Michael Rosen
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Home Truths

Doing Home Truths on Radio 4 is like being taken into the rooms of complete strangers and being shown things that really matter to them. Over and over again. On the first day I was in the BBC to do it, I had five interviews to do in one morning. Mostly, you don't actually see the person you're talking to, they're in a studio somewhere else. I find myself staring at a piece of paper or the clock immediately in front of me so that I can concentrate on what they're saying.

And, you know, when you wear earphones, there's a way in which the sound of what you're hearing feels like it's in the middle of your head. I mean, it doesn't sound as if it's coming through your ears but is somehow in your brain without having to get there through your ears. All this means that it feels as if you are very close to the person you're talking to. Well, if that happens five times in a morning, it's quite bewildering. I had to have a good munch on a chicken salad sandwich after that.

Anyway, it's a fantastic programme to be working on, because the more you do it, the more you realise that the series as a whole tells the story of how we live now and how we have lived for the past fifty years or more. It doesn't tell it in the 'great sweep of history' way, but more as fragments and episodes. This chimes with me because it's exactly how I've been trying to write for the last thirty years or so!




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