The BBC century: the World Service and the Cold War – part 2 of 2

In the previous episode I talked about W. H. Auden and his worries about world events in the 1930s, heard through radio reports on the BBC both at home, and abroad. I also recalled my time on attachment as a producer – plucked from the frontier outpost of Local Radio in Derby to work on … Continue reading The BBC century: the World Service and the Cold War – part 2 of 2

100 Years of British Radio: Why do we love the pirates so much?

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?

Broadcasting into the void… (part four)

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)

Pop stars becoming DJs, old presenters living forever, and the joys of children’s radio…

In this article I want to think about pop stars turning into radio presenters, and about old DJs (where exactly do they go?), and about some of the simple things in life such as children’s radio. Frankly, anything to take the mind off the pandemic must be good. So, children’s radio in Britain was one … Continue reading Pop stars becoming DJs, old presenters living forever, and the joys of children’s radio…

Bite the hand that feeds you…

...Go on. Why don't you? I was listening to a Busted track recently. I've always had a soft spot for the band, despite their early teeny-bop-rock stylings. They've grown. In particular I've been enjoying the track called Radio (2019). https://youtu.be/kG2CVhbt5W4 Here we see the British trio jump into a red BMW convertible and drive down … Continue reading Bite the hand that feeds you…

See radio differently…

...is a re-branding exercise by an outfit called Radiocentre (it declines the use of a definite article in its literature). Speaking to radio and industry professionals in Leeds, Yorkshire, in October 2018 Lucy Barrett from the organisation said most stock photographs that accompany a newspaper or online story about radio tend to feature "mother, father, … Continue reading See radio differently…