Saturday Live



Real life but not as you know it. Radio 4's Saturday morning show brings you extraordinary stories and remarkable people.


  • Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

    Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

    05/01/2021 Duration: 01h23min

    Nikki Bedi and Richard Coles are joined by celebrity chef and food campaigner Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, who talks about changes we can make to our diet to eat and live better. Thriller writer CJ Daugherty talks about her new book, Number 10, in which a fictional prime minister’s daughter battles subterranean intrigue in Whitehall. She also reveals her own chequered past before becoming a writer. Award-winning author Andrew O’Hagan shares his Inheritance Tracks. He’s chosen This Is My Life by Shirley Bassey and Falling And Laughing by Orange Juice. Spoken word poet Isi the Scribe has put together a poem from words and phrases suggested by the audience. He also talks about being a zoologist and voice over actor. And Lynsey Bleakley of Bumble and Goose shares how the pain of four miscarriages ended her career as a health visitor and how baking brownies helped her recover and create a new business. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s book Eat Better Forever is out now. Number 10 by CJ Daugherty is out now. Andre

  • Adam Buxton

    Adam Buxton

    26/12/2020 Duration: 01h23min

    Nikki Bedi and Richard Coles are joined by writer and comedian Adam Buxton, who talks about his partnership with schoolfriend Joe Cornish, family relationships and performs a song. Anne Glenconner’s memoir Lady in Waiting: My Extraordinary Life in the Shadow of the Crown became a bestseller. Now 88, Lady Glenconner has written her first novel Murder on Mustique, set on the island formerly owned by her husband. She discusses her life, dealing with tragedy and why she’s now at her happiest. As a Boxing Day treat, Jools Holland and Sheila Ferguson share their Inheritance Tracks. Jools Holland has chosen Up Above My Head by Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Love Made Them Do That by Jools Holland With Ruby Turner. Sheila Ferguson has chosen What Are You Doing New Year's Eve by Nancy Wilson and When Will I See You Again by The Three Degrees. During lockdown Jay Flynn become known for his Virtual Pub Quiz, which won him a place in the Guinness Book of Records. He’s also been awarded an MBE as he has raised over £750, 00

  • Michel Roux Jr

    Michel Roux Jr

    19/12/2020 Duration: 01h23min

    Nikki Bedi and Rev Richard Coles are joined by Michel Roux Jr. whose father and uncle were the first in the UK to achieve three Michelin stars for their London restaurant Le Gavroche, where he partly trained in classical French cookery, also doing military service working in the kitchens of the Elysee Palace cooking for two French presidents. He now runs Le Gavroche, and has continued the cooking dynasty as his own daughter has also become a chef. Maria Leijerstam Edy holds the Guinness World Record for being the first person to cycle to the South Pole, in 2013. Navigating avalanches and crevasses, extreme weather conditions and chronic pain, she reached her goal in just 10 days. She joins us. Meriel Larken has spent over 30 years rescuing a ship that lies today on the world’s highest navigable lake, Lake Titicaca in Peru. The Yavari, a Victorian steamboat built in a Birmingham shipyard was transported piecemeal through the Andes on mule back. It's now a popular tourist destination and B&B. Raine

  • Katherine Grainger and Kelly Jones

    Katherine Grainger and Kelly Jones

    12/12/2020 Duration: 01h25min

    Dame Katherine Grainger won five medals for rowing in five consecutive Olympic Games from 2000 to 2016, including gold in London 2012. She also has a PhD in criminal law and is chair of UK Sport. She joins Richard Coles and Nikki Bedi to discuss her extraordinary life. Kelly Jones is the frontman of the rock band the Stereophonics. Known for his distinctive gravel-voice, he was born in South Wales and followed his dad into the music industry. He’s just released a solo album Don’t Let the Devil Take Another Day and the recent documentary Don’t Let the Devil Take Another Day follows him through his recovery from throat surgery after which he had to re-learn to sing. Ben Aitken was on the lookout for a budget holiday when he signed up for a five-day coach trip to Scarborough. Through spending time with the often elderly people on the bus, he discovered their fascinating stories and ended up signing up for six coach holidays across the UK which he has written about in his book The Gran Tour. And we hear from

