Radio Reviews: 20 July
The last rites from Bush House, and a devil may-care attitude to the Olympics…
The WS's new home is bright, open-plan and built for modern broadcasting. Nonetheless, I suspect everyone who worked at Bush will miss it. I admit that I'm welling up as I listen to Purdon bid farewell to the old cocoon. Hang on, what's this? Mark Thompson sticking his oar in? A miracle. My eyes are drying suddenly and my mood turns to anger as the worst BBC director general in living memory hijacks the moment. Having presided over swingeing cuts to the Service and being generally useless, his valedictory presence sticks in the throat. Be away with you, man.
And now a choice of viewing or listening. Over on BBC Two, Twenty Twelve is satirising the Olympics, while giving viewers the queasy sensation that it is uncomfortably close to the truth. On Radio 4, we have the joy of a two-parter of Andy Hamilton's Satanic sitcom Old Harry's Game. Hamilton himself plays Lucifer, his cynical tone perfect for a man who is jaded by the evil he's wrought, with sterling support from the likes of Jimmy Mulville as the amoral Thomas and Annette Crosbie as the deceased historian Edith.
The Devil has decided to stage a rival event called the Infernal Olympics, described as 'like the original, but without the corruption or the travel chaos'. The organisation will be an internal job, enlisting some of the Greeks who arranged the games in ancient times, when all the competitors were male and largely naked. They're none too happy about the prospect of women taking part, and clothed women at that, deeming it to be against the Olympic spirit. When it comes to funding, they recommend seeking handouts. 'You didn't pay for the games by raising money from taxes?' asks Crosbie's character. 'Edith, they're Greek,' the Devil replies, knowingly. The half-hour was made even more delightful by the suggestion that David Starkey is headed for Hades in pretty short order if he continues annoying people at his current rate.
Old Harry's Game, BBC Radio 4, Thursdays at 6.30pm.
TALK ABOUT KEVIN
Surreal comedian Kevin Eldon comes to BBC Radio 4 on Tuesday 31 July at 11pm in Kevin Eldon Will See You Now. Known for his work with Stewart Lee and Richard Herring, the radio outing is a prelude to his forthcoming, muchanticipated BBC Two show.
Follow Louis on Twitter: @LadyWireless or email him at: email@example.com
Louis also has a new blog on www.lady.co.uk
Daily tip from the lady archive
“PEOPLE cannot help being influenced by their surroundings and their environment; therefore how all important it is that both of these should be healthy and cheery, for health and happiness both go hand-in-hand.”The Lady. The Blessing of Old Health, 18th November 1920