David Hepworth on the Moody Blues and life before Radio 2
n The Story of the Light
(Monday, 10pm, Radio 2) Paul O’Grady prepares for the 50th anniversary of Radio 2 at the end of the month by recalling the Light Programme that the channel replaced. In this first of two episodes, veterans remember the days when comedy, drama and fledgling soaps rubbed shoulders with request shows such as Two Way Family Favourites, whose 17 million listeners could make or break a record.
Justin Hayward was a teenager when he was drafted in to the Moody Blues in 1966. He brought with him one song he had written for his girlfriend. This was called Nights in White Satin which subsequently made a fortune for a lot of people. Fifty years on, Hayward jets in from the home in Monaco that the song no doubt paid for to talk about the group’s 1967 album Days of Future Passed for a new series of Johnnie Walker’s Long-Players
(Wednesday, 11pm, Radio 2).
Lynne Truss chooses Joni Mitchell as My Muse (Monday, 4pm, Radio 4), recalling the disapproval of her school music teacher at the beginning of the 70s. Of course, nowadays teachers would be desperate to tell their pupils all about Joni Mitchell, if only their pupils wished to know.
Vivienne Westwood is Suzy Klein’s guest on Essential Classics
(Weekdays, 9am, Radio 3). Former host Sarah Walker moves to her own programme on Sunday morning from the beginning of October.
In his earlier week doing
The Essay (Weeknights, 10.45pm, Radio 3) writer and broadcaster Michael Goldfarb talked about driving a New York cab while trying to make it as an actor. In his new series of Trip Sheets: An Actor’s Life he recalls his near-misses with Broadway and his close encounters with some of the stars he met on the way.
In the first of four parts of A Choral History of Britain (Wednesday, 9am, Radio 4)
Roderick Williams explores the social and therapeutic value of singing together: from huge choirs singing Mahler to West Bromwich Albion’s away singing section.
Radio people can’t entirely shake off radio habits when they start doing podcasts. They sometimes bring with them things we don’t need, like producers and explanatory voiceovers. Fortunately … With Fi and Jane features BBC veterans Fi Glover and Jane Garvey sitting in the BBC cafe, nattering about whatever interests them. Adrift With Geoff Lloyd and Annabel Port
features Absolute Radio escapee Geoff and erstwhile colleague Annabel doing something similar. All are appealing individuals with plenty to say, tentatively getting used to their new freedom to talk about anything. But their professional backgrounds make them uneasy about whether to say some of those things out loud. This is not something that bothers podcasters, most of whom obey the principle “If in doubt, say it.”
The Story of the Light Monday, 10pm, Radio 2