Selected Press Reviews
SOME REVIEWS OF
DOCUMENTARIES ON BBC
Maids – the Untold Story. BBC World Service
Kampfner gave a strong sense of purpose as she searched out stories of maids’ lives in Singapore and Hong Kong for her first of two programmes. None of this material was easy to listen to, even in Hong Kong which gives some legal protection to domestic servants, and much of it was downright grim. Only Kampfner’s voice, an unusual sensual treat, blending soft, confident and just a tiny bit hesitant, was alluring. That, and journalism in its most admirable mode.
– The Guardian
Randy Newman’s America – 2 Parts BBC Radio 2 (reporter, producer Kampfner)
[Randy Newman] is the answer to most problems in life. His songs have got me through darker days that these and I enjoy his interviews almost as much as his music. Acerbic, generous, romantic, truthful, there’s not much that passes Newman by. In the first part of Randy Newman’s America, his two-part interview with Judith Kampfner on Radio 2, he used his piano to answer some of her questions. He sang. His voice – always creaky, almost crackling now – is more direct when solo, without his record’s swooning orchestration. “Goodbye old man, goodbye. You wanna stay, I know you do, but it ain’t no need to try.
Cos I’ll be here and I’m just like you, goodbye old man, goodbye…” I was in bits. At the end, Newman said: “I screwed up a little bit there. It’s a very good song, I think.” I think so too.
Kampfner was respectful, well researched and knew when to stop talking…
He talked about Christianity and his favourite gospel music (“atheists are throwing little sticks against the battleship in terms of…feel”), picked through racism (it’s not a surprise that many black people don’t like white people”), played parts of songs he’d edited out. He looked America in the eye and acknowledged its faults. “It’s like the civil war never ended at the moment.” The truth, honestly told, is rarely comfortable. But it is a comfort. I’ve saved listening to part two for the weekend as a treat.”
– The Observer
Tuning into the Enemy. BBC Radio 4
“Extraordinarily powerful radio. At its heart it had a terrific story to tell: the reconciliation of Paul Erasmus, a former member of the South African secret police and Roger Lucey, a musician banned and persecuted under the regime….Kampfner’s excellent programme highlighted the tremendous generosity of forgiveness.”
– The Guardian
Wheels and Stones. BBC Radio 3
“A lesson in composing radio features. Producer and presenter Judith Kampfner has the knack of building layers and textures without the finished programme ever feeling pretentious or unfriendly. Instead, it has a quiet richness.”
– The Guardian
Lou Reed: Walking the Wild Mind BBC Radio 4
SOME REVIEWS AND LINKS
TO AUDIO FICTION ON BBC
Albert Speer’s Walk Around the World (director/producer Judith Kampfner). BBC Radio 4 Drama
Featured a bravura performance from Patrick Malahide as Albert Speer, locked away in Spandau Prison, embarking on imaginary journeys in his mind. Chilling stuff, excitingly written, with real and virtual worlds overlapping and linked by Speers’ guilt, this was worthy of a thoughtful chin-stroke, if not exactly cheery.
– The Guardian.
Slaughterhouse Thirty Thousand written by Judith Kampfner. BBC Radio 4 drama
“A rare example of an Anglo-American venture in audio drama”
– Radio Times magazine
The Veldt by Mike Walker from Ray Bradbury’s story. BBC Radio 4 Drama
“The effect of Mike Walker’s adaptation was heightened by stunning sound design, meriting a special mention for producer Judith Kampfner… Once or twice the sound was so realistic that it made me want to tear off my headphones – the aural equivalent of hiding behind the sofa.”
(Director, producer Kampfner)
– Pick of the Week and Pick of the Year BBC
Dirty Tricks by Jon Jeter. BBC Radio 4 Drama
“Beautifully crafted radio”
– The Guardian
The Ugly American. BBC Radio 4 Drama
“Mike Daisey’s story is highly amusing”
– The Mail on Sunday
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