Friday, 08 July 2016

Radio Review:8 July

The best of regional radio is available on the iPlayer

Written by Louis Barfe
Louis-Barfe-colour-176Four years ago, I left East Anglia for the West Country, leaving behind BBC Radio Norfolk, one of the best BBC local stations in the country, if not the best. Certainly the ratings indicate a high level of listener satisfaction.

In the dark old days before broadband and iPlayer, that would have been it. Local radio stations stayed local, although I once persuaded a technicallyadept friend in Cheshire to stream BBC Radio Merseyside live to me for the sake of a review. It would probably have been easier for him to send me a C90 cassette in the post.

For those who don’t have time to listen to whole shows from elsewhere in the country, the selections of clips on the iPlayer are well worth dipping into. Sticking with the east, the clip of Sophie Little ‘Seeking the sheriff’ on Radio Norfolk’s Treasure Quest is liable to raise a laugh that almost matches hers when Sophie realises that the High Sheriff of Norfolk has been standing next to her all along.

Over on Radio Kent’s page are currently various listeners’ memories of VE Day, including Mike Rowe, whose father overcame the shortages of materials and food to make a V-shaped table for the celebratory street party and a decent spread to go on top of it. Another listener, Gwen Howe, recalls the Kent locals making effigies of Mussolini and Hitler, which were stabbed enthusiastically.

The only trouble is that not all of the local stations’ iPlayer sites carry selections of clips. This seems rather insular, using the global reach of the internet to interest only those who live in the area or ex-pats.

BBC local stations need all the support they can get in these days of swingeing cuts, and clipping and dipping can be oddly gripping.

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



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