Noise to Signal

Login disabled.



Pirate Johnnie Walker / 18.02.09

Being jingle geeks, John and I do a lot of complaining about the bland sound of radio today. It probably won’t surprise you that we love the sound of the ‘Pirate’ stations of the Sixties, but it may well surprise you that Radio 2 have let the one-time star of Radio Caroline, Johnnie Walker, take over the airwaves yet again with his very own pirate station. Although Johnnie has had a long career with the station, this isn’t simply another ‘Sounds of the Sixties’ (as Brian Matthew does that very well indeed on Radio 2); Johnny pretends that he really is a pirate station bobbing about on the waves, enjoying the indulgence of the BBC, with most of the music being provided from his private collection of vinyl. To top it all off, you can only get in touch with Johnny by postcard or letter!

It Sticks Out Half A Mile / 03.02.09

A Dad’s Army radio sequel, the pilot of which was never transmitted, due to Arthur Lowe’s death soon after recording in 1981. Coo! It’s only on the BBC iPlayer until 6pm tonight (sorry), but is interesting listening. However! The rest of the eventual series, broadcast originally in 1983, will be broadcast soon on BBC7.

God, I love the BBC iPlayer AND BBC7.


Oh, for FUCK’S sake.

Torchwood star John Barrowman has apologised for exposing his genitals during a live BBC Radio 1 broadcast.
“I was joining in the light-hearted and fun banter of the show and went too far,” he said. “I was wrong to do this and it will never happen again.”
The BBC has also apologised for the incident on Sunday’s Switch show, which prompted one listener to complain.

One listener. ONE listener. One less than originally complained about the infamous Ross/Brand phone call. Would someone at the Beeb PLEASE get a backbone? Go on; tell a licence payer to fuck off. You’ll feel better, honestly. A world where John Barrowman can’t get his nuts out, is not a world I want to live in.

Sarah Palin, is your refrigerator running? / 02.11.08

Sarah Palin was recently on the receiving end of a prank phone call for a Canadian radio station.…

I’m…speechless. I can’t spoil any of it for you. Just read it yourself and wait for the recording to surface. Words of wisdom (ie: common sense) close the article:

Obama’s campaign spokesman Robert Gibbs, commenting on the prank, said: “I’m glad we check out our calls before we hand the phone to Barack Obama.”

Geoffrey Perkins RIP / 29.08.08

One of my comedy heroes.

An amazing producer with an incredible track record, but a wonderful writer and performer as well - his performances in Radio Active and KYTV pretty much sum up what comedy IS to me.

Quite clearly the best advert ever made / 20.08.08

That moment 20 seconds in makes me... well, hard, frankly.

Doctor Who Prom / 26.07.08

Just a quick reminder that this is on tomorrow morning - that’s Sunday 26th July @ 11:00am on Radio 3. More details about the programme can be found on on the Who site.

Carry On Britain / 25.07.08

My Magnificent Seven Deadly Sins article revealed my love for the comic output of the British film industry, and the Carry On films are perhaps the most famous examples of this. The Archive Hour programme on Radio 4 tomorrow (26 July) looks at the films from a social history perspective, one which hasn’t really been explored, and of which I heartily approve. It’s broadcast at 8pm BST, but Brits can listen again on the BBC iPlayer or via the Radio 4 website.

The Terrible Truth / 10.05.08

If you've enjoyed my articles on Public Information Films, then you'll probably enjoy this Archive Hour programme on Radio 4 at 8pm tonight, where Tom Robinson looks at the history of PIFs.

Humphrey Lyttelton RIP / 26.04.08

"...and so, as the moose of time is blasted by the marksman of eternity, and the manager of the dairy department goes to get a mop, it's time to say goodbye..."

Razor-sharp. Brilliant. Irreplaceable.

Thank you for everything, Humph. The world is a much poorer place without you.

Weekend At Bernie's Little Shop of Horrors / 27.10.07

Weekend America now offers TEN TALES OF TERROR written specifically to scare you, or some such thing. Authors include Neil Gaiman, M. Rickert and others. It also includes some juicy interviews and such with the authors.

So, you know. Go. Listen.


I don't wish to start a huge argument about Chris Moyles again - let's wait for my "long-awaited" review of his show for that - but I can't resist reminding you lot about the show he's doing with Tony Blackburn this Sunday morning from 7:00am - 10:00am, as part of Radio 1's 40th Anniversary celebrations.

Maggs does Gently / 07.03.07

Well, well, well. The more excellent among you will remember a few years ago, talented writer and producer Dirk Maggs, as part of Above the Title Productions, adapted the final three Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy books into shiny new radio series, complete with the original cast and some excellent guest starts. I was a big fan of these adaptations as, where they might not have been as funny as the original two, the cast where such a joy to listen to, I didn’t really care much.

Down The Line with Gary Bellamy / 01.03.07

Series 2, Episode 6..

I'm a bit of latecomer to this series, but bloody hell, this an amazing piece of radio. Just make sure you listen to the whole thing, as it really kicks off in the last ten minutes. I can't say any more without spoiling it...

The National Theatre of Brent - coming back to a radio near you soon / 28.02.07

Appreciation of comedy is a deeply subjective thing, but it is my honest belief that anyone who can sit through more than five minutes of the National Theatre of Brent without laughing is officially humourless.

Best. Radio Broadcast. Evur. / 28.12.06



Ofcom Fun / 03.07.06

1) How pathetic do you have to be in order to fail to supply compliance recordings of your output? Especially when student radio across the UK manages it perfectly well? Clue: buy a few cheap video recorders from Argos.

Chris Moyles / 23.04.06

Here's a question. Why does nobody like Chris Moyles?

This may sound like a stupid question. He's hugely popular. I could waffle on for ages about the facts, but when it comes down to it: towards the end of last year he had 6.5 million listeners each morning. I would define that as hugely popular.

To qualify, then: what I mean is that, amongst the forums I hang around on, and the people I hang around with: nobody likes him. They don't just not like him very much, or are just apathetic towards him - they really, really, really loathe him. In fact, this was taken to its extreme whilst posting this article. On our backend system, I started an article entitled 'Chris Moyles'. When I came back half an hour later to write it, someone had added " a talentless cunt."

So why? I have no idea. Really - no idea at all. Sure, there's a certain laddishness about him that a lot of people don't respond to - but that's no reason to despise him, unless he banged on about killing poofs and beating up women every five minutes - which, incidentally, he doesn't. So I can't see why anyone would react against him for this reason.

But it's more than this. I don't just "not mind" Moyles - I think he's one of the best radio DJs around. And why is this? Because all I can hear when he's broadcasting is someone with a great love of radio. Not particularly a love of music - which is something some DJs bring to their programmes, and is obviously wonderful - but not something that I think is especially needed for a breakfast show. No - he has a love of radio as a medium in a way that I've not heard any other presenter have for ages - indeed, Kenny Everett is the only other person who springs to mind. Now, Chris Moyles clearly isn't as good as Kenny - but then, nobody is. But the way Chris presents his programme just brings me such joy - he revels in the medium, in the same way Kenny did.

Linda Smith / 01.03.06

For those who are fans of all that's good about Radio 4 comedy, but haven't caught the news yet, this is very sad.

Best Ofcom Broadcast Bulletin Evur / 23.10.05

Oh yes: