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.
Glastonbury Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend will perform with Paul Weller as their warm-up act
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Rihanna's Met Gala dress took one Chinese woman 2 years to make, was reduced to omelette meme in 2 seconds
- 2 Qataris pledge to expand Canary Wharf
- 3 #JeSuisEd: People share photos of themselves eating awkwardly in solidarity with Labour leader
- 4 Women think Irish men are the sexiest, survey finds
- 5 Florida couple forced to register as sex offenders for having sex on public beach
Penny Dreadful, series 2 episode 1, review: It is still gloriously silly
Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to replace Jeremy Clarkson and co
Eurovision 2015: What date and time is the song contest and who are the favourites to win?
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Indiana Jones sequel confirmed by Lucasfilm - but will Harrison Ford return to the franchise?
In defence of liberal democracy
General Election 2015: Post-election 'shambles' looms as 70 per cent of voters say SNP 'should not be able to veto UK government policies'
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
General election live: Booths open at 7am across the country on polling day