A Celebration of the World's Best Radio Station
On 30 September 2007 Radio 4 celebrates its 40th birthday. This book, written by long-time Radio 4 insider Simon Elmes, celebrates the people and programmes – and curiosities – that have made the network the envy of the world.
And Now on Radio 4 offers an enthusiast's guide to the shows that have made Radio 4 what it is, and also explores some of the wonderful corners of the network's history that are long forgotten by all but a few. Who, for instance, now recalls Ronnie Barker's starring role on Radio 4 in a sophisticated cabaret-cum-sketch-show called Lines from My Grandfather's Forehead? What about Spike Milligan's intimate, soul-bearing account of his upbringing in colonial India, Plain Tales from the Raj? And who now remembers that Start the Week was once hosted by Russell Harty, a bit of programming compared by one insider to letting Graham Norton run Newsnight.
In order to reflect the way devotees listen to Radio 4, the book is organised not on simple chronological lines but in the form of a typical day. Chapter by chapter, the day evolves, from Farming Today, through the daily feast that is Today, through the morning menu of conversation, Woman's Hour, documentary and comedy. Lunchtime brings The World at One. The early evening, of course, yields The Archers. And finally there's Book at Bedtime and Sailing By.
An addictive mix of history, biography, anecdote and occasional useless fact, this is the perfect book for Radio 4 aficionados.
“Written as a day in the life, with the stories behind each show, it deals with the laugh-out-loud hilarious and the somewhat less thrilling ... as Elmes deftly and enthusiastically describes, achieving this depth of programming and balance was not easy ...”
“... strong on gossip and nostalgia ... there are delightful stories in the book ...”
“... cosy, celebratory ... It is a happy book, celebrating Radio 4 as above all a friend and companion.”
“... congenial - chatty, a little bit personal ... it's hard to imagine what more a Radio 4 fan could want.”