In the first of a new series of Fry’s English Delight on broadcast this week on BBC radio 4, Stephen Fry discusses the issue at the very heart of my MA Major Project project: how we describe colours. Listening on the BBC’s online radio player it was actually quite amazing hearing him in conversation with the artist David Hockney talking about things that I had researched and written about myself. In a programme that is less than 30 minutes it’s difficult to go into much depth in what is a vast subject, as it touches on so many different areas, linguistics, neurology, the biology of how we see, the physics of light, history, aesthetics, fine art, cross cultural differences and personal taste. However, the programme did cover some of the difficulties in naming colours and developments in research into the language of colour, including observations by William Gladstone on Homer, research into colour preference in children by Dr Anna Franklin at Surrey University and insights in to colour naming from Nicki Barton, head of colour marketing at Dulux.
The programme was originally broadcast at 9 am on 16th August and is available to listen to on the BBC Radio 4 website for the next 7 days. There is also another recording on there of Stephen Fry and David Hockney talking about describing colour that’s definately worth a listen.