The BBC – and radio in Britain – is now celebrating its centenary. But almost from the start the official broadcasters: initially the BBC then later the commercial ILR companies fretted about competition from pirate stations. First there was home-made equipment in the 1930s, then in the 1960s we had the offshore pirates, and from … Continue reading 100 Years of British Radio: Why do we love the pirates so much?
Click this image to see a sample chapter The BBC has, throughout its one hundred years, had a delicate relationship with politicians and governments. From the standpoint of early 2022 that sentence may seem to be something of an understatement. Let me fill in some historical context, and explain how I've been researching other ways … Continue reading The BBC at 100: how the Corporation, Auntie Beeb, is talked about
It’s a question that I’ve been considering for some time. My research has taken me into music and film archives. I’ve walked around art galleries, as well as browsed along library shelves. Click on the book cover to read a preview of my work. So, what does go through our minds when we switch on … Continue reading So, what do you think about – when you turn on your radio?
Martin Cooper. So, after forty years in the broadcast media business, including two decades teaching young journalists about the arts of the trade, I’m still finding that I have to explain what “writing” has to do with “radio”. Over the course of listening to hundreds of hours of BBC and commercial radio output for my … Continue reading Writing for radio: it’s what we do…
In this series of articles so far I’ve considered what BBC radio producers, presenters, and TV editors have thought about their audiences. The people they’ve been broadcasting to for a century who’ve sat there quietly listening and watching this stuff every day. Were they ever even listening or actually paying attention? Since radio’s earliest days … Continue reading Broadcasting into the void… (part four)
Parts 1 and 2 in this series of articles are about how the BBC appeared to spend the early part of last century not really knowing who was listening to the radio and why. You can read both parts here and here. In this episode Charlie Harper of the punk band the UK Subs rubs … Continue reading Broadcasting into the void… (part three)
This is a series of articles about what broadcasters think of their audiences. In part one I established that, probably, radio producers haven’t really got much of a clue. In fact, some of what they do has been based on guesswork – for almost one hundred years. You can read that first article here - … Continue reading Broadcasting into the void… (part two)
One reason why I like listening to the radio is that - more often than not - it’ll offer me something I’ve not heard before. That's particularly true in the realm of popular music. So, these are some notes from the archives – past echoes reverberating in these curious times. This article, and the one … Continue reading Broadcasting into the void… (part one)
In this article I consider a number of writers and journalists past and present, including Pete May, Philip Knightley, Harold Evans, and Michael Green. All good and true men devoted to the art of the printed word. But first, imagine a broadcast journalist, working for a national radio station, who is so comfortable with telling … Continue reading Radio goes to the movies, and how art imitates life…
This article brings together the tambourines and trumpets of the Salvation Army, radio broadcasting, and some great pop songs. The tambourines come much later, but first let me explain. I have been presenting a weekly chat show for Branch FM in Dewsbury, Yorkshire, since 2018. The idea is simple. It’s called “Market Talk” and goes … Continue reading William Booth, tambourines, and music on the radio…