The woman in charge of BBC Radio 4's Book at Bedtime has defended her decision to pick books that listeners have branded 'disturbing.'
Caroline Raphael said that 'Mein Kampf', by Adolf Hitler, about Nazi policies of mass-murder and warfare, 'is extremely well written', and added listeners could always 'turn off.' But she added it might have been better to have avoided airing another 'difficult' book, the Exit 'Do-It-Yourself Suicide Book', the next evening.
'I admit putting 'Mein Kampf' followed straight on by a book on how to kill yourself may not have been the best 2 books to put next to each other', she admitted. 'Writers want to write about disturbing things, it's odd that listeners don't want to hear about them, at 2245 over their cocoa.'
This is not the first time Ms. Raphael has caused controversy as editor of the radio programme. In 2005, one evening she chose a few chapters of The Koran to be aired, and the next day 'The Satanic Verses' by Salman Rushdie. And in 2004 she picked 'Noddy Goes To Sea' to be read out, and the next day 'Helpless', a novel about a crime against a child.
However, it's unlikely that this evening's listening will be 'BBC Actually Fires Someone For Being Incompetent, For The First Time Ever', by Greg Dyke.