Being as I am (temporarily!) in a position to work only on things I find truly exciting, important and fun, it feels a little conceited to say I love one of my jobs more than the others. But it’s hard to hide – radio has a special place in my heart. It is now exactly five days, a mere 120 hours, to the premiere of Jättestora frågor med Johanna Koljonen i P3 – a monster of a name for a monster of a show. I’d link to a web site but we’re still working on it.
Together with my genius colleagues from P3 Kultur – Sara Lundin, Tommie Jönsson, Roger Wilson, Teresa Axner, Sonja Schwarzenberger – we’ve set out to mine for a new kind of radio gold. Jättestora frågor (“Huge Questions”) is a serious and intelligent radio proramme about some of the most pressing issues of our time. It is also on P3, so we’re still totally breaking for a pop song every five minutes.
Starting on June 14th, we’ll be on Tuesday – Friday 10.02-12.00. The topics for the first three weeks are WAR, MONARCHY and LOVE; during our ten-week season we’ll also take a serious look at stuff like CAPITALISM and CHINA and DEATH. We’ve finished the first few episodes and we’re pretty psyched; it sounds a little bit like P3 Kultur, but even more it sounds like nothing we’ve ever heard before. Does that mean it’ll work in a morning slot during vacation season? Your guess is as good as mine.
That said, I’d like to remind you that out of the 121 episodes we made of P3 Kultur, 81 are still available as podcasts. I have never been prouder of anything I’ve done in my entire life than I was, and am, of what we did on that programme. There is no reason to make a programme stupid just because the target audience is under 35 (hello, so are most of us) and P3 has really raised the bar on its culture and political coverage in the last few years. We helped make that come true.
I don’t think we’ve told anyone before, but we always wanted every show to make the listener laugh out loud. Yet making space for the serious and personal was equally important, and we received tweets and letters, so many… ten? Twelve? Twenty? from people, men and women, who wrote to say they had cried when they listened. I keep some them in a special folder marked “this is why”.
On P3 Kultur, we tried to look at culture as something that helps us make sense of our lives and construct our identities – not as something externally important, but as something that is intrinsically about you, about me. On Jättestora frågor we are trying to do the same thing with all of the huge questions. They’re not too big for us to understand. They’re not somebody else’s problem. They’re our lives, and that is just as empowering as it can be scary.