On the radio

I’m very excited – and incredibly lucky – to be doing more radio at the moment. As well as my penguin programmes for BBC Radio 4 recently, I’ve just finished making South America in the South Atlantic with Sparklab Productions, which is going out BBC World Service in August, Radio 4’s From Our Own Correspondent…

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Talking to people

I’m very happy to have given two talks in the last few days, both in my home town, Banbury. The first was an “Antarctic Evening”. Soon after I got home from my trip to Antarctica earlier this year with the BBC weather presenter Peter Gibbs, a local friend – community organiser Steve Gold – suggested…

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The rise and rise of Jordanian cinema

A wonderful recent assignment in Jordan, writing about the growth of independent cinema. Here’s what I wrote on Facebook: I had such fun writing this article on Jordan's emerging film industry, and the work of the amazing Nadine Toukan as… Posted by Matthew Teller on Saturday, September 5, 2015 Copy/pasting the FB status here: I had such…

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BBC Front Row on Theeb

BBC Front Row on Theeb

After a few tweets and a bit of pestering, I was lucky enough to be invited by presenter Samira Ahmed onto Front Row, the main daily arts programme on BBC Radio 4 in the UK, to talk about Theeb, a new and – in my entirely humble opinion – brilliant film by Jordanian director Naji…

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Tales from the British Library

Tales from the British Library

Back in August, I got a call from a PR at the British Library. They said they’d read my piece on Qatar in High Life magazine, and wondered if I’d be interested in something else to do with Qatar. What followed was a heads-up about something which I’d already been vaguely aware of, but hadn’t properly…

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Stories from Qatar

Stories from Qatar

Earlier this year I was lucky enough to be in Qatar, on assignment for the British Airways inflight magazine High Life. It was for an idea I’d pitched to them, trying to give a bit of insider perspective to the way Doha is usually covered in the Western media – which tends to be either PR-driven…

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Travel in southern Iraq

Travel in southern Iraq

Géraldine Chatelard, a friend from Jordan, sent me a write-up of her recent visit to southern Iraq. She has kindly allowed me to reproduce parts of it here, with her own photos. Names have been removed or altered and I have skipped over some parts that could identify people who might not wish to be identified. Géraldine…

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Light shed on mystery Beirut dig

Light shed on mystery Beirut dig

A few days ago, investigative journalist Habib Battah posted a report on his (excellent) blog, describing a nosy around one of the many fenced-off plots in central Beirut. Click the link to have a quick read, first, if you haven’t already. Since I read that, I’ve also been asking around, and have come up with the…

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And the winner is…

And the winner is…

When Kathryn Bigelow stood up to accept the Best Director Oscar yesterday – for The Hurt Locker, a movie about a US army bomb-disposal unit in Iraq – she dedicated the award to the people of Jordan, where the film was shot. For a modest, often-overlooked country in a region of big headlines, such a…

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