This week’s best radio: why do creative people love gambling?

A three-part Radio 4 series exploring the connection between risk and artistry opens with prolific punter Lucian Freud ‘By the time we got to the pudding, the losses amounted to £900,000.” That’s art critic Martin Gayford laconically recollecting a lunch with the painter Lucian Freud , who was having a bet at the same time. Freud liked a wager. He reckoned he could carry £16,000 cash about his person without it becoming obvious. The first of three programmes called The Gamble ( 18 October, 9am, Radio 4 ) investigates the connection between risk and the creative arts. In Freud’s case, his assistant remembers: “He would gamble until he had nothing left and that somehow freed him up to then start painting again.” Radio 3’s Opera Season continues with an Afternoon Concert devoted to Nabucco ( 19 October, 2pm, Radio 3 ) recorded at Covent Garden in 2003. Plácido Domingo plays the King of the Babylonians, Liudmyla Monastyrska is Abigaille. Because this was taped during a performance you can hear the sandals of each and every Hebrew slave as they seem to shuffle through the room. Continue reading...