Listening to the radio is something I do a lot of. Rarely is it music though these days, but rather it’s comedy, drama or documentary. Mostly I listen while travelling, or whilst in the kitchen, or chopping wood, or some other noodling job. As such it’s nice to synchronise the task with something interesting on the radio.

Although this only needs me to simply look at the schedules, I rarely seem to manage it. Of course you can always catch up via the iPlayer, but that assumes that you know that you’ve missed it in the first place. As I mentioned in a blog a short while ago, sometimes you still miss a programme that you’d really like to have heard.

With that in mind, I’ve done a little bit of a trawl through the listings to create an aide memoire of my scufflings over this week’s radio. If I had more time on my hands I’d put the links in – sorry.

On all week – Radio 3 is something people tend to only associate with classical music, but I have found their occasional spoken word stuff is generally well worth a listen. This week has #6-#10 of their Anglo-Saxon Portraits Essay series. It sounds bit dull, bit I suspect isn’t. Runs to 30 episodes though.

Count Arthur Strong has repeats of two of his series on R4 and R4extra this week. I was giggling like a ninny on the train last week listening to an episode – a rare case of laughter and public transport being linked in a positive way.

R4Extra 4pm (every weekday) – The Four O’Clock show. Primarily aimed at kids (which allows presenter Mel Giedroyc to get away with being annoying. Sorry, more annoying), this magazine programme usually includes a range of subject matters – food, science, history, and always something to do with the natural world, often in Britain. The latter often features the work of Chris Watson and is well worth putting up with the drekkier bits.

Saturday – Slim pickings from my point of view as Saturdays tend to be a lot of twaddle. Though Ramblings on R4 has Clare Baldwin with Simon Evans discussing his work with the Wye & Usk Foundation. Mind you it’s at 6 a.m. And is hosted by Clare Balding. One for the iPlayer. Maybe.

Sunday – Generally a bit better than Saturdays if only because R4’s Pick of the Week (6.15pm) allows you to latch onto any good stuff you’ve missed, or smugly congratulate yourself if the programme features much of your own listening.

At 1.15pm on R4extra is the penultimate episode in Attention All Shipping: A Journey Round The Shipping Forecast. I’ve managed to miss earlier episodes, but enjoyed the book – so I’ll add it to the list.

Immediately after, on R4 is The ‘Arse That Jack Built – a programme about quirks of language and dialect. Normally I love this subject, but it’s hosted by Ian McMillan. File under Arse.

Monday – R4 9.45pm – Book of the Week – Into The Abyss – “The true story of a plane crash in the frozen north of Canada and the four survivors who survived the tragedy in which six passengers died”. First impressions – this sounds interesting. What I’m really thinking – how many did they eat?

R4 11am – Earworms – programme about songs that get stuck in your head. I’m really bad for this – singing “The Grand Old Duke Of York” is normally an antidote, but not always. Maybe I will learn others.

R4 4pm – Monty Python Fliegender Zirkus. The story of how a German producer brought Monty Python to his homeland. To me they are The Beatles of comedy – as in “We really don’t need to hear anymore about them”. Ever. But the German angle intrigues me. I remember being in fits as my brother tried to explain a Vic Reeves sketch to a nonplussed Dutchman – this could be similar. Give it five minutes. OK, ten.

Tuesday – R4 11am – Saving Species. Exploring the issues surrounding a rise in the bird of prey population. I see Red Kites daily and have wondered about this myself.

R4 6.30pm – Rudy’s Rare Records – not a great comedy series this – think My Family rather than Outnumbered – but for some reason I don’t dislike it and this week’s episode is based on the allotment – expect double entendres about carrots, marrows and pumpkins.

R4 11pm – Arthur Smith’s Balham Bash. I’ve listened to some of these in the past and seem to recall they were quite good. tho’ patchy. At least it’s not Just A Minute.

Wednesday – R4 11am – Lives In A Landscape. Second allotment programme in 24 hours. Factual this time, visiting an allotment in Hastings and hearing how people with plots on the site use them in different ways.

R4 11pm – My Teenage Diary – I’ve only ever caught this programme once when Caitlin Moran was the subject, and it was hilarious. I suspect that this week’s guest Arabella Wier will make this episode much less so. I predict that the phrase “does my bum look big in this” will put in an appearance.

Thursday –R4 3pm – Ramblings – more Clare Balding (groan), but it’s redeemed by the presence of Steve Backshall, who is best known for his Deadly 60 wildlife show and the spin-off, which we love here in Boot Hall, Deadly Art.

Friday – R4 3pm – Gardeners’ Question Time. I used to listen to this religiously, now I never do. Witless, joyless and tedious. Like Just A Minute only on the radio because it always has been. Emphasis on has-been.

R4extra 6pm – Of Withered Apples. A Philip K Dick story wherein a beautiful woman picks the last apple from a dying ancient tree determined to survive. Sounds like the sort of brain candy only radio delivers and a fitting end to the week’s listening.

Advertisements