Since 2000, Ruth has contributed to a wide range of programmes for BBC Radio 3 and 4.
In 2011 and 2012 she presented a Radio 4 series Poetry Workshop, for which she travelled the UK leading poetry workshops on air, discussing participants’ poems with groups in Exeter, the Dylan Thomas Centre in Swansea, Ipswich, Grasmere, Belfast, Newcastle and Stalybridge near Manchester. In Gilbert’s Glory, Radio 4, she wrote and presented five programmes on the life and work of librettist and theatre impresario W S Gilbert.
In 2010 and 2011 she wrote and presented two five part series Wild Things I and II following responses to British wild animals through history, literature, folklore, science and cinema, discussed her novel Where the Serpent Lives on Woman’s Hour, and on Radio 3 discussed the poetry of Mahmoud Darwish.
In 2009, on Desert Island Discs, her choices were Beethoven’s A Minor String Quartet Opus 132, Kathleen Ferrier singing “Blow the Wind Southerly”, Muddy Waters singing, ‘I’m Ready for You,’ the Recordare from ‘Dies Irae’ in Verdi’s Requiem; a Cretan mantinada (To Iasemi choris nero – ‘Jasmine can’t live without water nor a heart without love’) sung by lyra player Kalogridis; the Terzetto E voi ridete from Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte Act I, Scene 3; Bach’s Double Violin Concerto, and Melina Merkouri singing ‘The boys from Peiraeus’ from the film Never on Sunday.
For Radio 4 she wrote and presented Darwin – My Ancestor, five programmes on the life and thought of Charles Darwin, and for Radio 3 wrote and presented Searching for Alfred in the Shadow of Tennyson, on the life and work of Tennyson.
In 2007, she wrote and presented a four-part Radio 4 series, The Enigma I Will Not Explain, exploring Elgar’s life and Enigma Variations. For Radio 3, she talked about playing the viola for The Essay series When Writers Play.
In 2006, she wrote and presented a five-part Radio 4 series, A Tale Teller for Our Times exploring the life and work of Hans Anderson through five of his stories.
In 2004, she discussed her book Tigers in Red Weather on Woman’s Hour.
In 2003, she chaired a Radio 3 discussion on the reconciliation between Priam and Achilles between poet U.A. Fanthorpe and scholar Penelope Murray, for the final episode of Homeric Encounters, in which scholars and poets interpreted characters from Homer’s Iliad.
In 2002, she talked to Woman’s Hour about her poetry collection Voodoo Shop.
Between 2002 and 2006, she wrote and presented Close Encounters, a series of opera interval talks for Radio 3. In 2006 she discussed the ways in which Verdi flouted 19th-century convention in La Traviata; in 2002, she discussed the war of the sexes in Cosi Fan Tutte, and the relationship between Ariadne, archetypal abandoned woman, and Bacchus the god of wine, in Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos.
In 2000, Verdi’s centenary year, she re-worked Traviata in a short story for BBC Radio 3 entitled The Radar Angels.