Radio is one of those things which accompany us throughout life. One of my first memories as a child is of a raspy-voiced Bryan Adams singing Everything I do I do it for you blaring from our old radio back at home. None of my parents was a music geek because none of them was weird about enjoying music, although my mother was a huge Júlio Iglesias fan and my father did have a collection of vinyls and a record player that became an entertainment to me, until the day I broke it and was no longer able to listen to Stevie Wonder calling just to say I love you.
It wasn’t until I moved to Belgium, though, that I actually realised the worth of a good radio station. I’m not trying to lecture Belgian radio stations on how to run themselves – yes I am – but they do suck. You get news every half an hour (seriously, news don’t change that often, specially when the main subjects are the weather and fries), and getting trafic news every twenty minutes is a bit of an overreaction; then there’s some advertising in between, some prattle between the hosts, and only then, if you’re lucky – mostly, you aren’t – good music. Are Portuguese radio stations better than this? Yes, they are, though we lack the diversity of British radio stations – which is the whole point of this article, so I may as well get to it.
Before moving to Belgium I had no regular internet access – talk to my parents about it – so when I got here and suddenly had a whole world of wideweb, it was heaven. I started to realise the possibilities of surfing on the internet (do they even use this expression nowadays?), although mostly I understood procrastination on a deep level. Still, I ended up on tumblr; I was a fan of BBC Sherlock even before that – I didn’t have internet access back home but I DID own a TV, thanks for asking (I do not own one now, though) – and for a Sherlock fan, tumblr is a bit like a place for cult meetings. People who actually like the same thing as you and are willing to discuss it??? In the same weird way as you??? Sign me up! So I did.
The beauty of the internet – and its biggest flaw sometimes – is that it is very often a spiral of information. Who hasn’t researched Finding Nemo on wikipedia, ending up knowing more about conspiracy theories than about Nemo itself? It was a simmilar situation that got me into radio shows.
The name John Finnemore appeared on my dash because Benedict Cumberbatch (a.k.a. Sherlock) was on one of the shows he wrote for radio. I was curious, so I checked that Cabin Pressure show out. A happy accident. In the end, I couldn’t really care less if Cumberbatch was or not on the show: everything Finnemore wrote was too good on its own. Not only Cabin Pressure, either, but EVERYTHING. From then on I started looking for more things to listen to: comedy and audio drama, podcasts, even audiobooks.
So, this is an article about radio shows. I never knew that a bunch of people being dramatic on radio could be so entertaining, yet now I get as excited for a new promising radio show as I get for a new book (plus, Sherlock only airs every two years and I need to while away the time in between).
This said – well, written – in this second blogcast I begin a series of episodes about my favourite radio dramas/comedies and about podcasts, in more detail. I hope you enjoy it.
You can listen to it on these links:
TRJ Blogcast #2 (Youtube)
TRJ Blogcast #2 (Soundcloud)
Now look here are the links to all of Wooden Overcoats’ social media!
Andy Goddard: twitter