Books and reading on the BBC – #LovetoRead campaign this autumn

This autumn it is exciting to see and hear the high profile books and reading are getting on the BBC. This half-term break I properly became aware of the BBC iPlayerRadio and I’m now a huge fan. I’ve been enjoying listening to ‘Book at Bedtime’ on Radio 4 – 15 minute daily instalments of an abridged novel or for example Stephen King’s short story ‘The Cookie Jar’ for Halloween. The iPlayerRadio is a brilliant way of making the most of the diverse and fascinating content on BBC Radio stations at times to suit you and during commutes and journeys.


#LovetoRead: Celebrating the pleasures of reading

Reading is one of life’s greatest joys and can awaken our imagination, inspire and challenge us – not just as children but throughout our lives. That’s why the BBC has launched #LovetoRead, a campaign to celebrate reading. A comprehensive and exciting season of programmes is putting reading centre-stage this autumn. … programmes featuring Sue Townsend, Michael Palin, Marlon James, Willy Russell, Julie Walters, Chris Packham, Suggs, Cerys Matthews, Andrew Marr and many more.

You can browse all the programmes on the theme here and watch and listen to them on BBC iPlayer and radio player.


Some highlights suggested below:

One fascinating TV programme on reading was The school that got teens reading

Ripley Academy in Lancaster is the biggest and one of the most successful schools in Lancashire, but despite its outstanding Ofsted report the school can’t get its teenage pupils to engage in one of the most important skills imaginable – reading. It’s a problem secondary schools and parents are facing across the country. Now Ripley are trying something completely new. They have invited actor and comedian Javone Prince to shake things up a bit – and life in school is about to change. With the help of local lass and reading champion Helen Skelton, Javone’s mission is to inspire the school’s most reluctant readers to take the plunge and make reading for pleasure a habit for life. (BBC 2 website)

Radio 4’s ‘A Good Read’ is a great way to introduce yourself to new books. Two guests and the presenter Harriet Gilbert each champions a favourite book which they all read and discuss.(Harriet also hosts a monthly programme World Book Club on the BBC World Service

Paperback Heroes Andrew Marr explores spy novels, detective fiction and the fantasy genre in his series on BBC 4 Cover stories: Sleuths, spies, sorcerers and other paperback heroes

BBC 1 Books that made Britain

The secret life of Sue Townsend (aged 68 3/4) BBC 2 narrated by Julie Walters

Sue Townsend left school at 14 with no qualifications and in her early twenties was a single mother struggling to feed her three children. A decade later, The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4 was a critical and commercial smash and she had become the best-selling author of her era. (BBC website)

Scotland’s Favourite Books BBC Scotland conducted a public vote in August 2016 in partnership with The Scottish Book Trust and The Scottish Library and Information Council. Viewers choose their top ten from a list of the top 30 chosen by experts.

Simon Mayo’s Radio 2 Book Club

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