Monday, 04 January 2016

Radio Review: 1 January

Nonagenarian June Whitfield is a delight

Written by Louis Barfe
Louis-Barfe-colour-176Annoyingly, I found out about Radio 4’s June Whitfield: 90 Not Out (available on iPlayer) only after the Christmas triple issue of The Lady had gone to press, otherwise I’d have mentioned it in my round-up. It turned out to be one of the highlights of the festive wireless. A two-parter with an omnibus repeat on Christmas Day, it took the form of Whitfield chatting with AbFab chum Joanna Lumley, and had lots of fascinating archive material.

For instance, everybody knows that Whitfield worked with Frank Muir and Denis Norden on Take It From Here, but how many knew that Whitfield provided the voices for various strains of bacteria in a public information film?

A good 30 years after Take It From Here finished, one of Whitfield’s voices came out of retirement for The News Huddlines. Needing to impersonate Norma Major, Whitfield was stuck until ‘someone, either Roy [Hudd] or Chris [Emmett], said “Do Eth.”’ An inspired suggestion. I won’t spoil the story of how the canny Whitfield got the Huddlines gig, though.

Stories abound about Terry Scott being difficult to work with, but Whitfield never had a problem – and she’d know better than most. Scott was, she says, a ‘perfectionist’, but her own preferred tactic was to agree with his suggestions and then keep doing exactly what she had done before. Scott had the illusion of control, but knew that he was in safe hands with Whitfield. Everybody happy.

Lumley made an excellent point about the acting profession and the fickle nature of television when she asked why older actors, all the time getting better at what they do, are so frequently passed over for younger talent. Whitfield agreed that it was a problem, but admitted sweetly that ‘I can’t complain’.

Louis on Twitter: @LFBarfe or email: wireless@cheeseford.net



Forgot your password?
Click to read our digital edition
Place-Classified-advert-336
TLR-advert-May2014-336

Boarders Dormitory Master-Mistress
We are looking to appoint a Dormitory Mistress/Master for 5 nights per week, weekday evenings and nights only, term time. (35 weeks). [...]

APPLY NOW


Housekeeper to Headmaster
We have an opportunity for an experienced live-out housekeeper. You will provide a cleaning and hospitality service for the Headmaster and his guests and help to ensure the household runs efficiently. [...]

APPLY NOW


Full Time Housekeeper, Nanny
We are looking for a full time, live-out housekeeper/nanny. We are a relaxed young couple living in a large country house, and will have one newborn baby. [...]

APPLY NOW


Experienced Carer, Companion, Housekeeper needed
Our elderly mother needs a live in carer/companion on a part time basis. Must be warm hearted, calm & compassionate, with a good sense of humour. [...]

APPLY NOW


Cook, Housekeeper wanted
Good cooking skills required to cater for light meals for the Principal and a small staff, as well as occasional lunch/dinner parties. [...]

APPLY NOW



MORE JOBS LIKE THESE

Horoscopes

What the stars have in store for you this week.2017

Capricorn Aquarius Pisces Aries Taurus Gemini Cancer Leo Virgo Libra Scorpio Sagittarius

Sign up to receive our weekly newsletter