Podcast: Go Wild, Open Country – Off Grid in Mid-Wales

Ian Marchant meets people who live off-grid in mid-Wales.

Guest presenter Ian Marchant meets people who live off-grid in his part of the world, near Presteigne in mid-Wales.

There’s Bob, who started his off-grid life on the hippy trail in the sixties, driving over-land to Afghanistan and bringing back the first Afghan coats to the London fashion scene. Now he lives in a wood, still making jewellery and living in his van. For him, there’s adventure in every aspect of his life, even the washing up, especially if you have to do it in ‘horizontal snow’.

Goffee-the-Clown has built himself an idyllic cottage, but somehow he can’t bring himself to move in. He prefers the simplicity of his pale blue retro caravan with its wood-burner and collection of spider-webs, idyllically situated on the bank of the River Usk.

There are the Hoopers, a family of four who run an efficient small-holding as carbon-lightly and self sufficiently as is possible. They did have a brief spell in a house, but despite the fascinations of the washing machine, they were delighted to be back living off-grid up a mountain.

And there’s Briar, who has just moved in to her new home, a yurt she has built herself, snugly insulated with duvets and brightly-coloured rugs and fabrics. Everything she needs is to hand, and there’s water from the spring nearby. Knowing she can rely on her own strength and skill to live anywhere makes her happy and gives her confidence. And the cost? This luxurious construction cost her roughly twenty quid to build.

Produced by Mary Ward-Lowery.

First broadcast on Thursday 27 October, 2016.

Source: BBC Radio 4 – Go Wild, Open Country – Off Grid in Mid-Wales

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Fortunately… with Fi and Jane, 89. Our Audience Overheats: some favourite Fortunately moments

i nd Jane

Shaun Keaveny guides us through some choice bits of the podcast from the past couple of years. These include appearances from Miriam Margoyles, Ed Miliband, Susannah Reid and London Hughes. Along with many other interesting encounters there’s also tales of Royal Weddings, blow by blow accounts of shoe shop tantrums, reports of unusual cervical inspections and eulogies for Dwarf Hamsters…all courtesy of Fi and Jane.

Source: BBC Radio 4 – Fortunately… with Fi and Jane, 89. Our Audience Overheats: some favourite Fortunately moments.

Radio series about the lives of homeless duo Tara and George wins BPG Award



Journalist Audrey Gillan’s caring and compassionate radio series wins big alongside Killing Eve, Patrick Melrose and Derry Girls

A six-part series documenting the lives of two rough sleepers has won Radio Programme of the Year at the 2019 Broadcasting Press Guild Awards.

In Tara and George, which aired on Radio 4 in August 2018 but is still available online and to download as a podcast, journalist Audrey Gillan carefully teased out the complex pasts and precarious presents of rough sleepers Tara and George with compassion and care.

Gillan talked to Tara and George over the course of almost two years in and around London’s Spitalfields, where they were a mainstay of the community, often to be found on the doorstep of another famous duo, artists Gilbert and George (shown, with Tara and George, above).

Tara McKerr and George Crompton found strength and solidarity together after meeting at a Crisis at Christmas dinner. The pair, both in their late 40s, became inseparable and over the course of six episodes, listeners learned about their troubled childhoods, family breakdowns, mental health and addiction issues, with Gillan also tracking down members of their wider family.

The result was compelling, a rare gem of a radio series looking at love and devotion, as well as the everyday realities of life for two people who found companionship on the margins of society.

Listen to the podcast at at https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0bfykqm

Source: Radio series about the lives of homeless duo Tara and George wins BPG Award