I had a severe case of man flu last week, so had to spend quite a lot of time in bed. One of the few benefits of this is that I got to listen to Radio 4 during the day. Where would we be without Radio 4? Or rather where would I be without radio 4? It is the vital ingredient of my day. I wake to it, to the honeyed tones of Humphries and Co and usually I drift off to sleep to it. (I have as a concession started using an earpiece so that Lucy doesn’t have to share it with me.) I usually wake sometime in the early hours to something on the World Service and reluctantly turn the radio off. I even find the shipping forecast soothing!
I will listen to Radio 4 whenever I can. If I am in the house on my own it is not unusual for me to have all the radios on, tuned to Radio 4 so that as I move from room to room I don’t miss anything. My MP3 player is packed not with tunes but with downloads of Melvyn Bragg's “In our time”. “Oh my god dad your so boring!!!” as my daughter pointed out to me on the train on Saturday when she asked me what I was listening to. Come to think of it my current ring tone is Melvyn Bragg introducing the “In Our Time” programme on the peasants revolt. It causes some puzzled looks when I forget to turn it off during meetings.
The children have taken to humming the theme tune to the Archers at me as a way of winding me up. Usually when I have told them that they are doing the washing up! I told them that when they are my age they to will be listening to Radio 4. They were not impressed, but I have a hunch that they will.
Some of my earlier memories are of Radio 4 or the “home service” as I suspect it was called. The Archers used to be a mainstay of our Sunday mornings, along with sausages.
So what is so good about it?
Partly it is the certainty of its schedule. But that’s true of Radio 5 (Radio Bloke as Lucy calls it) Its content?
Well it rarely fails to entertain and inform. But I like the way it has evolved; rarely a radical change to the schedule, just a gradual gentle evolution, mixing the old and traditional with the new and modern. Long may it continue!