The mobile phone is proving to be an unexpected tool of female liberation in the Arab world. In conversation with Dame Ann Leslie, veteran foreign correspondent, Fawziah Bakr Al-Bark, a professor of education at the country's King Saud University, and I debate the state of women in Saudi Arabia.
The conversation is available on the BBC website through the excellent listen again service.
Why was British law helpless to prevent the hate-filled rantings of the extremist preacher Abu Hamza? That's the perfectly reasonable question that the Queen put to her Home Secretary a few years ago, according to BBC Terrorism and Security correspondent, Frank Gardner - who promptly apologised to Buckingham Palace for revealing this fascinating titbit from a conversation he had had with Her Majesty.
On Sunday June 3rd I shall be on BBC Radio 2 with Aled Jones talking about the Jubilee -- I shall be on the show around 8:30am (UK time).
"Each week Aled Jones plays tracks from a broad musical spectrum, that celebrates both our choral traditions and the vibrant world of modern music as well as spiritually uplifting and reflective music. He also discusses religious and ethical issues of the week with faith representatives."
The BBC iPlayer has Andrew Marr's series The Diamond Queen with an interview between Robert Lacey and Andrew Marr. "Andrew Marr looks at the life and reign of Queen Elizabeth II. In this episode, with remarkable archive footage, Marr tells the story of the young girl who never expected to reign."
"Robert Lacey, author of A Brief Life of the Queen, says she would have been prepared for the news, even if her father's death from a coronary thrombosis was a shock.
"Her private secretary carried sealed envelopes containing a draft Accession Declaration. She was ready but it was a secret that was shared with few people."
It is said that she reacted stoically, and showed little immediate distress. "She was sitting erect, fully accepting her destiny," Martin Charteris is quoted as saying in Lacey's book. No-one saw any tears."
Here is the text in full of the Queen's 2011 Christmas message, which was recorded by the BBC on 9 December - before her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, was treated in hospital for a blocked coronary artery.
"In this past year my family and I have been inspired by the courage and hope we have seen in so many ways in Britain, in the Commonwealth and around the world.
Demonstrations of any type, political or otherwise are rare in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – bear in mind this is a country with no legal political parties or popular mass movements. "There is no history of public protests, even in support of the government," said Jaafar al-Shayeb, a city councilor and businessman in al-Qatif – quoted this week in the Guardian Newspaper.
Broadcast on the BBC World Service’s Newshour on Friday March 11th 2011, I was in discussion with the BBC’s Claire Balderson and Paul Wood in Riyadh, talking about the Saudi "Day of Rage".
Catch these word-wizards on BBC Radio 4's "Quote Unquote" now! In the photo, from left to right Dr Phil Hammond, Britain's funniest doctor; Quotemeister and host Nigel Rees; the wise and wonderful Yasmin Alibhai-Brown; Myself (the only one in a tie), and stand-up comic Miles Jupp and kneeling on the floor - , the reader of all the quotations. -- at our recording of the latest shows in Nigel Rees's long-running series.