The Broadcast Century | How radio determines technology… Perhaps…

Warning: the following Beeb-orientated material contains mentions of butchery, brothels, and breaches of health and safety. As well as sheep… This article, and its sister (due to be published next month around the 15th of August), is an imperfect and only partial list of ideas. However, this is not a “listicle”; I detest such things … Continue reading The Broadcast Century | How radio determines technology… Perhaps…

The BBC century: the World Service and the Cold War – part 1 of 2

This is the first of two articles about the BBC World Service. I spent some time working there, and it features in my new book Radio’s Legacy in Popular Culture. The second part of this online mini-series is available by clicking this link. You can sign up for a monthly e-mail alert of new feature … Continue reading The BBC century: the World Service and the Cold War – part 1 of 2

The BBC at 100: how the Corporation, Auntie Beeb, is talked about

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

Writing for radio: it’s what we do…

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…

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)

100 years of technology: and a special mention to the Grahams…

Recently these pages have mentioned Arthur Burrows, the first voice on the BBC in 1922 when it employed just four people. In this article Burrow's connection to Jimi Hendrix, Slash, Joe Bonamassa (see below for a radio-related song) and Spinal Tap is explored. Yes, seriously. This is the link between a journalist from Oxford at … Continue reading 100 years of technology: and a special mention to the Grahams…

This one’s for the Arthurs, the Nellies, and the newspaper photographers sent to snap crazy set-up stories…

That’s two old-fashioned names and a craft profession rapidly becoming extinct as we all upgrade our 'phones to have the best top quality on-board cameras included. Except, that is, for one of those names. Arthur was, apparently, the fourth most popular boy’s name in 2020. In fact, the British Government’s Office for National Statistics said … Continue reading This one’s for the Arthurs, the Nellies, and the newspaper photographers sent to snap crazy set-up stories…

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…