342 - London online

James Drury (Standard British accent)

I’m James Drury, I’m the editor of Londonist, which is a website and company which is dedicated to telling people all about the great things that there are to do in London, the politics, the history of the place, news. It’s London for Londoners, basically, which is a really good insider’s guide to the capital and everything that makes people who live here tick. We’ve been going for 10 years, as a site, it was started 10 years ago as a blog called The Big Smoke, and it’s developed and grown and, in the last three years, it became a business in its own right, so, yeah, it’s really taken off. We get about a million people a month coming to us from all over the world, but mostly based in London, or in London when they come to us because we have a combination of politics and news, like issues around housing and that kind of thing, which people from London are obsessed with! As well as all the cool and quirky things you can do, there’s a lot of geeky stuff as well. It’s one of these things that, if you live in London, or even if you just have a passing interest in London, it really gives you a… it’s like a thermometer, I suppose for a bit of a feeling of what the city’s like.

343 - Recommended Reading: To Kill a Mockingbird

Rob Anderson (Standard British accent)

To Kill a Mockingbird was a book which... which impressed me a lot when I was young, and I think it’s a beautiful read, I think it’s a beautifully written book. To... To Kill a Mockingbird, I think, is again about young people searching for a way to understand the world. It’s written through the eyes of the daughter of a lawyer in the South of America, and this young girl is trying to make sense of the world, trying to make sense of, in this particular book, good and bad, right and wrong. It involves a lot of issues, issues like racism and issues to do with social justice, but primarily it’s about human understanding. Her father, Atticus, is this philiosophical giant who tries to teach his children how to relate to the world. He often throws questions back at them, he never tells them, he always asks them to think, and that question of his, “What do you think?” is the one they dread the most because he’s making them answer their own questions about society, about right and wrong. And it’s a wonderful book because there are... there are so many very full characters in the book, and there’s even a character who you don’t ever really meet called Boo Radley, and he’s more of a... a presence than a character, but he... he is misunderstood by everybody around and also by the two... the two children, Scout and Jem. They frighten... they’re frightened of him, as are other people, but Boo tries slowly to have a relationship with them and at the end of the book, Scout, the... the narrator, the young girl, comes to understand him, and that’s... is... is, I think, what the book is about. It’s about understanding, not necessarily totally agreeing with someone; in fact the father, Atticus, often understands people’s position without accepting it or agreeing with it, and I think that... that’s the important message of the book.

(Rob Anderson was talking to Mark Worden)