managing his herd in tricky financial conditions to his advantage, Beth Sagar-Fenton explains how young people in Cornwall have been captivated by the revival of an ancient festival there, Red Strivens finds a Somerset stonemason living among his materials and Kavita Puri meets British Asians who lived through Indian Partition seventy years ago and speak for the first time about their experiences.

In the latest programme of a new series, Mishal Husain introduces dispatches from journalists and writers around the United Kingdom that reflect the range of contemporary life in the country. Among the pieces this month, we hear about a remarkable group of pilgrims and their spiritual walk and how an ingenious dairy farmer has been able to turn the difficulties of managing his herd in tricky financial conditions to his advantage.

British Asians on Partition, a dairy farmer's vending machine and a modern pilgrimage.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

20170917Ilkley's Hendrix experience, one family's struggle with sepsis and Welsh coracle fishing.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

Mishal Husain introduces the latest collection of dispatches from journalists and writers around the United Kingdom, reflecting the range of contemporary life across the country. This month we hear about one family's sobering experience of how patients with sepsis are treated, plus how coracle fishermen in West Wales are seeking to ensure a future for their fishery. Andy Kershaw recalls the night Jimi Hendrix came to play the West Yorkshire town of Ilkley. The programme will, as usual, also feature topical items.

20171022What to do with a diesel car, bureaucracy frustrates remembrance and cleaning up a flood.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

In the latest edition of the programme reflecting contemporary life in the United Kingdom, Mishal Husain introduces pieces on the dilemmas faced by those who own diesel-fuelled cars; how one mother of an army fatality in Afghanistan has fought for what she regards as proper recognition of her son's sacrifice; and on what can be retrieved after a flood inundates a remote community.

In the latest edition of the programme reflecting contemporary life in the United Kingdom, Mishal Husain introduces pieces on the dilemmas faced by those who own diesel-fuelled cars; how one mother of an army fatality in Iraq has fought for what she regards as proper recognition of her son's sacrifice; and on what can be retrieved after a flood inundates a remote community.

20171119A moment of truth with breast cancer and a Devon pub admired by Prince Harry is for sale.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

In the latest programme of the monthly series, Mishal Husain introduces dispatches by Carolyn Brown on a Brixham pub admired by Prince Harry that is now on the market; by Carly Appleby on her moment of truth as a patient coping with a diagnosis of breast cancer; by Alex Spillius on whether we should care about the pressures on local journalists in suburbia; by Andrew Rawnsley on how figures are preoccupying politicians and their parties; and by Kamal Ahmed on what has happened to the scandal of ballooning executive pay?

20171224Featuring the pleasures of Christmas Eve, do-it-yourself presents and festive cooking.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

In a festive edition for Christmas Eve, Mishal Husain presents pieces by: Ian McMillan on the special pleasures of Christmas Eve; Sarah Oliver on advice for those daunted by the seasonal food extravaganza; Padraig O Tuama on what happened when Bethlehem came to Belfast; Datshiane Navanayagam on the make-or-break power of customer service departments at this time of year; and Jonnie Bayfield on how he fared in devising out-of-the-ordinary gift options.

20180128Mishal Husain presents dispatches from journalists and writers around the United Kingdom that reflect the range of contemporary life in the country.
In the latest programme, we hear from Chris Warburton on how Bolton in Greater Manchester is responding to the dramatically changing retail scene on its streets.
The BBC's Religion Editor, Martin Bashir, draws on his own family's experience to consider the significance of the Church of England's intervention in the debate about pre-natal screening for Down's syndrome.
Elizabeth Gowing reveals what one ex-offender has derived from his work with yoga and meditation - disciplines she has been struggling with - both out of gaol and while behind bars, and Martin Vennard explores a fifty year-old housing development with a new resident and the building's architect to see what ideas it may offer for tackling today's housing crisis.
Finally, Felipe Fernández-Armesto - a globe-trotting historian with Spanish ancestry and impeccable British credentials - ponders the unravelling of the once tightly-furled British umbrella and the mores it represented.

Producer Simon Coates.

Featuring pieces on Down's syndrome, Bolton's shops, pioneering housing and yoga in jails.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

Mishal Husain presents dispatches from journalists and writers around the United Kingdom that reflect the range of contemporary life in the country. In the latest programme, we hear from Chris Warburton on how Bolton in Greater Manchester is responding to the dramatically changing retail scene on its streets. The BBC's Religion Editor, Martin Bashir, draws on his own family's experience to consider the significance of the Church of England's intervention in the debate about pre-natal screening for Down's syndrome. Elizabeth Gowing reveals what one ex-offender has derived from his work with yoga and meditation - disciplines she has been struggling with - both out of gaol and while behind bars, and Martin Vennard explores a fifty year-old housing development with a new resident and the building's architect to see what ideas it may offer for tackling today's housing crisis. Finally, Felipe Fernández-Armesto - a globe-trotting historian with Spanish ancestry and impeccable British credentials - ponders the unravelling of the once tightly-furled British umbrella and the mores it represented.

Producer Simon Coates.

20180218Mishal Husain introduces a selection of new reports reflecting the zeitgeist of contemporary Britain.
Michael Buchanan, who's recently investigated the problems that have beset Liverpool jail, considers what's gone wrong with penal policy and how things might start to be put right.
Caroline Davies rises in the small hours to accompany milkman Ian on his rounds which are growing after the BBC's "Blue Planet 2" television series encouraged thousands of people to request doorstep milk deliveries in glass bottles to help tackle the problem of single use plastics. But will the trend last?
In the week that talks to restore devolved government in Northern Ireland stalled, Chris Page considers why old divisions are proving more intractable and explains why social and cultural changes underway could presage further differences.
Garry Owen walks along the curving shore of Swansea Bay to consider what its history has to say about the prospects for the world's first tidal lagoon power plant there.
And Christine Finn, employing today's technology, ponders how Kent's industrial heritage shapes its unique topography.

Failing jails, milk deliveries, tension in Ireland, Swansea's lagoon and Kent's industry.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

Mishal Husain introduces a selection of new reports reflecting the zeitgeist of contemporary Britain.
Michael Buchanan, who's recently investigated the problems that have beset Liverpool jail, considers what's gone wrong with penal policy and how things might start to be put right.
Caroline Davies rises in the small hours to accompany milkman Ian on his rounds which are growing after the BBC's "Blue Planet 2" television series encouraged thousands of people to request doorstep milk deliveries in glass bottles to help tackle the problem of single use plastics. But will the trend last?
In the week that talks to restore devolved government in Northern Ireland stalled, Chris Page considers why old divisions are proving more intractable and explains why social and cultural changes underway could presage further differences.
Garry Owen walks along the curving shore of Swansea Bay to consider what its history has to say about the prospects for the world's first tidal lagoon power plant there.
And Christine Finn, employing today's technology, ponders how Kent's industrial heritage shapes its unique topography.

20180318Rural banks, a Cornish saint, sports cheats, living in border country, kitchen worktops.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

Mishal Husain introduces dispatches from journalists and writers around the United Kingdom that reflect the range of contemporary life in the country.

We hear how a small Scottish market town is responding to the new that its last remaining bank branch is scheduled for closure; what a flag-waving, Cornish yomp through the sand dunes and encounter with a 1500 year-old holy man reveals about the place and people; how the English, who once prided themselves on not cheating at sport and their sense of fair play, are adjusting to a different moral position; why the forthcoming abolition of tolls on the River Severn road crossings may intensify enthusiasm among the English for living in Wales; and what a humble kitchen worktop can reveal about origins, belonging and what's in a name.

Producer Simon Coates.

In the latest programme of the monthly series, Mishal Husain introduces dispatches from journalists and writers around the United Kingdom that reflect the range of contemporary life in the country.

We hear why the forthcoming abolition of tolls on the River Severn road crossings may intensify enthusiasm among the English for living in Wales; what is behind the growing interest in groups following a religious Rule but remaining part of their day-to-day communities; how the British, who once prided themselves on never cheating at sport, have succumbed to temptation; what a flag-waving sand-dune yomp reveals about its Cornish participants; and, as Easter approaches, a director of choristers reflects on what the richness of music marking the crucifixion and its relative paucity marking the resurrection entails for groups like his.*

* This programme is topical and subjects included may change close to transmission.

