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Topics - Albert

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I listen to BBC Radio 4 most of the time. I have done for a good 30 years.

Over the past few months I have increasingly re-tuned to BBC Radio2 or Local.

I appreciate that life is not a bed of roses and people have problems with disability, sexuality, relationships, race, mental health, drug addiction, prison, etc. I used to find that perhaps giving airtime to these subject matters broadened the mind, yes enrichened even, and was all part of the BBC self styled mission to inform, educate, entertain.

Lately however, I find I am thinking more and more "I don't want to listen to this" and turn the dial.

BBC Radio 4 seems to be backing itself into a depressing corner.

I wonder what John Reith might think. What do you think?

The Afternoon Play / Love (sic)
« on: May 30, 2018, 01:44:36 PM »
A repeat from last year. It is ok drama, but a bit embarrassing to listen to - in my opinion of course.

I could have done with more than a year to get over this one. I'm not sure given recent matters that this drama/play is entirely appropriate.

The Afternoon Play / Our Hylda
« on: May 28, 2018, 08:27:29 AM »
Repeated after less than a year. Why BBC? Why?

There are decades of Afternoon Plays to choose from if you have to do repeats.

On a positive note, this was an ok drama, and Alison Steadman in the lead role with Gary Brown producing/directing ensures quality.

The Afternoon Play / Rumpole on Trial
« on: February 22, 2018, 01:37:22 PM »
Rumpole on Trial

I like Rumpole. It would be churlish of me to complain that this is repeated from less than 2 years ago, but it is timeless stuff and Julian Rhind-Tutt does a good job as the more recent version of Rumpole.

The Afternoon Play / Fat Little Thing
« on: October 23, 2017, 01:15:47 PM »

I don't watch TV but I know that Julie Hesmondhalgh is very popular there, and it seems on Radio 4 over exposure for her is no problem.

I'll listen to this one, yiu know, give it a chance, but somehow I don't think I'll hear anything over than an over exposed actress playing the usual character.

I hope I'll be posting back to apologise for my cynicism. We'll see,

The Afternoon Play / Far Side of the Moore - Friday 21/4/2017
« on: April 21, 2017, 12:54:32 PM »
First broadcast 2015. I seem to remember this was interesting and entertaining.

"Sean Grundy's drama is both a moving and at times laugh out loud funny telling of a key moment in the life of Patrick Moore".

Yes, I think I would agree with that. I'll be tuning in again.

The Afternoon Play / Is it Julie Hesmondhalgh day?
« on: April 07, 2017, 05:43:40 PM »
I don't watch TV but I understand that Julie Hesmondhalgh is a bit of a star on the box. BBC need a national treasure and they've found one, or rather are making one. They did the business on Judi Dench all those years ago helped to string out that career for more decades than may have been strictly necessary. They desperately needed a replacement.

So today we have:

Afternoon Play/Drama The Fix:

and 15 Minute Drama Dead Pan:

In their efforts to claim a star and self-propel a career with overexposure, I have to say I just see the characters as the same person, with an idiosyncratic voice, blandly reading a script secure in the knowledge that Auntie Beeb is looking after her.

I don't mean to be unkind to Julie, but that''s how I feel. Anyway, I'm off out before the 15 Minute Drama stats.

Radio 4 / What He Said
« on: February 17, 2017, 04:06:59 PM »

A gentle but nonetheless capturing 15 minutes listen.

I found the story interesting but erm, there is nothing whatsoever that I can identify with Marcus.

The Afternoon Play / Comment Is Free - Everybody hates Alistair Cooper
« on: January 30, 2017, 03:35:06 PM »
Well first things first, this was an entertaining and thought-provoking enough Afternoon Drama. A thinly veiled parody on real life people? Well that is for the listener to decide, but I'm sure many of us who use the internet will recognise some of the comments made against outspoken commentators on social media.

I knew this one was worth a listen because I had heard it before. I even found myself finishing off some of the sentences. Last broadcast on Wednesday October 5th 2016. Less than 4 months ago. No wonder.

Point of interest: Rachael Stirling, playing the lead here, is the daughter of Diana Rigg

Radio 4 / 15 Minute Drama - Clutch, Throttle, Brake
« on: January 30, 2017, 11:18:56 AM »
Just thought I'd like to say something about this one. Generally, The 15 Minute Drama isn't intended to be taken as a serious literary offering and this one is no different. But this one has Bill Paterson playing what I have to presume is very much himself, the dour Scotsman but with a bit of an edge and possibly with some humour lurking there too.

Mr Paterson's iMDb is impressive and goes back a long way, beyond the wonderful days of Play For Today.

I think I first 'got to know' Bill in Auf Wedersehen Pet as Ally Fraser, and then as a doctor in The Singing Detective. He certainly brings a presence to a project and this one is no difference.

An easy on the ear gentle comedy.

Alison Steadman is in here somewhere too.

So, that's my morning tea times sorted for the week.

The Afternoon Play / Home
« on: October 18, 2016, 02:13:10 PM »
Home by Paul Dodgson

First Broadcast 15 October 2014. Well I don't think I could have been near a radio that day, however this play sounded nicely familiar and I see why:

On The Road Not Taken by Paul Dodgson, which I posted about here:

Today's Play was very different though, but I could write exactly the same words.

Except the hashtags. All I can think of to say in place of those words is  "been there, done crying'.

(I can admit to that can't I? Well, it's an anonymous internet forum.)


The Afternoon Play / On the Road Not Taken
« on: August 24, 2016, 03:15:21 PM »
On the Road Not Taken -

Ahh - Paul Dodgson. I thought I recognised the name and the voice from this play: You Drive Me Crazy

I enjoyed this Afternon Drama, right from the start. That was probably due to the many life similarities and juxtapositions of my own experiences. There was a fair bit of social history tied up in this tale too, enough to make it interesting for anyone.

Hash tags and phrases: Platform shoes, Top of the Pops, youth club discos, guitars, 1970s.

and lots of personal nostalgia.

Thank you Mr Dodgson. I enjoyed.

Radio 4 / Playing The Skyline - BBC Radio 4 meets BBC Radio3?
« on: August 15, 2016, 08:50:27 AM »
If one is of a particular musical bent, this programme was interesting enough, but I do wonder does it have a place on the BBC Radio 4 schedules. 

In much the same way that the BBC might tell their producers "go find some comedians", and then invent all manner of strange 'comedy' shows in which to showcase their finds, I thought Playing The Skyline was more about giving various musicians some exposure to our airwaves.

The programme is all very abstract, despite the musical scores and the apparently corresponding photographs being displayed on the BBC website.

There are many BBC Radio4 listeners who believe that music, in any form, should be banished from the channel's airwaves.

Sorry to sound critical, I have every respect for the musicans and their music featured, but my point is to query whether the programme is suited to BBC Radio 4.

As a concept, I do 'get it' but I wonder is it more BBC R3 meets Classic FM?

Radio 4 / 15 Minute Drama - Life Lines
« on: July 14, 2016, 10:49:46 AM »
Life Lines

This is the first one:

I'm not quite sure how I can describe this one. It all seems too real and in places terrifyingly so, to call it a drama.

Another gem of radio.

The Afternoon Play / The Liberty Cap - BBC Radio 4 Drama
« on: April 11, 2016, 01:28:49 PM »
First things first:

First Broadcast 15th October 2015. Less than 6 months ago.

Listening to something again that was first broadcast so recently is a bit, well, "trippy," as the modern parlance might go.

So after 10 minutes of listening, it's bye BBC R4 hello good ol' Radio Local (commercial radio, not BBC).

The Liberty Cap:

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