Radio Ga Ga

I am having a ball at the moment.

No really, I am. It’s a round, golden wrapped chocolate ball by Lindt that I found under our sofa and was left over from Christmas. I don’t want to boast but I’ve just found that it fits in my mouth in a oner. I’ll take small triumphs where I can, so please forgive me if I dribble a bit while writing this week’s blog.

 

I’ve been lucky enough to be busy over the past couple of months doing radio shows at BBC Radio Berkshire which is a wonderful place to be, with beautiful fields and trees outside, and equally beautiful people inside. Actually, you may visit and think we all look like Yoda before he started using the Boots Skin Rejuvenating Cream but, as the new boy, I have to suck up a bit to the bosses, don’t I?

Doing radio for the BBC is like nothing else in the world. I mean, where else would you have to shut up exactly five seconds before every hour so that electronic pips sound off in morse code that your life is passing by, hour by hour. Where else can you not see the computer screen in front of you because the studio was laid out by Heath Robinson and the microphone arm is lying across it and covering it? And where, other than the BBC, can you work for a fee that, if you’re lucky, just about buys a fish supper for the way home?

But you know what? I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Despite all the knocking and bad mouthing the Beeb gets these days, I come away from Berkshire each time believing that the people I’m working with really care about what they’re doing and are brilliant at their job. Which, I realise, begs the question why the hell they’re letting a numpty like me anywhere near their studios.

Perhaps it’s charity work.

Generally, as I move around the dial I find that radio in this country sucks at the moment - and it’s all sucking the same stale air. Whatever station I select, they  souns identical. Tune in anywhere and you’ll probably hear the same records over and over again, interspersed with dire utterings from presenters who live in fear of losing their jobs in the next round of networking cuts. Mind you, at least on these stations the poor presenters get new records to talk about now and again. How the hell those guys on Gold stations stay sane when introducing The House Of The Rising Sun or Steve Harley day after day, I have no idea. That truly is a talent.

But, at the Beeb, it seems their radio strives to be different and includes some interesting interviews and chat, rather than relying on ‘phone ins from the same old, angry listeners time after time.

In the past three days I’ve interviewed a lesbian couple about changes to gay marriage laws, an archbishop who wants Government funding for the upkeep of his churches as he says they’re historical buildings, two pop stars, three political correspondents, the man behind the NOW hit albums, a psychiatrist, and a drug counsellor, to name just a few. They’ve all, unlike their interviewer, been thought provoking and interesting. And thank God for that.

I guess the point I’m trying to make here, in an obviously self serving way, is that the BBC really does try to do it all better than anywhere else. I haven’t experienced the political bias that the Daily Mail bangs on about, nor any careless waste of licence fee money, unless you count me asking for extra fries with my omelette last Wednesday. And as for taxis? They’re chocolate biscuits that rich people eat.

I worked with the Beeb years ago, and it’s great to be back with them again. It won’t make me a millionaire, or probably even pay for another packet of Lindt chocolate balls, but it’s fun.

Now, I have to shut up. Those damn pips are coming.I am having a ball at the moment.

No really, I am. It’s a round, golden wrapped chocolate ball by Lindt that I found under our sofa and was left over from Christmas. I don’t want to boast but I’ve just found that it fits in my mouth in a oner. I’ll take small triumphs where I can, so please forgive me if I dribble a bit while writing this week’s blog.

I’ve been lucky enough to be busy over the past couple of months doing radio shows at BBC Radio Berkshire which is a wonderful place to be, with beautiful fields and trees outside, and equally beautiful people inside. Actually, you may visit and think we all look like Yoda before he started using the Boots Skin Rejuvenating Cream but, as the new boy, I have to suck up a bit to the bosses, don’t I?

Doing radio for the BBC is like nothing else in the world. I mean, where else would you have to shut up exactly five seconds before every hour so that electronic pips sound off in morse code that your life is passing by, hour by hour. Where else can you not see the computer screen in front of you because the studio was laid out by Heath Robinson and the microphone arm is lying across it and covering it? And where, other than the BBC, can you work for a fee that, if you’re lucky, just about buys a fish supper for the way home?

But you know what? I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Despite all the knocking and bad mouthing the Beeb gets these days, I come away from Berkshire each time believing that the people I’m working with really care about what they’re doing and are brilliant at their job. Which, I realise, begs the question why the hell they’re letting a numpty like me anywhere near their studios.

Perhaps it’s charity work.

Generally, as I move around the dial I find that radio in this country sucks at the moment - and it’s all sucking the same stale air. Whatever station I select, they  souns identical. Tune in anywhere and you’ll probably hear the same records over and over again, interspersed with dire utterings from presenters who live in fear of losing their jobs in the next round of networking cuts. Mind you, at least on these stations the poor presenters get new records to talk about now and again. How the hell those guys on Gold stations stay sane when introducing The House Of The Rising Sun or Steve Harley day after day, I have no idea. That truly is a talent.

But, at the Beeb, it seems their radio strives to be different and includes some interesting interviews and chat, rather than relying on ‘phone ins from the same old, angry listeners time after time.

In the past three days I’ve interviewed a lesbian couple about changes to gay marriage laws, an archbishop who wants Government funding for the upkeep of his churches as he says they’re historical buildings, two pop stars, three political correspondents, the man behind the NOW hit albums, a psychiatrist, and a drug counsellor, to name just a few. They’ve all, unlike their interviewer, been thought provoking and interesting. And thank God for that.

I guess the point I’m trying to make here, in an obviously self serving way, is that the BBC really does try to do it all better than anywhere else. I haven’t experienced the political bias that the Daily Mail bangs on about, nor any careless waste of licence fee money, unless you count me asking for extra fries with my omelette last Wednesday. And as for taxis? They’re chocolate biscuits that rich people eat.

I worked with the Beeb years ago, and it’s great to be back with them again. It won’t make me a millionaire, or probably even pay for another packet of Lindt chocolate balls, but it’s fun.

Now, I have to shut up. Those damn pips are coming.