Friday, 01 July 2016

Radio Review:1 July

Boris is left flustered and Charles Nove is emotional

Written by Louis Barfe
Louis-Barfe-colour-176Interviewing Boris Johnson on Radio 4’s The World At One (weekdays, 1pm), Martha Kearney sprang on him an archive clip where he extolled the virtues of welcoming Turkey into ‘an expanded European Union’ as a restoration of ‘that grand old Roman unity’.

He blustered that ‘Europe was a very different concept to the European Union’, despite having referred explicitly and favourably to the EU, not Europe, and mouthed the campaign platitude about ‘taking back control’. Game, set and match to Kearney.

The other joy of the week’s listening was on BBC Radio Oxford, where Charles Nove, sitting in for Howard Bentham on breakfast (weekdays, 6am), spoke to Lily Mitchell on an outside broadcast from Bletchley. The piece took on a touching personal element, as Nove’s mother had worked in Hut Three at the codebreaking site during the Second World War.

Nove had always drawn a blank trying to get his mother to talk about the experience, the importance of secrecy still foremost in her mind. However, it turned out that around 15 years ago, Mrs Nove had been interviewed by the historians at Bletchley about her experiences, and the recording had been located to be played on the show.

Nove observed with amusement that she ‘had her posh voice on’, as she was being interviewed by a man, being ‘to her core... a terrible old flirt’. He added that it was the first time he had heard her voice since she died 12 years ago, but he held it together like the true professional he is.

In sound, anyway. Watching the studio webcam, I’m certain I detected a flicker of emotion. Quite right too. It was a lovely little moment, one of those things that radio does so well. 

Louis on Twitter: @LFBarfe or email:

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