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Wireless Nights


Jarvis Cocker explores the human condition after dark, with stories of night people

Jarvis Cocker explores the human condition after dark, with stories of night people


United Kingdom




Jarvis Cocker explores the human condition after dark, with stories of night people





From somewhere deep in lockdown, Jarvis trawls the Wireless Nights archive looking for relief from isolation. From the darkness of Lundy Island to a snowbound white out, from a man sending radio signals to the moon to a castaway in the North Sea, Jarvis tunes into stories of isolation and endurance with fellow travellers as they make it through the long night. Produced by Laurence Grissell and Neil McCarthy


A New Year's Resolution

Jarvis Cocker continues his nocturnal exploration of the human condition. He often lies awake at night trying, unsuccessfully, to nod off. But, not one to give up, his New Year's resolution is to crack this habit and attain the perfect night's sleep. His restless search leads him to fellow insomniac Marina Benjamin, sleep coach Max Kirsten, Greek goddesses and a cave where night meets day and peace may possibly reside. Producer Neil McCarthy


Destiny's Child

Jarvis Cocker hosts a special festive edition, telling stories of a shepherdess and a miracle birth, whilst a wise man looks out for bright lights in the Christmas skies. On a cold and frosty Christmas night, a baby is set to enter the world in the most inauspicious circumstances, a pair of shepherds keep watch over their flocks and a star gazer scans the heavens for unusual signs. Producer: Laurence Grissell


Night Train

Jarvis Cocker’s series exploring the human condition after dark boards the Wireless Nights Express to hear tales of night people on sleeper - or sleepless - trains. He begins on the Caledonian Sleeper, leaving the noise and crowds of London Euston to make a night-time journey across the country to the Scottish Highlands. In the dining car and corridors he meets fellow passengers and stewards. And as he starts to drift off in his cabin, the train makes some unscheduled stops. Geoff MacCormack...



Jarvis Cocker's series exploring the human condition after dark returns with a night wander around Dungeness. Sometimes referred to as Britain's only desert, it's a shingle headland in Kent jutting into the English Channel. Sparsely populated, with wooden shack cottages and star filled night skies, a lighthouse sweeping its beam out to sea and a nuclear power station glowing with electric light like a city suspended in the darkness. But Jarvis isn't alone as he explores this untamed...



Jarvis Cocker's nocturnal exploration of the human condition leads him to Berlin. Walking in the shadowlands of the Wall he reflects on a once divided city and hears stories of thenacht. Between East and West, he encounters a 1930s musical salon run by a cabaret diva; a ballroom dancing escapee from East Berlin; an underground den of iniquity and vice; and Iggy Pop, held prisoner. Amid the street-lit ruins of the Berlin Wall, he considers the scar left behind.



Jarvis Cocker navigates the ether as he continues his nocturnal exploration of the human condition. On a night voyage across a sea of shortwave he meets those who broadcast, monitor and harvest electronic radio transmissions after dark. Paddy McAloon, founder of the band Prefab Sprout, took to trawling the megahertz when he was recovering from eye surgery and the world around him became dark. Tuning in at night he developed a ghostly romance with far-off voices and abnormal sounds. Artist...


Night Tube

Jarvis Cocker rides in the driver's cab of a late night Tube train, hearing tales of nocturnal travellers across London. With Beyoncé-loving Night Tube driver Kylie at the controls, Jarvis is whisked along the Victoria line late into the night. En route he hears from a cast of characters embroiled in their own dramas as they make their way around the capital in the small hours - including a late night reveller who fell sleep on the train and got more than she'd bargained for. Producer:...



Jarvis Cocker returns to Radio 4 with his nocturnal explorations of the human condition. In tonight's Wireless Night, Jarvis travels to a remote village in the Rif Mountains of Morocco to join the Master Musicians of Joujouka. Their ancient Sufi trance music is said to heal crazy minds. Jarvis wonders if his own troubled mind can find tranquillity there but encounters the wild living embodiment of the God Pan, half man and half goat, who has other ideas. The Master Musicians of Joujouka were...



Jarvis Cocker is snowed in for tonight's nocturnal exploration of the human condition. With the snow piling high outside his farmhouse and long hours to kill, Jarvis's mind drifts to other snowbound dramas and dilemmas as he tries to distract himself from a creeping solitude. But as night draws on, can he be sure he's really alone? Producer Neil McCarthy.


