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DAVID SEDARIS (pic­tured), the Amer­i­can co­me­dian and writer who has — with his own two dainty hands — cleared great swathes of lit­ter from the English coun­try­side, is back with a new series of MEET DAVID SEDARIS (RA­DIO 4, 6.30PM). His wit is sar­donic, honed and el­e­gant, con­trast­ing to great ef­fect with the of­ten far from salu­bri­ous sub­ject mat­ter of his comic read­ings.

IT’S shock­ing to see how many town cen­tres across the UK have turned into ghost towns. Shops are shut­tered up, mar­kets have closed down, and des­o­la­tion blights the streets. As re­tail out­lets col­lapse, the so­cial life of a town di­min­ishes and com­mu­nity spirit dwin­dles away. In an at­tempt to stop the rot, the gov­ern­ment has set aside £1.6 bil­lion for the Stronger Towns Fund. Ruth Alexan­der re­ports for


8.30PM), vis­it­ing North­wich and Al­trin­cham in Cheshire to hear about their dif­fer­ing ap­proaches to ur­ban re­newal.

GYLES BRANDRETH gets fun­nier and fun­nier each pass­ing year. GYLES BRANDRETH’S WHAT HO, YOUR MAJESTY?

(RA­DIO 4, 11.15PM), a spe­cially writ­ten short story first broad­cast as a birth­day tribute to the Queen, takes us into the world of P.G. Wode­house. Willie Dab­ney runs an er­rand for the Queen, but gets pulled into a world of cor­rupt politi­cians and gen­tle­men’s clubs.

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