Abrilliant film director, David Lean was also a snob. One day, on bumping into Alan Parker, Lean (Lawrence of Arabia and Dr Zhivago) was aghast to hear that the younger man had been working in Hollywood. In his opinion, no British director should soil his hands in the US. That incident didn’t diminish Parker’s admiration of Lean, however, and today his tribute, Alan Parker on David Lean (Radio 4, 8pm) commemorates the centenary of the birth of this seminal cinema figure.
Also tonight, Opera on 3 (Radio 3, 6.30pm), presents a towering production of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor in Live from the Met, with stupendous French soprano Natalie Dessay.
Tomorrow David Robb stars as Richard Hannay in Mr Standfast (Radio 4, 3pm), in which John Buchan’s hero pits his wits against a First World War master of disguise. Later in the week, Tom Mangold continues his snappy insights into the shady doings of The FBI at 100 (Radio 4, Monday, 3.45pm) and Nick Rankin, in a fascinating World Service series on Pirates (Wednesday, 9.05am, 12.05pm and 2.05pm), examines the tactics of present-day buccaneers.
Also on Wednesday, Five Live will be at Westminster from 12.30pm when Alistair Darling delivers the Budget.