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Radio 4 - do you still enjoy it the same?

(25 Posts)
Urmstongran Thu 09-Jan-20 16:23:27

Radio 4 has long been the jewel in the BBC’s crown, with its mix of politics, comedy, drama and unashamedly high-brow programmes.

Yet it continues to lose both listeners and heavy-weight presenters, facing accusations of political bias and being out of touch.

What do you think?

Riverwalk Thu 09-Jan-20 16:46:41

I'm still a fan of Radio 4, warts and all.

To be honest, what's the alternative?

I often listen to Robert Elms on BBC Radio London around midday as not a big fan of 'You and Yours', and also to Radio 3. Robert Elms' programme is a mixture of music and general chat, plus he has regular items on London architecture which is an interest of mine.

But for now, Radio 4 rules!

GagaJo Thu 09-Jan-20 16:49:15

I do, although I got sick of bloody Brexit being the topic every morning at 7ish am on the drive to work!

silverlining48 Thu 09-Jan-20 17:19:34

I am a big fan of R4 and enjoy most programmes though some of the 6.30 pm comedy programmes are not as funny as they used to be, other than Just a minute and I’m Sorry I havnt a clue which are still very good.
I don’t see it as particularly politically biased as both sides of debate are usually presented and as it is generally accused of both left and right bias, that makes it balanced to me. Bearing in mind most of the newspaper media are right wing, no argument there.

PamelaJ1 Thu 09-Jan-20 17:20:46

I listened to a fabulous programme the other day - The Life Sceintific. So interesting on how pollen helped to convict Ian Huntley. Worth a listen.
Some of Radio 4 is excellent.
The trouble with the BBC (IMO) is that they are having to spread themselves too thinly. I’m not sure quite how many tv and radio channels we need.

Davida1968 Thu 09-Jan-20 17:27:13

Love it, love it, love it! I agree with silverlining48. There are so many excellent programmes on Radio 4, and we are long-time Archers fans.... DH would have a crisis if Radio 4 changed too much.

NemoNanna Thu 09-Jan-20 17:29:06

I’m quite a new listener to Radio 4 as I find most presenters on Radio 2 too irritating (sign of getting older!) I listen during the day in my office but I have to say I find quite a lot of the daytime programmes quite depressing. The best thing I’ve heard is Miriam Margolyes in Charlotte and Lillian, made me laugh.

watermeadow Thu 09-Jan-20 17:29:24

The huge cuts at the Beeb show all the time. Radio 4 is filling hours every day with 15 minute readings or dramas.
I still listen to lots of good programmes but go over to Radio 3 at 7 o’clock on weekdays. I don’t even switch on my radio on Saturdays as there is nothing whatever I want to hear on 3 or 4.

Septimia Thu 09-Jan-20 18:32:05

There are still some excellent and enjoyable programmes on Radio 4. We listen to it rather than any other radio channel, especially when travelling.

My complaint is the rubbish that is on at 11pm. We stop reading and the radio comes on then for an hour. The intention is that we relax listening to something interesting and go to sleep - even Today in Parliament lulls me to sleep and there have been other worthwhile programmes.

But last night's The Skewer nearly had me screaming. A lot of work had obviously gone into producing it, but it was unlistenable to. It was like the aural version of flashing images - I couldn't listen because it flicked to something else as soon as I'd managed to understand what has just been said. In the end it made me feel quite ill and certainly didn't relax me! And, sorry, George's Podcast is nearly as bad. Some clever stuff in it, but too frenetic for bedtime!

M0nica Thu 09-Jan-20 19:21:54

Love it, always have, but perhaps not as much as in the past. Like others I find most of the 6.30pm programmes, too knowing and unfunny and, yes, those specific programmes tend to be Labur good, conservatives bad. I am finding the myriad 15 minute serials pretty tedious as well, especially as some are repeated twice in one day

I enjoy being able to listen to the World Service in the middle of the night without retuning.

However, I have recently started listening to R3. It is my goto programme when R$ gets tedious I have also grown out of Classic FM, too repetitive and unchallenging and too much film music, again I prefer to listen to R3

phoenix Thu 09-Jan-20 19:34:17

Every radio here is set to Radio 4, find I can sort of tune out what I don't enjoy.

Exception is Sunday morning when rather than listen to the Sunday service, I choose music of my choice, via my Echo.

This week's afternoon drama has been particularly gripping! Will have to plan my grocery shopping trip around it, as despite asking for one for Christmas, I'm still without the code for my car radio!

(Radio 4 afternoon dramas are normally "stand alone" things, but this week it has been a sort of serial, last episode tomorrow!)

Witzend Thu 09-Jan-20 19:52:34

Like a pp, I stopped listening nearly as much at least a year ago, since I couldn’t bear what felt like endless bloody Brexit.

More recently I notice a proliferation of the kind of presenters who seem to feel the need to drop virtually all their t’s. I don’t know whether they’re told to, in order to sound more like what they think the yoof want to hear, or whether it’s natural, but I suspect it’s often the former.

Either way, it’s intensely irritating and not what I want to hear from R4.

SueDonim Thu 09-Jan-20 21:50:30

A topical question for me as I recently decided to listen to more R4. I’ve not been very successful so far. I had on a programme the other day about how people had met each other. This one consisted of two men who were friends and, surprise surprise, they’d met at work. Imagine that! hmm It seemed of no interest except to themselves.

Then another programme called Obsessions. It turned out to be a tv weather forecaster talking about her collection of trainers. It was hosted by a man who mostly made puerile comments. So boring.