20180422In the latest programme of the monthly series, Mishal Husain introduces dispatches from journalists and writers that reflect the range of contemporary life across the country. Andy Kershaw visits the most cluttered workbench he's ever seen to discover how restoration work is going on a monument to British endeavour in speed on water; Jane Labous samples libraries in two counties to assess exactly what they have to offer; Adrian Goldberg indulges his sweet tooth among the burgeoning dessert shops of Birmingham; Ruth Alexander discovers how the town that's trying to turn itself around - literally - is faring; and Travis Elborough discovers perestroika among sixty thousand tulips on the South Downs.

Dessert shops, restoring a speed icon, a tulip festival, libraries and a turn-round town.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

Mishal Husain presents the latest dispatches by writers and reporters from around the UK.

In the latest programme of the monthly series,

In the latest programme of the monthly series, Mishal Husain introduces dispatches from journalists and writers that reflect the range of contemporary life across the country. Andy Kershaw visits the most cluttered workbench he's ever seen to discover how restoration work is going on a monument to British endeavour in speed on water; Jane Labous samples libraries in two counties to assess exactly what they have to offer; Adrian Goldberg indulges his sweet tooth among the burgeoning dessert shops of Birmingham; Ruth Alexander discovers how the town that's trying to turn itself around - literally - is faring; and Travis Elborough discovers perestroika among sixty thousand tulips on the South Downs.

20180520In the latest programme of the monthly series, Mishal Husain introduces dispatches from journalists and writers around the United Kingdom that reflect the range of contemporary life in the country.

Gabriel Gatehouse reflects on the lot of the reluctant courting correspondent come a royal wedding; Sarah Smith considers where the latest vote on Brexit at Holyrood leaves the Scottish First Minister as she weighs her options on advancing the SNP's principal objective; Martin Bashir assesses the Archbishop of Canterbury's lonely repentance at the Independent Inquiry into Child Abuse; Caitlin Sneddon visits an isle made famous by a girl's adventures which is now bereft of high school-age children; and Martin Vennard explains what connects a Redcar cinema and a petrified forest.

A cinema-by-the-sea, an archbishop's repentance and a pivotal moment in Scottish politics.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

The cinema-by-the-sea, an archbishop's repentance and a critical moment for Scotland.

Gabriel Gatehouse reflects on the lot of the reluctant courting correspondent come a royal wedding; Sarah Smith considers where the latest vote on Brexit at Holyrood leaves the Scottish First Minister as she weighs her options on advancing the SNP's principal objective; Martin Bashir assesses the Archbishop of Canterbury's lonely repentance at the Independent Inquiry into Child Abuse; Caitlin Sneddon visits an isle made famous by a girl's adventures which is now bereft of high school-age children; and Martin Vennard considers what connects a Redcar cinema and petrified forest.

Mishal Husain presents dispatches from writers and reporters across the UK.

In the latest programme of the monthly series,

Gabriel Gatehouse reflects on the lot of the reluctant courting correspondent come a royal wedding; Sarah Smith considers where the latest vote on Brexit at Holyrood leaves the Scottish First Minister as she weighs her options on advancing the SNP's principal objective; Martin Bashir assesses the Archbishop of Canterbury's lonely repentance at the Independent Inquiry into Child Abuse; Caitlin Sneddon visits an isle made famous by a girl's adventures which is now bereft of high school-age children; and Martin Vennard explains what connects a Redcar cinema and a petrified forest.

20180617In the latest programme of the monthly series, Mishal Husain introduces dispatches from journalists and writers around the United Kingdom that reflect the range of contemporary life in the country.

Petroc Trelawny celebrates the glittering world of Dingles, a Plymouth department store which weathered two firestorms and introduced him to glamour, magic and red gingham - but tellingly has now been humbled by the mundane; Alison Holt reflects on a thought-provoking conversation with an older woman in a Dorset care home about the growing financial pressures she and the home itself are facing, while Gareth Jones ponders the links between the NHS and the town of Tredegar - whose MP set up the service 70 years ago but who today might wonder at what he found there; Charmaine Cozier dons her best I-don't-care-look and reveals the pleasures of going to gigs alone; and Andrew Green, who is himself a villager in the Chilterns, wonders what the often tense relations between weekend cyclists and locals on country lanes tell us about life today on the open road.

Going to gigs solo, when cyclists come to your village, and Tredegarisation of the NHS.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

Andrew Green, who is himself a villager in the Chilterns, considers the sometimes tense relations between weekend cyclists and locals on country lanes; Charmaine Cozier explains the pleasures of going to gigs alone; Alison Holt reflects on her conversations with older women in care homes about the growing financial pressures they are facing; on the eve of the grandeur and splendour of Royal Ascot, Tom Edwards visits the more modest Lakeland racecourse intriguingly founded by monks in the twelfth century; and Gareth Jones ponders the links between the NHS and the town of Tredegar whose MP set up the service 70 years ago.*

* as contributions to the programme are topical, pieces are subject to change at short notice.

20180722Skye's inaccessible pinnacle, Warrington's parkrun, shuddering trains and homelessness.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

In the latest programme of the monthly series, Mishal Husain introduces dispatches from writers and journalists around the United Kingdom that reflect the range of contemporary life in the country.

The BBC's Social Affairs Correspondent, Michael Buchanan, tells the story of a man, now in his fifties, who discovered only after the funeral of the woman he thought was his mother, that he was adopted and that his birth mother was seeking to find him. Sally Green, the children's and young adults author, explains the appeal of taking part in the weekly Warrington parkrun over 5 kilometres (three miles). Datshiane Navanayagam talks to one family about the scourge of homelessness among those in full-time work. Chris Bowlby journeys on what remains of the route of the Stockton to Darlington railway - England's first public steam-powered track - and reflects on the current state of train services in north-east England. And Mary-Ann Ochota, a keen hill-walker, travels to the Isle of Skye for her latest challenge - the ascent of the Inaccessible Pinnacle - and finds its name all too apt.

Producer Simon Coates.

Skye's inaccessible pinnacle, friends re-bonding and the sad state of the first railway.

In the latest programme of the monthly series, Mishal Husain introduces dispatches from writers and journalists around the United Kingdom that reflect the range of contemporary life in the country. All the pieces this time* are connected with travel: Sarah Oliver tells the story of a stolen East Anglian holiday with a long-standing chum now living in Australia: would their journey together strengthen or strain their friendship? Chris Bowlby journeys on what remains of the route of the Stockton to Darlington railway - England's first - and finds himself reflecting on the current state of the train service in north-east England. Sally Green reveals her inner masochist as she explains the appeal of taking part in the weekly Warrington parkrun over 5 kilometres (three miles); and Mary-Ann Ochota, a keen hill-walker, travels to the Isle of Skye for her latest challenge - the ascent of the Inaccessible Pinnacle - and finds its name all too true.

* The programme is topical and broadcast items may be changed at short notice.

20180819In the latest programme of the monthly series, Mishal Husain introduces dispatches from journalists and writers around the United Kingdom that reflect the range of contemporary life in the country.

Garry Owen takes us to the west Wales coast and finds an Aberystwyth hotelier honing his plans to meet the competition from the hospitality chains. Sarah Oliver goes on an East Anglian road trip with an old friend she's not seen for years to discover how well their bonds have stood the test of time. Tom Edwards visits Cartmel in English Lakeland and finds that what was once a place of pilgrimage is again today but for reasons twelfth century visitors would definitely have frowned upon. John Forsyth unearths the secrets of a good furrow from two Scots tipped to maintain their nation's record of achievement in the forthcoming World Ploughing Championships in Germany. And Jane Labous is in Biggleswade keen to discover why retraining to plant flowers in Beds is so popular there.

Producer Simon Coates.

Welsh hospitality, old chums, a Lakeland pilgrimage centre and Scots ploughing champions.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

Producer Simon Coates.

Mishal Husain presents the latest dispatches by writers and reporters from around the UK.

In the latest programme of the monthly series,

20180923In the latest programme of the monthly series, Mishal Husain introduces dispatches from journalists and writers around the United Kingdom that reflect the range of contemporary life in the country.

