A Mixtape for Gus was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in October 2014 (BBC. 2018)  It’s presented by young composer and musician, Emily Levy, as she delves into the life of her late brother using the mixtapes he made and conversations with some of his friends. (BBC. 2018).

This programme fits BBC Radio 4’s commissioning guide through the use of music and actuality audio to stimulate emotion and to keep the “listeners seeking intelligent programmes” (BBC. n.d) engaged. You can hear the actuality as she scrambles through the tapes with the “clattering in the background” (Pickett, J. 2016)  It is particularly engaging when she finds the Sony Walkman. She sounds excited but through her sniffles and slight snobs, she sounds quite emotional as she remembers her brother, adding emotional layers to the story.

The Music used by Emily Levy brings a strong sense of attachment to her late brother Gus, each song that is used, has a story that connects with her memories of him. Not only does the music have this special connection to Gus, it also offers a nostalgic look into the music of the past which can be quite appealing to the audience, giving them the opportunity to bring their own stories to life. This likely contributed to the success of the programme.

To create a story that is “compelling, informative and complete” (Kiewiet, 2017), programme-makers must consider and address these six questions. Who: Emily Levy, a young composer, her late brother Gus and a few of Gus’ friends. What: This programme focuses on Levy’s journey to create a personal mixtape for her late brother, Gus, as she looks through her old mixtapes. Where: It is uncertain where, so I assume it’s at her own home. When: Some point after her Brothers death in 2014. Why: Levy is doing this to compose her own mixtape in memory of her brother and to share how her love of music stemmed from her brother and his passion for music too. How: This story is told by looking through the old tapes Gus created and shared with Levy and remembering Gus through conversations with his friends to tell a positive and uplifting story about Gus’ character.

In conclusion, I think that this was a successful programme due to its compelling and engaging story created by well researched and produced concepts.



(BBC. 2018). A Mix-Tape for Gus – BBC Radio 4. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04kbjhs [Accessed 11 Feb. 2018].

(BBC. n.d). Information for suppliers to Radio – BBC Radio 4 – BBC Radio. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/2FC4S5Nr3dbMH6XJzyM8tHX/bbc-radio-4 [Accessed 11 Feb. 2018].

(Pickett, J. 2016). Soothing the Psyche – music as therapy for illness and loss – Getintothis. [online] Getintothis. Available at: http://www.getintothis.co.uk/2016/11/soothing-of-the-psyche-music-as-therapy-for-illness-and-loss/ [Accessed 11 Feb. 2018].

(Journalistics. 2010). Five Ws and One H: The Secret to Complete News Stories. [online] Available at: http://blog.journalistics.com/2010/five-ws-one-h/ [Accessed 11 Feb. 2018].

Kiewiet, P. (2017). Write Your Story: Who, What, When, Where, Why, How? – Promo Marketing. [online] Promo Marketing. Available at: http://magazine.promomarketing.com/post/write-story-wen/ [Accessed 11 Feb. 2018].


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