Will Self lined up for writer in residence role at Radio 4 after new chief says she wants to "throw fireworks" into the schedule


Will Self is lined up for BBC job as Radio 4's first writer in residence
Journalist and author to take on a creative figurehead roleLikely to write blog and act as champion for stationController Gwyneth Williams has said she wants increase arts coverage

By
Steve Robson

PUBLISHED:

15:54 GMT, 19 January 2013

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UPDATED:

17:27 GMT, 19 January 2013

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Journalist and author Will Self is in talks to be the first writer in residence at Radio 4

Journalist and author Will Self is in talks to be the first writer in residence at Radio 4

Journalist and author Will Self is poised take on a role as Radio 4's writer in residence, it has emerged.

The move comes after the station's controller Gwyneth Williams said she wanted to 'throw fireworks' into the schedule.

Self, who was infamously sacked by The Observer after being caught taking heroin on John Major's campaign plane in 1997, is set to take on a creative figurehead which will involve appearances on flagship programmes such as Today.

He is also likely to write a blog about the network and possibly even write fiction inspired by the output, according to The Guardian.

Earlier this week Miss Williams outlined her plans for Radio 4 in 2013 admitting that she wanted to add more spice to the content.

Miss Williams said: ‘I want to shift the focus this year in part to Radio 4’s cultural heart.

'I want to open up the airwaves and invite artists to bring their talents to Radio 4.

'At a time when political and economic ideas often seem in reference to the past, what does culture have to say about the way we live now

'It seems to me that the political and economic stories at the moment are in a kind of stasis.

'We are referring a lot to the past and waiting for new ideas to arrive. Let us have a look to culture and the artistic world.’

Coverage of politics and economics have helped Radio 4 attract a record number of listeners, and Miss Williams insisted that there would be no cuts in budgets for this output, or to existing series.

But she conceded: ‘It’s all a bit gloomy. It’s nice to have a taste of culture and arts… [I want to] throw some fireworks into the network – colourful, unpredictable, original work.’

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Station controller Gwyneth Williams has said she wants 'a creative mind' to spice up Radio 4's content

Station controller Gwyneth Williams has said she wants 'a creative mind' to spice up Radio 4's content

Self's best-known books include his 2006 novel The Book of Dave, in which a future society follows the angry writings of an angry present-day London taxi driver, and Dr Mukti and Other Tales of Woe, a short story from 2004.

Miss Williams has indicated that role will be paid 'a little' and that the contract will be open-ended in order to 'test the ground'.

The appointment is part of a desire to increase arts coverage on Radio 4.

As part of this change of focus the broadcaster is working on a 1million collaborative project with creative body Artangel.

The aim is for artists to create new work around the UK, while Radio 4 will develop shows or series around the work.

It
is also planning a ‘cultural exchange’ where 75 smaller projects will
be commissioned to mark seminal pieces in art, literature, photography
and architecture.

The station will launch new talent search series So You Want To Be A Writer to find aspiring fiction authors.

VIDEO: Will Self being interviewed in 2010

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