  • Ian Rankin

    Ian Rankin

    05/12/2020 Duration: 01h24min

    Nikki Bedi and Richard Coles are joined by award winning crime writer Ian Rankin who talks about taking John Rebus out of Edinburgh in his latest novel. Listener Joy France reveals how she became known as the Rapping Granny. Richard Essien's skills as a hip-hop dancer and dazzling illusionist saw him sail to the final of Britain’s Got Talent 2020, using stage persona Magical Bones. Comedian Mark Watson shares his Inheritance Tracks - The Logical Song by Supertramp and In The New Year by The Walkmen. A lifelong dedication to curiosity and problem-solving has led Ella Al-Shamahi not only to a successful career in paleoanthropology, but also in stand-up comedy. The new John Rebus thriller A Song For The Dark Times is out now. Magical Bones will be live in London at the Hippodrome Casino on 13th December. Plus, there will be a UK tour of Black Magic starting in February next year. Mark Watson's latest book Contacts is out now. Ella Al-Shamahi's Jungle Mystery: Lost Kingdoms of the Amazon starts on Saturday 5t

  • Mica Paris

    Mica Paris

    28/11/2020 Duration: 01h25min

    Nikki Bedi and Richard Coles are joined by Mica Paris. Hauled up onstage by Prince, fish 'n' chips with Stevie Wonder and footsie with Whitney Houston, and now EastEnders and a Gospel album. John 'Chickie' Donohue joins us from New York - he travelled more than 8,000 miles into the middle of the Vietnam War, to take his buddies some beers. Listener Liza Frank has been looking into folklore of the British Isles and sometimes beyond, and set her self the challenge of doing a ritual or tradition every day of the year and logging it in her blog. Karenjeet Kaur Bains is accountant by day, and a powerlifter the rest of the time - she is Britain’s first female Sikh powerlifter to represent Britain on the World and European stages. We have the inheritance tracks of writer John Lanchester who chooses JS Bach, Partita no. 1 in B flat major, BWV 825 played by Dinu Lipatti and Hong Kong Garden by Siouxsie and the Banshees; and a listener's thank you. Producer: Corinna Jones

  • Tom Kerridge

    Tom Kerridge

    21/11/2020 Duration: 01h24min

    Richard Coles and Nikki Bedi are joined by pub-loving celebrity chef Tom Kerridge who has been awarded two Michelin stars since opening The Hand and Flowers in Marlow. The pub celebrates its 15th anniversary with The Hand and Flowers Cookbook. Since opening the pub Tom has been a fixture of British cooking programmes and has famously lost 12st in weight. He has also turned his attention to the plight of British pubs in lockdown with his new BBC series Saving Britain’s Pubs. Comedian and television presenter Tom Allen is currently offering up an Extra Slice of Bake-Off on Channel 4 and has just published his memoir No Shame which describes the stigma of being ‘an outsider’ as a teenager in 90s suburbia. Naomi Riches was hit by a car while on a night out in London and spent months recovering from a head injury. Just four years later, Naomi would compete at the Beijing Paralympics, earning a Bronze medal for Great Britain. With a dogged determination to always do her best, she would eventually go on to net

  • Gabriel Byrne

    Gabriel Byrne

    14/11/2020 Duration: 01h24min

    Gabriel Byrne joins Richard Coles and Nikki Bedi. The Award-winning actor made his acting debut as a shepherd in a Nativity play and since then has made over 80 films, won a Golden Globe for In Treatment and had a successful stage career. He talks about growing up in Ireland, wanting to be a priest, turning his life around and loving a simple life. Courtney Act talks about her life and career which includes winning Celebrity Big Brother 2018 (UK). The performer also talks about why she's giving a lesson in ‘Kindness’ as part of the Celebrity Supply Teacher series on CBBC. Guitarist Hank Marvin shares his Inheritance Tracks. He has chosen Lonnie Donegan - Rock Island Line and Allan Holdsworth - Joshua. Listener Matt Flukes was told he has an incurable cancer just ten minutes after his adoption of two children was made official by a judge. He will talk about how he was inspired to write fiction by his experiences of adoption. David Quantick is an Emmy-award winning comedy writer who has worked on Veep, Th

