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Listen: Academic talks Hansel and Gretel and other fairy tales with BBC

THE history behind the famed fairy tale Hansel and Gretel and other Grimm Brothers’ stories is the subject of a national BBC programme featuring an academic of the University of Chichester.

The Friday Night Is Music Night show – broadcast on BBC Radio 2 – included an interview with Dr Miles Leeson of the Department of English and Creative Writing.

He spoke about the story and other Grimm legends for his role with University research centre the Sussex Centre for Folklore, Fairy Tales, and Fantasy, which provides a forum for writers and scholars to study this area.

The two-hour show was part of a music programme dedicated to Hansel and Gretel featuring music from the BBC Philharmonic in a concert about fairy tales.

Dr Leeson, who spoke from around 8:30pm, is also the Director of the recently-launched Iris Murdoch Research Centre that will examine the life and work of the author.

Dr Miles Leeson

He said: “Grimm's stories continue to be the most central fairy tales in Western Culture and the source and inspiration for many later works.

“It's great that the BBC continues to recognise this, and that the Sussex Center at Chichester is at the forefront of research in this and related fantasy work.

“I hope tonight's programme brings this to a wide audience.”

The BBC interview with Dr Leeson – available around 30 minutes into the programme - can be heard online at

Alternatively for more about the research conducted at the Sussex Centre for Folklore, Fairy Tales, and Fantasy go to