I love the radio. So many hidden treasures. At its best, unassuming, but still a thing of beauty when brash, confident in its use of timing and sound.
I’ve been lucky enough to work with some of the best practitioners in my time, but here are a few ideas of some of the things I love listening to – there have been a lot of changes in radio schedules of late, so bear with me. If you didn’t read it, I blogged some time ago about my all-time favourite voices here
Nick Abbot: LBC (Fridays & Saturdays, 10.00pm-1.00am)
Always there for me. Love what Nick does on air. Wish he had more time on the schedule to show off. Genius use of sound effects.
Ritula Shah: The World Tonight, Radio 4 (weeknights, 10.00-10.45pm).
One of my favourite voices. Quietly, but authoritatively crept up on me. 10.00pm is The World Tonight in my house. Nothing else.
Up All Night: Rhod Sharp, BBC 5Live (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday mornings, 1.00-5.00am) I don’t tend to listen as much of late, having cured my insomnia – but Rhod remains one of my favourite broadcasters.
Jo Whiley: BBC Radio 2 (Monday-Thursday, 5.00-8.00pm, Fridays 5.00-7.00pm)
When she broadcast solo on weekday evenings, Jo was my highlight of the week – the perfect mix of old and new music, and a fellow traveller. I don’t find it so easy to get time to listen now she co-hosts with Simon Mayo, but remain a fan, and listen when ever I can.
Too much to single out, but including: Don Letts (pictured, Sundays, 10.00pm-12.00midnight) with his Culture Clash Radio and Steve Lamacq (Monday-Friday, 4.00-7.00pm).
Josie Long: (pictured) Short Cuts, BBC Radio 4 (Various)
Big, big fan over everything Josie does. Her work is inventive in sound terms, and extremely human. Storytelling to another dimension – and a great voice.
Phil Taggart is on BBC Radio 1 (Sunday nights, now 7.00-9.00pm) with a focus on new, and decidedly chilled out sounds from a wide range of genres, all delivered not only with a hunger for the new, but also a beautiful Norther Irish lilt. Always used to be an appointment to listen at it’s later time slot, so I’ve yet to see how it will work at this time on a Sunday.
In a world that increasingly leaves me desensitised, Fiona Talkington, Max Reinhardt, Nick Luscombe and Verity Sharp on Late Junction never fail to surprise, provoke, confuse and delight. I would be lost without Late Junction. It is probably my biggest appointment to listen of the week.
Janice Long, BBC Radio Wales, weeknights, 7.00-10.00pm
New music, live music – just an over-riding passion for music. I was heartbroken when she lost her late night show on BBC Radio 2, so was made-up when she got an even better vehicle for her talents from BBC Radio Wales. You can tune in via BB iPlayer anytime, anywhere, and thoroughly recommend you do.
Lynn Parsons, Magic Radio, 8.00pm-12.00midnight
Lynn is the nicest person I have ever had the pleasure of working with – full stop. It also remains a pleasure listening to her. Such a rich, relaxing voice. Weekday evenings have a lot going on in them for me (Janice Long, World Tonight, Late Junction), but when ever I can fit her in (or whenever I particularly need to, I know Lynn is there, working her mellow magic!
James O’Brien, LBC, weekdays, 10.00-1.00pm
Have grown to increasingly love how James has used the medium to strike a different furrow from most other daytime presenters. Fair play.
Rachel Burden and Nicky Campbell, BBC 5Live Breakfast
Great chemistry. Great rapport with their audience. Great voices too. I was lucky enough to have worked with Nicky for many years, and strangely feel like I have known Rachel for many years too, even though we have never met. Great on-air partnership.
Sara Cox, BBC Radio 2, 10.00pm-12.00midnight, Monday-Thursdays
I had the honour of working with Sara in a very small way, doing the PR on her show when she took over the helm of the BBC Radio 1 Breakfast Show. I hope she takes over the controls of the Radio 2 Breakfast Show. I think she has amazing wit, and real warmth in the rapport she builds up with her audiences. Despite the fact that I’m more often than not listening to Late Junction on Radio 3, I’m a big fan, and love flicking around the dial at this time.
Ricky Ross’s New Tradition, BBC Radio 2
This is only an occasional short series, but is actually one of the best things on BBC Radio 2. The Deacon Blue frontman plays new songs, and traces the common themes which have influenced song- and music-making over the decades. I learn so much, add so many tracks to my playlists, and get to feel part of a live, warm audience community who contribute via Twitter. I’ve always been a fan of Deacon Blue, and this show cements my affection for the man.