Friday, 19 June 2009

BBC Radio 4: Gold Among the Dross of Media Entertainment

If you can access BBC Radio 4 in your corner of the world, do so, I urge you. If you enjoy quality on the radio, here is the place to find it. This morning, Friday 19 June, at 9.00 am, I listened to a wonderful old favourite programme, broadcasting in the same format since 1942, "Desert Island Discs. Kirsty Young, the presenter, was as always, conducting a gentle exposition of the life, times and character of the great Labour Chancellor of the Exchequer of the 20th century, Denis, Lord Healey. Oh, if only we had men like him in government right now. But let me not digress.

I just wanted to share my enthusiasm for the man, the programme, along with some quotes he made that had me laughing out loud. They also provided a glimpse of the wit and wisdom of the man. He may be 92 years old, but as we say here in the North, he's not lost his marbles one bit! When asked what he thought of Margaret Thatcher, (one time Conservative Prime Minister),then and now, he replied that she was an awful prime minister, "because she wouldn't listen to anybody who didn't share her views" and "Nobody ever listens to her now, poor thing, I feel sorry for her. I gave her a hug the last time we met..."

Lord Healey's choice of music included Bach, Mozart and Beethoven, so he was a man after my own heart. The format of this programme allows the "castaway" (interviewee) to take three special items to the island, along with the Bible and the Complete Works of Shakespeare. I knew I had just discovered a kindred spirit when Lord Healey opted for the Faber Book of English Verse, a huge big box of chocolates and the Cavatina from Beethoven;s String Quartet No. 13 in B Flat Major.

This programme has stood the test of time, BBC Radio 4 is uncompromising in delivering a quality service, and after listening to Lord Healey, my day is brighter. Thank you sir.

All details of this and BBC Radio 4's other splendid offerings can be found on the BBC Website. Give your intellect a treat and listen.

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