Let’s have slower ra­dio

The Oldie - - THEODORE DALRYMPLE: THE DOCTOR’S SURGERY MEMORIAL -

SIR: How I agree with Va­lerie Grove (Novem­ber is­sue) con­cern­ing the poor qual­ity of speech and the in­creased ra­pid­ity of de­liv­ery of many broad­cast­ers on ra­dio. Per­haps in­ter­view­ers and in­ter­vie­wees could be made to lis­ten to a cou­ple of min­utes of Kate Adie be­fore they broad­cast, to hear how it should be done.

Co­me­di­ans have also caught the dis­ease, with jokes in­creas­ing in speed and vol­ume un­til the punch­line is shrieked, be­com­ing to­tally in­com­pre­hen­si­ble to my ears. Dave Allen, with his quiet con­fi­den­tial way of talk­ing, would be a good model.

A re­gret­table ad­di­tion to the spo­ken word is the re­cent use of so-called back­ground mu­sic in trail­ers for fu­ture shows, The Food Pro­gramme and plays, sup­pos­edly to cre­ate at­mos­phere. Mu­sic makes very poor wall­pa­per for the sim­ple rea­son that speech rhythms and mu­sic, how­ever sim­ple, clash in the hu­man ear. By all means pro­vide a suit­able mu­si­cal in­tro­duc­tion but let it not be used as coun­ter­point to speech. Peter Kingswood, Aberys­t­wyth

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