Loose Ends on Radio 4

Loose Ends has been broadcast on Saturday evenings since 1998. It’s the kind of programme I ought to love, and, to be fair, I often do. But there’s something about it that doesn’t quite work for me.

The original presenter, Ned Sherrin, was someone I didn’t quite get on with. Whether his humour went over my head, or if he and I were on different wavelengths, I don’t know. I did meet him once, briefly, at a charity bike ride and he seemed like a nice, decent bloke in real life.

The programme is now hosted by Clive Anderson. Sadly, he’s someone else I don’t really get along with. Even on  TV, he annoys me. And to this day, when he turns up as a panellist on, for instance, QI, I groan inwardly. Can I put my finger on why I am not a Clive fan? No, not really. But being so rude to The Bee Gees in that infamous interview doesn’t help. And I generally dislike being negative about anyone. After all, I couldn’t do that job. As I said before: the format of this programme should make it unmissable listening for me.

But when I do tune in, I usually love the rest of the show. The guests are entertaining and/or informative.

Last week, for instance, there were Jack Davenport, Rufus Wainwright, Amy Lamé and Brenda Blethyn.

Tonight’s edition includes Anna Chancellor, Cerys Matthews, Richard Bacon and Claire Sweeney.

Loose Ends is sometimes presented by Peter Curran while semi-regular interviewers include Emma Freud and Gideon Coe. In the past we’ve heard Robert Elms too. What’s special about this motley crew is that they were all, at one time, presenters on the late, lamented GLR. See? Another reason why this show should be in my top ten.

Loose Ends on BBC Radio 4.


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