It’s so unnerving, knowing there are going to be two big surprises tomorrow night (2 January) on The Archers, but having no idea what’s in store.
We might actually be glad of the time difference over in Australia this Christmas, so that we can switch on to Aggers and co.
It’s the juxtaposition of ‘u’ on ‘u’ that did for Jim. According to scientific study, a sequence of words with the same vowels in the same place can trip us up, as poor Jim Naughtie discovered on Monday morning.
Phew! We’ve just had a narrow escape, if reports are true that the Today programme has been ‘in talks with’ Katie Price, aka Jordan.
Thank heavens for radio, and its ability to survive the depredations of new technology (even the botched introduction of DAB). Channel Four’s much-hyped adaptation of William Boyd’s novel, Any Human Heart, is just so lazy, letting the images do all the work, without bothering to create a coherent or dramatic script. A radio dramatisation of the book would have had to work much harder to ensure that the characters were brought to life. No fancy costumes or fabulously elegant settings to tell us where we are, and in what decade. No tricksy graphics at the beginning, either. Just plain words, carefully crafted to lead the listener through the narrative.
Could there be subtle changes taking place at Radio 4 HQ? Late last Friday night, A Good Read was dropped in favour of a repeat of a half-hour profile of the extraordinary Burmese campaigner Aung San Suu Kyi.
Two dramas, two very different plots and personnel. One was political, the other intensely personal. Both were new, commissioned for radio, and defiantly worth paying the licence fee for.
The talk is that we’ve yet to experience the cuts that will have to be implemented to balance the nation’s books, but on the quiet, in suburban backstreets, behind closed doors, along cultural throughways and byways not often visited we know that they’re already happening, big time.
It’s one of the most haunting sounds I’ve ever heard — the plangent wail of a female Sufi singer from Afghanistan.
A rare but threatened species, in dire need of a campaign to save it from extinction, could be heard on Saturday night.
Jude Kelly missed a trick when she set off in search of that very British creation, the battleaxe, for this week’s Archive on 4.
‘She goes off to the Maldives. That’s all I can remember about her,’ laughed Alan Bennett as he struggled to recall the name of the Australian physiotherapist he’d invented for his TV play about Miss Fozzard and her feet.