When madmen sailed the world

How accurately will The Mercy portray Donald Crowhurst, the British yachtsman who disappeared while taking part in the Sunday Times Golden Globe race? By all accounts Colin Firth plays the leading role with his usual understated flair and captures the descent into madness that we can only really extrapolate from Crowhurst’s log entries and radio broadcasts.

I didn’t have any more than Firth to work on when I made this radio documentary about Crowhurst and his fellow competitors Robin Knox-Johnson (the eventual winner), John Ridgway and Chay Blyth. So mine is necessarily an interpretation of limited facts mixed with dramatic licence, just like the Hollywood film version.

The lines between fact and fiction have always been blurred. Be fascinating nonetheless  to compare and contrast the two. Do bear in mind I had a fraction of the budget (under £3k as I recall)!


Please note that this programmes was produced for and first broadcast on BBC Radio 4. As a result it may contain copyright material so it is strictly for personal listening and must not be used for commercial gain without permission in writing. Please contact me if you’d like to obtain a licence.

Clever Trees – Westonbirt

In the last of his current series celebrating Clever Trees Richard Uridge visits the National Arboretum at Westonbirt in Gloucestershire, England.


Please note that this and other programmes in the Clever Trees series were first broadcast on BBC Radio 4. As a result they contain copyright material so they are strictly for personal use and must not be used for commercial gain withour our express permission in writing. Please contact me if you’d like to obtain a licence.

Clever Trees – Heligan

In the penultimate programme of his five part series on Clever Trees, Richard Uridge finds a headache-inducing specimen in the Lost Gardens of Heligan.


Please note that this and other programmes in the Clever Trees series were first broadcast on BBC Radio 4. As a result they contain copyright material so they are strictly for personal use and must not be used for commercial gain withour our express permission in writing. Please contact me if you’d like to obtain a licence.

Clever Trees – Australia

In the second of his programmes celebrating clever trees, Richard Uridge travels to Australia to investigate two apparent paradoxes: the tree that’s wet when it’s dry; and the clever idiot tree.


Please note that this and other programmes in the Clever Trees series were first broadcast on BBC Radio 4. As a result they contain copyright material so they are strictly for personal use and must not be used for commercial gain withour our express permission in writing. Please contact me if you’d like to obtain a licence.

Clever Trees – Malaysia

The time-telling Simpoh flower

Of all the clever things that trees can do telling the time has to be one of the smartest. In this episode Richard Uridge travels to Malaysia in search of the Simpoh, a tree which, according to legend, flowers at precisely the same time every day.


Please note that this and other programmes in the Clever Trees series were first broadcast on BBC Radio 4. As a result they contain copyright material so they are strictly for personal use and must not be used for commercial gain withour our express permission in writing. Please contact me if you’d like to obtain a licence.

Clever Trees – Washington

ct_washington

In the first of five programmes on arboreal “intelligence” Richard Uridge visits George Washington’s home at Mount Vernon to meet two conjoined holly trees.


Please note that this and other programmes in the Clever Trees series were first broadcast on BBC Radio 4. As a result they contain copyright material so they are strictly for personal use and must not be used for commercial gain withour our express permission in writing. Please contact me if you’d like to obtain a licence.