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The Rhodcasts

Arts & Culture Podcasts

The enquiries of a butterfly mind. Rhod Sharp, Up All Night on BBC 5 Live for 26 years, hears from creatives cut adrift by Covid in the opening numbers of a podcast aimed at putting him back in the conversation.

The enquiries of a butterfly mind. Rhod Sharp, Up All Night on BBC 5 Live for 26 years, hears from creatives cut adrift by Covid in the opening numbers of a podcast aimed at putting him back in the conversation.


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The enquiries of a butterfly mind. Rhod Sharp, Up All Night on BBC 5 Live for 26 years, hears from creatives cut adrift by Covid in the opening numbers of a podcast aimed at putting him back in the conversation.








Up On the Roof — An Up All Night Flashback

It was 50 years ago to the day when four of the very few people in the world who can actually say “I was there” talked to RHOD SHARP about The Beatles’ rooftop concert on January 30, 1969. In a conversation broadcast on BBC 5 Live’s Up All Night in 2019, Let It Be director Michael Lindsay-Hogg, Apple Corps’ Kevin Harrington and Ken Mansfield and Metropolitan police constable Ken Wharfe provide a fresh take on the events depicted anew in Peter Jackson’s extended documentary.


Our House - Robert Moore

Robert Moore of Britain’s ITV News stepped out one January morning a year ago into quite possibly the biggest scoop of his career. By luck and judgement he and his crew would be there in the Capitol reporting on the first time in US history that the building had been breached by a hostile force: a force of self-described American patriots.


The Revolution’s Black Soldiers

At least 5000 Black soldiers fought on the colonists’ side in the American war of of independence, despite a tempting offer to join the British forces. When a new school is dedicated to one of them, ALGY WARD tells Rhod Sharp the story of Marblehead’s Joseph Brown.


Our Town - Chris Hood: The rich yachting history of Marblehead Massachusetts

Rhod Sharp gets into the rich yachting history of Marblehead Massachusetts with the yacht designer and builder CHRIS HOOD.


Risk! Heather Cairns and Rick Boyd: Further adventures of The Google Lady and the Bitcoin Guy.

An extraordinary gamble in early 2020 made RICK BOYD rich. But since we spoke back in March of 2021, it’s been a torrid spring for Bitcoin investors. Would you be OK with it? Is he? And whatever happened after HEATHER CAIRNS realized some of the torrent of wealth that came her way when Google went public? It’s all about risk, after all.


Our Town - Heather Cairns: How it all began, with Google Employee Number 4

It all began with… a Chinese dinner? Or did it begin when HEATHER CAIRNS would invigilate the tests taken by two “child prodigy” graduate students in the engineering faculty at Stanford. Anyway, one thing led to another. Heather eventually returned to her home town on Boston’s North Shore where people still call her The Google Lady.


Our Town - Bette Hunt: A visit to Old Burial Hill in Marblehead, Massachusetts

One hot day in June, Rhod joins BETTE HUNT, the emeritus historian of Marblehead, Mass. for a walk through the town’s almost 400 year old graveyard. Old Burial Hill connects the living with the dead in some strange ways as they discourse on Thornton Wilder’s famous play, George Washington’s favorite general, the Marblehead woman convicted at the Salem witch trials and the fairly undiscussed existence of a “negro” burial site in this quintessentially Yankee town.


When America Stopped Being Great - Nick Bryant: The BBC’s former New York correspondent says goodbye

The BBC’s New York correspondent sees the USA that so excited him as a youth sapped of vitality, politically divided against itself but in an old saying, always headed to hell and never getting there. When America Stopped Being great merges Bryant’s reporting experiences with a historian’s perspective in a way which, as the Washington Post said, gives foreign laments a fresh arc.


Our Town - The Missing Paintings (part 2): The works of JOJ Frost emerge from the shadows

He tried to hawk them from his wheelbarrow and even built a backyard museum for them without success. After his death some of his paintings were used as building material by his cash-strapped son. And yet as his huge output of historically significant work became better known in the 1950s, “a pretty big shadow” was cast over the art of JOJ Frost. What prevented people who owned his paintings from coming forward? Rhod hears from one of the mother and daughter team who have done more than...


Our Town - The Missing Paintings: It starts when a painting is found hidden in a wall

Who hid the painting in the wall of that old house? Rhod delves into the story of the eccentric artist JOJ Frost, who tried unsuccessfully to sell his pictures from a wheelbarrow, and whose paintings were worth less during the Depression than the boards they were painted on. Yet he left an incomparable account of a vanished way of life. And his paintings keep on turning up.


