Design: Not just a dummy...

... nowadays radios come in fish, handbag and wind-up format. There's even one by Philippe Starck.
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The Independent Culture
ALTHOUGH ITS integral technology is no more sophisticated than that of the original Roberts, the humble radio set has come a long way. As the only provider of easily-absorbed, background entertainment in a fast-moving world, radio has become all things to all people. You can spend up to pounds 350 on a single set (the Sony ICSFW77, available from Dixons 0990 500049 is one), or, for as little as pounds 14.99, buy a radio that you can take into the shower: the Angelfish from the Save the Children catalogue, 0870 606 6350.

Listeners who love this cheery, aquatic aid should also check out Boots's pink, plastic Handbag Radio, pounds 5, (above right) perfect for kitsch kids, and the silver Mini Radio from Debenhams (above middle), 0171-408 3536.

Minimalists would do well to invest in one of Philippe Starck's Moosk range, pounds 52 from Alessi (above left) 01920 444272, or the Mannequin (far right) pounds 26, Graham & Green, 0171-727 4594. These exquisite little triumphs of style-over-content should be tuned to jazz and discreetly positioned in any designer living room.

The Bayliss wind-up machine (far left), pounds 59.99, with solar panel, from Splash Communications, 01285 659559) has revolutionised radio, and is a godsend for those who can never find the right batteries. It runs for one hour with 2 minutes winding, is environmentally friendly and invaluable in areas with no power supply.

For those fazed by gadgetry, and who long for the days of the shipping forecast crackled through a worn, leather jacket, however, Roberts (see article above), who still manufacture up-to-date, quality radios, also produce a replica Fifties machine.

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