The Oldie

Rant: Dumb Radio 3


3 What horrors await us on the radio! Radio 3 managers have ordered presenters to make their programmes more accessible to younger listeners.

Those managers are horrified that nearly half the station’s two million weekly listeners are over 65. God forbid that old people should be allowed to listen to the best music ever composed.

The new programme brief states that presenters shouldn’t be experts: ‘They should feel like they are sharing their experience, offering their enthusiasm­s and recommenda­tions but not lecturing.’ God spare us exposure to

experts – to people who might have spent more than five minutes consulting sources more learned than Wikipedia before broadcasti­ng halfbaked thoughts to an ungrateful nation.

All ideas of knowledge, of a lifetime’s learning distilled and projected with erudition and wit – the great Donald Macleod on Composer of the

Week is the exemplar – are being sacrificed to the false idols of accessibil­ity and youth.

As a (relatively) young man

of 30 who has listened to Radio 3 every day since childhood, nurtured by programmes such as

Composer of the Week and

Michael Berkeley’s Private

Passions, I long to have half an hour alone in a locked room with these vacuous managers. Hell hath no fury like the seeker of high-quality arts-broadcasti­ng scorned.

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