The Forgotten Medium

I know that it’s 2015, I know the Internet is everywhere and it’s all about Twitter and Facebook and blogs(!) and all that. But I’ve just got to say it. I bloody love the radio!

I listening to the wireless all the time, much more than I watch TV and miles more than going the cinema. And the king of all radio, in my eyes, is BBC Radio 4. Now I’m aware that by saying that it puts me in an audience demographic that my bank account and accent cannot back up – but please do give it a try! Granted there’s some dross, but steer away from The Archers and you’ll have a great time.

A highlight of my day, every day,  is listening to Front Row. It’s half an hour of theatre, art, books, music and all things cultural and it’s bloody fantastic. It could maybe be a bit wider reaching in terms of its coverage, but it includes work from across the whole country and does include some fringe theatres. I learn about things that I would have no idea about otherwise and am consistently inspired to make my own work because of quotes from the show. One of my favorouite recently was something a critic (and filmmaker) had been told once, that ‘you were very idealistic ever expecting films to change people’s opinion, all they did was reconfirm their prejudices’, I mean discuss…

They have daily, and Saturday drama’s which are radio plays often adapted from stage, or from literary works. The authors range from Agatha Christie to Iris Murdoch and the theatre is wide ranging, I recently listened to Tamasha’s My Name is… Which I missed when it was last performed.

The comedy is also well worth a listen. Many people had their first big break on Radio 4 including The Mighty Boosh and Chris Morris. And many people are still continuing their very successful careers on it. There is generally a more equal gender balence than on TV panel shows and the satire and synacisim of Jeremy Hardy is worth your license fee alone.
Now I should say I really listen live, I pick and choose what to watch and usually listen via iplayer or podcasts. But this is the future after all. I urge you all to give it a go. If you listen online and don’t like something it’s the easiest thing in the world to turn it off and find something new.

I get so much joy, entertainment and cultural provacation from listening to the radio I want to share it. So next time you’ve got some time, or you’re making dinner or whatever, leave the tele off, open the radio iplayer app and give Front Row a try.

Mike

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