Once Upon a Rhodcast: The unheard pilot for a podcast that never was

Rhod Sharp discovers the pilot of a never-to-be-made podcast series. This cornucopia of offbeat stories from the first week of July 2008 may be of special interest to fans of Rhod’s appearances on BBC 5 Live’s Up All Night.


Bitcoin Millionaire - Rick Boyd: A Florida resort manager’s spectacular gamble

The outrageous success story of RICK BOYD. Since being furloughed by the pandemic from his job managing a small resort in southern Florida, he has done so well trading Bitcoin that he says neither he nor his wife he will ever have to work again.


London’s Cycle Wars - Jeremy Vine: BBC Radio 2 host bicycles through Covid

As city planners ponder the possibilities of leaving lockdown, London has become Ground Zero for improving the experience of commuting on two wheels. But at whose expense? The UK government has already committed over half a billion pounds, but one London council removed a brand new cycle lane a mere seven weeks after it opened. Join Jeremy Vine and me as we explore London’s looming Cycle Wars.


Land - Simon Winchester: Mankind’s tearstained history with terra firma

At high noon, April 22.1889, a remarkable thing happened. The “Unassigned Lands” of Oklahoma which had not been “assigned” by the federal government to either of the traditional owners, the Cherokee or the Chickasaw, were thrown open to settlers from the east on a first-come basis. They came “like Zulu warriors” writes Simon Winchester at the start of one of many gripping stories in his new book, Land. Is land something to be owned, or just taken care of? What’s the answer to Tolstoy’s...


Republic of Broken Windows, 4 - John Nichols: The far right picks its fights

The American ultra-right is back in the shadows, or at least keeping its powder dry. Seeing a massive show of state force with 25,000 National Guard packing Washington DC, and high alerts in state capitals, the far right is picking its fights. Nor will it have the country’s Chief Executive and his enablers minding its back. RHOD SHARP looks to the Wednesday’s Inauguration of President Biden and beyond with The Nation magazine’s National Correspondent JOHN NICHOLS.


Republic of Broken Windows, 3 - Patt Morrison: From January’s Covid epicenter, Los Angeles

In the City of the Angels, one in three people have now been tested positive for Covid. America’s Covid epicentre - by numbers - is testing its citizens at Dodgers Stadium and vaccinating them at Disneyland. From Los Angeles, LA Times senior staff writer PATT MORRISON.


Republic of Broken Windows, 2 - Ethan Zuckerman: Internet guru on deplatforming a president

A president bound over to the Senate for impeachment yet who said not a word about it in his latest video. What really sent President Donald Trump ballistic in the words of a senior aide quoted by Politico was the decision by Twitter to block his output permanently. ETHAN ZUCKERMAN is associate professor of public policy and information at U Mass Amherst and he has studied social media since it was in diapers (nappies to you). What does it mean to “deplatform” a president, and where do his...


Republic of Broken Windows, 1 - Rep. Seth Moulton: The day after the assault on the US Capitol

RHOD SHARP reports the American Insurrection of 2021 in the countdown to the inauguration of President Biden. Representative SETH MOULTON relates his own experience of the Congressional invasion and discusses Monday’s first steps by the House of Representatives towards the second impeachment trial for President Donald Trump.


A Christmas Celtic Bubble - Brian O’Donovan: The show must go on

We were walking in the woods the other week when we came across this mother and daughter decorating this random little tree. We had noticed its handsome red bow before, but it was purely by chance that we came across their stealthy celebration. BRIAN O’DONOVAN has hosted the traditional music show A Celtic Sojourn on WGBH for enough years for it to qualify for a police pension. Every Christmas since 2003 he has delighted his audience with a live Christmas version. This year it’s online and...


A Love Letter to America, 2 - Jim Naughtie: Starting with a Kennedy family party on Martha’s Vineyard

Many thanks to those who have written to express intense feelings about hearing JIM NAUGHTIE and I on a virtual park bench discussing the state of America. With a new revised edition of Jim’s memoir On the Road in the offing, we continue with some thoughts on presidents from Reagan to Trump and Jim’s regular encounters with the best of America. Including the afternoon when most of the population of a small New Hampshire town turned out to help him rescue the keys of his hire car from the...