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School of Arts, Languages and Cultures

SALC academic works on BBC Decameron radio serial involving Terry Jones

Dr Guyda Armstrong from the Italian department has acted as script consultant on a new series of Boccaccio dramatisations for Radio 3, which are going out every night for two weeks in the late night slot from Monday, 1 December. The series is called 'Decameron Nights: Ten Italian Indelicacies remixed from Boccaccio'.  

There will also be an omnibus edition of all five tales on the Sunday night of each week. Terry Jones (of Monty Python fame) is doing the introductions to each one, while the cast also includes Tim McInnerny (Blackadder).

Dr Guyda Armstrong, Senior Lecturer in Italian, has given some historical background on Boccaccio as well as providing context for each of the stories the BBC has chosen. This information has formed the basis of the introductions for each story. As a Boccaccio expert, Armstrong was keen to go beyond the general (and quite limited) understanding of Boccaccio as basically a purveyor of medieval porn and source for Chaucer, and so her aim was to bring the latest Boccaccio academic perspectives to a more popular audience.

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Dr Guyda Armstrong has previously been on Radio 3 talking about Boccaccio on The Verb in 2012 and Nightwaves in 2013, the last one associated with the 700th anniversary of his birth last year. She and Steve Milner from the Italian department, along with a colleague from Bristol (Dr Rhiannon Daniels) also organized an international conference to mark this, held at Manchester Town Hall and the John Rylands Library, and also curated an exhibition:

Armstrong also identified a previously unknown French Boccaccio manuscript at the John Rylands Library:

Italian Studies