I heard it on the ra­dio

Thought-pro­vok­ing, com­fort­ing and en­ter­tain­ing, Ra­dio 4’s in­spired pro­gram­ming– from To­day to Book at Bed­time via The Archers and Just a Minute–pro­vides great com­pany and a rhythm to the day, says avid lis­tener John Lewis-stem­pel

Country Life Every Week - - Opinion - Il­lus­tra­tions by Philip Ban­nis­ter

It’s there at the be­gin­ning of the day, it’s there at the end. If it ever fails to func­tion, it sig­nals the smok­ingru­ins of Bri­tish civil­i­sa­tion, when com­man­ders of tri­dent sub­marines are al­lowed to open their ‘let­ters of last re­sort’, au­tho­ris­ing them to launch a re­tal­ia­tory nu­clear strike against the na­tion’s en­e­mies. the monar­chy? Par­lia­ment? No, I speak, of course, of Ra­dio 4.

I’m not brag­ging when I say I’m an ex­pert on Ra­dio 4, although my know-how is not en­tirely vol­un­tary—the ra­dio in the roof of my In­ter­na­tional Har­vester trac­tor can only pick up one fre­quency. Age has not changed the sta­tion since it was founded in 1967. What comes out of a teensy-weensy DAB tuned now to 92.5–96.1 FM is re­as­sur­ingly sim­i­lar to what my par­ents’ hulk­ing, glow­ing-bulb Bush emit­ted on LW 1500 al­most 50 years ago.

thank­fully, who­ever de­vised the sched­ule was a fifth colum­nist from the sticks, as its daily rhythm ac­cords so serendip­i­tously with that of coun­try life. Our mole in Broad­cast­ing House also slightly and sedi­tiously skewed Ra­dio 4’s out­put to­wards things ru­ral and tra­di­tional.

Come with me for a day, the dial on my trac­tor ra­dio stuck on 92.5 FM, and you’ll see what I mean.

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