The Nightclub

Jarvis Cocker invites you to a night out in Soho on his nocturnal exploration of the human condition. Below street level he finds drama and delirium as clubbers play out their lives after dark. From a dimly lit ska joint to an after hours speakeasy, Jarvis is night guide to the smoke and mirrors of underground Soho - brushing shoulders with a club angel, a psychic mod and a singing waitress in among the shadows. (Free dance lesson included) Producer Neil McCarthy.


Keep on Truckin'

Jarvis Cocker continues his nocturnal exploration of the human condition. Tonight: an unlucky trucker, a hopeful hitch-hiker and a host of Scottish ghostbusters. As Jarvis climbs up into the Wireless Nights monster truck, he hears from a long distance lorry driver who received a nasty surprise, a hitcher trying to make it to Liverpool and he travels along the most haunted stretch of road in Scotland. Producer: Laurence Grissell.


Underwater at the Proms

Jarvis Cocker's nocturnal exploration of the human condition takes him beneath the waves in this special edition of Wireless Nights. Accompanied by the BBC Philharmonic at this year's Proms, as Jarvis drifts off to sleep he soon finds himself on an underwater voyage down to the endless night of the ocean bed. En route, he meets psychoanalyst Carl Jung, two submariners called Roger trapped in a tiny submersible and a free-diver experiencing "the rapture of the deep". The BBC Philharmonic...


Bright Nights

In the second part of his nocturnal Icelandic adventure, Jarvis goes on a journey through the long, light summer night. He meets Megas, the island's best known poet and rock and roll legend, who warns of wandering demons as he embarks on an overnight road trip. Along the way he stops to hear ghost stories in Reykjavik's oldest cemetery, meets an elf seer in a lava field and is led to a sacred waterfall, behind which he makes a wish. But will he make it back before the hour of the wolf?...


Lava and Ice

Jarvis Cocker wanders the lava fields of Iceland in search of the unseen forces of night. In the midnight shadow of Snaefellsjokull, the volcano featured in Jules Verne's Journey to the Centre of the Earth, Jarvis considers the timelessness of the landscape, until he discovers sheep time. His sheep guides only lead him further into the unknown, through a hole in the lava floor and on a journey through a magma underworld, finding there a symphony orchestra, human seals and a wake. Producer...


Reaching for the Moon

Jarvis Cocker attempts to fly to the moon, with the aid of astronaut Chris Hadfield - famous for his rendition of David Bowie's Space Oddity on the International Space Station. En route he hears stories of those touched by the moon in its many manifestations. Producer: Laurence Grissell


BBC Philharmonic Presents...

Jarvis Cocker brings his award winning series Wireless Nights to Salford, forming part of this year's BBC Philharmonic Presents... series, a celebration of orchestral music in its many different forms. In front of a studio audience, Jarvis Cocker and the BBC Philharmonic weave tales of insomnia, nocturnal inspirations and dark imaginings from the world of classical music - against the backdrop of a President embroiled in the Vietnam War. There's also a special performance from Jarvis...


The Darkest Hour

Jarvis Cocker stars in his own horror movie as he continues his nocturnal examination of the human condition, exploring the battle between the forces of darkness and light. He hears from horror movie goers at the Electric Cinema in Birmingham, keen to turn the lights off and let the scares begin; the National Grid control room which is charged from keeping the lights on; and Lundy Island in the Bristol Channel - where the electricity switches off at midnight. What is lurking in the basement...


Nights of Passage

Tonight, Jarvis Cocker's award-winning nocturnal exploration of the human condition takes to the sea. Join him on the midnight sailing of a Channel ferry as he contemplates night crossings mythic and modern. As he moves across dark waters, he hears the miraculous story of Jeni, a castaway lost and found in the North Sea whose epic struggle took place at night. He meets Sean, a young wrestler who slips through the ropes of the ring for his first fight night and embarks on his own rite of...



Jarvis Cocker becomes a nightwatchman in a high rise office block as he continues his nocturnal exploration of the human condition. Decked out in regulation uniform and armed with a powerful torch, Jarvis starts his rounds protecting London's 36 storey Euston Tower. Along the way, he hears tales from others keeping watch during the dark hours. Among those who share their stories of late night vigilance are the parents of a young girl with a rare condition which causes her to stop breathing...