Friday, March 25, 2005

In praise of Radio 4

I have been falling in love with BBC Radio 4 again. I flirted with Classic FM but got fed up with only one movement from a longer work, and excessive blocks of time with a mixture of adverts and news. BBC Radio 3 was too heavy-going. Radio 1 was about as much fun as being hit over the head by a smoke machine covered in sweat. Radio 2 - well, sorry, I just couldn't bring myself to listen to it. I'm not dead yet. Magic 105.4 was too middle of the road. Heart 106.2 was too partyish. Virgin was pretty good and we had an on-off relationship for some time.

But Radio 4. Aaaah! The number of times that, as soon as I switch it on, it grabs me by the head and gives me an intellectual kiss. Massive amounts of intelligent programming - the news coverage (the flagship Today programme, World at One, The World Tonight) - classic comedy (Just a Minute, I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue) - informative magazine, commentary and journalistic programmes (The Material World, From Our Own Correspondent, VegTalk, In Our Time, Cutting Edge, All in the Mind, The Moral Maze). There just aren't enough hours in the day. And as for the archives of all the excellent programming going back through the last few years - tem saudades!!!.

2 comments:

Alan Davey said...

Well yes, except that Radio 4 is REALLY HUNG UP on sex. Especially, it seems, during the school holidays! And especially Woman's Hour. You can have anything, any body part, discussed on the radio at any time, and our kids are 10 & 8. So despite the "quick blast of Mahler" and the awful presenters, we have to go to Classic FM - or hover within reach of the off button, reflexes poised.

Now the listen again feature of R4 is another matter. That is UTTERLY BRILLIANT because you can choose what to listen to.

Paul (probably - maybe Liz) said...

Hmm. I never listen to it when there are children around ("Dad, this is booooring!"), and I don't remember the last time I heard anything about sex.

But I agree with you about "listen again". I should put some of the MP3 files onto my player to listen to when I am away. Did you hear "A World in your Ear" about pod-casting, by the way?