Monday, 30 November -0001

Radio Review: 18 November

Ken Bruce reminds us of Jimmy Young’s serious side

Written by Louis Barfe
The Today programme was briefly made significantly more bearable last week by the presence of Ken Bruce, even though he was there for a sad reason. Bruce was speaking Louis-Barfe-colour-176to Nick Robinson about his friend and former colleague Sir Jimmy Young, recalling the ructions JY caused by introducing political interviews to his radio show.

Neither the current affairs department nor light entertainment were happy with it, but Young’s belief that he could put the questions the listeners wanted to ask proved well- founded. He called politicians by their first names and Bruce noted that he had the time to lull people into a genuine sense of security.

Young wanted to generate light, not heat, and to get answers rather than score points. Even when he pushed, nobody stormed out. Bruce recalled Young giving John major a ‘monstering’, but getting away with it because he always did it with charm. In his quiet way, JY was a genuine radio pioneer.

Bruce didn’t have time to mention that when BBC bosses demoted him from the breakfast show in the 1980s, Young marched into his studio and provided robust words of support I couldn’t possibly repeat here.

Away from the serious business of politics, whether national or BBC shenanigans, many fondly recall the handovers between Young and Terry Wogan, exchanges so popular that they inspired a Radio Times cover.

Wogan gave Jim dog’s abuse, referring to him as ‘aged and infirm’ when he was still in his 50s, and suggesting that Young was wheeled into the studio each morning on a commode. Of course, JY parried Wogan’s digs with good-natured sarcasm, the pair of them frequently collapsing into laughter. Both men were sharp yet warm, and they helped set the tone for radio 2.

Louis on Twitter: @LFBarfe or email: wireless@cheeseford.net


Forgot your password?
Click to read our digital edition
Place-Classified-advert-336
TLR-advert-May2014-336

Boarders Dormitory Master-Mistress
We are looking to appoint a Dormitory Mistress/Master for 5 nights per week, weekday evenings and nights only, term time. (35 weeks). [...]

APPLY NOW


Housekeeper to Headmaster
We have an opportunity for an experienced live-out housekeeper. You will provide a cleaning and hospitality service for the Headmaster and his guests and help to ensure the household runs efficiently. [...]

APPLY NOW


Full Time Housekeeper, Nanny
We are looking for a full time, live-out housekeeper/nanny. We are a relaxed young couple living in a large country house, and will have one newborn baby. [...]

APPLY NOW


Experienced Carer, Companion, Housekeeper needed
Our elderly mother needs a live in carer/companion on a part time basis. Must be warm hearted, calm & compassionate, with a good sense of humour. [...]

APPLY NOW


Cook, Housekeeper wanted
Good cooking skills required to cater for light meals for the Principal and a small staff, as well as occasional lunch/dinner parties. [...]

APPLY NOW



MORE JOBS LIKE THESE

Horoscopes

What the stars have in store for you this week.2017

Capricorn Aquarius Pisces Aries Taurus Gemini Cancer Leo Virgo Libra Scorpio Sagittarius

Sign up to receive our weekly newsletter