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Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine travel the world in pursuit of species on the brink of extinction In 1985, The Observer magazine sent Douglas Adams to Madagascar to look for the exotic and potentially extinct aye-aye lemur. There he met zoologist Mark Carwardine, and together they made a radio pilot about their travels, In Search of the Aye-Aye. This led to a hugely popular radio series, Last Chance to See, later adapted as a bestselling book. Douglas Adams died in 2001, but his friend Stephen Fry took his place for a follow-up 20th anniversary television series, broadcast on BBC Two in 2009. This collection includes the initial pilot show and the complete BBC radio series from 1989, in which Adams and Carwardine embark on a quest to track down weird and wonderful threatened species across the globe. Voyaging from New Zealand to Chile, they hope to encounter the flightless Kakapo parrot, the river dolphin revered as the ‘goddess of the Yangtze’ and the secretive, confusing manatee – as well as the randy Rodrigues fruit bat, the terrifying (and smelly) Komodo dragon and the solitary Juan Fernandez fur seal. Funny, thought-provoking and poignant, Last Chance to See combines Adams’ inimitable humour and Carwardine’s expertise to provide a unique snapshot of our vanishing world and the rare creatures that inhabit it. Sadly the Kakapo remains critically endangered, and Yangtze River dolphin was declared functionally extinct in 2006. Part travelogue, part natural history show, this unforgettable account of a remarkable voyage of discovery serves as a reminder to protect our planet while we still can. Track listing: 1 In Search of the Aye-Aye 2 Ralph, The Fragrant Parrot of Codfish Island (the kakapo) 3 Gone Fishing! (the Yangtze River dolphin) 4 Animal, Vegetable or Mineral? (the Amazonian manatee) 5 The Answer is Blowing in the Wind (the Rodrigues fruit bat) 6 A Man-Eating, Evil-Smelling Dragon (the Komodo dragon) 7 The Sultan of Juan Fernandez (the Juan Fernandez fur seal) Presented by Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine Natural Selection: In Search of the Aye-Aye Produced by Tim Grout Smith First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 1 November 1985 Last Chance to See Narrated by Peter Jones Produced by Chris Muir Series producer: Gaynor Shutte Additional music by Steven Faux First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 4 October 1989-8 November 1989Show more
The special New Year's Day 2011 edition of BBC Radio 4's 'Beyond Westminster', in which Andrew Rawnsley considers the lessons of history for Britain's coalition government - and its opponents. Conservative and Liberal Democrat ministers are busily advancing their ambitious political and economic agenda - albeit amid parliamentary revolts and embarrassing comments to undercover reporters. Exactly a hundred years ago too, no party had an outright majority at Westminster, and a Liberal government relied on Irish Nationalists and a fledgling Labour Party to enact reform of Parliament, a radical budget and social changes. Lloyd George continued in coalition with the Conservatives after World War One only for peacetime tensions within the government to culminate in the ejection from Downing Street of Britain's last Liberal prime minister, amid mass disaffection with Liberal splits. Can Nick Clegg avoid a similar fate befalling today's Liberal Democrats? Seven months into 'new politics', Andrew Rawnsley explores with historians Juliet Nicolson and Martin Pugh the record of past coalitions. He also discusses with The Rt. Hon. David Davis MP, Simon Hughes MP and Tristram Hunt MP the lessons of the past and questions whether this coalition will re-shape British politics.Show more
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