Tag Archives: Radio 2

Radio Sadness

Radio Sadness

Hello Dear Reader

2016 has started with some what of a downward trend even before it got going. Each day it seemed that the news of well-known people just became longer and longer. For me, I kept reading about some of my great hero’s and influences, yet holding onto the knowledge I could listen or watch them again and again.

Just when you thought it might settle down (it never will), there was announced the passing of Terry Wogan. I had already planned to write a small blog before this news but now it makes even more sense to put down my thoughts.

There have been many tributes to all those who have passed recently, it seemed almost difficult to keep going. I heard the sad news of Terry’s passing as I drove to archery. My first thought was I had to listen to Elvis Presley’s version of ‘Are you Lonesome tonight’, where he sings the wrong line. Terry found that many years ago and played it so many times. Straight away it made me smile. Like millions of others (8 million plus), I used to wake up to Wogan and enjoy that relaxed calm, easy way.

He just made the morning work. As I got older, I listened to more of the music he chose for the shows. The discoveries he made were brilliant. He knew what the listener wanted. Take Eva Cassidy for example and ‘Over the Rainbow’. That is just perfect. I brought the CD and the remaining songs were just spot on. Thanks to Terry.

Then there was Janet and John. At least one time, if not more, did I forget a turning, miss the motorway exit or just have to stop due to tears of laughter. Again, I brought the CDs.

Eurovision was gold dust for him. Terry told it like it was, warts and all, often 100% right. Eurovision might not have liked it but they could never get rid of Terry until he decided to leave.

As a sort of keen sometimes golfer (not anymore), I used to watch the BBC pro-am program. Again Terry Wogan gave us all a memory from such a simple show. He still holds the record for the longest televised put, 100 feet I believe. It was magical.

Terry Wogan was and will be part of the fabric of life, you can not change that. I suspect that a certain tune might just make it back into the charts to help his other beloved cause, Children in Need. I never met him, would have liked to if I had the chance. To those who take over from him I am sure they know he would and did back them all the way. Chris Evan’s was clearly affected by the both the news and the event let alone all the others in radio and television.

They say all good things must end, I would question why? I know why really since the odd one or two things get in the way. However, here once more we have a lifetime of memories to keep repeating. Just like the others who passed away, too early for many, we the loyal listener can listen and watch again.

Terry will never be forgotten.

Tagline: ‘I think the radio just shed a tear’

500 words for 500 words

Hello Dear Reader,

How many of you have tried to write a short story in just 500 words? Well, over 90,000 children did just that for BBC Radio 2 and Chris Evans show. I listened to this last year and the depth and brilliance of the stories were amazing. What was the most remarkable was the response to a simple radio request. Send in your stories.

Again this year it was announced and again thousands of young adults wrote their story. I made sure I listened to the show, which was broadcast live from Hay-on-wye. Itself a famous book town which I have visited more than once. Basically, it’s just books. Shops and shops of books. Almost like heaven.

I was taken aback by the winners as I am sure many were. They had some great ideas, beautiful sentences and really did set the atmosphere in their own way. You have to give credit to Radio 2 and Chris Evans for going with something that a few would think impossible given todays digital age.

Yet 90,000 odd wrote 500 words. That is a staggering 45 million words and more. The top 50 stories are online to read and I did hear the top ones read out this morning by some very famous people. They admitted how nervous they were to read such work, to make sure they did justice to the words. You could tell the passion, inspiration and sheer joy each story held.

You really should go and read the top stories. Forget the ages at first, just read. The imagination that goes to create these stories is wonderful. Within 500 words each of them create a world, one that can be explored further. Now look at the ages. There is a certain ‘wow’ factor. How many others will be inspired for next year? How many parents will encourage their children to take part?

What I did wonder, was how many parents felt the pressure of being asked about a competition like this? Could they cope with trying to understand the complex world created before them? Have people lost the ability to use or see words anymore? I know how difficult it can be to just write 500 words for a blog. Most times I rattle on about a topic, which does have a start and end sometimes. But to build a short story that takes something else.

In this digital age where stories are pushed at people, it is pleasing to find that stories are still being written. This event makes young people seek out what is in their imagination and let others see what they feel.

