On one level, it’s a story of organ donation. On another level it’s an examination of language and how it reacts to tragedy. And on a profound level it asks us what life itself is. A powerful story that reduced me to tears.
Ian McMillan is a writer and broadcaster I admire very much, so it means a huge amount to have heard him praise The Boy Who Gave His Heart Away, the series I made with Jonathan Mayo for Radio 4, on Pick of the Week tonight. This is the rest of what he said.
“Sometimes, when you’re doing something else – in this case, drying the dishes after your dinner – the start of a radio programme can just stop you in your tracks, can make you forget about what you’re doing and just stand or sit there and listen, the pots still damp. This happened to me this week when I heard the first part of The Boy Who Gave His Heart Away on Radio 4.
Listener Ann Hampton was stopped in her tracks by it, like I was. She wrote that the programme, ‘Had me sitting in the car to listen after I had arrived at my destination.’ And that’s one definition of good radio, for me.”
The reaction on social media was also remarkable. Here are some of the Tweets: