Charles Parker Day 2020 – postponed

It is with regret that we have made the difficult decision to postpone Charles Parker Day, due to take place on Friday 3 April, based on government advice with regards to COVID-19.  We very much hope to be able to reschedule for Autumn of this year and are working towards a securing a new date as soon as possible.

The results of the 2020 Charles Parker Award were announced online on 3 April, and the  winners will be celebrated at the rescheduled Day in Autumn.

Friday 3rd April 2020, 10:30 – 17:00
Birmingham City University
Parkside Building, 5 Cardigan Street, Birmingham B4 7BD

followed by a Banner Theatre presentation at 19:30

Tickets for both events available at Eventbrite

This year the Charles Parker Day returns to Birmingham – the city where the pioneering radio producer lived and worked for most of his life.  Welcoming us to Birmingham City University and to the work of Charles Parker will be an exclusive (video) appearance by the university’s Chancellor, Lenny Henry!

The Library of Birmingham is where the extensive Charles Parker Archive is stored and throughout the day each session will be introduced by a short extract from Charles’ work (or work in progress) from the Archive.  This year the conference will celebrate Charles’ life and achievements with some of the people who worked alongside him and contemporary radio producers, podcasters, musicians and dramatists who have been influenced by his work.

Speakers at the day will include the writer and journalist Dilip Hiro who worked extensively with Charles, notably recording a series of programmes in 1968 about Asian teenagers in Birmingham.  He will be joined by the award-winning producer Steven Rajam from Overcoat Media who will talk about his recent binaural feature for BBC Radio 4 – ‘Indian Rave’ – on the appeal of Rave music to teenagers in India.

Dr Sam Coley from Birmingham City University will reflect on Parker’s set of ‘Birmingham Ballads’, made with musician Ian Campbell and sound recordist Brian Vaughton.  Their recording equipment and editing desks will be on display in the university throughout the day.  Sian Medford, the Gold winner of last year’s Gold Charles Parker Prize, will also premiere her latest feature ‘My City’ – a new Birmingham Ballad exploring the multi-cultural diversity of her home city.

And the five winners of the Charles Parker Prize 2020 for the Best Student Radio Feature, which again will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4, will be announced by their Commissioning Executive, Kirsten Lass. 

Doc Rowe, the UK’s leading folk archivist, worked with Charles and presents a personal portrait of the man and talks of how he influenced his life’s work.

Before coming to live in the UK a year ago, Tony Macaluso led the creation of the complete radio archive of oral history legend Studs Terkel in Chicago, Birmingham’s twin city.  He will demonstrate this highly interactive archive and how it is being used by researchers and broadcasters.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of Charles Parker’s death.  And in the final session of the day Felicity Finch, who plays Ruth Archer in the long running radio series, looks back at the events of December 1980.  Charles was rehearsing a new play with Banner Theatre, the company he founded in 1973 after leaving the BBC, when he died suddenly.  Banner Theatre are still performing, and Dave Rogers and Jacqueline Contré from the company will contribute their memories of working with Charles and his influence on ‘actuality’ theatre. As Artistic Director Dave will also introduce Banner’s latest production ‘Free for All’, which they will be performing in the evening after this year’s Charles Parker Day.

Ticket prices Standard Concessions Student
Day ticket (includes a hot buffet lunch and refreshments) £30 £20 £10
Evening ticket £8 £6 £4

To book tickets for either or both events go to Eventbrite

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