Our culture critics’ picks for 2010

From Picasso’s politics to ‘The Prisoner’ and Beethoven to Big Boi, our experts choose their cultural highlights for the next 12 months

Friday 01 January 2010 01:00 GMT


It's only 1st January, but I already have a pretty shrewd idea what my favourite album of 2010 will be: I just can't stop playing The Courage Of Others, the new album by Texan band Midlake, which is due to be released at the start of February. Like its predecessor The Trials Of Van Occupanther, it's full of rustic mystery, seasonal portents and hankering after the past, couched in an American Anglophile style that recalls both Rumours-era Fleetwood Mac and the classic Witchseason folk-rock sound of Fairport Convention, Nick Drake and The Incredible String Band. Not one that X-Factor wannabes will be covering, then, which has to be a recommendation.

Folkies are well-served early in the new year, with an interesting multi-artist project of cover versions of classic '60s Greenwich Village scene material called The Village, and new albums from both The Imagined Village and Laura Veirs, whose July Flame may finally secure her the rewards her talent deserves. And if the single "Goodbye England (Covered In Snow)" is any indication, Laura Marling's next album should be a corker, too. February, meanwhile, sees the release of Peter Gabriel's covers collection Scratch My Back, featuring his takes on material by Bowie, Radiohead, Elbow, Bon Iver, Arcade Fire and Neil Young, among others.

Looking further afield, I'd also recommend the first album from Danish Scanda-pop duo The Sound Of Hush, the third album from New Zealand psych-poppers The Ruby Suns, the latest album from Australian trance-improv trio The Necks, and the last album from Malian super-duo Toumani Diabate & Ali Farka Toure. Elsewhere, Brian "Danger Mouse" Burton continues the series of intriguing collaborations that has so far included Gorillaz, Gnarls Barkley and The Black Keys with Broken Bells, on which he hooks up with James Mercer, songwriter of American indie faves The Shins. The British equivalent would probably be the formidable "Empty Vessels", the impending Maccabees single with Roots Manuva, or perhaps the upcoming albums by the latest indie/dance crossover exponents Delphic and Memory Tapes, both universally tipped to break through in 2010. Electropop/dance addicts will be eagerly awaiting the imminent arrivals of new material by Hot Chip in February Groove Armada in March, while aficionados of extravagant eclecticism should direct their attention to Dead Zone Boys, the indefinable debut album from Jookabox, which along with new releases from Eels and Vampire Weekend in January makes early 2010 an American indie feast.

But the biggest feast will surely be catered by OutKast, who have announced another pair of early-arriving solo albums from Big Boi and Andre 3000, with the further promise of a proper OutKast offering later in the year. Should you require a post-prandial wafer-thin mint to clear out your system after that little lot, I'd suggest the debut by Marina & The Diamonds, an emetic combination of the most irritating aspects of Florence and Mika. Bucket please, waiter!


The last decade of urban music saw a growing trend of the cutting-edge and the mediocre merging to produce a formula for artists which meant that mainstream success was simply an electro-techno club hit away. But where grime, R&B and hip-hop willingly sold out to pop last year, 2010 promises to be the year that the genre distinctions will re-emerge, with artists who are perfectly comfortable just being themselves. Step forward east London rapper Devlin – he's been in a bidding war for most of 09, down to his blunt storytelling and his potential to be the UK's answer to Eminem, without the wisecracks. He rolls in the same circles as another emerging star, Griminal, whose video for forthcoming single "Invincible" amassed up to 70,000 hits within two days of its release on You Tube.

Both have every chance of making the leap into mainstream hip-hop, which might need the extra credibility once word gets around about 15-year-old Fugative, a pretty boy with the appeal of Jedward but whose catchy, hip-pop rhymes have secured him a deal with Ministry of Sound. Children will love him like they do N-Dubz, and if not, the likes of internet sensation Charlie Sloth will re-affirm that UK hip-hop isn't dead – it's just going through the motions where the good is really good, and the bad is just terrible. Or, you'll get the acts who take the best of the ailing genre and mash it with brazen experimentalism, such as Sound of Rum, the hip-hop jazz outfit that resemble a Glasto tribe, fronted by an excellent female rapper by the name of Kate Tempest.

