Jarvis Cocker explores the human condition after dark, with stories of night people
On The Edge
Jarvis goes into hospital for a routine procedure, and the anaesthetic gives him some very strange nocturnal visions.
As Dr Ed Patrick administers the anaesthetic, Jarvis is transported far, far away. One moment he's on a Scottish lighthouse at midnight with artist and writer Peter Hill, who spent time as a lighthouse keeper in the 1970s.
Then, in the blink of an eye, he's in a blizzard in the far north of Norway with Sunniva Sorby and Hilde Fålun Strøm, who became the first women in history to overwinter solo in the Arctic.
The visions just keep coming as ice turns to fire, and Jarvis finds himself on the top of a mountain watching forest fires burn through the night with author Philip Connors who spends half of every year as a fire lookout high up in the mountains of New Mexico.
In a night of vivid encounters, everyone Jarvis meets has stepped away from their every day lives, to live life on the edge.
Doctor and comedian Ed Patrick is the author of 'Catch Your Breath: The Secret Life of a Sleepless Anaesthetist'
Peter Hill is the author of 'Stargazing: Memoirs of a Young Lighthouse Keeper'
Philip Connors is the author of 'Fire Season: Field notes from a wilderness lookout'.
Details of the work of Sunniva Sorby and Hilde Fålun Strøm are at heartsintheice.com
Producer: Laurence Grissell
In this edition of Wireless Nights, Jarvis Cocker discovers what happens here on earth on the night of the full moon. He'll be meeting the planet's inhabitants, both man and beast, as they divulge what light of the full moon does to them.
Jarvis heads to the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London to search for the full moon. His guide and telescope operator is astronomer Dr Emily Drabek-Maunder. Jarvis also discovers what others are getting up to on this full moon night.
On a beach in Merseyside he encounters Moon Goddess Gatherings, a mass ritual where hundreds of women watch the full moon rise and embrace the energy of the lunar cycle.
The writer Lewis Coleman reflects on his own relationship with the full moon as is teases him with lunacy and lycanthropy.
And ecologist Rachel Grant reveals how a moonlit Italian jeep ride led her to discover that it’s not just wolves driven wild by the full moon, but amphibians too.
Lewis Coleman is the author of Drinking The Moon and other works.
Rachel Grant specialises in behavioural and evolutionary ecology at London South Bank University.
Dr Emily Drabek-Maunder is an astrophysicist and Senior Manager of Public Astronomy at the Royal Observatory Greenwich.
Karlee Matthews is Lead Pathfinder for Moon Goddess Gatherings.
Produced by Sam Peach
Lost in the Forest
Jarvis Cocker gets lost in the forest at night and encounters a series of rather intriguing characters.
As darkness falls on the forest, Jarvis realises he's hopelessly lost. Disorientated and desperately trying to find his way out, his nocturnal woodland walk takes a series of increasingly dark turns.
He stumbles upon members of Essex Ghost Hunters who are mounting some rather spooky paranormal investigations. Another presence in the woods tonight is storyteller Lisa Schneidau who recounts some very strange fairy tales and legends of the forest after dark. He then runs into mountaineer Nick Bullock who recalls his own terrifying encounter in the forests of Alberta, Canada.
But just as the darkness of the forest seems to be at its most impenetrable, Jarvis runs into bushcraft expert David Willis who guides him back to the light.
Lisa Schneidau is the author of 'Woodland Folk Tales of Britain and Ireland', and Nick Bullock is the author of 'Tides: A Climber's Voyage'.
Producer: Laurence Grissell
Jarvis Cocker is back with a new series of Wireless Nights
Tonight, armed with a bat detector Jarvis sets off through a wetland in search of bats and bat stories.
He finds ecologist John Altringham crouched beside a cave in North Yorkshire awaiting a swarm of bats that come once a year to dance the night away.
Jayne Hyde Dryden is using her powers of echo location to find her way around on a night walk. Being blind, this helps her see in sound.
And Gail Armstrong is on watch at the Bat Hospital in Lancashire, nursing injured bats back to good health and finally returning them to the wild.
Thanks to Lisa Woodward at the London Wetland Centre
Producer Neil McCarthy
From somewhere deep in lockdown, Jarvis trawls the Wireless Nights archive looking for relief from isolation.
From the darkness of Lundy Island to a snowbound white out, from a man sending radio signals to the moon to a castaway in the North Sea, Jarvis tunes into stories of isolation and endurance with fellow travellers as they make it through the long night.
Produced by Laurence Grissell and Neil McCarthy
A New Year's Resolution
Jarvis Cocker continues his nocturnal exploration of the human condition. He often lies awake at night trying, unsuccessfully, to nod off. But, not one to give up, his New Year's resolution is to crack this habit and attain the perfect night's sleep. His restless search leads him to fellow insomniac Marina Benjamin, sleep coach Max Kirsten, Greek goddesses and a cave where night meets day and peace may possibly reside.
Producer Neil McCarthy
I think this might have saved me from brain damage.
I’ve been on a huge insomnia kick, and it was starting to wear me down physically and mentally. This is so good is because it just took me through two full sleep cycles. I feel like I’ve had two IV bags and a tranquilizer. My brain hasn’t felt this normal in a decade. I am not sure what kind of voodoo this is, but it’s a miracle for me. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Love these little nocturnal adventures. Mr Cocker always pulls me in with his invitation to join him on his night rambles. Usually I’ll nod off before it’s over. Hope he makes some more!
I could listen to this voice carry me all the way through this apocalypse of 2020 and beyond. I only wish there was more...