Gabriel Gatehouse offers a personal reflection on the strong feelings of antipathy recently directed at the BBC - and him - by supporters of Tommy Robinson - for many years associated with the far-right organisation, the English Defence League - and what this says about the changing media landscape. Martin Gurdon introduces us to Slasher, the star of his flock of chickens, and explains how her quirks and distinctive character reveal much about the dramas witnessed by Britain's army of amateur hen keepers. Rebecca Ford in the Potteries celebrates the founder of modern circus and reveals how locals there are planning to use his legacy to promote the area as a centre of excellence for this ever-evolving form of entertainment. In the wake of the tense summer Test series between England and India, Mihir Bose regrets the way both teams - and their supporters - behaved and wonders if cricket can retain its status as a 'special' team sport. And Travis Elborough, long puzzled by a road notice in his native Worthing, finally unravels the mystery and finds it's a sign of the times.

Producer Simon Coates

Hating the BBC, Slasher the hen, a circus hero, style in cricket and a road sign mystery.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

Producer Simon Coates

Mishal Husain presents dispatches from writers and reporters across the UK.

In the latest programme of the monthly series,

20181021Lesley Curwen visits a part of Lancashire she has long known which finds itself once more at the centre of media attention. The Fylde coastal plain is where the energy company Cuadrilla has just resumed fracking activities amidst much controversy. But away from the site itself what, she wonders, do local people make of all that's happening?
From what claims to be the site of the solution to the UK's future energy needs to one that used to argue the same: Sellafield. On his visit, the BBC's Business Correspondent, Theo Leggett, sees plenty of rust and weeds at the Cumbrian nuclear plant but also discovers that in this part of northern England which has long struggled for economic take-off there are burgeoning hopes for the future... maybe.
Sima Kotecha, the BBC's Midlands Correspondent, tells a triumphant story of finally managing to pay off her student loans, some sixteen years after having taken them out - although she also explains that debt can prove a stubborn companion.
With BBC Children in Need's annual fundraising extravaganza just around the corner, Alison Holt, the BBC's Social Affairs Correspondent, tells the story of one teenager in Wales who is coping with an especially demanding medical diagnosis - growing up as HIV-positive - and how one organisation supported by listeners' and viewers' donations seeks to help him and his family.
And we travel to Kent with Christine Finn as she unearths a coals-to-Newcastle story about how a lavender farming boom there has - quelle horreur! - managed to succeed in cornering the lucrative French perfume market. But for how long is this likely to last?

Producer Simon Coates

A student loan paid off, nuclear entrepreneurs, growing up with HIV and lavender farming.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

20181118Emma Jane Kirby visits a south-west London nursery that's housed in a nursing home as part of an effort to improve interaction between the very young and the very old. She talks to residents and the young children to discover how such ventures enhance the well-being of those at the extremes of the age distribution.
The recent centenary of the Armistice was the climax of four years of commemoration of the Great War. But poignant anniversaries are still being marked, most notably one on the isle of Lewis where, a hundred years ago, soldiers sailed back to Stornoway on New Year's Eve in the vessel, the Iolaire, only to be lost in a squall yards from the shore. Torcuil Crichton returns to his native Western Isles to talk to today's residents about the lasting significance of the tragedy.
Goth is one of the most enduring music and fashion sub-cultures of our times, celebrated with particular gusto in Whitby twice a year. With the dramatic backdrop of the ruined clifftop abbey and its powerful links to Bram Stoker's "Dracula", Emma Levine discovers that the North Yorkshire seaside town has forged special links with the Goth world.
"Strawberry Fields Forever", the Beatles told us more than fifty years ago. But the place their song celebrates did not weather the years well and fell into decline. John Ashton visits what is one of his city's most evocative landmarks - and one he has special connections with - to discover how its restoration and renaissance owe much to music - although from a different tradition.
A road closed by snow is not unusual in a Scottish winter but, as James Naughtie explains, when it happens on the Lecht, which connects the Cairngorm settlements of Cockbridge and Tomintoul, it truly marks the turning of the seasons.

Producer Simon Coates

A Yorkshire Goth weekend, a Western Isles tragedy remembered and Strawberry Field forever.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

In the latest programme of the monthly series,
Pieces this month include reflections on the very young and the very old playing together, how people on Lewis in the Western Isles are remembering a century-old tragedy that affected all families there, the special attraction of North Yorkshire for Goths and why a carol service takes us down to Strawberry Field.*

* as "From Our Home Correspondent" is a topical programme, pieces are subject to change at short notice.

2018122320181225 (R4)In the Christmas edition, Mishal Husain introduces dispatches from journalists and writers around the United Kingdom which reflect the range of contemporary life in the country.
Ian McMillan tells a story known with subtle variations across the country - the Christmas card that's received each year but which can't be acknowledged because you've lost the address of the people who send it. They aren't relatives, they're not friends and they're not really acquaintances. But their card says something profound beyond the sentiments it contains.
Meanwhile, Jane Labous joins the Special Constables on Christmas patrol. They're part of the police force in England, Scotland and Wales and yet not for they are volunteers who have the power to detain and fine those who break the law. At a time of tight police budgets in Dorset, the regular police tell Jane, without the Specials there would be many fewer arrests. But who are the Specials and what is the essential job they perform for no salary?
Those who are single at Christmas may be thinking the best present they could have is a partner to shower them with affection and maybe the odd gift. Increasingly, they are turning to technology to find that special one and Melanie Abbott discovers if online dating is delivering for them.
With the seasonal party season in full flood, Datshiane Navanayagam reveals that while she loves make-up, she'd rather wear it indoors, unseen by the rest of us, and then wipe it off and go to bed than show it in public. Can a celebrity make-up artist she approaches change her mind?
And Garry Owen explains why a rude horse is coming to call more frequently in Wales at this time of year and how she should be greeted if there's a knock at your door.

Producer Simon Coates

Festive policing and dating, wassailing with a mare's skull, and missed Christmas cards.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

Carolling with a horse's skull, festive policing and dating plus elusive Christmas cards.

20190120In the latest programme of the monthly series, Mishal Husain introduces dispatches from journalists and writers around the United Kingdom that reflect the range of contemporary life in the country. James Naughtie considers the contemporary legacy of Scotland's national bard as preparations for Burns Suppers reach their climax. Sima Kotecha wears a saree for the first time and looks at the place of the garment in her family's life. Chris Haslam sets sail off the Norfolk coast with firkins of beer: could this be a sustainable - and viable - way of transporting cargoes in our emissions-conscious age? Carly Appleby reveals the highs and lows of the treatment she is receiving after her breast cancer diagnosis. And Tom Edwards in the English Lakeland discovers if the boom in cold water swimming can transform the fortunes of a derelict lido overlooking Morecambe Bay.

Producer Simon Coates

Beer under sail in Norfolk, Burns Suppers, cancer treatment and a derelict Lakeland lido.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK."

20190217Mishal Husain introduces dispatches from journalists and writers around the United Kingdom which reflect the range of British life today.
Writer and broadcaster Horatio Clare reveals the deeply personal story of how he was sectioned under the Mental Health Act and his experiences on an in-patient ward in Yorkshire.
In the month of the National Parks Dark Skies Festival and a star-counting survey run by the British Astronomical Association and the Campaign to Protect Rural England, Andrew Green discovers why an unblemished night sky is so hard to find even in the Chilterns - and why that matters.
We often take our senses for granted. Charmaine Cozier recounts how she suddenly came to lose her sense of smell - and also to be left with a much diminished sense of taste - and explains the various strategies she's employed to try and recover them.
With little sign of an early end to Britain's housing problems, the ups and downs of squatting in a former industrial building are described by Lizzy McNeill.
And Adrian Goldberg climbs aboard "the cutest train in England" which, in its canary-yellow livery journeys modestly between stops in the West Midlands town of Stourbridge, yet offers a possible solution to transport problems elsewhere in the UK.

Producer Simon Coates

Being sectioned, light pollution, losing your sense of smell, squatting and a cute train.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

In the latest programme of the monthly series,

Mishal Husain presents the latest dispatches by writers and reporters from around the UK.

20190324Mishal Husain presents the monthly collection of journalistic pieces reflecting life across the UK today.
John Forsyth in Glasgow learns about the realities of rehabilitating convicted knife criminals on a visit to the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit which many experts regard as a model for other UK cities - notably London - to emulate in the fight against the explosion in incidents of violent street crime.
Gabriel Gatehouse, recently on shared parental leave, attempts to understand the world through the eyes of his seven month-old daughter and ponders how this may affect his daily work as a correspondent.
The BBC's Ireland Correspondent, Chris Page, considers Irish unity on the sporting field plus the contests with Britain - and especially England - and their likely implications politically and culturally on both sides of the border.
Jordan Dunbar takes us to Co. Antrim's dark hedges as the final season of "Game of Thrones" is set to hit television screens worldwide and he reflects on the impact of the HBO series, many scenes of which have been shot in Northern Ireland, economically and socially.
And Stephanie Power on Merseyside, a self-described "Catholic atheist", confronts her preconceptions and prejudices about evangelical builders as the major refurbishment of her south Liverpool home proceeds - and has a moment of revelation as she wonders why the firm doing the work is called JCIL.
Producer Simon Coates

Glasgow knife crime, parental leave, Irish sport, Antrim's dark hedges, unusual builders.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

In the latest programme of the monthly series,

Mishal Husain presents the latest dispatches by writers and reporters from around the UK.

