Tag Archives: BBC Radio 4

Radio 4 Doc: Learning to Listen

Atwater-Kent-DialLooking back through my notes this morning, I re-discovered this excellent documentary on the early days of radio listening; how radio changed the way we interacted with music and how we interacted with our radios.

(Source: BBC Radio 4)

As broadcasting took the world by storm in the 1920s, the radio quickly became the hub of many households. Entire families would huddle around their receiver, each person individually connected with their own headset.

But for this first generation of radio listeners, the flexible styles of listening that we habitually employ today were by no means innate – many sat silent and fully attentive, listening just as they would in a concert hall.

Historian Dominic Sandbrook charts how a new, more informal style of listening gradually evolved through the 1920s and 30s, by delving into the diaries of the Austrian musician Heinrich Schenker.

Schenker began to record what he heard on the radio within days of the inaugural broadcast from Austria’s first official station, Radio Wien. This rare and fascinating record, which spans just over a decade, offers tangible evidence of how new approaches to listening emerged over these formative years. We’ll follow Schenker’s journey as the radio shifts from being something that demanded his rapt attention, to eventually becoming an integrated part of his domestic life.

Click here to listen to the full documentary on Radio 4.

BBC Radio 4 doc about the life and trial of William Joyce

williamjoyce_2041800i

William Joyce (a.k.a. “Lord Haw Haw”)

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Jonathan Marks, who shares this brilliant radio documentary from BBC Radio 4 about the trial of the infamous Lord Haw Haw.

(Source: Radio 4)

Clive Anderson looks at a variety of famous or infamous cases and retells the story that the case brought into the public eye.

In this programme he explores the 1945 trial of William Joyce – Lord Haw-Haw – for High Treason.

Featuring Professor Colin Holmes, Geoffrey Robertson QC and Professor Jean Seaton.

Click here to listen to the full episode via Radio 4.

As a side note, if you’re interested in WWII propaganda, I would highly recommend the book, Hitler’s Radio War by Roger Tidy.

Click here to read my review of Hitler’s Radio War.

BBC Radio 4 Extra: The First Pirate

RadioNormandy

The First Pirate is the title of a Radio 4 Extra–an interview with Les Woodland who tells the story of Captain Plugge, founder of Radio Normandy, the first station to take on the BBC.

(Source: Southgate ARC)

Capt Leonard Plugge was the driving force behind Radio Normandy in the early 1930s. He created the International Broadcasting Company in 1931 as a commercial rival to the British Broadcasting Corporation by buying airtime from radio stations such as Normandy, Toulouse, Ljubljana, Juan les Pins, Paris, Poste Parisien, Athlone, Barcelona, Madrid and Rome. IBC worked indirectly with Radio Luxembourg until 1936. World War II silenced most of Plugge’s stations between 1939 and 1945.

Click here to listen to The First Pirate which will be broadcast on Thursday, August 21st 2014 at 05:30, 12:30, and 19:30 UTC and Friday August 22 at 1:30 UTC. 

BBC broadcasts original D-Day news scripts

Photo: Chief Photographer's Mate (CPHoM) Robert F. Sargent

Today is the 70th anniversary of D-Day: the WWII Normandy invasion.

In honor, the BBC has been broadcasting the original radio news scripts throughout the day, at the same time of day they would have been originally broadcast. The news scripts are being read by Benedict Cumberbatch, Patrick Stewart and Toby Jones; the complete set of recordings is available online. You can follow along by reading scans of the original scripts.

Click here to view the list of recordings. It appears that they are available to anyone, regardless of geographic location. There doesn’t appear to be a time limit.

Today: Choppy seas for the Shipping Forecast

Peeters_Sea_storm

Since the dawn of time, there is, there was, and there always has been…the Shipping Forecast. We set our clocks by it. Despite the complexities of our planet–war, famine, daytime television–the Shipping Forecast has been there for us.  Our steady friend amid the choppy seas of life. Our rock of Gibraltar…our security blanket.

Regardless of our diverse beliefs (or unbeliefs), it seems we all believe in the Forecast. We somehow find ourselves regularly returning to its altar, taking comfort in its soothing ministry. And why should we not? It’s been there, without fail, for ninety years.

That is…until this morning.

This morning, BBC Radio 4, who produces the Shipping Forecast experienced some technical difficulties. These, alas, led to a failure to broadcast the Forecast for the first time in, yes, ninety years.  Andy Sennit shares this article from The Guardian:

It was early-morning chaos and warnings of impending armageddon when BBC Radio 4 failed to broadcast the Shipping Forecast for the first time in more than 90 years.

The BBC radio service is something of an institution, metronomically broadcasting four forecasts a day since 1924, a routine which failed for the first time at 5.20am on Friday.

A technical glitch meant the BBC’s World Service was played in its place, a gaffe that prompted listeners to take to Twitter to voice their bewilderment.

Kirsty Connell said: “Eep. The shipping forecast didn’t get broadcast on @BBCRadio4 this morning. Isn’t that the sign of impending nuclear armageddon?”

Jordan Rowland added: “No shipping forecast? If UK submarines don’t get shipping forecast, don’t they launch nuclear attack?”

The BBC was only able to resolve the issue at 5.40am when it cut back to the Radio 4 programme. Friday morning’s Shipping Forecast eventually aired 6.40am.

[Continue reading…]

If this news has greatly unhinged you (as it has me) rest assured:  the world continues. Thus the Forecast will await us at its regularly scheduled time tomorrow morning.

(Readers, thanks for letting me wax poetic.)

Confused? If you’re wondering what the Shipping Forecast is, check out this previous post.