Friday, 02 October 2015

Radio Review: 2 October

The News Quiz’s new host is Miles Jupp

Written by Louis Barfe
Louis-Barfe-colour-176If you’ve ever tried another broadcaster’s on-demand services, you’ll appreciate just how well-designed and easy to use BBC iPlayer is. Well, the radio side of it has just got even better. Now, when you join a live stream of a programme after it’s started, you can listen from the start or spool back to any point in the programme.

A simple idea, implemented brilliantly (as I discovered the other night when told that Britain’s finest weekly magazine had just been mentioned glowingly on Allan Beswick’s BBC Radio Manchester show).

However you listen to the radio, the arrival of Miles Jupp to chair The News Quiz (R4, Friday, 6.30pm) is good news. When Sandi Toksvig stepped down, there was harrumphing about a man replacing her, but having heard him as a panellist on this show, he’s a perfect fit for the job.

He’ll need a little while to settle down, but he provoked a belly laugh from me a few minutes in by referring to the new Labour leader as ‘startled pensioner Jeremy Corbyn’. Not only is he quick-witted, but he also masks his sharpness with a Lyttelton-esque mock innocence that enables the barbs to catch hold with devastating effect.

A great example came when Susan Calman (who would like to save the BBC in order to allow the nation to see her make a prize cake of herself on Strictly) said she didn’t know how to respond to the refugee crisis, and Jupp turned to Times columnist and Tory peer Lord Finkelstein for advice. ‘Ultimately, we’ve got hideous atrocities being committed, millions of people fleeing for their lives, a humanitarian catastrophe unfolding. I mean, do you think this is one of those things that will probably sort itself out?’ he asked, rather sweetly. Oof.

Louis on Twitter: @LF Barfe or email:

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