ISSN: 14764504
First published in 2003
2 issues per volume
Volume 2 Issue 3
Cover Date: December 2004
British radio and the politics of culture in post-war Britain: the work of Charles Parker
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Authors:  Paul Long 
DOI: 10.1386/rajo.2.3.131/1

Charles Parker, British radio, BBC features, post-war Britain, cultural politics

There has been little academic consideration of the life, work and ideas of the BBCradio producer Charles Parker. Where he is remembered it is for his work on the prize-winning series known as the Radio Ballads. Beginning with ‘The Ballad of John Axon’ in 1958 the series addressed the lives and work of working-class people, and was one of the first programmes to use ‘actuality’ incorporating original, spontaneous testimonies. The author values Parker's work as an expressionof the mentalités of welfare-state Britain and that wider project evinced by hiscolleagues and collaborators that sought to challenge the circumscribed lineaments of class, culture, history, education and language. However, an appreciation of Parker and his role in the process of democratizing the cultural sphere alsolends itself to a critique of the assumptions behind categories such as class, authenticity and experience that proved to be so useful in this moment.
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