Thursday, 11 February 2016

This Thing Called Radio


A favourite song cheering a sullen moment in a grey teenage bedroom.

This thing called radio.

Hoping to hear the name of your school when the snow fell.

This thing called radio.


That birthday shout-out the day you were spotty sixteen.

This thing called radio.

The noisy album you won, aged 17, and wrote your name on.

This thing called radio.

The soundtrack to Summer journeys with your best friends in your first car.

This thing called radio.

Smiling on the way to another dark day in a dull job.

This thing called radio.

Upset because they moved your favourite presenter.

This thing called radio.

In bed. Wrapped up. Rain on the window pane. Cromarty. Dogger.

This thing called radio.

Stuck alone in a motorway jam. Knowing you're fighting it together.

This thing called radio.

Objective news reporting in a former dictatorship.

This thing called radio

A wind-up set pulsing out life-saving messages on AIDS across Africa.

This thing called radio.

Risking imprisonment in Germany listening to Long Wave from London in the dark days of War.

This thing called radio

A captive Terry Waite chained to a radiator in Beirut, hearing a World Service birthday message from his cousin.

This thing called radio.

It’s for good reason that nine out of ten people around their Globe spend as much as a quarter of their waking hours with this delightful one hundred year old medium.

Celebrate this thing.

This thing called radio. 

On World Radio Day.  

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13th February is World Radio Day - A day to celebrate radio as a medium; to improve international co-operation between broadcasters and to encourage major networks and community radio alike to promote access to information, freedom of expression and gender equality over the airwaves 

This year, the UNESCO theme for World Radio Day is 'Radio in time of Emergency and Disaster'. Radio still remains the medium that reaches the widest possible audience in the quickest possible time. 


My book 'How to Make Great Radio' is out now. Proceeds to the UK Radio Academy 

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