20190421In the latest programme of the monthly series, Mishal Husain introduces dispatches from journalists and writers reflecting the range of contemporary life across the United Kingdom.
Shabnam Grewal grew up near Southall where, forty years ago, the New Zealand-born teacher, Blair Peach, was hit on the head by a police officer and later died. He was taking part in a protest against racism. The west London suburb had already witnessed the racially motivated murder of an Asian teenager. She remembers the tension and fears of the time and reflects on them in the company of her young son.
BBC News presenter, Tanya Beckett, has found herself part of a "Lady in the Van"-style drama - only in her case it's been a man in his fifties and a caravan. She muses on the unexpected connections she's forged with her unconventional neighbour amid the demands of contemporary living for them both.
Martin Bashir, the BBC's Religion Editor, found himself being asked about the meaning of Easter and has discovered that pondering a long-held guilty secret has helped him explain the most important festival in the Christian calendar.
Jane Labous in Dorset takes the plunge and goes mermaiding in Blandford Forum and finds out how the swimming craze that involves donning a fin and a tail is found empowering by women swimmers of different ages.
And Dan Whitworth, reporter for Radio 4's Money Box programme, prepares to return home to Sheriff Hutton in North Yorkshire and enjoy the spectacle of the flowers which are synonymous with spring and indicate the thriving nature of the village.
Producer Simon Coates

Racism, the man in the caravan, Easter and forgiveness, mermaids and why daffodils matter.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

In the latest programme of the monthly series, Mishal Husain introduces dispatches from journalists and writers around the United Kingdom which reflect the range of contemporary life in the country. From politics to pastimes, from hallowed traditions to emerging trends, from the curious to the ridiculous, the programme presents a tableau of Britain today.

Mishal Husain presents the latest dispatches by writers and reporters from around the UK.

20190519In the latest programme of the monthly series,

Mishal Husain presents the latest dispatches by writers and reporters from around the UK.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

In the latest programme of the monthly series, Mishal Husain introduces dispatches from journalists and writers around the United Kingdom that reflect the range of contemporary life in the country.

Martin Vennard in Saltburn reveals how surfing has improbably helped revive the fortunes of the once-proud Victorian resort on Tees-side; while Travis Elborough taps a surf music beat in Worthing where a 50 year-old musical phenomenon is garnering new fans.

Baby boomer Martin Gurdon, recently bereaved in late middle-age, explains how saying his final goodbye to his elderly father was both something greater longevity had prepared him for and yet - at least initially - still left him disoriented.

From the outskirts of Barnsley, Emma Levine reports on how a peculiar football match witnessed differing contemporary Yorkshire identities on display off the pitch.

And BBC reporter Athar Ahmad explains how he is preparing to go on a solitary spiritual quest in the final days of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

Producer Simon Coates

Riding Saltburn's waves, surf music in Worthing, a parent's death, Yorkshire identities.

20190623In the latest programme of the monthly series,

Mishal Husain presents the latest dispatches by writers and reporters from around the UK.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

In the latest programme of the monthly series, Mishal Husain introduces dispatches from journalists and writers around the United Kingdom that reflect the range of contemporary life in the country.
BBC News correspondent Dan Johnson considers the personal and social links between Wentworth Castle, a stately pile near Barnsley boasting magnificent gardens newly reopened to the public, and those who live in the communities nearby.
Alison Holt, the BBC's Social Affairs Correspondent, considers with a Somerset family why adult social care is the policy reform no UK government does anything about and the desperation this leaves carers for elderly relatives feeling.
Andrew Green looks at the idea of the bird celebrated in the most popular piece of classical music in Britain - Ralph Vaughan Williams' composition, "The Lark Ascending" - and the reality of its existence today on the farmland of the Chilterns.
And, also on a musical theme, in the week of BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2019, Martin Smith, BBC Wales' Arts Editor, asks how far the long-standing Welsh heritage in singing - especially in the South of the country - is now endangered by the demise of the industry for which it was celebrated - and whether it might yet be part of Wales' economic future.
And, with the time-worn quips over Essex and its denizens ringing in her ears, Jo Glanville discovers that established notions of Southend as a seaside resort with its best days behind it are out-of-date on her visits there.

Producer Simon Coates

Barnsley's big house, desperation with social care, Welsh singing and changing Essex.

20190721Mishal Husain introduces dispatches from writers and journalists which reflect the range of contemporary life in the United Kingdom.

Writer and broadcaster, Ian McMillan, embarks on a high summer stroll along the bridle path that links his home with the post-industrial landscape of South Yorkshire, taking in a flattened colliery, a screaming mandrake, Peter Falk, the X19 bus to Barnsley and a magpie - or is it two?
Journalist and part-time canoeist, Bob Walker, embarks on a "Three Men in a Boat"-style progress on the river Wye - which for much of its course marks the border between Wales and England. He quickly finds out that, just as in Jerome K. Jerome's time, there is often ferocious competition among the different users of the water space for access. And money often lies at the heart of the wrangling...
With mental health issues finally commanding more attention at home, work and in society generally, Christine Finn returns to her home town of Deal to discover how those managing conditions are being helped by the use of allotments. Along the way, she realises that old-style denial of mental health problems had gone on much closer to home than she had previously thought.
As the nation's gargantuan appetite for soft fruit reaches its apogee, John Murphy journeys to the poly-tunnels of the garden of England to learn how this demand is satisfied and how berry farmers' costs may yet force radical changes to the way strawberries, raspberries, loganberries - and all the rest - reach our tables. He also hears how the poly-tunnels can be unexpectedly romantic locations.
And Ayo Akinwolere ponders how and when the relationship between fathers and sons alters, their roles invert and how well-prepared both are for the change.

Producer Simon Coates

A bridle saunter, water battles, losing the plot, industrialising berries, son and father.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

Mishal Husain introduces dispatches from writers reflecting the range of contemporary life in Britain.

Poet and broadcaster, Ian McMillan, embarks on a high summer stroll along the bridle path linking his home with the post-industrial landscape of South Yorkshire, taking in a flattened colliery, a screaming mandrake, Columbo, the X19 bus to Barnsley and a magpie - or is it two?
Journalist and part-time canoeist, Bob Walker, embarks on a "Three Men in a Boat"-style paddle on the river Wye - which for much of its course marks the border between Wales and England. He finds out that, just as in Jerome K. Jerome's time, there is ferocious competition for access among the different users of the water space, with money often at the heart of the wrangling...
As mental health issues finally command greater attention in households, at work and in society generally, Christine Finn returns to her home town of Deal to discover how those managing conditions are being helped by the use of allotments. Along the way, she realises that old-style denial of mental health problems had gone on much closer to home than she had previously thought.
With the nation's gargantuan appetite for soft fruit reaching its apogee, John Murphy journeys to the berry farms of the garden of England to learn how this demand is satisfied and how growers' costs may force radical changes to the way strawberries, raspberries - and all the rest - reach our tables. He also hears how the polytunnels in which the fruit grows can be unexpectedly romantic locations.
And Ayo Akinwolere, presenter of the West Midlands edition of BBC ONE's "Inside Out", ponders how and when the relationship between fathers and sons alters, their roles invert and how well-prepared both are for the change.

A bridle saunter, river battles, losing the plot, industrialising berries, son and father.

20190818Mishal Husain introduces pieces reflecting contemporary life across the United Kingdom.

