The Week in Radio: Accent U8 the positive
Saturday 10 April 1999
In a daze of caffeine cold-turkey, I now hallucinate beverages everywhere - thus Anna Massie scrumptiously annunciating the phrase "rump Parliament" on the daily segment of This Sceptred Isle (R4) conjures up Earl Grey and bone china, with a palpable macaroon in the saucer; Martin Jarvis, reading Just William - The 80th Anniversary (R4) with his familiar gravelly disdain, treats the listener to freshly ground old Java. Nicholas Parsons in That Reminds Me (R4), looking back over his career, is the very essence of that 1960s standby, Camp coffee.
The Archers (R4), ever a smorgasbord of accent, class and public service announcement, continues to offer characters who evoke everything from toffee-hazelnut-mochaccino to PG pyramid teabags. The actor Jim Broadbent said recently that The Archers was one programme he could be relied upon to get up for - in order to switch it off. A Pleasantville with problems, Ambridge plays host to the banal and the apocalyptic in deference to the new Reithian spirit of globalisation - panto, adultery, vegetarianism, bovine tuberculosis, illegitimacy, genetically modified crops, and death - Joe Orton re-written by James Herriot.
Ambridge is still, just, virgin territory to one millennial Leitmotif - Salman Rushdie, or "Salman Rushdie, a writer", as he described himself after the first Reith Lecture (R4) on "Globalisation". Admittedly Rushdie followed such hands-ups as Michael "ex-Cabinet Minister" Portillo, Shirley "Also an ex-Cabinet Minister" Williams and John "ex-UK Government Member" Redwood, the C3PO of All Souls. But as Rushdie is virtually in the Coca- Cola league of brand awareness, this seemed to constitute backing into the limelight on his part.
This year's lecturer, Anthony Giddens, had stated that Globalisation should not mean Westernisation, which is fine, but was unable to allay the suspicion that it can only really be Generalisation, in every sense. This was, though, very much a curtain-raiser, with the emphasis on the wood rather than the trees. As one journalist commented, the failure or success of globalisation will be determined by the one third of the world's population who live in India and China. How to bring this about, Giddens has four more mission statements in which to specify. For the moment, he is all miso soup - nourishing but cloudy.
BBC Trust agrees to axe channel from TV in favour of digital moveTV
Final Top Gear reviewTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response from Ellen DeGeneres
- 2 What supermodels really think about posing in the nude
- 3 People all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos to draw attention to mental health
- 4 Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
- 5 Chris Moyles reportedly set to make radio comeback with new breakfast show on XFM
Amy Winehouse film director: 'I wanted to show the fun, bright-eyed girl we didn't know'
James Blunt was special guest on the highest-rating Top Gear episode ever
Chris Moyles reportedly set to make radio comeback with new breakfast show on XFM
Contemporary art is a fraud, says top dealer
Family Guy, BBC2 - review: The Simpsons crossover highlights gulf between the cartoons
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture