Saturday 5 December 2015

The 2015 Radiomoments Clips of the Year

No year-end is complete without a gratuitous chart or two. 

My Radiomoments Audioboom channel, now replete with over a thousand choice cuts from 1922 to the present day, and amassing over two thirds of a million listens, has had a decent year. 

But which clips reaped the most plays in 2015 from the UK’s radio lovers? This chart is built on exact AudioBoom stats, although, I confess, not audited to the BBC's exacting compliance standards.

5. At Number Five – an old favourite from 1991.  Johnners gets his leg over with, as the Radio Times might say, hilarious results.  When commentating for BBC Radio 3’s Test Match Special at the Oval, Jonathan Agnew mischievously suggested that Ian Botham had failed to "get his leg over"; and a classic radio corpse ensues.  You know what it's like.  You laugh at the wrong moment. The more you try to stop laughing; the more you laugh. And then just as you recover, your mind drifts back to why you were laughing in the first place; and off you go again. 

This clip proves that laughter is indeed infectious and that radio loves authenticity. Bar Morecambe & Wise, are there many short moments of laugh-out-loud television which endure quite like this?

4. Number Four – means a lot to a generation.  In this labour of love, attracting over 11,000 plays overall, hear the first breaths of the pioneering UK commercial radio stations. Marvel at their early spirit and ambition, the merry launch imaging, and the voices of jolly just-awakened chairmen. Witness the changes in presentation styles, music and talk policy and jingles as the years flow by from 1973 to 1988. I can never quite recall how I had time to edit and mix this.

3. At Number Three, a new entry as Chris Moyles debuts on the new Radio X. The clip, and the station, prove yet again that radio can still make front page news after a hundred years. Arguably, bar Evans, few presenters have managed to take their audiences with them from one station to another, not least after a lull. It’s a puzzle how loyal listeners appear to be to a frequency, even if if its brand, presenters and music policy change.  Time will tell whether Moyles will carry off the feat and climb, in time, to his Radio 1 heights. I reckon X will boast a very respectable performance.

2. Number Two brings another familiar moment. Alice Arnold, accomplished Radio 4  announcer bids farewell. Her listeners grew to know her simply through the sheer presentation quality.  Her valedictory appearance shows a rare moment of emotion as she utters her last careful vowels with typical beauty. There's just a glimpse of pure, raw, honest radio peeking through the professionalism, rendered all the more powerful owing to its rarity.  Listeners and radio anoraks alike loved it.

1. At Number 1, a fitting new entry from an old friend. 2015 saw the death of the the much-loved Peter Donaldson. 'The Voice of Radio 4'.  The final words of this chief announcer were aired on 1st January 2013.  Upon his death, the national press reached out and embedded this clip, taking it soaring to Number One by some margin. His many fans on-air and his many adoring colleagues across the BBC will smile fondly to see Peter here as, deservedly, the most played radio clip across the UK in 2015.

Many thanks to all Radiomoments Twitter followers, and listeners to the weekly RadioToday podcast in which the weekly review is included (also found on my Boom channel).  

Thanks too to the many people who treasure and share audio: from the every helpful and impressive Andy Walmsley to; from the Campaign for Independent Broadcasting; to lovely Stephanie Hirst, and the expert on chart audio Richard White. Also to the many folk who simply email me random MP3s, post off bundles of cassettes or upload audio to my channel.  All such souvenirs are hugely welcome. If you have some 'tapes upstairs in a box', do let me know. I promise to take them off your hands and save your other half moaning at you.

As stations change ownership, premises and staff, alas too much material is lost. Without your efforts, some of the history of the greatest medium of all might too easily be forgotten. Happy New Year.

Grab my book for Christmas, on Amazon now! Proceeds to the Radio Academy

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