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Radio Review: 4 April
Last Friday was the 50th anniversary of Radio Caroline’s first transmission, signalling the birth of the offshore pirate radio stations. By coincidence, the previous day saw the funeral of Tony Benn, who, as Postmaster-General, was behind the Marine...
Radio Review: 28 March
No apologies for mentioning John Sparkes twice within a year. Any broadcast by the Welsh wonder, best known for his work on the superb Channel 4 comedy series Absolutely, is an event worth marking. He’s just started a run on BBC Radio Wales on Friday...
Radio Review: 21 March
In a former life, I was a reporter on a weekly newspaper for the book trade, just about catching the tail end of long lunches, lavish launches and larger-thanlife publishers. The book world seemed to be turning awfully dull and corporate, an impression...
From BARRE to the boards
How many of us remember the excitement of appearing on stage in front of family and friends when we were young? A child remembers the nervous anticipation of performing for life, so it’s easy to understand the popularity of London Children’s Ballet, to...
Radio Review: 14 March
Radio, particularly local radio, can forge a very close bond with its listeners, particularly if they call in and become regular contributors. Harry from Clapham was one of the regulars on BBC London 94.9 and when he died recently, presenters and...
The Daily: March 7
Being in a relationship means more holidays, but it comes at a cost Despite spending saving money on nights out and dating, people in relationships spend £2,800 more a year than their single counterparts, according to new research by...
Radio Review: 7 March
In the mid-1990s, it seemed that the comedy world consisted of Chris Morris and then, some way behind, everybody else. Although I was a little late becoming a Morris devotee compared to some, having bypassed On The Hour. But then I heard a compilation...
Radio Review: 28 February
Living in Suffolk, as I did for a decade, meant that I spent a fair proportion of my time passing through Essex either on my way to the capital or heading home again. Every time, I found myself cursing the lazy comedy image of furry dice and kebab shop...
Radio Review: 21 February
For many, the memory of Top Of The Pops, currently celebrating 50 years since its fi rst transmission, although now seen only as a Christmas special or as repeats on BBC4, seems rather tainted by the Jimmy Savile allegations. This is a shame, because...
Radio Review: 14 February
Simon Day is one of the most talented comedy performers this country has ever produced. Working with the likes of Charlie Higson and Paul Whitehouse on The Fast Show, there was a tendency for him to be overshadowed. In recent years, however, he’s...
Radio Review: 7 February
Radio 4 Extra isn’t just about comedy and drama, it unearths some smashing documentaries from the archives. Unaccountably, I managed to miss Ena, Mark Radcliffe’s tribute to Violet Carson when it went out in 2009, but I didn’t make the same mistake...
Radio Review: 31 January
It is a measure of the greatness of Desmond Carrington that his Friday night Radio 2 show, The Music Goes Round, can lift the listener’s spirits after even the grimmest news round-up. Last week, the 7pm bulletin contained stories about the...
Radio Review: 24 January
Normally, my clock radio is set to wake me with a burst of Radio 4. However, before I go to bed on Friday night, I tune it to Five Live, so I’m woken at 9am by the start of Danny Baker’s show. This week, as an experiment, I’ve left it that way, and...
Radio Review: 17 January
The word ‘nice’ is not, generally, one I’d use to describe the controversial Glaswegian comedian Frankie Boyle. Brutal, yes. Profane, certainly. Please note that I don’t use these disapprovingly. I love brutal and profane comedy if it’s good. However,...
Radio Review: 10 January
The weekend before Christmas, I listened with glee to Jazz Line-Up on Radio 3, as Barry Forgie led the BBC Big Band through a rip-roaring selection of well-swung carols and festive tunes. Luckily, I recorded the programme, and whenever visitors dropped...
Radio Review: 3 January
When we hear the chimes of Big Ben before the 6pm and midnight news on BBC Radio 4, they are coming to us live, not from a recording. An array of four BBC microphones high up in the Elizabeth Tower captures the sound of the bells, and bored engineers...
Festive Essentials Wireless
Drape the kitchen wireless in tinsel, the festive season is almost upon us. While Radio 2 should never have got rid of Russell Davies’s Song Show, it’s good that a berth has been found for the learned Dai in his new Monday-night, musically inclined...
Radio Review: 6 December
It’s all Philip Larkin’s fault, of course. In his poem Annus Mirabilis, the dour librarian misanthrope declared that ‘sexual intercourse began’ in 1963, and ever since, disproportionate significance has been applied to the year. There’s a strong case...
Radio Review: 29 November
A wise person once advised me always to look upwards when walking around and it’s true that, when not bumping into fellow pedestrians and apologising profusely, you do see some architectural marvels above ground-floor level. Pediments, reliefs,...
Radio Review: 22 November
You can say what you like about the comedian Jim Davidson (and believe me, I have), but he’s a professional. For all of the objections that can be raised with regard to his material, he has enough experience to present it impeccably. All of which makes...

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