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Somewhere Else Writing Group (05/07/2013)

2013 May 29
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Corinium Radio

OK… To clarify… Yes, today’s Radio Listening Blog entry is about a programme which is yet to be broadcast. This is allowed under the rules of my Radio Listening Blog: Because I listened to the programme today, I can blog about it today.

The programme in question was one in which members of the Somewhere Else Writing Group came in to celebrate the first birthday of the group. Presenter Gill Garrett invited several guests in to read a sample of their writing – several different styles including travel writing, poems, and some local history as well.

Its a one-off, half hour programme which will be broadcast when Corinium Radio is next on air in July. I was listening to the full, edited recording this evening, just hours after recording it in the studio with Gill and the members of the writing group.

Now… As producer of the programme, I would say this… But I thought the programme was quite good. It was in fact Gill’s first time presenting her own programme for Corinium Radio, and it worked very well. Good variety of guests and topics covered by the writers.

If you want to hear the programme… you’ll have to wait until July. It will be broadcast on Friday 5. July 2013, from 14:00.

Corinium Radio is Cirencester’s local community radio station. The next broadcast will be Friday 5, Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 July 2013.

Fred Hart,
29. May 2013.

World Routes – Equatorial Guinea Episode 2

2013 May 28
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BBC Radio 3

If there’s one programme on Radio 3 I’d highly recommend to anyone, it has to be World Routes.

I first got in to the programme back in December, when they did two programmes from Greece. Since then I’ve been listening to it quite a lot.

The most recent editions of the programme were recorded in the African country of Equatorial Guinea, and focused on Desmali, a musician (guitarist) from the island of Annobón.

The music sounded good, I do like the sound of acoustic music recorded ‘live’;  World Routes is very accessible (I wouldn’t describe it as being particularly highbrow, unlike some Radio 3 content) – so for that reason I’d recommend it as a good starting point for someone new to Radio 3.

World Routes broadcasts every Sunday night 22:00 to 23:00 on BBC Radio 3.

Fred Hart,
28. May 2013.

You and Yours – 118 Directory Enquiries, and Bank Holidays Abroad

2013 May 27
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BBC Radio 4

When I was browsing the Internet today I read a piece on the BBC website about how bank holidays are marked elsewhere in the world, and I saw that the topic would be discussed on You and Yours this afternoon.

This being something I thought might be interesting, I am now listening to this afternoon’s edition of You and Yours, as broadcast on BBC Radio 4. You and Yours is a daily magazine show looking at consumer affairs.

Today, as well as the bank holidays feature, Julian Worricker was talking about changes made by BT to its 118 500 service. Natalie Donavan looked at how it compares to the other 118 directory enquiries numbers, and Julian was also talking to travel journalist Simon Calder about Summer airline schedules.

Although I frequently listen to programmes such as Today and PM, You and Yours is one which is new to me; and I have to say that I quite like the style of it. The programme’s title doesn’t immediately give away to me what the content is like, and I suspect it’s this which means I’ve never tuned in before.

I only tuned in to hear one particular topic of the programme, but ended up listening to the whole thing from start to finish! Great programme… one which I will start listening to more, now that I know what it’s all about.

You and Yours broadcasts every weekday 12:00 to 13:00 on BBC Radio 4.

Fred Hart,
27. May 2013.

Breakfast with Jonathan Morrell (27/05/2013)

2013 May 26
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720 ABC Perth

I’ve just been watching the second episode in the fantastic BBC series Australia with Simon Reeve. Australia really is a fascinating country.

Radio-wise, I’ve long been a fan of Australia’s public service broadcaster, the ABC.

Tonight, I’m listening to Perth’s local radio station 720 ABC Perth. Its breakfast time (about 06:30am) over there, and British broadcaster Jonathan Morrell is on air now, sitting in for Eoin Cameron for the next 3 weeks.

