Radio 4 to broadcast swear-filled poem
BBC Radio 4 is to broadcast a new version of the classic poem V, which contains the c-word 17 times, 25 f-words and five s-words.
The poem, written by Tony Harrison in 1985 after discovering football hooligans had desecrated his parents’ gravestones with obscene graffiti will be broadcast after lots of warnings and late at night.
It lasts 30 minutes and describes an imagined confrontation between the poet and the thug and tackles racial and religious conflict.
Tony Phillips, Radio 4’s arts commissioning editor, told Mirror.co.uk: “V did cause a little bit of a flurry of activity in the 1980s when it first went out.
“We’ll find a way to put it on air without compromising Harrison’s poem at all.
“We’ll have lots of signposting. We will allow the poem itself to speak 25 years or so on.
“It will present us with challenges but I’m sure we’ll be able to overcome them.”
It will be accompanied by an introductory feature written and presented by Blake Morrison reflecting on the poem itself, the furore that surrounded it in the 1980s, and its contemporary resonance.
The station has also announced a new partnership with Artangel as part of a range of initiatives that will see the network’s arts and culture offering take centre stage.
Separately, Radio 4 is embarking on a major new cultural sharing scheme. Launching in April, Cultural Exchange will provide listeners with 75 expertly curated cultural moments – a great poem or photograph, a painting or a piece of writing, a musical highlight or an inspiring building.
A new contemporary poetry magazine will also launch this year, presented by poet Paul Farley.