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Ed Smith, author and former England Test cricketer

Ed Smith, author and former England Test cricketer

BBC Radio 4 has a wonderful series called ‘Four Thought’ which is now in its 4th series, short talks (12 or 13 minutes long), thought-provoking presentations delivered to an invited audience at Somerset House or the Royal Society of Arts or some such place. The series is presented by the very clever and long-lasting David Baddiel (once a stand-up comic but now a sort of apprentice Melvyn Bragg)—there is something about Baddiel’s presentation which leads me to suspect that he may have originated the concept of the show (he seems to be more than merely a hired presenter, that’s for sure)—no matter, it is a very simple idea for a short radio feature, and whatever goes into the mix it is something I like very much.

In this post I want to present my two favourite Four Thought talks. The first is by the cricketer and author and Test Match Special new-boy Ed Smith, talking about professionalism in sport (and by extension in much besides). Smith is a very good speaker (like Baddiel, a Cambridge old boy—Peterhouse—double first in history and cricketing ‘Blue’, scoring a century on his first class debut for the university—square-jawed and handsome, Smith verges on a being almost a paint-by-numbers of ‘Home Counties’ Englishness) and he has really thought through this subject, something he has discoursed on many times before, not least in his 2008 book What Sport tells us about Life.

Click on the link provided (which take you to the BBC website):

Four Thought (ser. 2): Ed Smith’s ‘Professionalism in Sport’

THE SECOND TALK is equally good: Anna Woodhouse (University of Leeds, mature student) talking about glass in our culture, everything from high street plate glass window displays to office architecture and culture to [Microsoft] Windows, Google Glass and all that. I do not know how long these talks will continue to be available on the BBC website but for as long as they are I’d like to steer people to them. (If you come to this blog and you click on these and they are no longer available you might be kind enough to let me know—via the comments facility below—and I’ll delete the post.) But for now, enjoy.

Four Thought (ser. 4): Anna Woodhouse’s ‘Windows to the Soul’

Window framing our desires

Window framing desires