Judgement Call

Written by Louis Barfe

A valuable lesson was learned listening to Radio 4 late one evening last week. I caught the start of a new comedy programme, and it didn’t grab me in the first couple of minutes. In fact, it sounded actively off-putting. It all seemed a little too pleased with itself for the laugh strike rate. For some reason, though, I didn’t switch  over or off, and I’m glad I didn’t. The programme was Yosemite, the first in a series called Joseph Morpurgo’s Walking Tour (R4, Wednesdays, 11.15pm). Morpurgo, aided by Naomi Petersen and Jonathan Broke, spoofs the sort of audio companions you can buy or hire at tourist attractions.

Had I tuned out, I would have missed the genuine belly laugh that issued from me on hearing the line ‘You slept like a log: rough, broken and penetrated by earwigs’. The lesson I learned is that I really have no excuse for not listening to a 15-minute comedy programme all the way through, especially not on the M5 in a howling gale when the alternative is Granada Toddington, sorry, I mean Graham Torrington, on BBC local radio.

Meanwhile, Simon Mayo (R2, weekdays, 5-7pm) has no excuse for allowing Priscilla Presley to come out with all sorts of guff about the latest attempt to cash in on the memory of Elvis largely unchallenged. Talking to Mr Salad Cream about the upcoming tour by archive footage of the King of Rock ’n’ Roll with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, ‘You feel that he is on stage,’ she gushed. ‘You get a true sense of his personality, his rapport with his musicians, it’s so intimate and authentic.’ Rubbish. The O2 Arena is anything but intimate, something cobbled together from scraps can’t be authentic, and a man who’s been dead for 40 years cannot have a rapport with a live orchestra. It all stinks of cynicism and grave-plundering. 

Louis on Twitter: @AlanKelloggs or email: wireless@cheeseford.net