Topics on today’s programme included Dale Neill, the Perth travel photographer who was on the line to talk about his work in Colombia; can you be obese and still be healthy; and there was a look at the morning papers, the morning’s AM, and a mix of music, travel, news and weather too.

If I’m honest, whilst Jonathan is a good presenter and I enjoy his normal Early Breakfast show, I have to say that the Breakfast Show isn’t the same without Eoin Cameron himself! That said, it was still a good show which I enjoyed listening to.

Breakfast with Jonathan Morrell is on air every weekday morning 05:00 to 07:45 AWST (that’s 22:00 to 00:45 BST) on 720 ABC Perth. The station is available on 720 AM and on DAB in the city of Perth. You can also listen online at

Fred Hart,
26. May 2013

The Beat (25/05/2013)

2013 May 25
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BBC Radio Nottingham

As I write this evening, I’m listening to a recording of this evening’s ‘The Beat’; a weekly show which goes out on BBC Local Radio across the East Midlands (so that’s BBC Radio Nottingham, BBC Radio Derby, BBC Radio Leicester and BBC Lincolnshire).

I’ve not listened to the programme before, but I’ve heard its very good (it even got a mention in Eddie Mair’s column in the Radio Times a few weeks ago), so I feel I should have a listen.

I’ve decided that I really like Dean Jackson’s show now and I quite like the music played on the programme. There are tracks from all the popular artists as well as some new/emerging artists too. Tonight’s show had tracks from Mumford & Sons, Lawson, Passenger and Chris Malinchak.

I should start listening to The Beat on a regular basis I think… much better than Liza Tarbuck on Radio 2, who I really struggle to listen to!

The Beat broadcasts on BBC Local Radio in the East Midlands every Saturday night 18:00 to 20:00.

Fred Hart,
25. May 2013.

Today (23/05/2013)

2013 May 23
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BBC Radio 4

This morning I woke up to the Today show on BBC Radio 4.

Shadow Health Minister, Andy Burnham was on the show to talk about the emergency healthcare system in the UK; there was further reaction to yesterday’s attack in Woolwich; and a bit about how Edward VIII’s phone calls were bugged by MI5 in his final days as king.

I’ve had the programme on all week, but this morning’s combination of presenters (John Humphrys and James Naughtie) has been the best I think.

Both Humphrys and Naughtie together sound great on air and make the programme enjoyable to listen to – I personally prefer them to some of Today’s younger presenters!

Today is on air every weekday morning from 06:00 to 09:00 and Saturdays 07:00 to 09:00 on BBC Radio 4.

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Fred Hart,
25. May 2013.

The Jon Justice Show (22/05/2013)

2013 May 22
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104,1 The Truth

This afternoon I’m listening to 104,1 The Truth, a talk radio station for the city of Tucson in Arizona.

The Jon Justice Show is on air at the moment. A mix of local and national news, travel and weather. Meteorologist April Madison had the weather forecast, and was predicting a top temperature of 100°F in Arizona today.

The big news story today was the IRS scandal committee hearing; a top official has invoked Fifth Amendment. The inquiry is happening now and on the programme Jon was listening in to it.

It was interesting to listen to to see how it compares with the other news and talk radio stations elsewhere in the world I’ve listened to this week (Newstalk ZB from New Zealand, and Newstalk from Northern Ireland).

Jon is quite a lively presenter but this style makes a topic which I’m not personally terribly interested in fascinating to listen to. He has a very rocky music bed to open the show at the top of each hour, which works quite well with the style of the show.

Compared to the type of talk radio I’m used to – LBC and 5 Live, this style of show is very different, and its not the sort of thing I’d want to listen to every day. But it is an interesting format of programme.

The Jon Justice Show broadcasts every weekday morning 06:00 to 10:00 on 104,1 The Truth. The station broadcasts on 104,1 FM in Tucson, Arizona. You can also listen online at

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Fred Hart,
22. May 2013.