Exciting singers in the New Year come in the form of Rox, Bluey Robinson and Jonathan Jeremiah. Jazzy soul singer Rox has already been given the green light by Jools Holland, and Bluey Robinson has just been picked up by SonyBMG. With his dashing looks and cheeky busking promos on You Tube, he'll be able to pull off his pop/rock/soul fusion music in 2010, along with the folky Jonathan Jeremiah, a singer-songwriter who's on a quest to bring back indie-soul with mellow sincerity.


As recession bites deep into the book trade, and the future still looks cloudy, it's no surprise to find a dearth of young British

talent in fiction for 2010. Slightly predictable, too, that three of the season's most promising debut novels come from Indian-born authors: Aatish Taseer's The Temple-goers (Viking, March), Manu Joseph's Serious Men (John Murray, June) and Neel Mukherjee's A Life Apart (Constable, January). As far as homegrown Brits go, the authors who will make waves would have made them two decades ago: a tribute to their talent, but not to a business that shuns bold investments.

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Martin Amis will revisit the sexual revolution in A Pregnant Widow (Cape, February) as Ian McEwan delivers his climate-change satire, Solar (Cape, March) and an iconic poet-critic of their generation, Craig Raine, turns to fiction with The Divine Comedy (Atlantic, March).

Rose Tremain, ever versatile, relocates to rural France for Trespass (Chatto, March). Helen Dunmore offers a sequel to her Leningrad saga The Siege in The Betrayal (Fig Tree, April). Elsewhere in the Brit fiction pack, admirers will relish the return of Jonathan Coe (The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim; Viking, May), David Mitchell The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet; Sceptre, May), Andrea Levy (The Long Song; Review, February) and Jim Crace (All That Follows; Picador, April). And fireworks will surely detonate when, in March, Philip Pullman gives his contribution to Canongate's "Myths" series: The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ.

Look abroad for more some high peaks in fiction: to Turkey for Orhan Pamuk's The Museum of Innocence (Faber, January), to Japan for Kenzaburo Oe (another Nobel winner) and his The Changeling (Atlantic, June), to Catalonia (and Mexico) for the late Roberto Bolano's extraordinary fantasia Nazi Literature in the Americas (Picador, January) and even the Philippines for a real revelation: Miguel Syjuco's Ilustrado (Picador, June). In the US, the terrific Richard Powers comes back with Generosity (Atlantic, January), Don De Lillo has Point Omega (Picador, February), and Dave Eggers a Hurricane Katrina novel, Zaitan (Hamish Hamilton, March).

In memoirs, Christopher Hitchens's Both Sides Now (Atlantic, May) will drop with a mighty splash. Expect delights from two family investigations, Rupert Thomson's This Party's Got to Stop (Granta, April) and Jackie Kay's Red Dust Road (Picador, May), and from Antonia Fraser's memoir of Harold Pinter, Must You Go? (Weidenfeld, January).

Among the big ideas, those old stalwarts, money and morality, will hog space and move minds. In the former camp, John Lanchester comes to grips with the economic crisis in Whoops! (Allen Lane, January) and the magisterial David Harvey explores The Enigma of Capital (Profile, April). In the latter, novelist Marilynne Robinson sets off on a non-fiction journey into religion and its roots with Absence of Mind (Yale, June), Terry Eagleton reflects On Evil (Yale, May) and Roger Scruton praises The Uses of Pessimism (Atlantic, June). For a guide to the good life in tough times, however, look no further than Sarah Bakewell's biography of the great sceptic and seeker, Montaigne: How to Live (Chatto, January).


There is never a time when Beethoven doesn't dominate the world's concert platforms but at London's South Bank in 2010 it's total immersion. The splendid Takacs Quartet will survey all the String Quartets; the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment will hope to rekindle the shock-of-the-new factor that period instruments can trigger; and the shock of the old and wise comes in the great personage of Daniel Barenboim whose 2008 cycle of the Beethoven Piano Sonatas is still a talking point in this town. Now he turns to the Five Piano Concertos (29th Jan – 2nd Feb) joining the Berlin Staatskapelle to shake our perception of these familiar pieces.

No London orchestra is taking risks quite like the London Philharmonic under its searching and dynamic principal conductor Vladimir Jurowski. Performing works like Suk's tremendous Asrael Symphony (20th Feb) and Myaskovsky's 6th Symphony (28th April) may not guarantee a full Festival Hall but they enrich our musical experience. We, the audience, must take risks, too.

