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Sentimental Journey

Premiere

Tomorrow 8am - 9am BBC Radio 4 Extra
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Tomorrow, 3pm - 4pm BBC Radio 4 Extra
Sunday, 3am - 4am BBC Radio 4 Extra
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Review

This is a personal essay rather than the typical Archive on 4. Gyles Brandreth’s paternal grandfather, George R Sims, was the highest-paid journalist of his day but he was also a dab hand at the sentimental ballads.

We hear his most famous example — Christmas Day in the Workhouse — and Brandreth nails his colours firmly to the mast: there’s nothing wrong with a tear-inducing dose of sentimentality if it’s well written and comes from the heart.

Summary

Gyles Brandreth presents a light-hearted survey of the history of sentimentality in Britain, from the works of Charles Dickens to the enduring appeal of Diana, Princess of Wales, and taking in the Battle of Agincourt, the plays of William Shakespeare and the comedy wit of Noel Coward along the way. Includes archive recordings on the subject by Beverley Nichols, Godfrey Winn, Patience Strong and Hughie Green, as well as new readings by Simon Russell Beale and Jenny Seagrove.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Gyles Brandreth
Contributor Simon Russell Beale
Contributor Jenny Seagrove
Producer Peter Everett

Documentary

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