Monday, 30 November -0001

Radio Review: 20 February

Cast off on a journey round some archive Desert Island Discs

Written by Louis Barfe
Louis-Barfe-portrait-176I do hope you’re all gripped by election fever. No, me neither. I am interested in politics, but even I wish they’d keep a lid on the tedious name-calling and bun-throwing. Thankfully, Ken Bruce (Radio 2, weekdays, 9.30am) is on hand to speak up for us. The other day, when Jeremy Vine came on to trail his show, Ken asked ‘How many days until the election?’. ‘84’, Vine replied. ‘84? It’s gone down now? Goodness,’ Bruce cut back in his dry fashion. Lovely stuff.

Also lovely is the arrival on the Desert Island Discs website at of several previously missing editions. Doctor Who fans have gone nuts for a long excerpt from William Hartnell’s 1965 visit to Plomley Island, and we must also give thanks to ex-Radio 1 DJ Adrian Juste for having recorded and kept Diana Rigg’s 1970 appearance in full.

The one for me is when Roy Plomley met Louis Armstrong in 1968. Five of the eight records on Armstrong’s playlist were his own work, and the book he chose was his autobiography. However, I find it impossible to be annoyed by this apparent arrogance. I wouldn’t want him to have been any other way. If you were one of the best, why waste time with false modesty? It’s just smashing to hear him twinkling away.

Meanwhile, the hat is doffed in the direction of the Heart West Midlands breakfast show with Ed James and Rachel New, which featured Central News’s Bob Warman reading an extract from Fifty Shades Of Grey where the unbroadcastable words had been replaced with Midland place names. Tactical placement of ‘Lickey and Clent Hills’ and ‘practically Bloxwich’ caused me to splutter with laughter.

Louis on Twitter: @LFBarfe or email:

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