The Week In Radio: Lots to celebrate as passions run high in poet's corner

 

There are occasions when only Gary Barlow, Grace Jones and a hula hoop will do. Fortunately, those occasions only come round every 60 years, so it's important to have something else to listen to in the meantime. And while BBC Radio 2 lined up a seamless flotilla of Jubilee programmes – Sixty Amazing Years segueing into We Are Sixty and then a 60 years-themed Sunday Half-Hour with music from the choir of the Queen's Chapel of the Savoy on Sunday alone, there were odd pockets of airtime that offered a more leftfield perspective on the damp pyrotechnics of the long weekend, if not ever managing to ignore them entirely.

First, a nod to BBC Radio 5 Live's The Day I Met the Queen and Bill Roache, aka Coronation Street's Ken Barlow, who deserves a medal of some sort for what might be the oddest sentence uttered in the name of the Jubilee. "I remember she was highly amused by the fact that the regimental goat ate cigarettes," he said mistily of his encounter with the monarch in 1953, when he was serving with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers in Kingston, Jamaica. "She was shrieking with laughter like a little girl... I actually fancied her, which is a terrible thing to say. I probably shouldn't even say that."

Probably not, Bill! Moving swiftly on, there were more oblique references to the anniversary to be found on the music stations. In a safely treasonous bit of scheduling, BBC 6 Music programmed the John Lydon Playlist, an hour of noisy music and glottal-stopped musings from the old Sex Pistol at noon on Sunday. Never mind that "Rotten Lydon", as he calls himself, is now the UK's most dependable anarchist and about as punk as a crumpet oozing with mid-priced butter, this was a refreshingly eclectic oasis in a weekend soundtracked by Zadok the Priest and Bond themes.

Lydon presented a tight hour of "the best and the worst of music", without too much waffle. "I know I should spend more time chit-chatting away and explaining how much I love these records but I really want you to hear them," he said, affably.

There was, naturally, some Public Image Ltd and a smattering of Pink Floyd but there was also, unexpectedly, Dolly Parton, some "truly awful, terrible" Clarence Carter and Donna Summer's "I Feel Love": "Nice and long and proper. Makes you realise that there's happiness in the world, if you look for it." Has the snarly punk gone soft in his old age? Of course he has, but we already knew that and this was a lot more engaging than simply hearing him spit out "God Save the Queen" for the umpteenth time.

Carol Ann Duffy was the guest on Private Passions, Radio 3's classical twist on Desert Island Discs. In a gently highbrow show, Michael Berkeley drew out the Poet Laureate's lifelong love of music, an art form she declared to be superior to poetry. She would, she said, have liked to play all Mozart but happily for listeners her choices were more wide-ranging, taking in The Magic Flute and The Marriage of Figaro alongside Chopin, Christy Moore singing Yeats and Diana Krall's version of "Danny Boy". There was a bit of Jubilation as she read out her aptly watery official poem "The Thames" but the show ended on a lightly subversive note as she chose the song she'd like to be played at her funeral. As the famous "der der DER" trombones of The Stripper faded out, the Queen's bard could be heard giggling and asking: "Can I put my clothes back on now?" Well, it's one way to celebrate.

Twitter.com/alicevjones

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
Chvrches lead singer Lauren Mayberry in the band's new video 'Leave a Trace'

music
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Home on the raunch: George Bisset (Aneurin Barnard), Lady Seymour Worsley (Natalie Dormer) and Richard Worsley (Shaun Evans)

TV review
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Strictly Come Dancing was watched by 6.9m viewers

Strictly
Arts and Entertainment
NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton

film
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dormer as Margaery Tyrell and Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones
Arts and Entertainment
New book 'The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep' by Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin

books
Arts and Entertainment
Calvi is not afraid of exploring the deep stuff: loneliness, anxiety, identity, reinvention
music
Arts and Entertainment
Edinburgh solo performers Neil James and Jessica Sherr
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
If a deal to buy tBeats, founded by hip-hop star Dr Dre (pictured) and music producer Jimmy Iovine went through, it would be Apple’s biggest ever acquisition

album review
Arts and Entertainment
Paloma Faith is joining The Voice as a new coach

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Dowton Abbey has been pulling in 'telly tourists', who are visiting Highclere House in Berkshire

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Patriot games: Vic Reeves featured in ‘Very British Problems’
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Summer nights: ‘Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp’
TVBut what do we Brits really know about them?
Arts and Entertainment
Dr Michael Mosley is a game presenter

TV review
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

    Orthorexia nervosa

    How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
    Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

    Lady Chatterley’s Lover

    Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
    Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

    Set a pest to catch a pest

    Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
    Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

    The dark side of Mexico

    A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
    Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

    Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

    Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
    A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

    A nap a day could save your life

    A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
    If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

    If men are so obsessed by sex...

    ...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
    The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

    Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

    The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
    The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

    Rolling in the deep

    The bathing machine is back but with a difference
    Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

    Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

    Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

    Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
    House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

    The honours that shame Britain

    Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
    When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

    'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

    Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
    International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

    International Tap Festival comes to the UK

    Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
    War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border