Alison Williams would regularly see a young middle-aged woman sitting outside the railway station she used. They returned smiles; Alison wondered about her back story. Then suddenly the woman was gone. What happened next is a parable of our times.
Each summer in recent years, Dorset has welcomed children from areas of northern Ukraine and Belarus blighted by the radioactivity released by the explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear site in April 1986. During their stay, the children receive health checks and enjoy the hospitality of local families. So how are they faring? Jane Labous has been to meet this year's visitors - and their hosts.
Even the idea of Welsh wine to accompany haute cuisine used to bring a smile to many a face, not least in the country itself. But in fact wine-making there dates back to Roman times and is currently undergoing a revival. But can what was once a cottage industry - literally - become a money-spinner? Tim Hartley has been visiting vineyards in both North and South Wales to gauge the prospects.
When, fifteen years ago, 23 Chinese cockle pickers tragically lost their lives on north-west England's "wet Sahara" - the vast area of sand and mudflats which is Morecambe Bay - it confirmed its reputation for treacherous tides that can readily catch out the unwary. A new guide to assist crossings to and from the Cumbrian and Lancastrian sides of the Bay has recently been appointed and Tom Edwards decided to take his daughters there to initiate them into its tidal flows.
And John Forsyth has been unearthing the mystery of toppling headstones in Scottish cemeteries. He discovers the identity of the perpetrator - and why it is happening.

Producer Simon Coates

Underpass woman, Dorset and Chernobyl, the wet Sahara, Welsh wine and Scottish headstones.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

In the latest programme of the monthly series,

Mishal Husain presents the latest dispatches by writers and reporters from around the UK.

20190922In the latest programme of the monthly series, Mishal Husain introduces dispatches from journalists and writers around the United Kingdom that reflect the range of contemporary life in the country. From politics to pastimes, from hallowed traditions to emerging trends, from the curious to the ridiculous, the programme presents a rich tableau of Britain today.

Producer Simon Coates

Mishal Husain presents the latest dispatches by writers and reporters from around the UK.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

In the latest programme of the monthly series, Mishal Husain introduces dispatches from journalists and writers around the United Kingdom that reflect the range of contemporary life in the country.

BBC London's Transport Correspondent, Tom Edwards, meets two people counting the cost – literally – of the further delayed London Crossrail infrastructure project and asks if they will be able to survive until it is finally finished.
Hannah Moore ruminates on the house move she has just made - her twelfth before she has even reached her thirtieth birthday - and the contrast between her parents’ long settled East Midlands’ life and her own frequently changing one.
Richard Vadon takes his teenage son and his friends to a covers band gig - only to find that most of the others there are his age rather than his son’s. But the reason for that reveals much, he says, about the contemporary music scene.
After a heart-stopping moment on the cricket field of her son's school - and an emergency operation - Geeta Guru-Murthy considers the domestic costs of intense sporting competitiveness.
And while nothing quite prepared author Francesca Segal for her experience of a neonatal intensive care unit not long ago, she now reflects on the lessons it offered her in motherhood and family life.

Crossrail delays, making a home, teenagers and gigs, cricket injuries and premature twins.

20191020In the latest programme of the monthly series, Mishal Husain introduces dispatches from journalists and writers around the United Kingdom reflecting the range of contemporary life in the country.
Traditional cider-making is a slow business. But, as the poet Julian May has been discovering this autumn while he collects the variety of apples which ensure its special quality, it is a richly satisfying process which links to Somerset's past, present and future.
Anisa Subedar has seen sons leave the family home for university before, so why is she feeling the departure of a third so keenly this autumn?
Growing numbers of young people are declaring themselves non-binary. But, as Sima Kotecha explains, while this can be liberating for them it can pose challenges for parents and other other adults which they can find difficult to meet.
Amid the financial and other pressures on local newspapers from online sources of news in particular communities, village newsletters have assumed new importance. Andrew Green considers how his Oxfordshire village newsletter is put together each month and the special skills required to ensure the medium's survival.
And Alice Hutton draws back the veil on the highly-organised postal services that operate at music festivals and the poignant, heart-warming and bizarre messages that they specialise in delivering - nearly all of them with only the most rudimentary addresses.

Producer Simon Coates

Making cider, shrinking families, being non-binary, village newsletters, festival letters.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

20191117In the latest programme of the monthly series, Mishal Husain introduces dispatches from journalists and writers reflecting the range of contemporary life in the United Kingdom.
Dan Johnson reports direct from the flooded River Don in South Yorkshire where feelings are running high among locals about the response to the latest inundation. As the rain returns after an all-too-brief respite, he reflects on the area's carbon-generating past and the effects of climate change.
In Hartlepool, the BBC's Social Affairs Correspondent, Michael Buchanan, hears from a mother and father about their twenty year-long struggle with the corrosive effects on their domestic life and their position in the local community of their sons' misuse of drugs.
We visit Walthamstow in north-east London in the company of Emma Levine. She talks to customers and staff of a long-standing local daytime eatery which at night converts into a cocktail bar that attracts an entirely different clientele. Will the two businesses thrive together?
BBC Cymru Wales's Garry Owen visits Parc prison in Bridgend to learn about a pioneering project designed to foster the all-important bonds between prisoners and their children. He hears what inmates - and their relatives - think of the programme and how successful it is proving to be.
And Stephanie Power, who has a love-hate relationship with the UK's capital city, explains how a recent visit to London brought out the conflicted nature of her view of the metropolis.

Producer Simon Coates

Don Valley floods, Hartlepool drug misuse, jellied eels, prisoners' children and London.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

In the latest programme of the monthly series,

Mishal Husain presents the latest dispatches by writers and reporters from around the UK.

20191222In the Christmas programme of the monthly series, Mishal Husain introduces seasonal dispatches from journalists and writers around the United Kingdom which reflect the nature and range of contemporary life.

Ian McMillan in Barnsley recalls being a - rather unexpected - wise man when a boy and ponders what that traumatic but ultimately uplifting experience has taught him which still matters today.
As excitement mounts, Jane Labous visits an improbable school for Father Christmases to discover the dos and don'ts of the job and why too much ho-ho-ho can be frowned upon.
Horatio Clare in South Wales reflects on the peculiar sense of loss which the bereaved feel during the festive season and considers how best it can be relieved for old and young alike.
Charmaine Cozier has actually done what many would like to do and volunteered during the festive season. She ponders the ups and downs of the experience as the best - and worst - aspects of humanity are put vividly on display.
And Travis Elborough, in the company of a Captain Nemo-like brewer, takes on the onerous task of sampling locally fermented Christmas ale in Sussex, and discovers the uplifting spiritual dimensions to the creation of a unique seasonal libation.

Producer Simon Coates

School for Santa, being a wise man, death and Christmas, festive ale and volunteering.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

In the Christmas programme of the monthly series, Mishal Husain introduces seasonal dispatches from journalists and writers around the United Kingdom that reflect the range of contemporary life in the country. From hallowed traditions to emerging trends, from the curious to the ridiculous, the programme presents a tableau of Britain today.

Among the contributions are pieces from: Ian McMillan on being a - rather unexpected - wise man; Jane Labous on an improbable school for Father Christmases; Charmaine Cozier on the ups and downs of volunteering at the festive season; and Travis Elborough on what it takes to make a special local Christmas brew.*

* The programme features topical contributions which may be subject to change prior to transmission.

Mishal Husain introduces a special seasonal range of dispatches from around the UK.

Ian McMillan in Barnsley recalls being a - rather unexpected - wise man when a boy and ponders what that traumatic but ultimately uplifting experience has taught him which still matters today.
Horatio Clare in South Wales reflects on the peculiar sense of loss which the bereaved feel during the festive season and considers how best it can be relieved for old and young alike.
As excitement mounts, Jane Labous visits an improbable school for Father Christmases to discover the dos and don'ts of the job and why too much ho-ho-ho can be frowned upon.
Charmaine Cozier has actually done what many would like to do and volunteered during the festive season. She ponders the ups and downs of the experience as the best - and worst - aspects of humanity are put vividly on display.
And Travis Elborough, in the company of a Captain Nemo-like brewer, takes on the onerous task of sampling locally fermented Christmas ale in Sussex, and discovers the uplifting spiritual dimensions to the creation of a unique seasonal libation.

