The Voice of the Brain of Britain: Radio 4
Posted by jonathanfryer on Sunday, 7th August, 2011
Though BBC Radio 4 has never been my major client, I’ve enjoyed working for that station perhaps more than for any other media outlet. For a dozen years, I contributed regularly to ‘Thought for the Day’ on the ‘Today’ programme and more recently have filed pieces for ‘From Our Own Correspondent’. But my satisfaction is also because I am a Radio 4 sort of person, I guess, as I realised when reading Kevin D’Arcy’s entertaining book, The Voice of the Brain of Britain: A Portrait of Radio 4 (Rajah Books, 2007, £12.99). Kevin kindly gave me a copy when the book came out, but shamefully I’ve only just got round to reading it, but I can thoroughly recommend it as an informal but well informed analysis of what makes Radio 4 so special, in content and in concept. The ‘Today’ programme of course sets the political and news agenda for much of the thinking nation (especially those of us who live in London), but as Kevin rightly points out, it is so much more than just news and current affairs, embracing educative and entertaining material, including cutting edge comedy. Lord Reith might turn over in his grave because of some of the things that go out on the airwaves these days, but in general Radio 4 sets a standard that is unparalleled, as home or abroad.