Sport doesn’t interest me. In particular, though, I find the Olympics distasteful. On every level, it’s about money and yet its organisers try to promote an Olympic ideal of sport for sport’s sake, fair play and international cooperation.
So, while much television is given over to this festival of people who’ve wasted their lives trying to run faster, I’m going to listen to the radio. I’ve marked off a few of the radio programmes that interest me. I thought I’d share them, just in case they’re also of interest to you.
Sunday 15 August 2004
20.00 – 20.30 : BBC Radio 4 : A World in Your Ear
If “From our own correspondent” brings a British view of the wider world, “A World in Your Ear” gives you the country’s own perspective. Through clips of English language radio from around the world, this show does exactly what radio should: transports you somewhere entirely different, for a few minutes at a time.
Monday 16 August 2004
20.30 – 21.00 : BBC Radio 4 : Shanghai Jazz
I’ve become increasingly interested in China, lately. This is another of those great Radio 4 programmes that gives you a glimpse of another country’s life, in ways that don’t make the headlines. A BBC reporter has gone along to a Shanghai jazz bar and found out about the people there, including the exclusively over-75 jazz band.
Tuesday 17 August 2004
20.00 – 20.40 : BBC Radio 4 : Dirty Wars
First of a two-parter, looking at the side of biological science that’s dedicated to creating a deadlier bomb. Includes an interview with Colonel Ghadaffi’s son, on how he helped convince the world that Libya has a lovely regime, where everyone is happy. John Simpson mentions, in one of his books, that a large banner was once on show in the terminal of Tripoli’s airport It read something like, “Committees are everything”. I assume you do have camels in Libya.
22.00 – 01.00 : BBC 6 Music : Dream Ticket – featuring live set from Air
Forget the rest, just listen to the headline set from French duo Air.
Wednesday 18 August 2004
09.30 – 09.45 : BBC Radio 4 : Made in Shetland
How do the inhabitants of the Shetland Isles make a living?
16.00 – 16.30 : BBC Radio 4 : Thinking Allowed
Laurie Taylor, this programme’s presenter, is one of my favourite radio people. His gentle humour and inquisitiveness always manage to make the programme’s subject – sociology – relevant, vibrant and interesting.
23.30 – 00.00 : BBC Radio 4 : Box Jumpers
Debbie McGee (!) looks at the life of the magician’s assistant.
Thursday 19 August 2004
09.00 – 09.30 : BBC Radio 4 : Engineering Solutions
How ace is Adam Hart-Davies? Never has a man, in day-glo cycling gear, offered such enthusiasm about science. In this programme, he talks to the team behind a new bridge. It sounds like it could be dull but with Adam Hart-Davies it’s bound to be worth a listening.
11.00 – 11.30 : BBC Radio 4 : From Our Own Correspondent
This is what your radio was made for; not Brittney, not Westlife, not Busted.
14.15 – 15.00 : BBC Radio 4 : Afternoon Play – The End of the Pier
Normally, I’d do anything to avoid a Radio 4 afternoon play. This one, though, is about a couple who walk down Southend Pier. As a Southend boy, with a great love of world’s longest pleasure pier, I had to include this.
16.30 – 17.00 : BBC Radio 4 – Material World
What a fantastic day for Radio 4! Quentin Cooper looks at new techniques for repairing skeletal damage and slowing the ageing process.
Friday 20 August 2004
16.00 – 16.30 : BBC Radio 4 – Word of Mouth
For any lover of language, Michael Rosen is the ideal bloke to have a chat with in the pub, I’d imagine. Word of Mouth gives us the chance to have something like that chat, with him. With a look at dead words, the battle of Latin v English names for plant-life and a piece of the euphemisms used by travel guides, you may just be able to forgive the section on the words used in Olympic commentary.
16.30 – 17.00 : BBC Radio 4 : The Message
I saw Jenni Murray give a speech for a librarian’s dinner once. She was the only worthwhile bit of the day. In this week’s programme, she covers the way politicians and the the media use each other, as well as bit on Restoration.
22.15 – 23.30 : BBC Radio 3 : Mixing It
Definitely hit and miss, this one. It’s a showcase for experimental music you’ve never heard of. Every now and then, there’s something that truly reminds your what’s great about life.
23.30 – 01.00 : BBC Radio 3 : Jazz on 3
If you listen to this and, at the end, you still don’t like jazz, then you’re just wrong. It’s presented by Jez Nelson – even his name is almost “jazz” – and it’s on stupidly late.
Saturday 21 August 2004
11.30 – 12.00 : BBC Radio 4 : From Our Own Correspondent
Rightly so, this programme is now twice weekly.
13.30 – 14.00 : BBC Radio 2 : The Day the Music Died
I found this on Saturday. Was quite amusing. Andrew Collins, and a couple of other semi-funny chaps, talk about the week’s musical happenings, from a comic perspective.
21.00 – 22.00 : BBC Radio 2 : Beckology
A review of Beck’s career. I wonder if we’ll find out what a devil’s haircut is.
Sunday 22 August 2004
09.00 – 10.00 : BBC Radio 4 – Broadcasting House
Sundays on Radio 4 wouldn’t be right, without Broadcasting House. The show that Eddie Mair truly made his own, is now in the capable hands of Fi Glover. It’s news and current affairs but presented in absolutely the best way for a Sunday morning.
13.30 – 14.00 : BBC Radio 4 – The Day They Made it Rain
One day, in the 1950s, there was a devastating downpour in a small part of Devon. People were killed, li
ves were ruined. This programme examines if the unusual amount of rain was due to early cloud-seeding experiments. It’s a repeat but well worth listening to.
Well, that’s some of what I hope to listen to. Let me know if you’ve found anything cool, by adding a comment.