Radio Drama pp 54-68 | Cite as

The National Theatre

  • Ian Rodger


The circumstances created during the Second World War gave British radio a cultural opportunity which was unique. Like many other radio services in the warring countries, the BBC had to provide propaganda and information. MacNeice, who joined the BBC in 1941, later recalled this particular requirement in his poem Autumn Sequel. Paraphrasing the instructions of someone he calls Harrap, who was in fact Archie Harding, he has him say that their job was to feed:

The tall transmitters with hot news — Dunkirk, Tobruk or Singapore, you will have to set Traps for your neutral listeners, Yank or Turk,

While your blacked-out compatriots must be met Half-way — half-reprimanded and half-flattered, Cajoled to half-remember and half-forget.1


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Notes and References

  1. 4.
    Harman Grisewood, One Thing At A Time (Hutchinson, 1968).Google Scholar
  2. 6.
    Barbara Coulton, Louis MacNeice In The BBC (Faber, 1980).Google Scholar
  3. 8.
    Eric Linklater, The Cornerstones (Macmillan, 1944).Google Scholar
  4. 10.
    Louis MacNeice, Christopher Columbus, a radio play (Faber, 1944).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Ian Rodger 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ian Rodger

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