Radio Review of the year: 'The Archers': bitchy bliss. Moyles: so unfunny. Bob Dylan: a genius
It's been a fabulous year for blockbusters with brains but a nadir for Francis Coppola. Pop producers fought to stave off panic as cheap technology let everyone have a go. Dance said farewell to Darcey Bussell and hello to Hofesh Shechter, while Bob Dylan finally found himself ... on the radio. The 'IoS' critics give their overview of 2007
Radio had, as always, reason to feel proud of itself and reason to be ashamed during 2007. Let us start with the worst, just so we can get it out of the way and end on a high note.
First, we had The Reith Lectures. There seems to be a law against having consecutive years of inspiring speakers. After the delights of Barenboim in 2006, we were treated to hours and hours of vapid, Panglossian flapdoodle from the economist Professor Jeffrey Sachs. It was an insult to the listener and to the memory of Lord Reith. Months later, I am still cross about it.
Radio 3 dropped the ball badly by getting rid of Mixing It, the superb avant-garde radio show. This has now gone to Resonance FM, itself a wonderful radio station, but with, obviously, nothing like the resources and reach of the BBC. Boo.
The panic about the BBC integrity crisis extended, ludicrously, to stopping Jonathan Ross from offering his weekly clutch of freebie tat to phone-in competitors. This was probably the least-corrupt section of broadcast over the entire network. Nice work, Beeb.
As with The Sex Lives of Us series, celebrating 50 years since the Wolfenden Report, but screwing the English language in the process.
And the good stuff: Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour. This wonderful programme is, it could be said, the final crowning glory to Dylan's career. Eclectic, generous, wise, funny, and so modest that he doesn't even play any of his own songs, Dylan reveals himself as a supremely talented and winning DJ. Thank you to 6Music for putting this on.
The Archers hit plot paydirt this year with the death of Siobhan, Brian's ex-lover, and the mother of his love-child Ruairi. Children on The Archers are almost invariably unwelcome, but in this instance we shall make an exception, for the rest of the village was portrayed at its censorious, bitchy, back-stabbing worst. This is what we want. And the resuscitation of Kathy Perks's rape ordeal has got us squirming uncomfortably on the edge of our seats.
James Naughtie's The Making of Music showed that the presenter had more than one string to his bow, if you will forgive the expression.
Adventures in Poetry was a series that made poems come alive. Poetry, Please has its place but this offered analysis, insight and relevant anecdote. More next year, please.
The pairing of Mark Radcliffe and Stuart Maconie on Radio 2 was billed as "the dream team" and, as long as they don't laugh too much at their own jokes, they are.
And also terrific news from Radio 1 fat, unfunny, sexist pig Chris Moyles is losing listeners. The rate at which this is happening is not fast enough for our liking but, hey, it's a start. Keep turning that dial, listeners!
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