BBC - British Broadcasting Corporation

08/05/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 08/05/2020 05:30

Edi Stark delves into her archive of more than 400 Radio Scotland interviews with a new podcast and retrospective radio series

And Edi finally reveals her favourite guest among the 400-plus who have appeared on her Stark Talk show since it launched in 2000.

Edi says: 'I've been asked many times down the years who has been my favourite person to interview and I've always been reluctant to single out one guest.

'But now that I've listened back to so many shows to put together these collections, I think it's an appropriate time to finally reveal that the great Scottish poet Norman MacCaig was my favourite.

'I was so excited at the prospect I could hardly breathe but I settled down enough to conduct an interview which I enjoyed enormously and which I think has stood the test of time.

'He was such a twinkling presence, full of mischief and dry humour, it was impossible not to fall for his charisma and charm. And that's before he read his poetry.'

Edi recorded MacCaig in 1993 and in 2000 launched the independent company, Stark Productions. Stark Talk was broadcast in April that year opening with politician Dr John Reid and the guests in that first run included a typically broad range of personalities from Dick Gaughan, folk singer-songwriter, to explorer Sir Christopher Bonnington and actress Una McLean.

Edi, who won Gold twice in the Sony Radio Academy industry awards, says: 'It has been fascinating to go back through the recordings and re-live so many memorable moments. The archive is a treasure trove of the recent social and cultural history of Scotland and beyond and it's a privilege to share it more widely.

'There'll be added value with the podcast series as I'll be updating some of the interviews, catching up with guests such as Janey Godley who I first interviewed in 2008.'

In addition to Norman MacCaig and Janey Godley the guests in the retrospective radio series and podcasts include author Irvine Welsh, actor James Cosmo, singer Sharleen Spiteri and Steve Begg, Bond movies special effects artist from Muirhouse in Edinburgh.
Also included will be interviews with a number of former guests who are now deceased including author Iain Banks and Iain Hutchinson, Battle of Britain fighter pilot from Govan.

Included in the archive is an interview recorded as recently as March this year. Edi explains: 'When I interviewed Dr Tommy Curry, newly appointed head of Africana Philosophy and Black Male studies at Edinburgh University, neither of us could anticipate how much the world would radically change within weeks. A global pandemic and of course, the tragic death of George Floyd in police custody which precipitated outrage and campaigning made the programme dated. Dr Curry, who was targeted and threatened by white supremacists while working at A and M University in Texas gave an electrifying interview and in the podcast I will speak to him again.'

The Stark Talk podcast launches on BBC Sounds on Thursday, 6 August, and the first episode of the archive series is on BBC Radio Scotland on Sunday 9 August at 7 am, both featuring the interview with Norman MacCaig.