The Ronnie Wood Show, Absolute Classic Rock, Monday to Saturday
Russia: The Wild East, Radio 4, Monday to Friday

What a waste, to take a radio natural and condemn him to silence

With Ronnie Wood up for two gongs at the Sony Awards, for "rising star" and "music radio personality", Absolute Classic Rock must be classic-rocking with pleasure at their prescience in hiring him.

Weird, then, that their hottest new thing is so sorely misused.

It would be nice to endorse the lad, but on the evidence of Wednesday's Ronnie Wood Show – well, there wasn't much evidence. First, there was an over-run, then the news, then straight into "All Right Now", so he and his guest Flea, the engaging Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist, didn't speak for seven minutes. I settled back for 53 minutes of great music and fascinating reminiscence. They said there was a food theme, and after Flea fondly recalled the Louis Jordan mix-tape in the Peppers' tour bus, they played the jazz great's "Beans and Cornbread".

They followed that with "Cornbread" by Lee Morgan, and chatted about the trumpeter's untimely death, shot by his common-law wife between sets at Slug's jazz club in New York. And then .... For the next 40 minutes I think we heard Wood twice, and Flea not at all; they were both entirely absent for the last 20 minutes, and didn't even say goodbye. Instead the format was: "classic rock" track, station ident, track, ident, ads, track, ident. It was an odd way to treat a prized asset. And the music, apart from "Voodoo Chile" early on, was the likes of ELO, Pat Benatar and Simple Minds. What, no Zeppelin, Purple, Sabbath, er, Heep? Or any classic rock made by Wood himself? Bonkers. And on the minimal evidence, he sounds, with his husky, smoky, pleasure-ravaged voice, like a radio natural. What a waste.

Martin Sixsmith's 50-part Russia: The Wild East came too late for the Sonys; a pity, because it would be a shoo-in for the Sheer Listenability In A Proper, Serious Programme category. We were into the second week: Ivan the Awesome (as his epithet literally translates), Boris Godunov and the Romanovs.

It's the characters that bring it so brilliantly to life, people like Kuzma Minin, the butcher who raised an army to kick the Poles out of Moscow, or Yermak, who conquered Siberia for Ivan. The Awesome One thanked him with a suit of silver armour. During a skirmish he tried to escape across a river and sank under its weight.

Then there was Avvakum Petrov, head of the old church which resisted Orthodox reforms. He was exiled to Siberia, where he spent the last 14 years of his life in a pit gouged out of the frozen ground, before being burnt at the stake. "My excommunication? I trample it underfoot," he'd written. "And the curse they have put on me? I won't mince my words: I'll wipe my arse on it." His enemies, meanwhile, were "shitfaced pharisees wiping their backsides with hellfire." Heaven alone knows what he'd say about the dolts at Absolute Classic Rock.

Arts and Entertainment
Chloe-Jasmine Whicello impressed the judges and the audience at Wembley Arena with a sultry performance
TVReview: Who'd have known Simon was such a Roger Rabbit fan?
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Frost will star in the Doctor Who 2014 Christmas special

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
TV
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Maisie Williams plays 'bad ass' Arya Stark in Game of Thrones

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife

film
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur

film
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne modelling

film
Arts and Entertainment
Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel are bringing Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street to the London Coliseum

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape

Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'

music
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

film
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars with Cillian Murphy in Peaky Blinders II

TV
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.

    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
    Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

    Apple still the coolest brand

    Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments