Turn ons and turn offs


I am an avid Radio 4 listener and have been since I woke to the Today programme and dipped in and out of the Archers as a University student. I remember the Beirut kidnapping of Terry Waite, the death of the late Princess of Wales and the disgraceful killing-off of poor Nigel a couple of years ago. The advent of Twitter and the Tweetalongs have been a marvellous way of sharing my enthusiasms and snarks with other listeners. The Archers, in particular, has an active Tweetalong following, especially for the Sunday Omnibus. I listen to this whilst doing the ironing on a Sunday morning. I often have to catch up because I’m Mumtaxi during the week or because my husband usually chooses the Archers time slot to call and tell me that he’s on the train. I’m sure he does this on purpose.

Apparently, the average age of Radio 4 listeners is 56. I am a lot younger, obviously. I enjoy talk radio because it’s informative and good company. Even my dog listens to Radio 4 when I’m out. If only he could talk, I reckon he’d be a polymath on the same sort of level as say, Stephen Fry..

I enjoy intelligent debate but can no longer bear to listen to the Today programme. It’s impossible to explore nuances in limited slots and,  while I used to think of John Humphreys as a hero riding out in search of truth and cutting away the choking weeds of obfuscation, these days I find all that adversarial, argumentative shoutiness JUST TOO MUCH in the mornings. Today is a surefire way of putting me in an angry mood for the rest of the day. It is for this reason that I have always loathed phone-in programmes too: all those ignorant people who phone in with their own axes to grind just waiting to be patronised by the host of the show. And some “consumer shows” where people just phone in for a whinge when they’ve failed to read the small print or use any common sense are completely unbearable. (No such thing as a free lunch, sweetie. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. If people are offering you a free holiday, it’s usually for their own promotional reasons. Ugh) 

I actively turn on the radio, plan my day or stay in the car until the end of the following shows:

  • The Archers
  • Fags, Mags and Bags
  • The News Quiz
  • The PM Programme (especially with Eddie Mair, who is regarded in our house as a Don.)
  • I’m Sorry, I haven’t a Clue. (Thanks @Ellen27 for reminding me of that.)

Programmes that make me scramble for the off button

  • Count Arthur Strong (It is completely incomprehensible to me how anyone could ever have found him funny. People who feel the same are starting a support group.)
  • Today
  • Any Answers
  • You and Yours
  • The Moral Maze
  • The Food Programme
  • Start the Week
  • That dreadful “comedy” about the Register Office on Friday lunchtimes. That was appalling.
  • Front Row when Mark Lawson pronounces the word TOUR as “too-er”

Programmes that are on at just the wrong time for me, that I’d like to hear more of:

  • In Our Time
  • Women’s Hour
  • Don’t Start
  • Soul Music
  • All in the Mind
  • The Unbelievable Truth

Do you have any radio turn-on or turn-off programmes?


3 thoughts on “Turn ons and turn offs

  1. Me too. I just don’t get Count Arthur Strong at all. I’d add Poetry Please, Open Book and I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue.
    I’d also add Desert Island Discs but only when you turn it on a few minutes into the show and have to guess who the subject is… a excellent game.

  2. I love the world at one and agree with Ellen above about how to listen to Desert island discs 🙂
    In terms of comedy I like the news quiz too and I’m sorry I haven’t a clue

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