  • Akram Khan

    Akram Khan

    07/11/2020 Duration: 01h23min

    Nikki Bedi and Richard Coles are joined by Akram Khan. Winning a disco dance competition as a child encouraged Akram to pursue what he saw as his one talent: dance. Today he is one of the UK’s leading choreographers, has an MBE for services to dance, and tells stories through dance on stages as varied as Sadlers Wells to the 2012 London Olympics stadium. Sarah Beeny has graced our TV screens for the past 20 years as one of the nation’s most loved property experts. She estimates that she’s now been in more than 1,000 homes offering advice on all things remodeling, interior design and extensions. Now, the cameras follow her and her family as they build a house from scratch in Somerset. When Dwayne Fields moved to London from Jamaica aged 6 he wondered where all the trees were. He escaped the city after discovering Epping forest and adventures in nature, becoming the first black Briton to reach the North Pole in 2010. The Scout ambassador and Countryfile contributor is now planning to take 20 disadvantage

  • David Jason

    David Jason

    31/10/2020 Duration: 01h25min

    Sir David Jason turned 80 this year and spent lockdown writing his new book A Del of a Life: Lessons I’ve Learned which describes how, despite beginning his career as an electrician, he went on to play some of the UK's best-loved characters including Granville, Pa Larkin, Detective Inspector Jack Frost, Danger Mouse and, of course, Derek Trotter. He explains to Richard Coles and Nikki Bedi how he achieved the title of Britain’s 4th most hard working actor. Journalist and television presenter Steph McGovern is currently hosting Steph's Packed Lunch on Channel 4, but before that she worked for the BBC as the main business presenter for BBC Breakfast. She describes herself as a hustler, persuading the BBC to take her on after doing work experience and becoming Robert Peston’s producer before moving in front of the camera. Paul Stone (aka ‘My Dog Sighs’) gave up his teaching job to pursue his dream of being an artist. Rejected by every gallery he approached, he returned to his former career resigned to the fa

  • Phillip Schofield

    Phillip Schofield

    24/10/2020 Duration: 01h24min

    Richard Coles and Shaun Keaveny are joined by Phillip Schofield who shares his highlights from spending nearly 40 years in television, and talks about coming out as gay- both publicly and privately. Wim Hof, also known as The Ice Man, holds multiple world records including climbing the highest mountains in the world while wearing only shorts. He reveals how the cold was his saviour in tough times and that a traumatic birth made him a man on a mission. When Skepta won his 2016 Mercury prize he thanked his mother. Now Ify Adenuga talks about her life: growing up in Nigeria and protecting her children from youth crime whilst they were growing up in London. Former Footballer and Pundit Jamie Redknapp shares his Inheritance Tracks: Easy by The Commodores and The Notorious B.I.G - Juicy. Sharon D. Clarke MBE is an Olivier Award-winning actor and singer. She talks about her eclectic career, from her first hit “I Wanna Give You Devotion” with Nomad in 1991, to TV roles on Holby City and Doctor Who, and an Olivier

  • Rupert Everett

    Rupert Everett

    17/10/2020 Duration: 01h23min

    Richard Coles and Nikki Bedi are joined by Rupert Everett, star of stage and screen with titles such as My Best Friend’s Wedding, An Ideal Husband, The Importance of being Earnest, Shakespeare in Love, St Trinian’s, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, and his directorial debut which he also wrote and starred in: The Happy Prince. We also have Charlotte Mensah, the UK’s authority on natural Afro, mixed and curly textured hair. Her journey took her between Ghana and the UK, overcoming some major hurdles, leaving school at 16, finding a community and security in hair dressing to owning her own salon, hair range and a charity to help others. Jasvir Kaur Rababan MBE is a Sikh music therapist and one of the only female rabab players in the world. She talks about her journey from tone-deaf teenager to professional musician, and how picking up her instrument for the first time felt like coming home. And JJ Chalmers joins us. A former Royal Marines commando, Invictus Games medallist, TV presenter, medi