Producer: Simon Coates

20200119In the latest programme of the monthly series, Mishal Husain introduces dispatches from:

Vincent Ni on a Chinese man who, like him, has come to Britain and is in his mid-thirties - but there the similarities abruptly end. What does living here undocumented mean in practical terms and why does he do it?
In Middlesbrough, Martin Vennard finds that while the town is proud of its explorer son 250 years on from James Cook's exploration of the Antipodes, it doesn't necessarily know a great deal about him. And that matters, he says, because Cook's life has significant contemporary relevance for today's Tees-siders.
Emilie Filou visits Pembrokeshire to meet the bug champions of St Davids and how an entomologist's start-up, created with her chef husband, is trying to influence how children think about what they eat. Can their bold ideas wreak a revolution in the city of the country's patron saint?
With the approach of Holocaust Memorial Day, which this year marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau, Adam Shaw reflects on the striking contemporary relevance of his own father's refugee status and escape from Nazi persecution in places as varied as a country estate in Northumberland and a "Lord of the Flies"-like "school" in Scotland. In a letter addressed to his father's grandchildren, he reveals how this child refugee managed to survive largely alone and ponders whether this story is as remote from our experience as we might first imagine.
And in Kent petrol-head Martin Gurdon ponders the reasons for - and implications of - today's teenagers not driving as much as previous generations.

Producer Simon Coates

Being undocumented, bug pasta, a Captain Cook legacy, young drivers, a refugee when ten.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

Vincent Ni on a Chinese man who, like him, has come to Britain and is in his mid-thirties - but there the similarities abruptly end. What does living here undocumented mean in practical terms and why does he do it?

With the approach of Holocaust Memorial Day, which this year marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau, Adam Shaw reflects on the striking contemporary relevance of his own father's refugee status and escape from Nazi persecution in places as varied as a country estate in Northumberland and a "Lord of the Flies"-like "school" in Scotland. In a letter addressed to his father's grandchildren, he reveals how this child refugee managed to survive largely alone and ponders whether this story is as remote from our experience as we might first imagine.

Emilie Filou visits Pembrokeshire to meet the bug champions of St Davids and how an entomologist's start-up, created with her chef husband, is trying to influence how children think about what they eat. Can their bold ideas wreak a revolution in the city of the country's patron saint?

In Kent petrol-head Martin Gurdon ponders the reasons for - and implications of - today's teenagers not driving as much as previous generations.

And in Middlesbrough, Martin Vennard finds that while the town is proud of its explorer son 250 years on from James Cook's exploration of the Antipodes, it doesn't necessarily know a great deal about him. And that matters, he says, because Cook's life has significant contemporary relevance for today's Tees-siders.

Producer: Simon Coates

Being undocumented, a refugee when ten, bug pasta, young drivers, a Captain Cook legacy.

In the latest programme of the monthly series,

Mishal Husain presents the latest dispatches by writers and reporters from around the UK.

20200216In the latest programme of the monthly series, Mishal Husain introduces dispatches from journalists and writers around the United Kingdom reflecting the range of contemporary life in the country.

Emma Jane Kirby, in Birmingham, reports on the seeds of magic sown by teachers there in schools serving deprived neighbourhoods - but also on the sometimes shocking realities of daily life at home for a number of the pupils.

In Carmarthenshire, David Baker explores the wide range of renewable energy projects being pioneered locally amidst a rich range of Welsh natural resources - and also witnesses a minor drama on his visit to a wind turbine. But who caused it?

Nearly thirty years after her aunt took her own life after living with depression for decades, Sima Kotecha reflects on daily life for those living with mental illness and those relatives and friends who witness it. She also considers how hard it remains for those in some South Asian communities to open up about their conditions and what the prospects are for that to change.

With buses seemingly now back in political favour across Britain, Christine Finn returns to the Channel Islands to discover how well-connected bus services are on her native Jersey - and embarks on an ambitious journey round the island to find out if she can circumnavigate it entirely on public transport in one day.

And Shaun Ley describes what it was like to be greeted by an unwelcome rodent in his home and the steps taken to deal with the visitor. But why are there seemingly more rats in our midst and why have they become bigger and bolder? The local rat catcher has some thought-provoking ideas...

Producer Simon Coates

Pupils fighting deprivation, renewable richness, mental illness, Jersey's buses, and rats.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

20200322Mishal Husain presents pieces by writers and journalists across the UK presenting portraits of life today.
Garry Owen of BBC Radio Cymru visits Llanelli and Hospital Notes - an amateur choir there comprising hospital and care workers and members of the emergency services. He discovers how its members de-compress at times of stress - when social distancing restrictions permit it - and what benefits they derive from singing together.
The writer, Damian Barr, author of the Radio 4 Books of the Week, "Maggie & Me" and "You Will Be Safe Here", takes us to north Lanarkshire and the South Downs in his quest for glow worms. His search is part journey of discovery and part self-revelation. Along the way, he explains the enduring appeal of these elusive insects at this - or, indeed - any time.
Andrew Green has journeyed around England in search of the special memorials which are stained glass windows in parish churches commemorating the Fallen of the Great War. From Cornwall to Suffolk, Leicestershire to Devon, he has been speaking with those entrusted with the care of both old and new windows and has heard why they matter so much to local communities.
The Edwardian bandstand in the West Yorkshire town of Todmorden is sadly neglected. But, as Andy Kershaw has been discovering, there are plans afoot from local campaigners to restore it. Might they, though, be defeated by local bureaucracy or will this rare structure come to enjoy a new lease of life over a hundred years after it first came into use?
And the poet and broadcaster, Ian McMillan, considers how we mark out our lives. For him, it's the regular visit to the same place for a ritual that’s barely altered over the decades. But if the location hasn’t changed the people certainly have…

Producer Simon Coates

Carers decompress; glow worms; stained glass; dilapidated bandstands and life in haircuts.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

Despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

Mishal Husain presents pieces by writers and journalists across the UK presenting portraits of life today.
Garry Owen of BBC Radio Cymru visits Llanelli and Hospital Notes - an amateur choir there comprising hospital and care workers and members of the emergency services. He discovers how its members de-compress at times of stress - when social distancing restrictions permit it - and what benefits they derive from singing together.
The writer, Damian Barr, author of the Radio 4 Books of the Week, "Maggie & Me" and "You Will Be Safe Here", takes us to north Lanarkshire and the South Downs in his quest for glow worms. His search is part journey of discovery and part self-revelation. Along the way, he explains the enduring appeal of these elusive insects at this - or, indeed - any time.
Andrew Green has journeyed around England in search of the special memorials which are stained glass windows in parish churches commemorating the Fallen of the Great War. From Cornwall to Suffolk, Leicestershire to Devon, he has been speaking with those entrusted with the care of both old and new windows and has heard why they matter so much to local communities.
The Edwardian bandstand in the West Yorkshire town of Todmorden is sadly neglected. But, as Andy Kershaw has been discovering, there are plans afoot from local campaigners to restore it. Might they, though, be defeated by local bureaucracy or will this rare structure come to enjoy a new lease of life over a hundred years after it first came into use?
And the poet and broadcaster, Ian McMillan, considers how we mark out our lives. For him, it's the regular visit to the same place for a ritual that’s barely altered over the decades. But if the location hasn’t changed the people certainly have…

Producer Simon Coates

Carers decompress; glow worms; stained glass; dilapidated bandstands and life in haircuts.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

2020052620200601 (R4)Drug-misusing homeless, cabin fever, foster parents, lockdown removals and home schooling.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

In the latest programme, Mishal Husain introduces dispatches from journalists and writers reflecting the range of life across the UK.

She begins and ends in Edinburgh. First, the BBC's Social Affairs Correspondent, Michael Buchanan, reveals how a renowned city centre doctor is using one public health emergency - Covid-19 - to tackle another - drug-related deaths among the homeless. Could a notoriously difficult medical and social problem prove amenable to new approaches?

Cabin fever is a literal risk for those living aboard narrow boats at the moment. And while self-sufficiency is a characteristic of those who live afloat, as Lois Pryce has been discovering among users on the Grand Union Canal, their ingenuity is being tested by the relatively prosaic requirements for water and fuel.

It's once again possible for those in England who are looking to move house to visit potential new homes in person. What, though, of those who are already part of a chain with buyers and sellers ready to go ahead? Lesley Curwen, a business reporter for more than three decades, finds herself in just that situation. Will she make her dream move to the West Country or will there be a last-minute hitch?

Foster carers become accustomed to all types of placements. Emily Unia's parents have decades of experience but even so it's been special for them to share the last several weeks with a young boy and his baby sister who arrived just days before lockdown. She reveals how they've all been coping.

And, back in the Scottish capital, Christopher Harding provides an amusing insight into the world of home schooling as his three children adjust to their new teachers and lessons. How do the ambitions of the new staff fare amid the realities of the schoolroom?

