Middle Class Problems: When it comes to listening to the radio, my tastes just don't fit


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The Independent Online

Oh, I've tried, all right. I've tried Radio 6 and its hip agenda. I've tried Classic FM. I've tried Jazz FM. But I like pop. Worse, I like pap pop: there is nothing my ears enjoy more than a medley from the 1980s. Hall & Oates? I can go for that. Bananarama? Love in the first degree. Kenny Loggins? Oo-wee, Marie.

This all means I have spent my life listening to radio stations that play bouncy numbers.

It was not until I got married that I realised all my peers listened to Radio 4. Though some have since moved on, to Radio 3 (for those a little bit older) and Radio 2 (those a lot older).

I am as middle-class as they come – son of a pharmacist, English degree from a red-brick, live in a formerly grotty now upwardly mobile part of north London, for goodness' sake – but my listening tastes just don't fit. And we all know that not fitting is no way to live.

I have tried Radio 4. I do now listen to it in the mornings. It's very informative – context, analysis and all. But it doesn't exactly put a pep in my step as I leave for work.

On the weekends, I admit I can enjoy the odd (and I do mean odd) discussion of Byzantine pottery/fishing quotas/Guatemalan sinkholes – though it's more often than not in one ear and out the proverbial.

And as for the evenings, well… it's just too serious/unfunny/Ambridge-based for my liking. And all the time, I just know that the rest of you, deep way down in your heart, you're burning, yearning for something more…