  • Michael Portillo

    Michael Portillo

    10/10/2020 Duration: 01h24min

    Broadcaster and former MP Michael Portillo joins Suzy Klein and Richard Coles to discuss his new book which celebrates ten years of Great British Railway Journeys. Actor Jude Akuwudike was born in Nigeria and lived there until he was six when a baffling illness lead to his parents, who were studying in London, to bring him to the UK for treatment. Jude recovered but the Civil War prevented his family returning to Nigeria and Jude went on become an actor, training at RADA and having successful career on stage and in film. He is now starring in his first ever Nigerian film, Eyimofe. Listener Helen Lindsay emailed Saturday Live about her father Jack, who was a member of the Communist Party. Helen recently discovered that her father had actually been watched for decades by MI5. Jeff Johns aka “Big Jeff” has been to a gig almost every night of the week for the past 18 years. He is a well-known presence in Bristol and his face is used as the literal stamp of approval in his favourite local venue. And Tori Amo

  • Shirley Ballas

    Shirley Ballas

    07/10/2020 Duration: 01h24min

    Richard Coles and Suzy Klein are joined by multi-award-winning dancer and Strictly Head Judge Shirley Ballas. Liam Meredith is a former offender who has turned his life around to become a dairy conservationist, business owner and mentor to young prisoners. Lara Prior-Palmer talks about being the first woman and youngest competitor to win the Mongol Derby, known as the world's longest and hardest endurance horse race. Dave Stewart shares his Inheritance Tracks: Only a Pawn in Their game by Bob Dylan and Liberation by Stewart Lindsey. Shaun Williamson, best known as Barry from EastEnders, explains his love of quizzing and talks about growing up in suburban Kent, his stint in the Navy, and the discovery of a long‐lost son. Shirley Ballas: Behind the Sequins is out now. Lara Prior-Palmer's memoir Rough Magic is out now. Amitié – the new album from Stewart Lindsey is out now. A Matter of Facts by Shaun Williamson is out now. Producer: Claire Bartleet Editor: Eleanor Garland

  • Cressida Cowell and Rob Halford from Judas Priest

    Cressida Cowell and Rob Halford from Judas Priest

    26/09/2020 Duration: 01h25min

    Richard Coles and Marverine Cole are joined by writer and illustrator Cressida Cowell, whose How to Train Your Dragon series has sold 11 million books worldwide in 38 languages and is a major DreamWorks Animation film franchise, she’s also written the Wizard of Once series, the Emily Brown books and is the current Children’s laureate. Rob Halford is lead singer of Grammy Award winning heavy metal band Judas Priest. He struggled with his identity and drug and alcohol addiction. He's now sober and out! Jessi Gutch was diagnosed with incurable cancer in February 2019, aged 26. Plans this year to work through her “bucket list” were replaced by shielding in her second floor flat. However, she still managed to explore some of these themes in a short film and she got married. She joins us. Suzanne Bonnar grew up the only black child in a tiny Scottish town. She didn’t know her American father, but she felt connected to him via the US Naval servicemen who were stationed nearby. When the US military permanent

  • Alan Davies

    Alan Davies

    19/09/2020 Duration: 01h24min

    Alan Davies joins Richard Coles and Marverine Cole. Having spent nearly 20 years on the QI panel, performing sell-out comedy tours and appearing in television sitcoms and dramas, Alan has branched out and written an unflinching memoir about his painful childhood. Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason is a former lecturer at Birmingham University and the mother of seven children. The third eldest, cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, was BBC Young Musician 2016 and performed at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. The siblings have performed at the 2018 BAFTA ceremony, Britain's Got Talent, The Royal Variety Performance and at major concert halls around the world. How did she do it? Harry Shearer is an American comedian, radio host and actor who is known for his stints on Saturday Night Live, for co-creating and performing in This Is Spinal Tap and for voicing up several characters on The Simpsons, including Mr Burns, Principal Skinner and Ned Flanders. He is now using his vocal skills to create an album of songs which Har

