November 20th, 2008


Mrs Trellis of North Wales writes to complain...

I am a keen supporter of the license fee and of public service broadcasting, because I believe that on the whole, it provides a good service and represents good value for money. I am an especially keen supporter of Radio 4. My radio is permanently fixed to Radio 4 and I listen to it wherever I am.

Not unreasonably I consider it to be in part mine, as I have, in some small way, paid for it.

There are many programmes that I loved, laughed and cried at over the years, but which sadly no longer grace the airways. I’m Sorry I Haven’t Got a Clue, Home Truths and Alistair Cooke’s Letter from America PM and what ever it was on Saturdays that Eddie Mair used to present.

I’m afraid at my age I have begun to forget such things.

However, the programme that I probably miss most is Alistair Cooke’s letter from America.

I listened to that programme for years and grew deeply fond of Cooke’s laconic tone, dry sense of humour and his sharp insight into American and indeed World Politics. At 37 you will understand that I only listened to a small fraction of his sixty years of broadcast output, but the period from the late 1980’s through the 1990’s and up to his retirement in 2004 covered a dramatically changing world, and he recounted his partin , and understanding of this changing world.

Today I was disappointed to learn that the scripts of his wonderful, and arguably significant, historical broadcasts, are to be held at the University of East Anglia in Norwich. They are supposedly to be made available to academics at the university as well as visiting members of the public, but little specific mention was made of the rest of us, those of us for whom this great writer and broadcaster wrote his weekly letters.

It seems to me, in this modern age of the internet, that these should have been made available to a much larger audience and hosted on the BBC’s internet site, as a lasting tribute to one of radio’s most distinguished broadcasters and as an historic account of a changing world.


I Rock.......

well I stand there and hum awkwardly into my overpriced beer while others rock.

I’m of to see Amsterdam at the Borderline tonight. They were a favorite of the late great John Peel.

I neglected to sort civvies for the gig. And found myself in the unenviable position of having to attend the gig tonight in a pinstripe suit and tie.

I resolved the problem with a quick trip up to Oxford Street . Yesterday I spotted a very Bond like plain black bomber jacket in Next that I quite fancied and I bought a v cheap pair of jeans a black polo neck and a pair of cas. Trainers from Primark came to £28. I’m pretty sure Bond was not dressed by Primark, but the looks works …the bloke version of that ‘get the look' articles you get each night in those dreadful free London papers.

So you'll have to take it from me that dispite having a black bomber jacket, a black polo neck , blue jeans and some v scruffy trainers... I look very little like this indeed...

Sharon has just e-mailed to see if I can leave work early and indulge in an early pre-pre-gig drink, before we meet up with others for the pre-gig drink.

I’d leave now but I've got a Chairman's Brief to prepare....

Thought it would just involve a bit of ironing and maybe some careful folding.... but apparently I need to write stuff....and use mi noggin to fink up stuff......

Do they pay for this...I suspect they do.