Rewinder

In a brand new series, Radio 1 Breakfast Show host Greg James digs into the BBC's archives, taking some of the week's news stories as a starting point for a trip into the past.

Greg, who describes himself as a "proud radio nerd", is let loose in the vast BBC vaults, home to a treasure trove of radio and television programmes as well as some revealing documents. He says "As someone who spends too much time searching for oddities online, the opportunity to gain access to one of the greatest media resources on the planet was too good to miss."

Episodes

SeriesEpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
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0101Donald Trump And The Three Beryls2019051820191216 (R4)

This week's audio journey uncovers some surprising moments. As the UK prepares for the state visit of President Trump, Greg discovers some of his first encounters with British broadcasters - and also finds that searching for 'trump' in the archives delivers an unexpected series from the early 1980s.

The Elton John biopic Rocketman arrives in our cinemas this week and the BBC archives reveal that Elton's journey to global success had a very bumpy start. Following the announcement that Yorkshire-born Simon Armitage will be the next Poet Laureate, we hear from a long-overlooked Yorkshire writer who wrote hundreds of royal poems. And there's an art review format which Greg describes as 'astonishing': two Beryls consider paintings by an artist called Beryl.

Producer Paula McGinley

Greg, who describes himself as a "proud radio nerd", is let loose in the vast BBC vaults, home to a treasure trove of radio and television programmes as well as some revealing documents. He says "As someone who spends too much time searching for oddities online, the opportunity to gain access to one of the greatest media resources on the planet was too good to miss."

This week's audio journey uncovers some surprising moments. As the UK prepares for the state visit of President Trump, Greg discovers some of his first encounters with British broadcasters - and also finds that searching for 'trump' in the archives delivers an unexpected series from the early 1980s.

The Elton John biopic Rocketman arrives in our cinemas this week and the BBC archives reveal that Elton's journey to global success had a very bumpy start. Following the announcement that Yorkshire-born Simon Armitage will be the next Poet Laureate, we hear from a long-overlooked Yorkshire writer who wrote hundreds of royal poems. And there's an art review format which Greg describes as 'astonishing': two Beryls consider paintings by an artist called Beryl.

Greg James digs into the BBC's archives, using current stories as a portal to the past.

0102Peace, Love And Lancashire Cheese2019052520191223 (R4)

Radio 1 Breakfast Show host and self-described 'radio nerd' Greg James rummages through the BBC's archives, taking some of this week's stories and themes as a jumping off point into the past.

This week Radio 1's Big Weekend launches the music festival season which sets Greg off on a hunt to find out how big pop events were reported back in the 1960s and 1970s. Beneath the flares and cheesecloth he uncovers some illuminating recordings - how a gang of Hells Angels caused a rumpus at the Weeley Festival and the clash between locals and festival goers in Bickershaw in 1972. There's also a painful interview with a young Bob Dylan.

As one high street bakery this week attributed rising profits to its vegan sausage roll, Greg also looks back at the way vegans and vegetarians were portrayed on radio and television, although Delia Smith was a trailblazer for the versatility of vegetables. Back in 1980 Delia interviewed a young Kate Bush about turning away from meat and, in a warm and revealing conversation, Kate shares her recipes and culinary tips.

Plus the early sounds of Victoria Wood, and the voices of Victorians - women in their 90s, filmed in 1970 remembering life in the 19th century.

Producer: Paula McGinley

Greg James digs into the BBC's archives, using current stories as a portal to the past.

0103 LASTTwo World Cups And A Sausage On A Stick2019060120191230 (R4)

Greg James digs into the BBC's archives, using current stories as a portal to the past.

Radio 1 Breakfast Show host and self-described 'radio nerd' Greg James rummages through the BBC's archives, taking some of this week's stories and themes as a jumping off point into the past.

In anticipation of the FIFA Women's World Cup, Greg kicks off this week's episode with some archive recordings of female football players from the 1960s and 1970s. It's safe to say that the interviews and commentaries are definitely of their time with some less than enlightened male attitudes towards women on the pitch.

The sporting theme continues with the Cricket World Cup which sends Greg on a mission to find some standout cricketing moments. He discovers a spine-tingling edition of Any Questions in 1960 in which commentator John Arlott makes an impassioned attack on apartheid in South Africa and challenges the British Government to take action.

As the UN questions the use of female voices for digital assistants, Greg listens in when Robert Kilroy-Silk takes on Germaine Greer in an edition of his show Day To Day from 1987.

Obesity levels are continuing to rise in the UK so Greg slips on his legwarmers and limbers up to some fitness albums from the 1980s - the cast of instructors include Jane Fonda, Joan Collins and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Radio 1 DJ Peter Powell demonstrates his high intensity workout without breaking into a sweat.

And as the Italian Job celebrates its 50th birthday Michael Caine reflects on his cockney accent in an interview from 1976. There's also music from the Little Angels of Korea, who enjoy the 1970s delicacy of sausages on sticks courtesy of a Blue Peter party, and the case of Acker Bilk's missing bowler hat continues.