  • Charles Spencer

    Charles Spencer

    12/09/2020 Duration: 01h25min

    Richard Coles and Shaun Keaveny are joined by Charles Spencer. Charles has a few hats – as Earl Spencer he is the custodian of Althorp house in Northamptonshire; he is the brother of Diana, Princess of Wales; he is the Queen’s godson; but also he is a respected author of history books – his latest tells the events of almost 900 years ago involving a dramatic shipwreck which changed the course of history – the story is, as he describes it, a mash up of Titanic and Game of Thrones with a bit of Sliding Doors thrown in. We also have Sophie Carrigill who is co-captain of Britain’s women’s wheelchair basketball team. A decade ago at the age of 16, Sophie Carrigill was caught in a life-threatening car accident which paralysed her from the waist down, now she has just re-started group training for the 2021 Paralympics. Louis Bird’s dad was record breaking pacific rower Peter Bird, who was attempting another crossing when he disappeared in the middle of the pacific ocean when Louis was 4 years old. Now 28, Loui

  • Richard Osman

    Richard Osman

    05/09/2020 Duration: 01h24min

    Richard Coles and Angela Scanlon are joined by TV presenter Richard Osman who has written his first detective novel set in a retirement village. Ian Ridley is a sports writer who has written about the healing power of sport and the solace he found in county cricket following the death of his wife, pioneering sports journalist Vikki Orvice. Bestselling writer Caitlin Moran discusses the unexpected difficulties of middle age life in her new book More Than A Woman. Plus your thank yous and an interview with good Samaritan hot air balloonist Robin Batchelor. And former politician Ed Balls shares his Inheritance Tracks. He chooses 'Dopo notte, atra e funesta' from Handel's Ariodante and 'We Shall Overcome' by Pete Seeger. Producer: Steven Williams

  • Nicola Benedetti

    Nicola Benedetti

    29/08/2020 Duration: 01h25min

    Richard Coles and Angela Scanlon are joined by Nicola Benedetti. The violinist started the year winning her first Grammy and during lockdown she’s been inspiring thousands of people virtually, as well as indulging her passion for cooking. Actor Mark Williams reflects on his extraordinary career, as The Fast Show celebrates over 25 years since its first broadcast. Lucy Chapman's CV includes pop-punk musician, cabaret performer, librarian and now trainee barrister. She talks about her path to law and the impact of a recent ADHD diagnosis. Jonathan Slaght explains why he's devoting his life to saving the Blakiston’s fish owl. Actor, writer and director Zawe Ashton chooses her Inheritance Tracks: Crazy Love Vol II by Paul Simon and Don’t Touch My Hair by Solange featuring Sampha. Nicola Benedetti’s Elgar album is out now. She is performing at BBC Proms on Thursday 3rd September, at Snape Maltings Concert Hall on the 4th September, and has an online Philharmonia Session on Thursday 17 September 2020. At 9pm ton

  • Joanne Harris

    Joanne Harris

    22/08/2020 Duration: 01h24min

    Richard Coles and Michelle Ackerley are joined by writer Joanne Harris; broadcaster Peter Snow; wildlife journalist and wasp expert Ben Aldiss and chef Joshna Maharaj. Born in Barnsley, writer Joanne Harris MBE was a teacher for 15 years during which time three of her novels were published including Chocolat in 1999 which was made into an Oscar-nominated film starring Juliet Binoche. Since then, she has written 15 more novels, two novellas, two collections of short stories, a Dr Who novella, guest episodes for the game Zombies Run, the libretti for two short operas, several screenplays, a musical and three cookbooks. She is guest director of this year's Yorkshire Festival of Story and her new book Orfeia is out in September. You can find more information about the festival via Most of us get as far away as possible when we spot a wasp, but Ben Aldiss does just the opposite. A wildlife journalist and teacher who was known as Dr Wasp by his students, Ben studied wasps for his

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