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BBC Radio
Posted on Monday 6 January 2014 at 4:21 pm

Rachael's Week in BBC Radio 2014:1

I've started renumbering for the year. Exciting, no? I'm still at my folks' through the middle of this week, but I'll be home by next weekend. I should be able to start listening more as soon as I get home. In the meantime, I've been listening to panel shows while I've been sitting around with the busted toe, sitting around at my parents', etc., including a bunch of back episodes I downloaded that are years old. I'm throwing in a kind of "Best of" for the episodes I've listened to over the past few months, which are dominated by David Mitchell and John Finnemore (quelle surprise!).

Best of Panel Shows Listened to Lately:

Radio 4 Advent Calendar
This is an omnibus of 24 clips that are available online, revealed daily in December to Christmas. I enjoyed some clips much more than others. My two favorites were the first, a Mitchell and Webb sketch about Narnia and how bad "Always Winter but never Christmas" is for retailers, and John Finnemore's clip about Good King Wenceslas. You can see a list of all the clips and supposedly listen to them individually (I keep getting error messages) here.

I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue
Loved the first couple of episodes of the latest series (60) because John Finnemore was a panelist with the regulars. They played Mornington Crescent (I think in episode 2) and it was the best round of that game in years!

Unbelievable Truth
The first episode of the current series, 12, was wonderful! The absolute best was Ed Byrne doing host David Mitchell as his topic. I'm looking forward to the next couple of episodes, with number 2 having Marcus Brigstocke and John Finnemore as guests and number 3 with Victoria Coren.
Update: I didn't get this posted on Sunday so I listened to today's Unbelievable Truth (12:2) while finishing typing this and I loved it! Finnemore did his speech on Russia with a bad fake accent and snuck in a reference to Vyshny Volochyok! The entire episode is actually really good, with lots of stupid rule fighting and cool facts.

Series 7 Episodes 4 and 5 were particularly fun here. Episode 4 included discussions on the usefulness or not of weathermen and proper posh versus fake posh. Episode 5 had David Mitchell as a guest (this is before he and host Victoria Coren were together) and included hilarious discussions on eating animals as pets and how much TV is appropriate for kids. David Mitchell was also a guest on series 6 episode 4 and I marked that one as quite enjoyable, but it has been so long since I listened to it that I don't remember why. Oh well. I also listened to episode 5 of series 1with John Finnemore as a guest and it was hilarious! His defense of little old ladies and his reluctance to be involved with "larks, capers, or shenanigans" were fantastic.

The News Quiz
I only listened to the latest series (82) of this one because I don't see the point in going back to old episodes of a show that's just the topical news. Episodes 4 and 5 were particularly good.

Downloading 5 to 11 January:


On Cigarette Papers (Afternoon Drama)
True story of the radio playwright's parents' love story in Germany and Russia in the buildup to WWII and beyond.

Dead in the Water (Afternoon Drama)
Two young women think they overhear a murder being planned and investigate.

Journey into Space - The Host (Saturday Drama)
This is an adaptation of a classic Charles Chilton science fiction radio serial. Chilton was a prolific classic-era radio writer and BBC Radio is airing a bunch of is stuff this week due to his death this time last year.

Woman in Mind (Saturday Drama)
Adaptation of an Alan Ayckbourn play (there's lots of good playwrights this week). This one is about a woman who imagines an ideal family in place of her real one.

Old Times (Drama on 3)
Adaptation of Harold Pinter play. I generally like Pinter and this one childhood hopes versus adult reality and memories.

Tom Stoppard - If You're Glad I'll Be Frank
This is a slightly absurd Stoppard short play, originally written for radio. I've read it but never listened to the radio one. Looking forward to giving it a quick listen.

Alan Bennett - Two in Torquay
I'm generally a fan of Alan Bennett. I don't know this play, but this version stars Bennett and Judi Dench, so that can't be bad.

Daily Multi-Episode Programs Starting This Week

Wimsey - Have His Carcase
A Wimsey case. I've heard good things about the Wimsey series and have downloaded several series, but haven't actually listened to any of them. Someday.

Weekly Multi-Episode Programs Starting This Week

The World According to Garp (Classic Serial)
I've read John Irving's Prayer for Owen Meany and loved it and have the novel World According to Garp on my To Read list, but haven't gotten to it yet. Looking forward to this dramatization.

Goofy science fiction kind of series about silly apocalypses on parallel Earths.

Brian Gulliver's Travels Series 1
Spoof travel series about which I've heard good things so I'll give this repeat of series 1 a shot.