500 words may not seem much but in the right hands those words can create a whole new world. The stories will encourage others I am sure. Chris Evans has made this his own and good for him. These stories will pluck at the heart-strings, will make you laugh and entertain.

Tagline – 500 word stories. Read and enjoy.

A challenge – 140 character poem

Dear Readers and maybe poets,

This morning I managed to write a short poem in 140 characters (actually less). Now I know that many haiku’s can be written in 140 characters but this was a quick 4 line poem. So I decided to post it here as a challenge. It’s just a bit of fun to try. Why did I write this? Well the washing machine we have makes a darn tune when it finishes and it does remind me of what the late great Douglas Adams might be thinking. Remember Marvin? This washing machine is just to cheerful to make sure you know it’s done. Hence the poem. So here it is enjoy and see;

Poem

Is this the shape of things to come

A washing machine that sings and hums

Douglas would be laughing now

As we are tortured by this row

 

HayDay

Dear Reader

It has been a while since I last wrote a blog, a review of Captain America. I do intend to review X-Men:Days of future Past very soon. This blog is or will try to be, different. Why? This past weekend I had the good fortune to visit the Hay-on-Wye book festival. It was very much a spur of the moment thing really. I have always wanted to visit this famous event and without knowing it I managed to plan a weeks leave at the right time.

Why was it so important to go? Because of my love of books and writing really. I have been to Hay a number of times and managed to find a book I long thought would never be found. In today’s world, I suspect I would have used the internet more and located a copy. As it was the fun of searching through second-hand bookshops made it more of a discovery to me.

The actual festival takes place just outside Hay, in a tented village very much like a few other places that appear these days. The festival has grown somewhat and given the attention recently from BBC Radio 2’s Chris Evans, it is in my view trying to fire the imagination of all writers and readers.

There is something to be said for acting on impulse. Sometimes it can bring surprising rewards and this weekend I had three. The setup of the festival was very straight forward, no need to pay to get in just wander round and enjoy the atmosphere. You could however pick one of a number of talks that were taking place throughout the day. Having looked at the various talks there were two that caught my eye both it seemed were fully booked.

Well, time to wander again. This is when good fortune smiled. I talked to one of the many volunteers who suggested we check the returns. A quick return back to the ticket sales and guess what, yes they had two tickets for a talk by Tom Hollander the star of BBC TVs show Rev.

I did mention impulse before. Well, it also pays to ask a second time. Good fortune smiled again and I got two tickets to listen to Benedict Cumberbatch and friends reading from a collection of letters.

To listen to any actor live is for me a joy. You can hear the true reflection of the character they are portraying in their voice. The letters were from a new book each one read by a variety of well known people. Every single person who came on stage delivered their letter with passion and energy, to the degree that you did feel the real emotions behind the words. There were so many people who appeared each one standing out. However two letters and their readers stood out; John Lloyd and Rob Brydon. John Lloyd delivered a memo which was both risky and so humorous, whereas Rob Brydon gave us Richard Burton in all his wonderful tones. If he had said, ‘Broadsword calling Danny Boy’ that would have been it.

The exchange of letters between two World War Two sweethearts as read by Benedict Cumberbatch and Louise Brealey (Molly from Sherlock) was almost as if they had written them themselves. Again the passion, tender care, the off-hand comments all shone through these two people. It was brilliant and I would recommend buying the books;

The second talk had an equally wonderful set up. Tom Hollander who starts as the central character from Rev, along with James Wood and Jon Canter have written the Rev Diaries. They talked about the creation of the book, why it happened and how it enabled the author to expand that world beyond the small screen. It was a very interesting insight into the whole process and once again showed the passion behind these characters. Tom Hollander read two parts from the dairy, which if you think about it, you could see the character thinking about but in a television show can’t always articulate. There was also the change to get the book signed which I did. However, I did not just wish to have my book signed without making at least one comment. That was to Tom himself on his wonderful portrayal of Dylan Thomas. I also shook his hand, to which I think he was a little surprised. That to me added to the signing and the day.

What did I take away from my first trip to this festival of literature arts? Firstly that books are alive and still doing well. Secondly, that the festival is also very much alive considering the number of people who attended. Thirdly, that impulse really does pay, as does asking just one more time.

Tagline: ‘Broadsword calling Danny Boy’.