Radio Highlights: Saturday 7 – Friday 13 March 2009

Baseball and Me   Saturday 7 March 2009 Radio 4 10.30am

I have it on good authority from head-honcho, blogging-overlord-of-Radio 4 Mark Damazer’s blog that he’s a fan of the Boston Redsocks. No surprises then that this little half-hour on Simon Schama’s love of baseball has crept into the schedules.

Personally, if I was controller of Radio 4 one of the rules introduced would be a swift trip to the gallows for anyone who pitched the idea of anything sport-related to me. My second rule would be that a half hour of the schedules would be given over to my love of Eurovision every week and that I’d be able to produce the output.

(In proposing this I am at pains to point out that I am in no way bitter about the fact that Ming the Merciless Mark Damazer turned down my marvellous pitch for a radio documentary about the Eurovision a few years back. I dealt with this in an adult fashion not only snubbing Saturday Live with Fi Glover, but also encouraging as many people as I knew to do the same. I note with interest this plan failed and the programme is still in the schedules.) 


Desert Island Discs  Sunday 8 March 2009 Radio 4 11.15am
I’m not sure what to make of this week’s guest Richard Madeley. Unfortunate buffoon or all-round fundamentally misunderstanding husband of mother hen Judy Finnigan. I will listen to find out and report back.

REVIEW: Unfortunate buffoon Madeley is not. His anecdotes on Desert Island Discs were interesting and enlightening even if his musical choices remained safe. Madeley is the only person I know who can describe the music of The Eagles as “sexy”. It a[ppears he also used the opportunity to announce some professional intentions for the future ..


Bring me the Head of Philip K Dick  Sunday 8 March 2009 Radio 3 8pm

Jacks of all trade are generally looked down on at the BBC – certainly in my experience – so when someone has written, produced and directed a play, you can’t help wondering whether he or she is a controlling so and so. So it is with Radio 3’s Sunday night drama about a deadly futuristic weapon with the look of science of fiction writer Philip K Dick’s head which actually thinks its Philip K Dick’s head. Weird, wonderful and ultimately challenging. Who could ask for more?

We also have Sound Houses   Sunday 8 March 2009 Radio 3 9.30pm

Opportunity to hear Radio 3’s Sunday Feature (originally broadcast during the Proms season last year in the run up to the Stockhausen Day) about the BBC Radiophonic Workshop producer Daphne Oram.


Afternoon on 3  Tuesday 10 March 2009 Radio 3 3pm

Don’t bother with the rest of this programme, only the appearance of Benjamin Britten’s brilliant Piano Concerto performed by Steven Osborne. Forgive the crappy rendering of this video, but be sure to take a listen. The last movement is ridiculously silly and overblown but Osborne’s performance (this from the Proms in 2007) was a pyrotechnical hoot in what amounts to a foray into piano concerto writing that Britten really should have continued with. If we’re really lucky it’ll be 2007 gig we hear on Tuesday night. If it’s not I’ll be ringing Radio 3 Controller myself to complain.

You and Yours Monday 9 March Radio 4 12pm

The only reason I’m listening to this is because I understand there’ll be a piece on the collapse of the 4×4 gaz-guzzler market. The opportunity to sneer at all those idiots who are pumping loads of unnecessary gases into the atmosphere merely because they have the means to do so is an opportunity too good to miss.


Click On Monday 9 March Radio 4 4.30pm

It’s like Rory Cellan-Jones’ blog on the radio without Rory Cellan-Jones. Click On returns for a new series and kicks off with a piece about You Tube and how it costs more money than it makes. Interesting.


Front Row Monday 9 March Radio 4 7.15pm

Piece about the state of undercover tv reporting on Front Row this evening. Will listen to impress my colleagues at work at the editorial meeting the following morning.


Adventures in Junk Tuesday 10 March Radio 4 11.00-11.30am

Sometimes the radio listings will yield something begging to be listened to without so much as an on-air trail. So it is here. The first adventure playground opened in Denmark in 1943 as resistance to the Nazi occupation grew. This programme will provide you with interesting facts to impress dinner guests with, although the Nazi angle may limit the social situations in which you attempt to impress people, admittedly.

Chi Chi – Panda Ambassador Wednesday 11 March Radio 4 9pm

A chance conversation overheard by yours truly drew my attention to this very programme. During the conversation one member of BBC staff said to another “Yes, Chi Chi the panda is on-air next week?” Quite apart from the fact that the person was actually revealing something in next week’s schedule before they should have done, it did raise the inevitable question, “can Chi Chi actually speak ?” The fact that Chi Chi has actually died didn’t get uttered at any point during the earwigged conversation.


Front Row Friday 13 March Radio 4 7.15pm

Contrary to what the listings tells you on /programmes I have it on good authority that writing God David Hare’s latest creation – a monologue about political divisions in the Middle East – will be reported on in today’s show.

One thought to “Radio Highlights: Saturday 7 – Friday 13 March 2009”

  1. Some of that sounds fantastic but I know I’ll listen to very little of that as I listen to very little live radio.

    My time for listening to audio is while walking from one place to another or while doing housework and portable radios are little slices of something extremely unpleasant.

    If I could get the above delivered to my iPod – maybe through iPlayer radio download supscriptions I would listen to a considerable amount more radio – all we need now is for Apple to allow use of Fairplay and I can get my increased radio fix. 🙂

    Still there are ‘other’ ways of getting iPlayer audio on my iPod.

    Thanks for the suggestions.

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