Producer: Paula McGinley

0201Punks, Spies And A Truck Full Of Cash2019111620200106 (R4)

Greg James, host of the Radio 1 Breakfast Show and self-confessed 'proud radio nerd', rummages through the BBC's vast archives of audio, video, vinyl, photographs and documents, using current stories as a springboard into the past.

In the first series Greg unearthed the earliest appearances of Donald Trump on the BBC, including the time when the future President found himself perching on the chat-show sofa between Terry Wogan and Dame Edna Everage. Greg also found the BBC review show which thought that Elton John was 'past it' at the age of 26 - and uncovered reports of bad behaviour at a BBC pop show in the Royal Albert Hall in the early 1960s, culminating in the theft of Acker Bilk's bowler hat. It's still missing.

Greg now crosses the corridor from Radio 1 to Radio 4 for a second series of Rewinder, and says: "As someone who spends far too much time searching for oddities online, the opportunity to gain access to one of the greatest media resources on the planet is too good to miss."

Producer Paula McGinley

Greg James, self-confessed 'proud radio nerd', returns to rummage through the BBC archives

Greg James digs into the BBC's archives, using current stories as a portal to the past.

Greg James, host of the Radio 1 Breakfast Show and self-confessed 'proud radio nerd', rummages through the BBC's vast archives of audio, video and documents, using current stories and listener suggestions as a springboard into the vaults.

This week a listener sends him in search of how the BBC covered the arrival of punks and punk music - coincidentally just a few days after Boris Johnson stated that The Clash were one of his favourite bands, a choice which infuriated some Clash fans. Greg finds an interview with Clash front-man Joe Strummer, shooting opinions in all directions, as well as Johnny Rotten and bandmates on Radio 4 news programmes in the late 1970s, John Peel defending the music and its disciples on Brass Tacks, and a reflective moment from singer Poly Styrene.

On the eve of Road Safety Week 2019, Greg discovers how the introduction of the breathalyser proved controversial just over 50 years ago - along with a radio play from the 1940s about the dangers of drink-driving. As the general election campaign continues, we hear the voice of the first woman to take her seat in the House of Commons - Nancy Astor, who was elected 100 years ago this month.

And almost 25 years to the day since the very first National Lottery draw, Greg returns to a moment of TV history, with a truck filled with the jackpot cash arriving in the studio.

0202Rod, Clutter And Little Green Men2019112320200113 (R4)

Greg James, host of the Radio 1 Breakfast Show and self-confessed 'proud radio nerd', rummages through the BBC's vast archives of audio, video and documents, using current stories and listener suggestions as a springboard into the vaults.

The recent news that NASA plans to send probes further into space than ever before leads Greg in search of extra-terrestrial life in the archives. He finds languages from distant planets, close encounters - and wonders why aliens heading to Earth chose Banbury, Oxfordshire, as their favourite destination.

As the domestic de-cluttering guru Marie Kondo makes headlines by opening an online shop, we hear earlier expert advice on how to free your home from junk, and Rod Stewart's current British tour prompts a return to a landmark documentary from the mid-1970s - including two devoted, patient fans waiting at Heathrow, and the moment when a French radio interviewer kept Rod waiting - and waiting.

As RuPaul's Drag Race UK reaches its grand finale, Greg's archive searches take him to performers catalogued as 'female impersonators', and eventually lead him to a series of programmes which won vast audiences and changed public opinion.

And a request from a listener introduces a sound now lost from Farming Today, with a lyricism which - according to our listener - rivals the Shipping Forecast.

Producer Paula McGinley

Greg James, self-confessed 'proud radio nerd', rummages through the BBC's vast archives.

Greg James digs into the BBC's archives, using current stories as a portal to the past.

0203 LASTRobots, Bond, Eggs And Haddock2019113020200120 (R4)

Greg James digs into the BBC's archives, using current stories as a portal to the past.

Greg James, host of the Radio 1 Breakfast Show and self-confessed 'proud radio nerd', rummages through the BBC's vast archives of audio, video and documents, using current stories and your suggestions as a springboard into the vaults.

This week he begins with a request from a listener, who wants to hear about pioneering women broadcasters - especially women who weren't booked to speak about cookery or childcare. Olga Collett was the first woman to commentate on horse racing - and she was adamant that her reports from Ascot would not focus on fashion. She became a familiar voice in the 1930s, but in a later interview, she revealed what happened when she asked if she could read the news on air - and why she fell out with the Director-General of the BBC at the time.

As the police in Boston, USA, experiment with robot dogs, Greg searches for robots of the past, uncovering Ferdinand the Beast, an early American example, along with bold predictions from the 1960s from visionary writers Isaac Asimov and Arthur C Clarke.

Angling, it was reported this week, is becoming increasingly popular among women - Greg fishes up some earlier coverage of life on the riverbank, including a theory as to why women are more successful at catching salmon.

Letters between James Bond creator Ian Fleming and wife are about to be auctioned: Fleming himself made very few appearances on the BBC - but one is very memorable: a conversation with the revered American writer Raymond Chandler. And as a new baby on EastEnders is named Peggy, in memory of the role played so successfully by Barbara Windsor, Greg finds Barbara in 1963, delighted to see her name in lights for the very first time.

Producer Paula McGinley

Greg James, self-confessed 'proud radio nerd', rummages through the BBC's vast archives.