The Documentary: Egypt’s Challenge – Far From Cairo

2013 May 21
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BBC World Service

The thing I like about the BBC World Service is that it had lots of interesting, topical documentaries on a daily basis. I often think its where the best of the BBC’s journalism is. Ironic, perhaps, given that its the one BBC service not aimed at the license fee payer.

This morning, weekly programme ‘The Documentary‘ was looking at Egypt in its post-revolution world. Mainstream media focused very much on what was happening in the country’s capital, Cairo, and Tahrir Square. But the fact is that outside the capital, the way of life for those in the country has not changed for decades.

Shaimaa Khalil described her 9 hour train journey from Cairo to Nag Hammadi, a city in Upper Egypt (which is basically Southern Egypt). She was finding out what the effect of the Egyptian revolution has been on this area of the city, talking to locals and traveling with Islam, a young revolutionary from the city.

Shaimaa Khalil did a brilliant job of painting a picture of where she was – a group of boys playing in the Nile, the roads aren’t congested like they are in Northern cities, and how there are very few women on the street.

This was a fantastic documentary about an area of Egypt little talked about in mainstream media – have a listen if you want to know more about this country!

The Documentary broadcasts every Tuesday on the BBC World Service.

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Fred Hart,
21. May 2013.

The Right Hook (20/05/2013)

2013 May 20
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With a roundup of the day’s news, politics, business, sport, and weather, Newstalk‘s Drivetime show, The Right Hook is number 1 for news, comment and opinion.

It is presented by 72 year old legendary broadcaster George Hook. The Right Hook I’d say is quite similar in tone to some of 5 Live‘s news programmes and has a number of regular features.

Monday’s programme is where you can find the weekly update from US radio host Michael Graham. Tonight he was talking about the IRS scandal, the anti-gun movement in the US and global warming. Monday night is also the night for all the tech stories and product reviews with Jessica Kelly and Jonathan McCrea – I love it when there’s a tech section on the radio! :P

I quite liked the programme, I having heard the segment with Michael Graham, I can see why Newstalk is number 1 for news, comment and opinion. Both Graham and Hook are very opinionated broadcasters!

The Right Hook broadcasts every weekday 16:30 to 19:00 on Newstalk. The station broadcasts on 106-108 FM and on UPC TV in Ireland. It is available on Sky in both Ireland and the UK.

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Fred Hart,
20. May 2013.

Huey Morgan (18/05/2013)

2013 May 19
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BBC Radio 2

Earlier today I was listening to a recording of Huey Morgan‘s show which was broadcast in the early hours of yesterday morning on BBC Radio 2.

Huey has been presenting a weekly show for the station since April 2011, following the departure of Mark Lamarr. He was already an established presenter on 6 Music, where he still hosts a Sunday afternoon programme, and he plays quite an eclectic mix of music on his three hour show each week.

To a daytime Radio 2 listener – the sort familiar with Wogan and Ken Bruce – Huey Morgan isn’t the typical Radio 2 host. Talking about his 6 Music show, Miranda Sawyer writes:

Huey is the coolest dude in town, his New York spitfire riff always appearing relaxed, even though he speaks a mile a minute and his choice of music is noisy, to say the least.

Miranda Sawyer
The Observer

As a middle-of-the-night weekend specialist music show, Huey fits in very well; he is the natural replacement to Mark Lamarr. He know his music well and this is what his show is all about – there’s very little in the way of listener interaction.

Some great tracks on the show, from the rock music of Led Zeppelin to jazz music from Assagai, and from soul music by the (Detroit) Spinners to acoustic music from Michael Kiwanuka. And Huey Morgan makes this variety of music interesting to listen to.

Huey Morgan broadcasts on BBC Radio 2 every Saturday midnight to 03:00, and on BBC 6 Music every Sunday 13:00 to 16:00.

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Fred Hart,
19. May 2013.

Γιώργος Καραμπατάκης (18/05/2013)

2013 May 18
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Ράδιο Πρώτο

This evening I am listening to Ράδιο Πρώτο, a commercial radio station based in Lefkosia, the capital of Cyprus. The name translates to English as “Radio First”.

