Monday, 30 November -0001

Radio Review: 20 March

Julie Andrews steps in to settle a family argument

Written by Louis Barfe
Louis-Barfe-dog-176It’s 50 years since the release of The Sound Of Music, and it was quite a coup for Jane Garvey to bag Dame Julie Andrews for a chat on Woman’s Hour. The highlight was Garvey relating the horrors of Christmas 1978, when the film made its British TV debut. One of Garvey’s great-aunts asserted confidently that The Lonely Goatherd had not been in the original release, and had been inserted especially for the TV version. A frank exchange of views between the family ensued.

Andrews was able to reassure Garvey that the song had been in the original film. Obviously, you can check this online easily enough now (it was in the original film and the 1959 stage musical, but not in 1978). I suspect the great-aunt is long gone, but just imagine telling a cantankerous relative, ‘Mary Poppins says you’re wrong.’ Priceless.

Elsewhere, Paddy O’Connell was standing in for Jeremy Vine on Radio 2 and when he was doing the menu at the ‘top of the hour’ (as it’s known in The Show Business) I noticed that he lacked the fluency he has on Radio 4. He placed emphasis on the wrong words, hesitated mid-sentence and generally sounded like a bad impersonation of Steve Wright.

Was it the result of having to fit in with Vine’s inappropriately thrusting background music? It was as if Paddy had forgotten how to speak. Either that or he was going slowly to accommodate the mouth-breathers who call in.

Still, once he got going on the topics of dog nobbling at Crufts and the commissioner of the Met somewhat creepily proposing in-home CC TV, he was better than Vine. Vine seems to treat the callers far too seriously and respectfully. O’Connell does not.

Louis on Twitter: @LFBarfe or email:

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