Producer Simon Coates

Drug-misusing homeless, cabin fever, foster parents, lockdown removals and home schooling.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

In the latest programme, Mishal Husain introduces dispatches from journalists and writers reflecting the range of life across the UK.

She begins and ends in Edinburgh. First, the BBC's Social Affairs Correspondent, Michael Buchanan, reveals how a renowned city centre doctor is using one public health emergency - Covid-19 - to tackle another - drug-related deaths among the homeless. Could a notoriously difficult medical and social problem prove amenable to new approaches?

Cabin fever is a literal risk for those living aboard narrow boats at the moment. And while self-sufficiency is a characteristic of those who live afloat, as Lois Pryce has been discovering among users on the Grand Union Canal, their ingenuity is being tested by the relatively prosaic requirements for water and fuel.

It's once again possible for those in England who are looking to move house to visit potential new homes in person. What, though, of those who are already part of a chain with buyers and sellers ready to go ahead? Lesley Curwen, a business reporter for more than three decades, finds herself in just that situation. Will she make her dream move to the West Country or will there be a last-minute hitch?

Foster carers become accustomed to all types of placements. Emily Unia's parents have decades of experience but even so it's been special for them to share the last several weeks with a young boy and his baby sister who arrived just days before lockdown. She reveals how they've all been coping.

And, back in the Scottish capital, Christopher Harding provides an amusing insight into the world of home schooling as his three children adjust to their new teachers and lessons. How do the ambitions of the new staff fare amid the realities of the schoolroom?

Producer Simon Coates

Drug-misusing homeless, cabin fever, foster parents, lockdown removals and home schooling.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

20200616Masks, photos in lockdown, Guernsey's old normal, pathway cyclists and medical dilemmas.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

Mishal Husain presents the latest dispatches by writers and reporters from around the UK.

Masks, photos in lockdown, Guernsey's old normal, pathway cyclists and medical dilemmas.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

In the latest programme of the monthly series, Mishal Husain introduces dispatches from journalists and writers which reflect the range of contemporary life in the UK.

Emir Nader of BBC Arabic tells the story of the family of Dr Adil El Tayar, who was originally from Sudan and himself an early casualty of Covid-19. With two doctors among his children, how do they all come to terms with the enormity of the tragedy that has befallen them and the professional dilemmas they face?

With most people in the UK now required to wear face coverings on public transport, many are learning to reach for them alongside keys and bags before leaving home. But it's not much of an adjustment for Vincent Ni, who's long seen how masks are commonplace in East Asia and has consequently been ahead of the game.

Has your lockdown involved a clear-out? It's been part of Gillian Powell's experience as she finally decided to tackle a vast photo collection accumulated in boxes over decades. Some tough choices over what to keep have needed to be made, but there's also been laughter along the way.

While steps are being taken to ease the lockdown on the UK mainland, in the Channel Islands Guernsey is moving quickly ahead with its pandemic exit strategy. Local people - no outside visitors yet - can start to take big steps back towards life as it was. But, as BBC reporter Frank Hersey explains, the process comes with a few headaches.

And lockdown has brought many more people than usual onto one of England's most ancient pathways - the Icknield Way. BBC London's Environment Correspondent, Tom Edwards, knows it well as a cyclist but there's now a new etiquette to using this amenity... or at least it's a work in progress.

Producer: Simon Coates

Mishal Husain presents the latest dispatches by writers and reporters from around the UK.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

In the latest programme of the monthly series, Mishal Husain introduces dispatches from journalists and writers which reflect the range of contemporary life in the UK.

Emir Nader of BBC Arabic tells the story of the family of Dr Adil El Tayar, who was originally from Sudan and himself an early casualty of Covid-19. With two doctors among his children, how do they all come to terms with the enormity of the tragedy that has befallen them and the professional dilemmas they face?

With most people in the UK now required to wear face coverings on public transport, many are learning to reach for them alongside keys and bags before leaving home. But it's not much of an adjustment for Vincent Ni, who's long seen how masks are commonplace in East Asia and has consequently been ahead of the game.

Has your lockdown involved a clear-out? It's been part of Gillian Powell's experience as she finally decided to tackle a vast photo collection accumulated in boxes over decades. Some tough choices over what to keep have needed to be made, but there's also been laughter along the way.

While steps are being taken to ease the lockdown on the UK mainland, in the Channel Islands Guernsey is moving quickly ahead with its pandemic exit strategy. Local people - no outside visitors yet - can start to take big steps back towards life as it was. But, as BBC reporter Frank Hersey explains, the process comes with a few headaches.

And lockdown has brought many more people than usual onto one of England's most ancient pathways - the Icknield Way. BBC London's Environment Correspondent, Tom Edwards, knows it well as a cyclist but there's now a new etiquette to using this amenity... or at least it's a work in progress.

Producer: Simon Coates

Masks, photos in lockdown, Guernsey's old normal, pathway cyclists and medical dilemmas.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

20200707In the latest programme, Mishal Husain introduces pieces from writers around the United Kingdom which reflect life as it is being led during Covid-19.
Paul Moss, who reports for Radio 4's "The World Tonight" and the BBC World Service, spills the beans on how daily reporting has changed during lockdown. His story includes weirdly unprofessional backdrops, some decidedly awkward manoeuvring of equipment, bedding - and the neighbours.
BBC News presenter, Tanya Beckett, has found that lockdown has meant that time has stood still in her Oxfordshire village, leaving her to reflect on a dreadful crime. It took place not far from where she now lives and, as she has learnt more about the case, it has turned out to be even closer to home than she had at first realised.
Businesses across the UK are deciding how to operate as lockdown restrictions are eased. They include tarot card readers who perhaps saw what was coming. Writer and broadcaster Travis Elborough has been speaking to two Brighton tarot readers who are getting ready to meet clients again. So how is the future looking?
And how's your bubble? In June, it was announced that single person and single parent households could form a "support bubble" with another household. After months alone, Jane Labous, in lockdown with her young daughter, has taken the plunge. She's been speaking to others weighing up the pros and cons of "bubbling up".
Lockdown has curtailed plans to mark the 300th anniversary of the birth later this month of the household naturalist, the Reverend Gilbert White. Yet his writings, based on observations in the Hampshire village of Selborne, remain astonishingly accessible and informative today - as Andrew Green, with a special Selborne connection himself, has found.

Producer Simon Coates

The "bubble", tarot readers, coy gorillas, murder in an idyll and a natural history hero.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

2020070720200713 (R4)In the latest programme, Mishal Husain introduces pieces from writers around the United Kingdom which reflect life as it is being led during Covid-19.
Paul Moss, who reports for Radio 4's "The World Tonight" and the BBC World Service, spills the beans on how daily reporting has changed during lockdown. His story includes weirdly unprofessional backdrops, some decidedly awkward manoeuvring of equipment, bedding - and the neighbours.
BBC News presenter, Tanya Beckett, has found that lockdown has meant that time has stood still in her Oxfordshire village, leaving her to reflect on a dreadful crime. It took place not far from where she now lives and, as she has learnt more about the case, it has turned out to be even closer to home than she had at first realised.
Businesses across the UK are deciding how to operate as lockdown restrictions are eased. They include tarot card readers who perhaps saw what was coming. Writer and broadcaster Travis Elborough has been speaking to two Brighton tarot readers who are getting ready to meet clients again. So how is the future looking?
And how's your bubble? In June, it was announced that single person and single parent households could form a "support bubble" with another household. After months alone, Jane Labous, in lockdown with her young daughter, has taken the plunge. She's been speaking to others weighing up the pros and cons of "bubbling up".
Lockdown has curtailed plans to mark the 300th anniversary of the birth later this month of the household naturalist, the Reverend Gilbert White. Yet his writings, based on observations in the Hampshire village of Selborne, remain astonishingly accessible and informative today - as Andrew Green, with a special Selborne connection himself, has found.

Producer Simon Coates

The "bubble", tarot readers, coy gorillas, murder in an idyll and a natural history hero.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

2020070720200713 (R4)Mishal Husain presents the latest dispatches by writers and reporters from around the UK.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

In the latest edition of the monthly series,

Producer Simon Coates

20200804
20200804In the latest programme of the monthly series, Mishal Husain introduces dispatches from journalists and writers around the United Kingdom reflecting contemporary life.

