Welcome to London 1958

So, the Tour de France is over and I think we all did very well. Congratulations to Bradley Wiggins for becoming the first Brit ever to with Le Tour – its 99th outing. And also to Mark Cavendish for winning the final stage on the Champs Elysées. And to me for watching more of it on TV this year than, probably, ever.

And now of course we’re into tthe Olympics. We’ve already watched the Mens’ and Womens’ Cycling Road Race out on the road near Hampton Court and we’re looking forward to the Time Trials on Wednesday over at Hampton Court Palace. We have tickets for the Water Polo (yes, honest) in a couple of weeks’ time. Other than that, we’ll watch some of the other sports on TV until interest waivers, or naff or inept commentary or inane or disrespectful interviews drive us away. Yeah, well, I mean, it was amazing.

But what’s going on on radio? There’s a ‘new’ Tony Hancock sketch on Radio 4 Extra which I’m looking forward too.

BBC Radio 4 Extra – Hancock’s Half Hour, Welcome to London 1958.

The Proms are in full swing but I have discovered that listening to a classical music concert while I’m out walking the streets doesn’t really work. The volume has to be quite high so you can hear the quiet passages and then of course, it’s far too loud during the loud sections. But at home, I’ve enjoyed again some Beethoven symphonies so far and some strange music by Sibelius.

BBC – Proms – BBC Proms homepage.

If you’re quick, ie, within 10 hours or so of pressing the ‘Publish’ button on this thing, you can listen to a dramatisation of Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. I haven’t heard it yet: I’m saving it for a rainy day.

Treasure Island.



Le Tour de France

Well, on the whole, I prefer radio to TV. And I’m not much of a sports fan either. But these three weeks each year are a bit different chez Radio Top Soup.

The only sports event I choose to watch pretty much from start to finish every year is the Tour de France. Coverage on TV has increased over the years. I know, I could always have paid a subscription  to watch the event, but paying for any TV goes against the grain: there are higher financial priorities.

It used to be on Channel 4, and has now migrated to ITV4 but with the same group of commentators, Paul Sherwen, Phil Liggett, Chris Boardman and Gary Imlach.

At the time of writing, two British riders are leading the tour, Bradley wiggins and Chris Froome, both from the Sky team. World champion Mark Cavendish is also a member of this team. All three have so far won a stage of this year’s tour.

And a fourth British rider, David Millar, won today’s stage, the longest this year.

Congratulations to all of them. And good luck to Bradley and your sideburns, we hope you reatin the leader’s yellow jersey right up to Paris in 9 days time.

Coverage of the Tour is available on Radio 5 Live Sports Extra but i feel, in this case, radio commentary is a second best.

Given the amount of British succes this year, I’ve often had to leap across the room to turn the radio off as the news reader announces ‘the latest on the Tour de France’. If I haven’t yet watched, I don’t want to know how it ends!

Tour de France on ITV4.

The Offocial TdF site.