Friday, 06 January 2017
Radio Review: 6 January
Good interviews, corny puns and no McGuffins
Written by Louis BarfeLast year wasn’t notable for good news, but it made a late run for redemption with the announcement in December that Midweek (Radio 4) is to be axed in the spring.
Running since 1981, it has long been my signal to switch over on a Wednesday morning, my constitution not yet ready at 9am to take any of the stilted conversation or Libby Purves’s creakingly tenuous links between guests. Of course, most of them have one thing in common. They’re there to flog something, otherwise they’d be at home not listening. It’s also been a tremendous source of joy to me to miss the late-night edited repeat every week.
The new replacement arts- interview series adopts the chain reaction approach of one week’s interviewee becoming the following week’s interviewer, which might be an unnecessary gimmick, but we shall see. Can’t we just have good interviewers and interesting interviewees, or does everything need a McGuffin to get commissioned now?
Over the holidays, Boxing Day was enlivened by a festive special edition of The Tim Vine Chat Show (Radio 4), where Jeremy’s gleefully corny and relentless comedian brother pulled punters out of the audience and interviewed them. Not that they really got much of a word in, with Vine taking every opportunity to shoehorn in a groaner.
As well as the gags, Vine also gave us a catchy little song about what Father Christmas does the rest of the year that deserves to become a seasonal staple. What does Santa do? Like the leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition, he makes jam.
Admirably, Vine had contingency plans in place to ensure a white Christmas. ‘I sent my girlfriend a huge pile of snow,’ said Vine, ‘then I rang her up and said, “Do you get my drift?”’
Louis on Twitter: @LFBarfe or email: firstname.lastname@example.org