Easy at first, antagonistic, incomprehensible, often entirely absent for years, tentative, admiring, funny, supportive, valedictory: the conversations sons have - or don't have - with their fathers are the landmarks of one of the most significant of all relationships.

Using material contributed by listeners, Radio 4 charts this unexplored territory...

The programme maps the change from dependency on our fathers in childhood to theirs on us in old age.

It explores whether, as sons become autonomous, meaningful communication can continue (or if that's when it starts).

And, delving into the different natures of the conversations of sons with their fathers, we consider how, as sons themselves become fathers, these conversations also become more complex...

Producer: Neil George.

Broadcast Dates

  • 20100917