Friday, 18 March 2016

Radio Review: 18 March

The week closes with aural thrills of a varied kin

Written by Louis Barfe
Louis-Barfe-colour-176Listening to the radio on a Sunday morning requires me to do a certain amount of retuning. When the peerless Paddy O’Connell finishes Broadcasting House (Radio 4, Sundays, 10am), I have to skedaddle before the massed accordions of Ambridge herald the omnibus edition of The Archers. The only question is ‘Where do I go?’

For a while, I plumped for Hunted on BBC WM, one of those Treasure Hunt variants that have become Sunday morning staples on BBC local radio. Then a few weeks ago, I went with Sunday Morning on Radio 3 (Sundays, 9am) just for a change. I’m very glad I did.

One week, Rob Cowan’s theme was music for the young. One piece – Bliss by contemporary American composer Michael Torke – grabbed me by the ears and refused to let go. I can’t remember the last time a piece of music I heard on radio made my lugholes prick up so far. It took me years to feel I was ready for Radio 3, but I’m glad I’m there now.

To return to Broadcasting House, Paddy deserves commendation for his recent sensitive interview with the recently-ousted Tony Blackburn. Poor old Tone sounded gutted, as well he might, but more than that, he sounded genuinely baffled by the reasons for his sacking from Radio 2. His theory, that Bill Cotton Junior had a quiet word about the Claire McAlpine allegations with his agent, then recorded it as an interview with Blackburn himself, is wildly plausible.

Blackburn has a regular radio gig on KM FM in Kent, so he’s still able to pay for Arnold’s dog food, but it’s hard not to conclude that he’s been treated shabbily by the BBC. Meanwhile, Mark Goodier’s proving the safest possible pair of hands on Pick Of The Pops (R2, Saturdays, 1pm), but it’s just not the same.

Louis on Twitter: @LFBarfe or email:

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