In Opera, the Glyndebourne Festival has secured the Donmar's talented Michael Grandage for his first opera production – Britten's Billy Budd in May. Sir Mark Elder conducts this magnificent essay on the corruption of innocence and a young singer I personally singled out in 2007 at the BBC Cardiff Singer of the Year Competition – Jacques Imbrailo – takes the title role.

English National Opera had an extraordinary 2009, not just in terms of rising attendances, but equally importantly in the self-belief that takes risks. The company's exciting young music director Edward Gardner is at the heart of that revitalisation and in May and June he carries forward ENO's bid to refresh the core Puccini repertoire with a new Tosca. Amanda Echalaz is a bold young singer who's been turning heads for some time now (her Liu in Rupert Goold's sensational Turandot last season pretty much ran off with the notices). She's fearless and a little bit dangerous – just like Tosca, in fact.

Back at the South Bank, the other "B" of the moment – the Bernstein Project – hurtles towards its climax. The big finish on the weekend of 10th and 11th July brings two performances of his extraordinary, all-embracing Mass. Marin Alsop directs the work she has so tirelessly championed, a work which rejoices more than any other I know in the bewildering diversity of music as a force for healing broken connections. All seats are £10 so NO excuses for not giving it a shot.


Comedy is undeniably a booming business again. Though it may never reach the fever pitch of rock n'roll, a legion of related book and DVD releases and a plethora of live tours suggest that it's in rude health. It may be too rude for some at times but 2010 promises no let-up.

Laura Solon and Dan Antopolski both hit the road this month. Solon, who won the Perrier in 2005, will air her 2009 Edinburgh show, 'Rabbit-Faced Story Soup', a tour-de-force of characterisation and tightly-written one-liners. Antopolski is no slouch when it comes to one-liners either and he'll be aiming to show that he has more to offer than the hedgehog joke ("Hedgehogs - why can't they just share the hedge?") that won him, via a public vote, Dave TV's Funniest Joke of the Fringe Award this year.

The ever more recognisable Thick of It and In The Loop star Chris Addison goes on tour in February with his first brand new show for five years. Mock the Week host, Dara O'Briain has announced a massive 60-date nationwide tour from March to June culminating in dates at the Hammersmith Apollo. And, though he once told me that he didn't fancy the idea of "Leamington Spa on a Tuesday evening", the Irish comedian, and a former Edinburgh comedy award nominee, Andrew Maxwell is finally going to be unleashed on UK audiences for his first regional tour from April. Though many up and down the country will already know this dexterous comedian from his club sets, this will be the first time that his full-length excellence will have been witnessed outside of Edinburgh or of his native country where he has always been guaranteed large turnout.

Other tours to watch come from Mark Watson (from October) who recently gave a good account of himself in the chair of Never Mind The Buzzcocks, sketch troupe Pappy's and Jason Manford from June. And, watch out, the comedian that people love to hate, Frankie Boyle starts his 'I Would Happily Punch Every One Of You In The Face' tour at Glasgow's Kings Theatre in March. Perhaps he'll seal the gig with a kiss.


2010 looks like a very good year for the Brits. Those two venerable standard bearers of British cinema, Mike Leigh and Ken Loach, both have new films. As per usual with Leigh, advance word on his latest is very skimpy. What we do know is that "Untitled Mike Leigh project" is a London-set "intimate portrait of people's lives" and that it stars Jim Broadbent, Imelda Staunton and Phil Davis. That should be reassurance enough for Leigh fans.

More details are available about Loach's project, Route Irish. Scripted by Paul Laverty, this tells the story of Fergus (ex-SAS), who has been working on a security team in Baghdad. When his friend Frankie, an ex-para, dies on 'Route Irish,' the most dangerous road in the city, Fergus rejects the official explanation for the death and investigates himself.

Stephen Frears is also back in action with his adaptation of Posy Simmonds' graphic novel, Tamara Drewe, starring Gemma Arterton as the beautiful journalist/femme fatale who returns home to her country village.

British satirist Chris Morris will be asking us "where is the joke in terror?" with his film, Four Lions. This is a farce about British jihadis. If you like comedies about suicide bombers dressed as Honey Monsters, competing in marathons, this will be the film for you.

