Radio Review: 13th October

Nothing prepared me for how good Radio 1 Vintage, the BBC’s three-day DAB and online celebration of its pop station’s golden jubilee, would be. I expected there to be bits that I enjoyed and bits that made me turn off or over, but I left the household DAB set tuned in for the duration.

Even the bits I didn’t go a bundle on – ie, presenters I detest – were interesting because they were part of the station’s history. The bits I liked, I loved. Good old ‘Toe Knee Black Burn’ re-created 1967’s first breakfast show, playing actual vinyl. Unfortunately, most of the records sounded like they’d been played extensively with hatpins, but even if they sounded worn, Blackburn didn’t. Long may he reign.

There was a cracking documentary about the era when Radio 1 championed new comedy as well as music. Then hearing an hour devoted to the late and much missed Kevin Greening, a glorious, funny, innovative and underrated broadcaster, complete with clips of dodgy light entertainer and salesman Raymond Sinclair and notorious Splicer’s Disease sufferer Creighton Wheeler, made my weekend. If the above makes no sense to you, it’s all there on iPlayer until the end of October, and I recommend a listen.

Now it’s time to look into schedules of the future, while also looking at the past. Next week, Radio 4 begins Andy Hamilton Sort Of Remembers (R4, Wednesdays, 6.30pm), a series of monologues by the writer of Drop the Dead Donkey and Outnumbered. It’s great, sarcastic stuff, even if it’s not quite the title Hamilton wanted. ‘I actually wanted to call the show Andy Hamilton has Sex With a Robot,’ he admits in show one, ‘but the BBC compliance people got all pernickety. It’s a shame, because I feel the Daily Mail would have given us a lot of free publicity.’

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