Review of 2012: Radio
A bit of a giggle was just what we needed
Golden Funnybone award
Given a year that seems to have been particularly grim even by recent standards, it's incumbent on the funny people of the world to cheer the rest of us up, and there's none funnier than the American monologuist David Sedaris. In his own slightly twisted way he addresses the human condition but, more importantly, he makes us laugh. Meet David Sedaris, the third series of which aired in the autumn on Radio 4, ranged over a discussion about whether it's acceptable to talk on the phone when on the toilet to an account of hanging a sister's Barbie doll out of the car, reeling it in occasionally to check on the damage. He was on again in Food for Thought at Christmas, repeated from last year. Could a bit of Sedaris become as much of a festive-season radio tradition as Morecambe and Wise on the telly? Could we be so lucky?
Voice of the year
In a strong field, it has to be either Clare Balding or Cerys Matthews. Balding's massive Sport and the British series on Radio 4 was brilliant, while Matthews, as well as fronting the perfect Sunday morning show, on 6 Music, also made one of the year's best single programmes, Songs of the Sacred Harp (Radio 4), about the shape-note singing of the Deep South.
Bright Young Things award
This goes to the 14 young people who made Hooray! I'm a Single Parent for Radio 1 in June. BBC 2012 Community Reporters from east London trained for the occasion, producing an inspiring demonstration that not all single parents are feckless wasters.
Stinker of the year
This wasn't a programme but an ongoing Big Mistake – the latest kicking inflicted on the World Service: more job losses, news coverage reduced and the good arts programme The Strand going in April. The World Service helps Britain punch above its weight. Have the decision-makers never heard of soft power?
Continuing Pleasures award
It goes jointly to Radio 3's Late Junction and Stuart Maconie's Freak Zone and Freakier Zone on 6 Music. A happy new year to everyone involved in that triumvirate of Radio heaven.
Arts & Ents blogs
St Patrick’s Day 2014: The worst Irish accents in film history
Under The Skin, film review: Scarlett Johansson is full-blooded as femme fatale alien
Best films on Netflix: 32 movies that will put an end to your scrolling
Lord of the Flies is still a blueprint for savagery
Game of Thrones star Sibel Kekilli wants more male nudity in the show
Katie Hopkins continues campaign to become Britain's most hated talking head with poorly timed Bob Crow tweet
No EU referendum under Labour: Ed Miliband to reveal that vote on membership is ‘unlikely’ in next Parliament if party wins power
Ukip and Nigel Farage on course for remarkable victory in European elections
Tony Benn was entirely ineffectual - and usually wrong
Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
The rise of Ukip: Study warns Labour that Eurosceptic party's electoral base now 'more working class than any of the main parties'
- 1 Is your name now 'banned' in Saudi Arabia?
- 2 Exclusive: World’s most pristine waters are polluted by US Navy human waste
- 3 Gender-specific books demean all our children. So the Independent on Sunday will no longer review anything marketed to exclude either sex
- 4 Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 Q&A by Simon Calder: How far could it have travelled? Who was responsible and what would their plans be? And how can a plane just vanish?
- 5 'Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 plane found in Bermuda Triangle!' Viral Facebook links are profiting hackers