Killer Bs, Radio 4
Test Match Special, Radio 4

'He has a lovely voice, pleasingly deepened by years of smoking'

Tuesday after lunch on Radio 4 is devoted to what is unappetisingly called a "music feature" but you should not let that put you off. Last Tuesday, Anthony Barnes gave us a potted history and appreciation of the B-side, which, for the benefit of younger listeners, was the obverse of a seven-inch vinyl "single" – a black round thing which span at 45 revolutions per minute and produced sounds when you dropped a needle on it. Ask your grandparents for more technical details.

If I infer correctly that the songs played throughout the programme were all B-sides, then there were many surprises: "You Can't Always Get What You Want"; "I Say a Little Prayer"; "Hound Dog"; "Don't Worry Baby"; "How Soon Is Now?"; "I Will Survive"; and, er, "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport" – these can't all have been B-sides, can they? (In some cases they started out as B-sides, but as their quality and popularity became manifest, were re-issued more prominently.)

There's a formula to programmes like this, which tap directly into the nostalgia people feel for the subjects. There was a rather over-stretched one about doing mix tapes a few weeks ago, presented by David Quantick, in which enthusiasts in early middle-age remembered their joy in hovering over the pause button while listening to John Peel (I did it myself); here, Quantick was brought on again, and was, as always, illuminating and informative (you can't make this kind of programme without David Quantick appearing on it – it's in the BBC's charter somewhere); he even dug out an old Ringo Starr B-side which, he assured us, told us more about what it was like to be with The Beatles than many biographies.

And, of course, we were told about that band's great B-side, "Rain", in which they felt free to begin experimenting with backwards guitars, and about the double A-side of "Penny Lane" and "Strawberry Fields Forever" (although the programme forebore to mention that it was this policy which prevented it from reaching Number One; sales of the physical record were, for chart-reckoning purposes, in effect halved).

There was really only one thing wrong with the programme, and that was its title: Killer Bs. This was a joke which outstayed its welcome on its first airing, so I am going to make the lady in the armchair look a little more grumpy than she actually might have been while listening.

No more Test Match Special until December now. One of the joys of this otherwise miserable summer has been Phil Tufnell's welcome into the ranks of commentators. An underrated player in his day (and a worthy King of the Jungle in I'm a Celebrity ...), he is proving to be a charming radio presence.

He has a lovely voice, pleasingly deepened by years of smoking, and is, moreover, sharply critical of Geoffrey Boycott. I don't think they're allowed in the commentary box at the same time. "Geoffrey calls everyone rubbish," he said at one point last week, "even when they're rubbish."

Arts and Entertainment
Word master: Self holds up a copy of his novel ‘Umbrella’
books
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
books
Arts and Entertainment
The man with the golden run: Daniel Craig as James Bond in 'Skyfall'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
'Waving Seal' by Luke Wilkinson was Highly Commended in the Portraits category

photography
Arts and Entertainment
The eyes have it: Kate Bush
music
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Art
Arts and Entertainment
Diana Beard, nicknamed by the press as 'Dirty Diana'

Bake Off
Arts and Entertainment
The X Factor 2014 judges: Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole, Mel B and Louis Walsh

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace was caught by a camera van driving 32mph over the speed limit

TV
Arts and Entertainment
books
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Arts and Entertainment
Star turns: Montacute House
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Iain reacts to his GBBO disaster

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Outlaw Pete is based on an eight-minute ballad from Springsteen’s 2009 Working on a Dream album

books
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012

film
Arts and Entertainment
Simon Cowell is less than impressed with the Strictly/X Factor scheduling clash

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Gothic revival: artist Dave McKean’s poster for Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination
Exhibition
Arts and Entertainment
Diana Beard has left the Great British Bake Off 2014

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Lisa Kudrow, Courtney Cox and Jennifer Anniston reunite for a mini Friends sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live

TV
Arts and Entertainment
TVDessert week was full of the usual dramas as 'bingate' ensued
Arts and Entertainment
Clara and the twelfth Doctor embark on their first adventure together
TVThe regulator received six complaints on Saturday night
Arts and Entertainment
Vinyl demand: a factory making the old-style discs
musicManufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl
Arts and Entertainment
David Baddiel concedes his show takes its inspiration from the hit US series 'Modern Family'
comedyNew comedy festival out to show that there’s more to Jewish humour than rabbi jokes
Arts and Entertainment
Puff Daddy: One Direction may actually be able to use the outrage to boost their credibility

music
Arts and Entertainment
Suha Arraf’s film ‘Villa Touma’ (left) is set in Ramallah and all the actresses are Palestinian

film
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

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

    'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

    'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

    US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
    Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

    A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

    Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
    Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

    James Frey's literary treasure hunt

    Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
    Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

    Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

    What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
    Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

    Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

    Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
    Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

    The big names to look for this fashion week

    This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
    Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

    'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

    Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
    Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

    Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

    Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
    Al Pacino wows Venice

    Al Pacino wows Venice

    Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
    Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

    Neil Lawson Baker interview

    ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
    The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

    The model for a gadget launch

    Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
    Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
    Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

    Get well soon, Joan Rivers

    She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
    Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

    A fresh take on an old foe

    Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering