Monday, 30 November -0001

Radio review: 16 September

Why are DJs so fond of a long-playing record?

Written by Louis Barfe

Today, as I was emerging from the arms of Morpheus (nice lad – doesn’t hog the duvet), Chris Evans played Year Of The Cat by Al Stewart as his Thursday morning ‘long song’. While it’s always a delight to hear, it runs 6:33. In radio, records of such duration usually mean that the presenter needs a ‘comfort break’.

I mentioned this on Twitter, and Matthew Rudd, host of Forgotten 80s (Absolute 80s, Sundays, 7pm-9pm) responded that I should ‘note always the length of song Ken Bruce plays after he finishes PopMaster’.

Louis-Barfe-colour-176Rudd also related horror stories from the days of vinyl, where the record stuck while the DJ was in the loo. Evans, a radio pro through and through, knows the significance, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he had started the ‘long song’ feature as a deliberate in-joke for fellow presenters.

Later in the day, on BBC Essex, Ronnie Barbour, sitting in for Sadie Nine (weekdays, 9am-noon), heard from one listener who went to see an old power station chimney being demolished on the Isle of Grain, only to find out too late that she and hundreds of others had been looking in the wrong direction.

Meanwhile, my horrified fascination with Richard Spendlove’s chunterings on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire (Saturdays, 9pm-11pm) continues, and I found myself listening in wonder as he asked listeners for their memories of the Second World War and the things they want to see brought back post-Brexit. Surprisingly, nobody mentioned hanging.

Returning in closing to DJs needing to spend a penny, Rudd reminded me of a lovely Pete Murray story.

One day, the Open House host put on a long record, visited the gents, washed his hands, forgot he was due back on air, left the building, got in his car and went home.

Louis on Twitter: @LFBarfe or email: 

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