The chameleon-like Michael Winterbottom is reinventing himself all over again as a purveyor of hardboiled film noir, The Killer Inside Me. Starring Casey Affleck and Kate Hudson, this is an adaptation of a Jim Thompson pulp novel which Stanley Kubrick acclaimed as "probably the most chilling and believable first-person story of a criminally warped mind I have ever encountered."

On the subject of film noir, it will be intriguing to see Zhang Yimou's Chinese remake of the Coen brothers' Blood Simple. There have been so many Hollywood remakes of Asian films that it's a relief to see the traffic flowing in the other direction.

Russell Crowe isn't generally thought of as a man in tights but hopes are high for Ridley Scott's Robin Hood, which sees the macho Australian strutting his stuff in Sherwood Forest.

The Papacy is the target for Italian filmmaker and satirist Nanni Moretti in his new film, Habemas Papam, which stars Michel Piccoli as the pontiff. Moretti has already taken on Berlusconi in The Caiman - now he is setting his sights much higher.

Many of the best American auteurs are back in action. Early in the year, we will see Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island and Tim Burton's very delirious-seeming adaptation of Alice In Wonderland. Expectations are also mounting for Terrence Malick's The Tree Of Life. Billed as "a cosmic epic" and "a hymn to life," and starring Brad Pitt and Sean Penn, this is about the growing pains of an eleven-year-old boy in the midwest

Oliver Stone's sense of timing has been a little off in recent years. His George W. Bush biopic W appeared when Dubya was already a spent force. It will be fascinating to see how topical (and how strong) his Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps turns out to be? Is Gordon Gekko still a man for our times?

It has already been confirmed that Roman Polanski's The Ghost Writer will premiere at Berlin in February. Whether Polanski will be there too is, of course, another question.


The piece of new writing to which I am looking forward most in 2010 is I Am Yusuf and This is My Brother which opens at the Young Vic in mid-January. A year on from the Gaza conflict and with peace negotiations stalled, the play takes us back to the cataclysmic events of 1948. The last days of the British mandate was the subject that David Hare went out to research in the late 1990s, producing instead the personal meditations Via Dolorosa. This play sees the events (the UN vote, the effects of the war on a village community) through the eyes of a Palestinian boy. I met the young and very talented author, Amir Nizar Zuabi, when I went out to Ramallah during the intifada of 2001. Since then he has formed his own company, ShiberHur ("inch of freedom" – or space for free discussion) and I Am Yusuf is the result of close cooperation with David Lan and the Young Vic where it arrives after touring towns and refugee camps in Israel and the occupied territories.

In February, I keenly anticipate Off the Endz, the new Royal Court play by gifted, humorously penetrating new work from the young black British author, Bola Agjabe. It follows a freshly released prisoner who is trying to figure out whether it makes more sense to work with or for the system.

One of the greatest plays about political hopes soured, Danton's Death, is the reason for the National Theatre debut in July of Michael Grandage, the virtually Midas-touch director of the Donmar whose home-base will field Polar Bears, the first stage play (about the struggle to love someone who is bipolar) by Mark Haddon in April.

In the classics, I will be fascinated to experiences the differences this autumn between the Rory Kinnear/Nick Hytner Hamlet at the National and the John Simm/Paul Miller version which is one of the attractions of the new regime at the Sheffield Crucible. If it's anywhere near as good as the same author's novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night, then they are onto a winner.

Illness cheated me out of seeing Mark Rylance in Jerusalem and the financial melt-down hit Enron, which I read with admiration. Happily, theatre is a medium of revivals, so I will be able to plug these gaps with doubtless great pleasure early in the New Year, alongside all those other lucky people these raved-about shows for the first time in the West End.


The year is topped and tailed with post-Impressionism. At the Royal Academy, The Real Van Gogh: The Artist and his Letters (23 January - 18 April) marks the new edition of the letters with a show of paintings, drawings and letters too. Meanwhile one of the leading contemporary British painters, Chris Ofili, has a retrospective at Tate Britain (27 January - 16 May). Ironic, celebratory, dense with dots, propped on elephant dung, Ofili's oeuvre includes his blaxploitation hero Captain Shit, and his monkey last supper, The Upper Room.

