GLR – Where are they now?

It’s a well-known fact that GLR was probably the best radio station that there has ever been. Ever. It went off the air in March 2000 but its memory lingers on. Here’s a quick update on some of the old GLR presenters: where are they now? Most of the updates come from Twitter.

David Hepworth has announced this week that the music magaize The Word will publish its final edition next month. It’s been going for nine years, and I feel slightly guilty that I haven’t bought every edition nor subscribed to it. But then, I haven’t been buying or subscribing to other music magazines either. There’s just too much other stuff going on, I haven’t got the time. It’s one of those magazines that I really enjoy when I do dig into it. Crikey, it takes all week for me to get through Saturday’s Guardian newspaper.

Danny Baker usually broadcasts on BBC London 94.9 on weekday afternoons and on 5 Live on Saturday mornings. But he’s taking a couple of months off as he is working with Jim Henson’s company writing the scripts for their new project, “No Strings Attached“. And we mustn’t forget, his long-awaited autobiography will be published… eventually.

Gary Crowley has been sitting in on BBC London for the last couple of weeks and continues to present his Saturday 1970s/1980s show there.

Jeremy Nicholas continues to speak after dinner and to present some funny items for the BBC East Midland local news. His main job is to be the stadium announcer for West Ham. But just last night, he was the announcer at a Twenty20 cricket match at Trent Bridge. His book “Mr Moon Has Left the Building” is a fantastic read, very funny, even for a non-football fan such as me.

Emma Freud is currently working on the latest Richard Curtis movie “About Time” which I have traveled into the future to watch, and I can highly recommend it. She is also a regular contributo to Radio 4’s Loose Ends, and her recent interview with Simon Le Bon was fantastic, very funny and one that I, unusually, listenedto a second time. And I’m not even that big a Duran Duran fan.

Not to be outdone, Gideon Coe recently reported that he is to be the DJ at his son’s school’s Summer fair. Oh, OK, he still presents a great show on 6 Music at 9pm Monday to Thursday.

Johnnie Walker’s Long Players

Sometimes I hear a radio programme and it blows me away, it melts my heart and soothes the soul.

Former pirate Johnnie Walker has a new series on BBC Radio 2 in which he discusses some of his favourite albums from the 1970s. The first episode featured Hunky Dory and Aladdin Sane by David Bowie. Both of these have been my favourite Bowie album at different times in my life, so it was a joy to hear the songs again and the chat between Johnnie and his guest David Hepworth.

I listened to the programme this morning while on delivery. Usually I rush to get finished as quickly as possible. But two or three times today, I just had to stop and listen, paying full attention.

Any time something like this comes on that makes me wish I’d been there at the time must have something going for it.

I’d forgotten that Rick Wakeman played the piano on Hunky Dory, for instance. And it hadn’t occurred that David and Angie Bowie were a ‘celebrity couple’ before the concept really existed.

This show is one I’ll keep forever because it was brilliantly entertaining and informative – and it left me wanting more. (Yes, I know, I can always play the records at home!)

I might find the next episode more difficult to listen to. It’s about Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, from 1973. I’ll probably listen in the privacy of my own home. Why? Well, this was the last album that my wife Sarah and I listened to, the night before she died. I’ve not listened to it since, and it’s been nearly 11 years. But when one of the songs is played on the radio, I still get goosebumps.

Johnnie Walker’s Long Players, BBC Radio 2, next Thursday at 11.00pm. And the previous show is here on BBC iPlayer until Thursday. Highly recommended.

PS I have a Johnnie Walker story, a David Hepworth story, a David Bowie story and an Aladdin Sane story – but I’ll save those for another day, when this blog has settled down and I have a better idea of what I’m doing here.

PPS I named this blog Radio Top Soup on Day One in a moment of desperation because all the other names I thought of were already taken. I now have a better name (I think) so as soon as I find out how to change it in WordPress, I shall do so. Meanwhile, don’t change those bookmarks.