RADIO PROGRAMME OF THE YEAR :A hit down memory lane
The most popular film-maker in history got into history, and stayed popular. Glyndebourne rose again, handsomely. Pop ate itself, but survived. Steve Coogan was everywhere, and so was Hugh Grant; only one of them is praised here. The theatre had a thin time, but television drama serials made up for it. People defined themselves on Mondays at 9pm: were you for `Cracker' or `Chuzzlewit'? And again on Saturdays at 8pm: did you really believe that a 14m-1 shot would win?(Or did you do it for love of the arts?) It wasn't the best of years, but it had its moments. And here they are, in the fourth annual `IoS' Awards
Sunday 18 December 1994
This programme was a haunting tribute to Clare: it spoke movingly about the loneliness of insanity and the fragility of genius. Recorded at Nottingham Asylum, it took the form of an imagined interview with Clare during which he remembered his glory days and the onset of his lunacy. Boldly conceived and sensitively executed, it was touched with an inspiration that made it unforgettable. In a year that produced some magnificent radio programmes, it made the deepest impression. (It is to be repeated on Christmas Eve.)
Susan Roberts, its producer, is also responsible for two other gems, With Great Pleasure (R4) and Stanza on Stage (R4). In this latter series, James Fenton was the best performance-poet - rhythmic, punchy and mesmeric. Other literary highlights were the exuberant serialisation of The Three Musketeers (R4), the lyrical celebration of Synge Song (R3) and the subtle dramatisation of Kipling in Love (R4). History was well-served by Hindsight (R4) and Heritage (World Service), and the natural-history winner is Fergus Keeling's The Mole Within (R4), which was an underground revelation: it's a miracle that moles ever reproduce.
In the field of classical music, the best series were Classic FM's impressive Bernstein, and Radio 3's enormous, ambitious Deutsche Romantik. Andrew McGregor takes the presenter's prize for his daily On Air (R3), which is friendly and informative at dawn. I heard at least 20 wonderful plays, but nothing could beat Gielgud in King Lear (R3). Radio 2 continued its quietly unsung adult-education programme amongst the amiable chatter of familiar old things, and produced two winners in Sheridan Morley's ArtsProgramme and Jim Lloyd's The Young Tradition, an inspiring competition.
Ruscoe on Five and The Magazine have given Radio 5 Live a good start, and its wide sports coverage is winning new listeners: its daily Euro News is accessible and intelligent.
This year's best foreign correspondent was Kevin Connolly whose reporting from Russia was thoughtful, courageous and humane. I was glad, too, to catch Dr Chris Besse, founder of Merlin, late one night on my car radio, in a compelling edition of S.S.S. (R4).
For light relief, the most inventive new comedy shows were Skivers (R4) and Adrian Mourby's Whatever Happened To . . . ? (R4).
The funniest hour came from Kit and the Widow (R2). Words are confetti to these two, to be tossed around for fun: only they could talk about Jane Fonda making the heartbeat absent.
Previous winners: 1991 `The Gang That Fell Apart' (R3, three-part series written by Anthony Howard, based on memoirs of Roy Jenkins and David Owen); 1992 `Knowing Me, Knowing You' (R4, spoof chat show, host Alan Partridge); 1993 `It is With Very Great Regret' (R4, about the First World War, part of the `Document' series, written by Matt Thompson).
ReviewThese heroes in a half shell should have been left in hibernation
Sek, k'athjilari! (That’s “yes, definitely” to non-native speakers).TV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
- 2 Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake report claiming street artist's identity has been revealed
- 3 Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
- 4 Former East 17 frontman Brian Harvey turns up at Downing Street and 'demands to speak to Prime Minister'
- 5 The inventor of the Facebook 'like' button says he never made a 'dislike' button because he feared the 'unfortunate consequences'
Doctor Who, Flatline - review: Clara isn’t half bad as the Time Lord
Downton Abbey review series 5, episode 5: Period drama falls disappointingly flat
Star Wars memorabilia called a 'bit of plastic' on Antiques Roadshow by Fiona Bruce valued at £50,000
Fury, film review: Brad Pitt is intriguing as unsympathetic war hero
Star Wars Episode 7 has almost finished filming
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Amal Alamuddin calls for the return of the Elgin Marbles from Britain: 'Injustice has persisted for too long'
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Lord Freud: Tory welfare minister apologises after saying disabled people are 'not worth’ the minimum wage