Two British modernists appear the following month. From the Western Front to the South Downs, Nash's vision was historical, natural, mystical, surreal. He had the freest imagination of his time. In Paul Nash: The Elements at Dulwich Picture Gallery (10 Feb – 9 May) he gets a needed viewing. As for Moore, he was the supreme giant of modern sculpture. We don't really feel like that now. How we do feel we can find out in Henry Moore at Tate Britain (24 February – 8 August).

Taking off from one of its most popular images, the National Gallery presents Painting History: Delaroche and Lady Jane Grey (24 February – 23 May). Delaroche specialized in a type of picture called "historical genre", private glimpses of the great events. He often went for English history.

More recent history painting appears in Richard Hamilton: Modern Moral Matters at the Serpentine Gallery (3 March – 25 April). The old pop artist mixes image technology and mass media references in political causes, from CND to Iraq. And Picasso: Peace & Freedom at Tate Liverpool (21 May – 30 August) focuses on the artist's most questionable period, after World War II, when he'd joined the Communist Party and seemed to have given his art to Joe Stalin – or had he? British Comic Art is a fine cause. From Hogarth and Gillray to Scarfe and Bell it's never quite recognised as one of our strongest lines. Perhaps British Comic Art at Tate Britain (9 June – 5 September) will do the trick. And Martin Creed (the lights, the runners) will be taking the dark Scotsman steps for the duration of the Edinburgh Festival, and paving them in marble.

The second post-Impressionist is Gauguin. This revolutionary painter has a revisionist survey show at Tate Modern (30 September – 16 January) stressing not the colours but the stories. And don't forget, Nam Jun Paik at Tate Liverpool (17 December – 13 March) the late pioneer of the art of the TV set.


In dance, 2010 promises starry visits from big foreign companies, plus new works at home. In February, the Sadler's Wells Flamenco Festival includes an enticing Gala Flamenco featuring Rocío Molina, a dancer of velvet sleekness and fierce intensity. Spring Dance at the London Coliseum kicks off in March with the Ballet Nacional de Cuba. This is the company that trained Carlos Acosta – who returns to guest with his former colleagues in London, and in further performances at The Lowry, Salford and the Birmingham Hippodrome. It's followed at the Coliseum by the Mark Morris Dance Group performing L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, one of the most blissfully happy evenings in dance, in April.

Also in April, London's Barbican Theatre celebrates the choreographer Pina Bausch, who died last year. Her work Kontakthof performed by two groups of dancers: one by senior and non-professional dancers, one by a cast of teenagers. Rambert Dance Company's spring season pays tribute to Merce Cunningham, who also died last year, with a revival of RainForest at Sadler's Wells in May. This iconic work has designs by Andy Warhol.

New works on offer include Akram Khan's solo evening Gnosis in April - preview glimpses of this work were fascinating and in-demand choreographer Hofesh Shechter who creates his first full-length work in 2010. Political Mother has its premiere at the Brighton Festival in May, with further performances at Sadler's Wells. In May, Sadler's Wells presents the UK premiere of Babel (words), a big new work from choreographers Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Damien Jalet, created in collaboration with sculptor Antony Gormley.

Summer visitors include Nederlands Dans Theater, one of the world's most popular and influential dance companies, at Sadler's Wells in July, celebrating its 50th anniversary with performances from both the main company and its junior NDT2 while the Bolshoi Ballet come to the Royal Opera House in July for a busy three weeks. Highlights include a refurbished Coppélia, a double bill of Serenade and Giselle, and a Russian triple bill of Petipa's Paquita, Fokine's Petrushka and Alexei Ratmansky's Russian Seasons. The season ends with the Bolshoi's buoyant Don Quixote, starring the sensational Natalia Osipova.

Meanwhile, the Royal Ballet is promoting new choreographers from within its ranks, with works by Jonathan Watkins and Liam Scarlett in February and May. Ashton's Cinderella and La Fille mal gardée return in Spring, including debuts from rising stars Steven McRae and Yuhui Choe in both works. And Birmingham Royal Ballet have announced a new Cinderella by David Bintley in time for Christmas 2010.


