Stoppard play marks 40 years since Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon | Music | The Guardian

Stoppard play marks 40 years since Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon | Music | The Guardian.

Looking forward to hearing this play already! Both as a fan of Tom Stoppard and of Pink Floyd.

I was lucky enough to see Tom  Stoppard’s previous play Rock ‘n’ Roll in London, 5 or 6 years ago. My memory is that Michael Gambon played the lead but there’s no indication anywhere that he did so… and do you think I can find a programme?

Also, Dark Side of the Moon is 40 years old this year. I probably won’t buy the anniversary remixed remastered repackaged version, my ears aren’t that fussy!

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.

The Horne Section

We were lucky enough to get tickets for a recording of The Horne Section a few nights ago. The first series was broadcast on Radio 4 last year, this is the second series. And it was a fun show: the hour and a quarter of entertainment will be edited down to a mere half an hour.

In any case, I was just excited and pleased because these were the first tickets we’ve acquired for any BBC show for a very long time!

And, the first visit to the Radio Theatre, in Broadcasting Hose, for many years, too.

horne sectionNot the best photo in the world, but obviously cameras and recording equipment are banned. But you can see the participants, sort of: Alex Horne, some of the very talented band, and the show’s guest, Phill Jupitus.

It is primarily a comedy show but making good use of the very talented band, three members of which are apparently school friends of Alex Horne’s.

Radio 4 – the Horne Section. This also links to their official site and Twitter accounts. The new series starts on February 24th.

Some that I missed

Despite my best efforts, I sometimes miss programmes that are on my mental playlist and sometimes I only find out after the event. Most of them will be repeated at some point, but that relies on me being fully on the ball.

I’m glad to say that the BBC does send out several email newsletters each week. But reading them all fully and remembering to act on the contents is a major project in itself.

Recently I missed a documentary on Radio 4 about the development of Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds. It was on before Christmas and has long since fallen off the iPlayer.

…But Still they Come.

I try to keep up with desert Island Discs but managed to miss the one with Dawn French. i’m not her biggest fan, but by all accounts, this was an especially moving edition of the long-running series. This was also first broadcast before Christmas.

But lo! Of course: Desert Island Discs is on the iPlayer for far longer than the usual 7 days. So I haven’t mised it after all!

Desert Island Discs wth Dawn French.

Talking about Desert Island Discs: Guy Garvey usually plays an excerpt from an old programme during the course of his weekly show on BBC 6 Music. In particualr, in tribute to the late Sir Patrick, he played a small snippet from Patrick Moore’s desert island selection, when he was interviewed by the programme’s originator, Roy Plomley. The programme was originally broadcast in 1963 so I doubt that I heard it then. I thought it might be online with the whole Desert Island Discs archive, but this edition is, as I write, not listed.

Desert Island Discs with Patrick Moore.

Desert Island Discs Archives.

And speaking of Guy Garvey, his weekly show on 6 Music is highly recommended by me. Another of those shows that plays music you didn’t know you wanted to hear.

Guy Garvey’s Finest Hour BBC 6 Music, Sunday 10pm to midnight.

End of year recommendations

Happy new year to you all, I hope your enjoyment of radio goes from strength to strength.

Here are just a few recommendations in case you’re at a loose end over the next day or two.

Erin McKeown has a new album out and it is terrific. It was crowd-funded and well worth the eight-month wait. She deals with some important isues of the day, but even apart from that, the songs just sound good.
NPR – First Listen – Erin McKeown – Manifestra

As mentioned previouly, Mike Harding has a new weekly Folk Music programme, now on the internet. Last night at 5pm, 27,000 of us logged into The Mike Harding Show – and promptly crashed the server! Apparently, it’s all fixed now, and his Podcast #1 is avaialble for your enjoyment, an hour of good music uninterrupted by news, weather, sport, traffic and trails.

On a totally different note, the Today programme on Radio 4 a couple of days ago included a fascinating discussion between presenters John Humphrys and Ed Stourton with guest editor Dame Ann Leslie about their religious beliefs and experience. It will be on the iPlayer until 5/1/2013. Skip to 42 minutes.

And on a lighter note, Danny Baker with Baylen Leonard presented a show of songs from Broadway and beyond. It was a fun listen, a one-off show on Radio 2 but, who knows, maybe there’ll be another show when the next holiday season encourages the regualr presenters to take a break 😉
Danny Baker on Radio 2 available until 4/1/2013.

New year’s resolutions are all the rage. Well, mine generally tend to be variations on “be more tidy” and “be more organised”. My “list of things to do” is quite long, so if it’s shorter by the end of the year, that’ll be a bonus. And I must try harder not to squeeze everything in. There really isn’t time to read all the newspaper articles I want to, there isn’t time to read all the books I want to, there isn’t time to listen to all the radio, watch all the TV and films I want to. So my resolution is to (at least try) not to feel guilty about the things that go by the wayside. Good luck to you with any changes to your lifestyle and besst wishes for 2013.

