Sunday is a brilliant day for radio

I realised that Sunday is quite probably the single best day of the week on BBC radio. Here is a list of what I listened to yesterday ‘live’ and what I’ve recorded for future enjoyment.

12.00 midnight Radio 2 – Bob Harris

9.00am Radio 4 – Broadcasting House

A topical news-based magazine programme with a competition that I enetr once in a blue moon, when i know the answer. It would be wrong to say that I only listen, waiting for the return of Fi Glover.

10.00am 6 Music – Cerys Matthews

11.15am Radio 4 – Desert Island Discs

This week, the guest was Jonathan Agnew. For a 70-year old programme, it’s doing very well, going form strength to strength. Dare I say it: I think Kirsty Young is the best ever presenter.

1.00pm Radio 2 – Elaine Paige

Much of the programme is predictable, Lloyd-Webber, Les Mis, common or garden songs from musicals, but now and then, a great tune turns up. But if not, hearing Elaine’s unique chuckle/chortle brightens up even the dullest, greyest Sunday.

1.30pm Radio 4 – Lyrical Journey

This week, the subject was Eddi Reader’s song ‘Patience of Angels’, written by Boo Hewerdine. I remember when the record first came out in 1994(?): I’m sure Eddi Reader appeared on GLR many times to promite the record, though sadly, I have no such recordings.

3.00pm Radio 4 – The Real George Orwell

‘A journey exploring the man Eric Blair and the writer George Orwell’ – drama and stories written by and about George Orwell.

3.00pm Radio 2 – Johnnie Walker’s Sounds of the ’70s

4.00pm 6 Music – Jarvis Cocker’s Sunday Service

6.15pm Radio 4 – Pick of the Week

A good way of finnding some interesting programmes that I would have missed otherwise. I usually hear it in time to get something off the iPlayer, but there have been several misses over the years. They have played one of my suggestions, once. Although I suspect many listeners nominated the same item.

8.00pm Radio 4 – Feedback

Though I usually try to catch this programme on its first outing on friday evening. It’s the radio version of ‘Points of View’ only much better. Ancompliants about (or indeed praise for) the BBC and its output is welcome here.

10.00pm 6 Music – Guy Garvey’s Finest Hour

He read out one of my emails once and so immediately became my number one topmost favourite radio presenter DJ of all time, ever. But apart from that, this, along with all the other 6 Music shows today, quite easily ticks the box that says ‘they place the music you don’t know you want to listen to’.

11.00pm Radio 2 – The David Jacobs Collection

Old time records, most of the songs predate even my parents’ era, but every now and then there’s a real gem, and the fact that it’s 60 years old really doesn’t matter. I met hime once, at Kingston Readers’ Festival. He asked for directions to the lav.

I also caught bits of Paul O’Grady, Clare Balding, Michael Ball, Russell Davis, Mary Anne Hobbs and 1.5 seconds of the Archers theme tune, that being how long it takes to jump across the room the switch to 6 Music.

Some follow-ups

Well, I had a bit of a moan the other day about The Today Programme and why I don’t/can’t bear to listen to it any more. It seems I am not alone.

This week’s Feedback included a section in which my problems with Today were discussed by other listeners.

BBC Radio 4 Feedback

BBC Radio 6 Music, as they now seem to be calling it, has celebrated its tenth birthday (again) with a show on London’s Southbank Centre. Highlights are being broadcast this very evening on 6 Music, at 10pm. And highlights will be shown on the TV Red Button channle during the week.

6 Music at the Southbank

Johnnie Walker’s Long Players has come to an end, but I’m sure there’ll be another series soon.And I wouldn’t be surprised if the first series is repeated at some point, maybe overnight on 6 Music. The last programme featured Some Girls by the Rolling Stones and Rod Stewart’s Every Picture Tells a Story.

Johnnie Walker’s Long Players – sadly no longer on iPlayer.

It’s hard to keep up with all the good stuff on 4 Extra,even though I receive the newsletter every week

Garrison Keillor’s Radio Show is always entertaining, a couple of good stories and, unusually for 4 Extra, some good music content, mainly bluegrass.

Jerome K Jerome’s Three Men on the Bummel is very funny, and a 3-part radio serialisation has just begun. Well, I say ‘just’ You have a day to grab the first episode on iPlayer.

I’m not as big a fan of science fiction as I used to be, but I do enjoy some old favourites, so I’m looking forward to listening to JG Ballard’s The Drowned World which started a repeat run this week.

Saturday Live 11/2/2012 + Feedback 10/2/2012

I try to listen to Radio 4’s Saturday Live live on a Saturday, but usually don’t manage. I work most Saturdays, so the only way I can then hear the programme live is by using my phone (it has an FM radio) with the headset (which also acts as an aerial). When I have the headset on, it’s difficult to talk to people in real life. Plus, having the wire dangling, albeit tucked behind shirt buttons, isn’t ideal.

So I record the programme and listen to it later in the day, or more usually, later in the week.

Today’s programme was presented by Anita Anand rather than the usual Rev Richard Coles (he seems to have a lot of holidays).

In today’s programme, Christy Moore talked about his music and his influences and performs a song, a couple describe building a boat from scratch, Alison Bennett talks about their precious object, a coloured blanket,Matt Harvey performed a couple of poems and Rob Bryden chose his inheritance tracks. Intrigued? Well, listen to the show which is available on the BBC iPlayer for a week.

This was a fairly typical show, including some comments from the listening public. One reason for listening live is so that you can, if you choose, send a text message or a tweet.

BBC iPlayer – Saturday Live: 11/2 Christy Moore, Matt Harvey, build a boat couple, matchmaker, Isle of Wight blanket, Rob Brydon’s Inheritance Tracks.

Oh, and while we’re on the subject of iPlayer, I’ve commented before that its radio programmes are abused, not presented at their best, they’re truncated, they include news bulletins that are out of date, trails for other programmes that you’ve missed…

And, oh, the irony… I listened to this week’s Feedback on the iPlayer and the programme finally got going after the end of Last Word, the preceding programme, a preview of Feedback itself and a plug for PM. Irony? Yes, the treatment of radio programmes on iPlayer (compared with TV programmes) is one of the subjects under discussion this week. In particular, they mention The Brian Matthew Story which I wrote about a few days ago.

There’s also a discussion about Saturday Live, what people like and don’t like. The poems are a bit hot and miss, but it would be a shame to see them disappear completely.

I’m not entirely convinced by the excuse given out for this cheap and tawdry service. And why, after hearing 58 minutes of an hour-long programme should I have to get in touch with the BBC, tell them it’s been truncated, wait for them to fix it, then go in and try to pick up the final couple of minutes? By that point, the seven days may have expired. Well, we’ll see. Having a buffer before and after each programme, annoying enough though that may be, would at leats ensure we receive the whole of the programme we’re interested in.

And finally, on a different note, I thought this infographic on the history of radio was quite interesting.