However, I was informed and educated by Gardeners’ Question Time, which was v interesting and another programme about the history of financial advisors which sounded as dry as dust but was in fact fascinating. smile

AllotmentLil Thu 09-Jan-20 22:16:32

Still like many of the programmes but can’t stand most of the so-called comedy and as for The Skewer!!!! George’s podcast is good but on at the wrong time. Still a big Archers fan. smile

NotSpaghetti Fri 10-Jan-20 00:35:07

M0nica! I have exactly the same reaction to radio 4. I do love it really except for the increasingly tedious serials (endless repeats) and the generally un-funny 6.30 slot.

I too switch to radio 3 or the world service - but I now often listen to "This American Life".
I like talk radio and the many voices T.A.L. offers informs and amuses.
Having listened to all the recent ones and a few that I picked out as "potentially interesting" I'm now simply working my way back in time. It's a fascinating journey.

Nana3 Fri 10-Jan-20 00:39:31

Still my favourite radio station, wouldn't be without it. Where did you hear the loss of listeners etc you mention op ?

welbeck Fri 10-Jan-20 01:11:15

still good, but not quite as much as it used to be.
completely unfunny so-called comedians proliferate. I liked the old established comedians, and comedy writers and actors. thank goodness for barry crier. I like paddy oconnel on broadcasting house, on sunday 9am.
still some v good programmes from around the world, and social history, social affairs.
they are v good at uncovering scandals that later get taken up by wider media.
now I often listen to angel radio, on DAB or online; plays all the old gramaphone records by a collection of sweet volunteers. it cheers me up.
I don't like political discussions, as they so often decline into rowing, and things are so polarised now.
I sometimes listen to Radio 4 extra, for some of the old favourites, tommy handley etc. fascinating. who remembers life with the lyons. and more recent ones too.

starbird Fri 10-Jan-20 04:53:40

Another fan, it is my channel of choice, and when some5hing boring comes on I switch to classical music. Agree that early evenings are dire, comedy is just not funny anymore - it is like listening to schoolboys talking.

vegansrock Fri 10-Jan-20 05:14:17

I like Dead Ringers, The News Quiz and Just a Minute but too many unfunny comedy shows- but at least they have comedy, drama etc unlike any other station. Interesting snippets on Woman’s Hour and usually enjoy Desert Island Discs. Most radio stations are just music or chat, which I also like in small doses or when I want to escape from the awful news. It’s good to have variety and I’d miss it if it wasn’t there.

BradfordLass72 Fri 10-Jan-20 06:41:29

I have always been a Radio 4 fan and when I came back to NZ, missed it dreadfully.

Then The Auckland Radio Trust began re-broadcasting selected progs from R4 specifically for people like me who wanted something a little more thought-provoking than talk-back and music.
Apart from Radio NZ, which also broadcast a lot of music (anathema to me) was all the market offered.

So I signed up for them but got sick of having to turn off the radio every 30 mins in order to miss the wretched news.

Nowadays, I access the podcasts, so can pick and choose, althought my Google Assistant will bring me any BBC Radio programme and the World Service whenever I ask for it, as well as other radio stations around the world.

This works perfectly for me and supplements the audio books I borrow from the library.

Today I listened to the fascinaitng 'Kilvert's Diary' and the story of Valentina Terschkova, the first woman in space.
. Isn't technology wonderful? smile

Urmstongran Fri 10-Jan-20 06:53:55

I read about it in the Telegraph Nana3.

I miss Eddie Mair.
I still like Desert Island Discs but not quite as much with the ‘new’ presenter.

Must admit I no longer have R4 on all day anymore in the background. I tend to select the occasional podcast instead.

BlueSapphire Fri 10-Jan-20 07:08:09

I'm afraid I listen to my local BBC radio station most of the time; it has both good national and local news coverage, topical programmes, and excellent presenters and interviewers. The music tends to be middle of the road which suits me.
Used to be an avid Radio 4 listener, then radio 2 (when Terry Wigan was on). Just prefer local radio now.
At night I listen to radio 5, or the world service, which helps me drift off, or keeps me company on sleepless nights.

M0nica Fri 10-Jan-20 07:29:54

notspaghetti thanks for the link I have bookmarked it and will try it out. Its website looked interesting.

NotSpaghetti Fri 10-Jan-20 13:04:06

I do hope you like it M0nica - there was an interesting one which went behind the scenes of the protests in Hong Kong (called something like "umbrellas") - and one about the theft of rare birds from the Natural History Museum, Tring by a flautist.

Another memorable one was regarding Jeff Flake and the Kavanaugh decision that got coverage in the media after he was "accosted" in a lift... but I have just been listening to a short piece called "In praise of Limbo" about a library on the border of Canada and the US (one section of "The Room of Requirement" about libraries).

All sorts of things are covered. You do have to put up with adverts between "sections" unfortunately as it's "public radio" but I think it's worth it. Quirky, funny, serious and informative. I hope you find something you enjoy.

Luckygirl Fri 10-Jan-20 13:28:07

That 6.30/1.30 slot has long been a bone of contention. It used to be something to really look forward to; but some of the offerings at that time are seriously hopeless.

However, it is the channel that I mostly listen to during the day - love the programmes about books.

Also listen to R3 a lot, especially on Sunday afternoons when they have Choir and Organ, and Words and Music - both truly wonderful programmes.

At night when settling to bed I listen to Classic fm, simply because they are the only channel that has classical music at that time - R3 seems to go into spoken word at that time. But if I hear Massenet's Intermezzo once more I might run screaming from my bed!