For once we can be pretty confident that next year really will (ital) look different to this year. Channel Four's decision to terminate its long, sometimes turbulent relationship with Big Brother means that acres of ground have been cleared for new-build; something like 200 first-run hours in total across Channel Four and E4. One of the most promising fixtures on the latter will be Glee, revealed by a sneak preview just before Christmas to match the excited hype it generated in America. But the money that isn't going to Endemol next year also looks to have generated some intriguing home-grown drama on Four. The film director Shane Meadows will make his television debut with We Were Faces, a four-part drama set in the year of the 1986 World Cup, featuring the characters who appeared in This Is England. There's also a four part adaptation of William Boyd's novel Any Human Heart and a new series from Peter Kosminsky, once again disdaining the safe and easy option with Homeland, a drama that cuts between the experiences of Erin in present day Israel and Gaza, and those of her military grandfather in the last years of the British Mandate. And for those who can't easily wean themselves from the spectacle of real people separated from home and loved ones and subjected to almost perpetual camera surveillence there's Tower Block of Commons -- in which four MP's find out what it's like to live in an inner-city council estate.

ITV won't be giving up on the reality formats that saved its bacon this year, but in between long stretches of Britain's Got Talent and The X-Factor there will be room for some original drama. Back to the future seems to be the theme of their commissioning: there's a remake of The Prisoner, starring Ian McKellan, an updated version of Bouquet of Barbed Wire and what sounds very much like another crack at Upstairs Downstairs in Julian Fellowes series Downton Abbey, about life on both sides of the green baize door in a grand country house.

BBC2 will be offering slightly more cerebral product: Sebastian Faulks is to present a four-part series on The Secret Life of the Novel. Also promised is an adaptation of Martin Amis's brilliant Eighties' novel Money and an Abi Morgan drama set at the time of the Royal Wedding. The best comedy prospect on the channel looks likely to be a spin-off from Paul Whitehouse and Charlie Higson's brilliant Radio Four call-in series Down the Line, in which the DJ Gary Bellamy tours England meeting eccentric characters.

Having taken a year's sabbatical Andrew Lloyd Webber will be back in 2010 to search for a Dorothy for a new production of Wizard of Oz and the new year will also offer us Stephen Moffat and Mark Gattis's updating of Sherlock Holmes, with Benedict Cumberbatch playing a contemporary version of the great detective. And, for the first time EastEnders will be broadcast live to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the soap. The odds against any of next year's newcomers lasting even half as long would deter all but the most reckless gambler.


What with politicians eyeing the tumbrils and the City eyeing the recession, it's the kind of New Year everyone's bracing themselves for, and that has to include Chris Evans, who takes over from the sainted Terry Wogan on Radio 2 this January, shunting Sarah Kennedy back an hour to 5am. Mark Damazer, Radio 4's controller, will be hoping his revolutionary scheduling of A History Of The World In 100 Objects, every weekday in the 9.45am timeslot, repeated at 7.45pm, is vindicated. Written and narrated by Neil MacGregor, director of the British Museum, every week will be tied to a theme, such as "after the ice age" or "meeting the gods" and each programme focuses on one object to tell the history of the world from 2 million years ago to the present day. Listeners will be able to judge whether Lenny Henry has successfully reinvented himself as a Shakespearean actor when his debut, Othello, is staged by Radio 4. His next stop perhaps will be Anton Chekhov, whose 150th anniversary is marked on Radios 3,4 and 7 with documentary, drama, short stories and essays featuring Simon Russell Beale, Ben Whishaw and Daniela Nardini. There are more celebrations when Radio 2 marks what would have been Elvis Presley's 75th birthday with a season of documentaries over the New Year encompassing everything about the King from his music and films to his personal life. And everyone who ever called Glastonbury middle-aged can consider themselves correct in 2010 when the 40th anniversary is marked with 40 bands from the past 40 years. Bruce Springstein and Blur are lined up as headline acts and as usual it will all be comprehensively covered by 6Music. Technologically it should be a pivotal year too. DAB radio needs to prove it is the technology of the future and not an expensive white elephant, and the UK Radioplayer will launch – a joint venture between the BBC and commercial stations that allows internet users to listen to more than 400 commercial and BBC stations, identifying news programmes, sports highlights and even individual songs. My personal wishes for radio would be that no-one ever describes anything as a perfect storm, unless it actually involves wind and rain, and that we get the first humanist on Thought For The Day.

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