Thursday, 03 March 2016

Radio Review: 4 March

Radio abounds with Mr O’Sullivan and his music

Written by Louis Barfe
Louis-Barfe-colour-176Gilbert O’Sullivan has been all over the wireless lately. He turned up on Danny Baker’s Saturday morning show (R5L, Saturdays, 9am), the host’s genuine love for his music shining through every question. Baker is at his best when talking to someone he really admires, and O’Sullivan was good on Andy Williams’s bemused reaction to the line ‘I bagsy being in goal’ in the song We Will.

Then O’Sullivan was accorded the accolade of being given his own edition of Friday Night Is Music Night (R2, Fridays, 8pm), helped by the BBC Concert Orchestra under the baton of the ageless and peerless Laurie Holloway. It’s on the iPlayer for another couple of weeks, so you know what to do if so moved.

Two days later, Clare Teal (R2, Sundays, 9pm) featured the eminent and eloquent jazz saxophonist Simon Spillett talking about his hero Tubby Hayes. Spillett has written a cracking biography of Tubbs, called The Long Shadow Of The Little Giant, and he spoke about a man who, in Ronnie Scott’s words, ‘burned every available candle at both ends and in the middle’. Spillett has unearthed miles of private tapes kept by Hayes’s family, and I can’t help but think an Archive on 4 would be in order.

Finally, in a fine run of evening entertainments, Russell Davies had a lovely chat with Bernard Cribbins in his The Art Of Artists series (R2, Mondays, 11pm). Cribbins waxed lyrical about Peter Sellers, working with George Martin, the fine comic songs of Ted Dicks and Myles Rudge, Sally Thomsett on the set of The Railway Children smoking with a G&T in her hand, and his mother’s elevated status in the Lancashire mills as a corduroy weaver. We also heard Cribbins’s stunning, straight version of I’ve Grown Accustomed To Her Face. Reader, I blubbed.

Louis on Twitter: @LFBarfe or email:

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