‘And now the Shipping Forecast, issued by the Met Office on behalf of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.’ Obviously essential for those in peril on the sea, but a gentle, guilty pleasure for us landlubbers. It’s predictable, safe, snooze-buttony, the meteorological rendering of the Nicene Creed. Then, in recognition of the stubborn hanging on of the Church of England in rural villages, there is Prayer for the Day, followed by Farming Today: an entire slot dedicated to the countryside’s prime industry, to which a million of us tune in.
When I was a child in the 1970s, it was listened to over family bacon and eggs. Now, I listen alone with a mug of coffee in one hand and the hydraulic lever in the other. Farming Today is the invisible thread that connects farmers across the land, from crofters to corn barons. For 13 minutes a day we listen, and know we are listened to—thank you Anna, Charlotte, Caz and Sybil.