On air now is Γιώργος Καραμπατάκης (George Karambatakis), presenting a show full of music – mainly English language music.

Tonight’s show featured music from artists such as Ace of Base, Johnny Hates Jazz, Billy Idol and the Rolling Stones.

Karasmbatakis is a good presenter, introducing all the songs, talking about the artists and reading messages from listeners across Cyprus as well. And its quite odd to hear British artists being introduced on Greek radio, because normally I listen to radio stations which play Greek music!

George Karambatakis broadcasts every Saturday 21:20 to 00:00 Cypriot time (19:20 to 22:00 UK time) on Ράδιο Πρώτο. You can listen to the station on 87,9, 89,4 and 99,3 FM in Cyprus. You can also listen online at

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Fred Hart,
18. May 2013

In A Prince’s Footsteps: Greece (17/05/2013)

2013 May 17
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BBC Radio 4

Over the last couple of weeks, BBC Radio 4 has been retracing the steps of the 1862 tour of the Middle East by Albert, Prince of Wales and his photographer Francis Bedford.

John McCarthy has visited Egypt, Lebanon, Syria and Turkey. But for today’s edition of In A Prince’s Footsteps – the final programme in the series – he was in Greece.

The whole idea of the series was that McCarthy was visiting various sites photographed by Bedford in 1862. The Acropolis in Athens, and Argostoli in Kefalonia were the two subjects of this programme, and John found out how the two sites had changed since the late 1800s.

It was only a 15 minute programme in it but the fact that it was so short wasn’t a problem – it was still very informative, and as is always the way when something about Greece is on TV or the radio, I enjoyed listening to it.

John took his own photographs too. You can see them, alongside the originals, on the BBC Radio 4 website.

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Fred Hart,
17. May 2013.

Gold Requests (16/05/2013)

2013 May 16
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This evening I’m listening to the national commercial music station Gold. On air now is Gold Requests, tonight presented by Shaun Tilley filling in for Dean Martin.

Between now and midnight the programme is being dedicated to the 1960s… and I’m hearing lots of great ’60s tracks which I love, including ones from the Beatles (my favorite ’60s artist), Chuck Berry, Four Seasons and Turtles. The music is all from well known artists, so you can be confident when you tune in that you’ll know some (if not all) of the songs – and I like that.

One of the things I like about Gold is that they always play a great selection of music from my favorite three decades – the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s are where most of my music collection comes from – and I’ve enjoyed listening to the music on the show tonight.

Gold Requests is on air every weekday night 20:00 to midnight on Gold. You can listen to Gold on AM, DAB and on digital TV across the UK. You can also listen online at

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Fred Hart,
16. May 2013

Leighton Smith Mornings (16/05/2013)

2013 May 15
Newstalk ZB

This evening I’m listening to a radio station from New Zealand – Newstalk ZB. Its Thursday morning in New Zealand and Leighton Smith is on air with the mid morning show.

I suppose the best way of describing Newstalk ZB is as a national version of LBC, the news/talk radio station serving London.

The first thing that struck me is the amount of time given to advertising; I’m quite sure there were at least twice as many adverts in the hour than would be legal in the UK, and as someone more used to the UK model, I found this slightly distracting.

The programme content itself was actually quite good. News headlines and talking to people about the political issues of the day, and Leighton Smith as a presenter managed this well, asking questions and challenging people where needed.

I found it interesting to listen to and compare New Zealand radio to radio in the US and Australia. The advertising model is perhaps slightly more American than it is in NZ’s neighbour (Australia).

So like I say – its New Zealand’s version of LBC, a radio station which I quite like. The advertising for me was too annoying though.

Leighton Smith broadcasts every weekday morning 08:30 to 12:00 NZT on Newstalk ZB. You can listen to the station on FM across New Zealand, and online and