Comedy Panel Shows
The Unbelievable Truth is in the midst of a new run.
I've Never Seen Star Wars is running repeats.

Anything good y'all listened to recently or looking forward to next week?


chemina42 at 2:20 am on 07 January 2014 (UTC) (Link)
Out of curiosity, have you heard if the second series of Saturday Night Fry will repeat on the radio? I think that series has themes as opposed to the first series, which was just a bunch of sketches. I have no idea what happened to my copy of it. I seem to have only two of eight episodes left. Also my Mark Tavener radio plays disappeared, except Absolute Power, which was the spin off of the In the... series. I wish I had enough room to archive these things years ago. Now I have the room and I've lost it all. :(

I wish people who have the capacity to make clips to share with the world would understand that some people would like to listen to the whole show, not just one actor's bits in it. I want to listen to With Great Pleasure again. Hugh Laurie is great and all, but its John Lloyd's show! I mean c'mon now....
bratty_jedi at 2:38 am on 07 January 2014 (UTC) (Link)
I wish I had enough room to archive these things years ago. Now I have the room and I've lost it all.
I just got a second 3 terabyte external harddrive so I can move some of my BBC radio stuff off my laptop and onto two external HDs to have a backup in case one crashes because I'm that paranoid about losing it. Fortunately massive quantities of storage just keeps getting cheaper.

No idea on the repeat of Saturday Night Fry. I only have the first episode of series 1 and none of series 2. Series 1 is available to buy, but I don't think series 2 is (and I won't buy series 1 right now as the only place I can currently find it is iTunes and I'm avoiding buying audio from them after they made me mad with some changes to their audio files a year or two ago).

I've got all the In the... programs, I think. Let me check and get back to you.

I don't download the With Great Pleasure stuff so I don't have it. My main place for sharing the freely available downloads, which is all I'm comfortable doing, went down a couple of weeks ago (possibly under legal threat from the BBC since they're going to be setting up a DRM download feature for radio like the iPlayer downloads for TV sometime this year), so I can't go hunting for anything either.
chemina42 at 3:12 am on 07 January 2014 (UTC) (Link)
I've got two 2 TB drives now. I needed these things when I was out in England years ago and everyone was uploading everything in existence. At the time I had to pick and choose what I wanted, then had to burn stuff off to make more room. Then my computer got upgraded and I lost stuff.

I have never been able to navigate the rules of that super secret site that has everything UK related in existence. I'd like to update my I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue file after 2006. As far as I know, if I buy the compilation discs, I'd only get clips, not whole episodes. *sigh* Why can't I like things that are easy to come by?

I'm avoiding buying audio from them after they made me mad with some changes to their audio files a year or two ago).
Wait, what did they change about their files?

I have all of Series 1 of Saturday Night Fry if you'd like the rest.

Heh, just had to check on With Great Pleasure. Didn't realize its an ongoing thing and all sorts of people have done their favourite pieces. Still want to hear last year's Christmas special.
bratty_jedi at 10:18 pm on 07 January 2014 (UTC) (Link)
I have all of Series 1 of Saturday Night Fry if you'd like the rest.
That'd be cool if you don't mind sharing.

Wait, what did they change about their files?
Once they went with emphasizing their cloud thing, they started changing the information on files on my computer to match their cloud information. So if I bought an album that they'd classified as Rock for the genre and I'd changed it to Rock & Roll, they'd change it back on my system to Rock. This was a particularly big problem for me for anything I bought from them for BBC Radio stuff because I want all that in my Audiobooks section not my Music section. If they had it as Music in their store, no matter how many times I changed it to Audiobook, they'd change it all back on my computer to Music. That really pissed me off because it completely messed up all my organization schemes. I had to run everything I'd ever bought from them through a program to strip it of all their DRM so iTunes would no longer see it as a file I bought from them to get it to stop changing everything. So now their cloud thinks I've never downloaded anything I've ever bought and I swore off buying music or audiobooks from them if at all possible. I'll still get apps and TV shows rarely, but nothing else. It is sort of more about me being anal retentive about my organizational schemes, but I really do hate it when a company makes it so I can't do what I want with the stuff I've bought that is on my computer.
chemina42 at 3:40 am on 08 January 2014 (UTC) (Link)
Oh yes, I'd probably be exactly the same. Glad to see I'm not the only one who likes to put their radio shows into Audiobooks! :)

I've given up on having the correct genre for my music. I find that even if I purchase albums legitimately from a particular artist, they will change the genre or the format of how songs are labelled. Drives me crazy.

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