Save the Treehouse – continued

Danny Baker’s BBC London show axed, shock, horror (part 2).

Well, who knew this 2 hours of radio would be so… interesting … to the rest of the world. Yes, world. For a while on Twitter, apparently, ‘Danny Baker’ was trending worldwide. Along with ‘Christmas.Blimus.

But the news made it to Radio 4’s PM programme two days running, catch the shows here:
Thursday 1st November from about 55min10sec.
Friday 2nd November from about 43min00sec.

The latter is a very short extract from David Robey’s appearance on Vanessa Feltz’s morning show on BBC London. The whole half hour segment can be heard here:
Vaness Feltz on BBC London from about 2hr26min00sec.

David Robey is the Managing Editor of BBC London 94.9. After all these years, he still has the knack of talking down to the listeners but not listening to what they’re actually saying. And he seems proud of the fact that he doesn’t talk to Danny Baker himself, he speaks to Danny’s agent.

And on the Today programme, the lads had a jolly good laugh at the goings-on. Not sure Justin Webb entirely understood what was happening, to be honest.
The Today programme from about 2hr24min00sec.

As ever, these programmes are available on the iPlayer for 7 days after broadcast.

Here’s a fascinating discussion on DigitalSpy.

Not convinced by this Independent article which takes the story in a different direction.

Daily Record.

How NPR reported the furore, some say contretemps, some say brouhaha.

I’ll miss the afternoon show, that’s for sure. But he was back on air this morning as usual, BBC Radio 5 Live.

I’m back

It’s been a while, but I’m back, and I am pleased to suggest a few things to look forward to on the radio next week.

A new series of Johnnie Walker’s Long-players. The first episode features Peter Gabriel’s album ‘So’. Everyone’s favourite track is, I’m sure, ‘Don’t give up’, a duet with Kate Bush. It’s on BBC Radio 2 next Tuesday, 2nd October at 10pm.

Here it is.

There are some clips from the first series here.

Over on BBC 4 Extra, there’s a mini fest featuring Kenny Everett.

On Monday 1st October, a Captain Kremmen serial – 25 episodes in all.

Tomorrow, Saturday 29th September, Here’s Kenny – Old friends help Mark Paytress delve into the life of a true radio pioneer, and unearth some surprises!

If you can tear yourself away from the radio to watch some TV, on Wednesday,  3rd October, there’s Best Possible Taste – The Kenny Everett Story on BBC4.

Meet David Sedaris on BBC Radio 4 on Sunday 30th September at 7.15pm. He is a very funny writer, very dry at times, and always tells a good story.

Meanwhile, I still have a backlog of The New Elizabethans to catch up on, and fortunately, all 60 episodes will remain on the iPlayer for a year.

I also have a few Proms to listen to plus several episodes of Rogue Male which was on 4 Extra during August and September.

It’s hard keeping up when there’s so much sport on TV – and I’m certainly not the biggest sports fan in the world. But what with the Tour de France, Olympics, Paralympics, Vuelta a España and the Tour of Britain, I reckon that’s my ration for the year.


BBC – Radio 4 – The New Elizabethans

This is a long series in which James Naughtie gives us a short profile of 60 prominent British people, who have had a noticeable effect on us during this new Elizabethan era.

The programmes are always interesting, even when I haven’t even heard of the subject before. Yes, it’s obvious that someone must have pioneered and popularised the idea of package holidays, but have you herad the name Vladimir Raitz before? I hadn’t.

Today’s programme was about David Bowie. As a fan, I obviously felt he deserved a longer programme but I think the 15 minutes was pretty good, despite at least one factual error. I don’t think Mr Bowie recorded that duet with Bing Crosby five years after Crosby had died.

Still, it was good to see that he was recognised as one of just 60 New Elizabethans. The good news is, it looks as though this series will be up on the iPlayer for a long time.

BBC – Radio 4 – The New Elizabethans.

The Shipping Forecast

There’s nothing like lying in bed at night, not quite asleep, with the wind and rain lashing against the windows and then suddenly you realise it’s that time: they’re playing Sailing By, a lovely, emotive tune to introduce the shipping forecast.

I walk around the streets for a living, whatever the weather. I can’t imagine what it’s like being out in the open sea in really bad weather, day after day. My dad was in the Royal Navy during the war and I wish he had told us more about his maritime experiences. I always think of him when I hear the Shipping Forecast.

I hope this programme continues to be broadcast when we are forced to listen to digital radio, and only digital.

The combination of Sailing By with the soothing tones of, typically, Alice Arnold, almost, just almost, makes insomnia worthwhile.

The Shipping Forecast is currently on Radio 4 at 00:48 every night and at 05:20 in the morning. In addition, on Radio 4 longwave, it’s on at 17:54.

The Shipping Forecast on BBC Radio 4.