Thursday, 21 November 2013

Radio Review: 22 November

Jim Davidson’s podcasts really are best avoided

Written by Louis Barfe
Louis-Barfe-newBWYou can say what you like about the comedian Jim Davidson (and believe me, I have), but he’s a professional. For all of the objections that can be raised with regard to his material, he has enough experience to present it impeccably. All of which makes the ramshackle, rambling, tedious yet oddly compelling nature of his newly launched podcast baffling in the extreme.

With podcasts (like radio programmes that you download from the internet), you need to have something special to justify a running time of an hour. He has precious little to fill his 73 minutes, apart from obscure Italian progressive rock music and meandering reminiscences about childhood bonfire nights and his mates in the SAS that lead absolutely nowhere.

Listeners managing to make it past the first half hour then have to endure a terrible tale of a supermodel shipwrecked on a desert island. Davidson calls it a ‘short story’, but at 28 minutes long, I beg to differ.

Of course, podcasts, being free of conventional broadcasting regulations, can make use of what continuity announcers call ‘strong language’ and what the rest of us know as swearing. Davidson makes extensive use of the freedom, not least when suggesting at great and unfunny length that Australians might know kangaroos rather more intimately than they should. I mention Davidson’s efforts only to warn you never to download them, in the unlikely event of ever feeling tempted.

You’re far better off listening to Martin Kelner, who has returned to BBC Radio Leeds after a serious illness, opening his comeback show with the Doctor Kildare theme. In August, he had a sarcoma ‘the size of a small sheep’ removed and it was touch and go. The impeccably Jewish Kelner quipped: ‘They called in the priest, basically, and I said “Boy, have you got the wrong guy”.’ 

Martin Kelner, BBC Radio Leeds, weekdays, 12pm to 2pm.
Louis on Twitter: @LFBarfe or email: wireless@cheeseford.net


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