A Pulse and a Hard-on.

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I was listening to Norman the quiz on ABC radio Sydney. Robbie Buck, the presenter, was asking callers what made them smile today, before they went on to answer quiz questions. Here’s what two callers said (there is about 13 minutes between each call).

 

The Archers: Not for Lefties!

Well, it appears that way anyway…

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I started listening to The Archers earlier this year. Em has always had an aversion to it for two reasons mainly: 1) It’s about the middle classes and small village mentality (her thoughts) and 2) It’s on Radio 4.

I can’t explain really just WHY I was that interested in it. Perhaps I saw it as an exercise into ‘how the other half live’. Which to a degree it sort of is. I get a giggle out of some the somewhat coservative slant of the characters. I find it amusing. But I am enjoying listening to it.

So much so that I found myself wanting to discuss it with others but because I know NO ONE ELSE who listens to it, I found myself going to message boards. This caused some apprehension in itself as I listen to the Omnibus edition each week, and not the nightly episodes. So I had to be careful not to introduce spoilers.

The official Archers web site has a message board for fans but the people on the discussion board are so like the more prudish and conservative characters in the show (worse than them actually) I find myself very out of my depth and in the minority. Also, most are long listeners and know the characters SSSOOO well – or at least THINK they do (and therefore perhaps judge them way more harshly than someone like me, only several months into listening, only just got to grips with all the characters and still not privy to a lot of back story) – and know them far better than I.

So I thought I’d look at Facebook. If anything they are worse! All a bunch of conservatives! I am feeling very ostracised! Perhaps being Left-wing and an Archers listener is an even weirder notion than I first thought? Maybe it’s akin to Norman Tebbit liking Eastenders? Lol

Neil Nunes: The Voice of Chocolate

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I never knew his name but I have been intrigued by his voice for AGES. He is surprisingly a lot younger than his voice seems to belie.

He even manages to make the Shipping Forecast sound romantic and has you thinking of well oiled young men in the baking Caribbean sun (just me then?). His voice is like liquid chocolate.

Book at Bedtime: this week

Coming up: from November 22nd

 22:45 on BBC Radio 4 FM

1/5. David Tennant reads Antoine Calmet’s eye witness accounts of real vampires.

See all 5 programmes coming up.

 

How Roald Dahl Shaped Pop

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This is a promo for a radio programme looking into the influence of Roald Dahl on popular culture. It’s being hosted by David Tennant and will be BBC Radio 2, Monday 22nd November at 10pm.

You can read more information on the programme here

Have I Found My Gaga?

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Maybe it’s because I’m creeping into middle age (I’ll be 40 later this year) but I am suddenly finding myself more and more engrossed in what I’m finding to listen to on the radio. In particular Radio 4 (and no…not just Test Match Special!).

I’ve had the feeling in my head for several weeks now that I’d like to listen to more radio. Spurred on by some appearances David Tennant has made recently in a couple of radio plays, I’m finding myself listening to more and more radio plays.

I listened to one last week which was a “tongue in cheek” look at the behind the scenes making of the film Witchfinder General starring Vincent Price. It was great timing as I’d only just, a few weeks previous, watched Witchfinder General for the first time, so I was at least armed with the knowledge of the film to begin with.

And only yesterday I listened to another play with Bill Nighy in it. If ever there was a voice made for radio plays…

It’s not only the plays I’m interested in. Last night I listened to The Now Show (with Steve Punt and Hugh Dennis), a satirical look at the week in news. There are several other comedies on Radio 4 I’d like to get into as well.

But now, it is confession time. I was scared to ask Em to get this for me because she has an aversion to anything that appears even REMOTELY middle class. I thought I might be in for the chop even for asking (I was going to try and keep it secret, but I like getting the radio stuff to listen to on my iPod in bed in the evening). So it was with some trepidation I asked her if she could get me The Archers omnibus! I know! I even amazed myself!

So I listened to it last night. And I have to say, despite some of it being a little hammy, I liked it. OMG, help me, I’m middle class!!!! lol

I really hope I’m NOT middle class for liking The Archers. It might not even last (my liking it). But it did hook me in. It’s a bit of escapism. I see it almost like a look into how “the other half live” because it is a little posh.

I’m already asking myself really involving plot-based questions like: How will Helen go getting pregnant? How long will Jude and Pips relationship last? What’s going to happen to Tom and Brenda’s relationship, as she sounds like she’s ready to leave Ambridge?

ZOMG! lol

I think Em is going to divorce me when she sees this!

The SuBo Effect

I was listening in to Clive Bull on LBC last night when he brought up the subject of Susan Boyle. Her album release “I Dreamed a Dream” has broken records for being the highest selling debut album in UK chart history, with more than 400,000 sales in the first week of release.

Clive asked “Have you bought the album? Does she deserve the success she’s had?”. He was arguing the point that she’s an okay singer, but not GREAT. That her success was from a gimmick, IE: she looked one way and sounded another (his words). That she was just a reality TV personality that had become an instant celebrity in our obsessive celebrity culture.

I don’t think he can quite fathom the success and thinks it’s not justly deserved. Here’s my view.

We all love an underdog. Boyle is an underdog. She came across, initially, as both shy but flamboyant. A very curious mix. She looked dowdy and while speaking before her performance perhaps came across as quite deluded about her own ability. Then she sang, and people were astonished.

I do agree with Clive that her voice is not ASTOUNDING, but simply good.

America catches wind of Susan, and instead of America doing what it does best (and fixate itself purely on the aesthetic), it actually got swept up in the whole underdog phenomenon. Just for that aspect ALONE, Susan Boyle should be congratulated. To change the mindset of a whole nation is no mean feat.

There’s something of the “Eddie the Eagle” about her. The only difference is that Eddie was celebrated for being crap! He was a crap ski-jumper but people got swept up in his enthusiasm and desire to be an Olympian even though he was not the best.

Perhaps some people are a little deluded in thinking Susan Boyle’s voice is VERY good, but it never stopped Madonna fans!

She’s a case in point. No one questions her status as a pop icon, but it was very much a balance of talent, sex bomb and shrewd business woman at work there. Who could argue that Madonna’s voice is “exceptional”? No one really. Even the biggest fans would have to admit, she’s not the BEST singer in the world. But it never really gets argued because she used her sexuality to perhaps sideline the argument. Sadly, poor SuBo doesn’t have much sexuality to let the “Is her voice ACTUALLY that good” argument rest. It will always be there.

And to answer Clive’s question. No, I haven’t bought the album (and doubt I will), but I think she DOES deserve the success. Come on! It’s an uplifting “underdog achieves” story. We have too few of them these days. So let’s celebrate SuBo.

Good for her!!