When lockdown dramatically curtailed orders, those businesses providing perishable products suffered particularly badly. Artisan cheese-makers had been growing in rural Wales creating much needed jobs there in recent years. But what does the future hold? BBC Radio Cymru's Garry Owen visited one cheese-maker in Carmarthenshire to find out.

As well as foodstuffs, farmers responsible for other products - such as wool - have been affected by the consequences of Covid-19. In places like the Scottish borders, where sheep are currently being shorn, fleeces are worth nothing - even less than that after allowing for their transport. John Forsyth has been to the Ettrick Valley in the Scottish borders and spoke to producers and wool graders.

What is it like to like with the after-effects of brain surgery? Each year at this time, the children's writer, Caroline Golding, reflects on the removal over twenty years ago of a tumour she had and how her thinking about the experience and what it meant has evolved.

Finally being able to bury his brother whose funeral took place just before lockdown has prompted Martin Vennard to consider how the place where they both lived still tells the story of the times they shared.

And Tim Hartley, profoundly missing his regular visit to the Cardiff City Stadium to watch his favourite team play in the EFL Championship, understandably jumped at the chance to see them recently in a vital match. But the experience for this football veteran turned out to be a salutary one.

Producer Simon Coates

Saving artisan cheese, sheep fleeces, brain surgery, a fraternal burial and eery football.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

2020080420200810 (R4)In the latest programme of the monthly series, Mishal Husain introduces dispatches from journalists and writers around the United Kingdom that reflect the range of contemporary life in the country. From politics to pastimes, from hallowed traditions to emerging trends, from the curious to the ridiculous, the programme presents a tableau of Britain today.

Producer Simon Coates

Mishal Husain presents the latest dispatches by writers and reporters from around the UK.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

20200825

Mishal Husain presents a range of perspectives on Britain today.

Edinburgh is usually thronged with crowds and alive with performers from around the world at Festival time. But the Scottish capital is in decidedly unfamiliar guise this August. Long-time resident, James Naughtie, experiences a city that is not itself.

Sparked by the shift in living patterns during lockdown, councils in England have implemented low traffic neigbourhoods aimed at cutting the number of vehicles on busy streets. But, as Tom Edwards, BBC London's Transport Correspondent, discovers, while residents like the respite, for motorists the new measures add to already time-consuming journeys.

Deep in the Cotswolds lies an opera house popular with aficionados for miles around. This summer, though, silence - not music - has reigned there. Gillian Powell, part of Longborough Festival Opera's team, reflects on what she has been missing, what's still been possible to do and what she might be able to look forward to next year.

During the Hindu festival of Janmastimi - a time of family reunion and celebration - Harshad Mistry received particularly sad and unwelcome news - the passing of his Motabhai or big brother. It has prompted not only poignant memories but also thoughts about ambition, kinship and community.

And Ian McMillan reveals his youthful attempts with a friend at breaking the time barrier in Barnsley - with the help of a hill of sand and a baked bean tin - and explains why it's something that still preoccupies him.

Producer Simon Coates

Unusual Edinburgh, low traffic, Cotswold opera, a close big brother and the time barrier.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

2020082520200831 (R4)

Mishal Husain presents a range of perspectives on Britain today.

Edinburgh is usually thronged with crowds and alive with performers from around the world at Festival time. But the Scottish capital is in decidedly unfamiliar guise this August. Long-time resident, James Naughtie, experiences a city that is not itself.

Sparked by the shift in living patterns during lockdown, councils in England have implemented low traffic neigbourhoods aimed at cutting the number of vehicles on busy streets. But, as Tom Edwards, BBC London's Transport Correspondent, discovers, while residents like the respite, for motorists the new measures add to already time-consuming journeys.

Deep in the Cotswolds lies an opera house popular with aficionados for miles around. This summer, though, silence - not music - has reigned there. Gillian Powell, part of Longborough Festival Opera's team, reflects on what she has been missing, what's still been possible to do and what she might be able to look forward to next year.

During the Hindu festival of Janmastimi - a time of family reunion and celebration - Harshad Mistry received particularly sad and unwelcome news - the passing of his Motabhai or big brother. It has prompted not only poignant memories but also thoughts about ambition, kinship and community.

And Ian McMillan reveals his youthful attempts with a friend at breaking the time barrier in Barnsley - with the help of a hill of sand and a baked bean tin - and explains why it's something that still preoccupies him.

Producer Simon Coates

Unusual Edinburgh, low traffic, Cotswold opera, a close big brother and the time barrier.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

2020082520200831 (R4)Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.
27/04/20202020041920200427 (R4)Single parent isolated, Culloden, parks, North Koreans in lockdown and a walk interrupted.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

In the latest programme of the monthly series,

Producer Simon Coates

Mishal Husain presents the latest dispatches by writers and reporters from around the UK.

In the latest programme of the monthly series, Mishal Husain introduces dispatches from journalists and writers around the United Kingdom that reflect the range of contemporary life in the country.

From Dorset, Jane Labous reflects on how she coped with early isolation with her young daughter in response to Covid-19 and the lessons she is drawing as a single parent as the experience continues and develops.

Culloden remains a significant moment in Scottish - and British - history which today, BBC News Special Correspondent James Naughtie has been discovering, has a life all of its own. For although, 274 years on, even the commemorations marking this epic historical event have to take account of current realities, for some there are eternal verities.

Parks have become the exercise refuge for many urban dwellers in recent weeks. But this has not been without contention and controversy, with some councils temporarily closing their spaces and others setting strict conditions for their use. This hasn't surprised the leading historian of parks, Travis Elborough, who reflects on how rows and disputes have been a central part of their history.

Charlotte Bailey, recently in New Malden, reveals how North Korean exiles there reflect on the irony of being in lockdown in the UK. But she also discovers how those she speaks to are getting on with the much more numerous population there originating from South Korea - and hears what the future may hold.

And Adam Shaw tells the story of the leaky dam, newspaper manor, chicken of the woods and the sword of Egbedene - all of which sound like they belong to a lost chapter from Harry Potter, but in fact tell us about Bolton's environs.

Producer Simon Coates

Single parent isolated, Culloden, parks, North Koreans in lockdown and a walk interrupted.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

In the latest programme of the monthly series, Mishal Husain introduces dispatches from journalists and writers around the United Kingdom that reflect the range of contemporary life in the country.

From Dorset, Jane Labous reflects on how she coped with early isolation with her young daughter in response to Covid-19 and the lessons she is drawing as a single parent as the experience continues and develops.

Culloden remains a significant moment in Scottish - and British - history which today, BBC News Special Correspondent James Naughtie has been discovering, has a life all of its own. For although, 274 years on, even the commemorations marking this epic historical event have to take account of current realities, for some there are eternal verities.

Parks have become the exercise refuge for many urban dwellers in recent weeks. But this has not been without contention and controversy, with some councils temporarily closing their spaces and others setting strict conditions for their use. This hasn't surprised the leading historian of parks, Travis Elborough, who reflects on how rows and disputes have been a central part of their history.

Charlotte Bailey, recently in New Malden, reveals how North Korean exiles there reflect on the irony of being in lockdown in the UK. But she also discovers how those she speaks to are getting on with the much more numerous population there originating from South Korea - and hears what the future may hold.

And Adam Shaw tells the story of the leaky dam, newspaper manor, chicken of the woods and the sword of Egbedene - all of which sound like they belong to a lost chapter from Harry Potter, but in fact tell us about Bolton's environs.

Producer Simon Coates

Mishal Husain presents the latest dispatches by writers and reporters from around the UK.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

30/04/201720170430Yorkshire pudding, Brighton's vinyl advocate, allotments and Blackpool's ballroom feature.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

In the latest programme, Mishal Husain introduces dispatches from journalists and writers around the United Kingdom that reflect the range of contemporary life in the country. This month: Ian McMillan unveils his campaign for Yorkshire pudding to secure UNESCO intangible heritage status; Carly Appleby reveals the dramatic effect of an unexpected medical diagnosis; Travis Elborough meets the 87 year-old behind an improbable retail success story in Brighton; Rebecca Ford discovers how Blackpool has reinvented itself - with a little help from China; and Mihir Bose ponders what allotments have to teach the people in charge of our leading football clubs.

Producer Simon Coates.

0120160503Mishal Husain presents a new series about Britain now with dispatches from around the UK.

In the first programme of a new series,

Mishal Husain presents a new series about Britain now with despatches from around the UK.

Mishal Husain presents despatches from journalists and writers across the UK.

In the first programme of a new series,