Radio Newsbeat


Radio Mi Amigo has been on air from the Light Vessel  LV18 for a few days now.  Today I heard many programmes by Tony Currie.  He is a competent broadcaster, but surely they could have more celebrity broadcasters on the station. There do not seem to be many jingles on the station, but I am grateful for the opportunity to listen on the Internet.  Tony Currie interviewed John Ross Barnard today. John Ross Barnard seems to pop up on many RSL broadcasts. He used to be my head of department for a while at the BBC.  He spoke of his work with Foreign Recordings as well.

This weekend I attended a meeting of the Reading International Radio Group. It was most interesting. We learnt about the politics and history of commercial radio, and also London pirate FM radio, and heard recordings from these stations.

Interesting to read about how useless DAB radio is in this country in the Daily Mail. If you missed the article here is a copy of the web page pasted here for convenience

Coming over loud and clear, our gripes over digital radio: Audiences condemn DAB because of poor quality signal that cuts out in the middle of programmes

Audiences have condemned DAB as a disaster because of poor signal
Public complained it cuts out in middle of broadcasts and is out of date
DAB had been heralded as less prone to interference than AM or FM
But household appliances including laptops and phones all interfere

By Katherine Rushton and Sam Creighton for the Daily Mail

Published: 23:52, 20 July 2015 | Updated: 11:24, 21 July 2015

It was supposed to be the technology that would transform the way we listen to the radio.But audiences condemned DAB – or Digital Audio Broadcasting – as a disaster yesterday because of the poor quality of the signal.

They complained that it cuts out in the middle of broadcasts, while others claim the technology is already out of date.
Audiences have condemned DAB – or Digital Audio Broadcasting – as a disaster because of the poor quality of the signal and how programmes cut out mid-broadcast due to being prone to interference Audiences have condemned DAB – or Digital Audio Broadcasting – as a disaster because of the poor quality of the signal and how programmes cut out mid-broadcast due to being prone to interference
A video demonstrating ‘why DAB digital radio is bad’

One even joked on Twitter that while we can now receive close-up photos of Pluto taken billions of miles away, he ‘still can’t get a good signal on DAB’.

DAB had been heralded as less prone to interference than AM or FM, but household appliances including microwave ovens, laptops, mobile phones and TVs have all been found to affect reception. Power lines and the weather can knock out digital signals, while signal strength can be reduced in built-up areas, in basements and inside buildings with thick stone or reinforced concrete walls.

The complaints about quality came as Culture Minister Ed Vaizey revealed yesterday that around 70 per cent of new cars now come with the controversial digital technology as standard.Critics said this means that almost a third of new vehicles still have analogue radios fitted, so drivers who want DAB radio must pay at least £50, and often hundreds of pounds, to have them replaced.

At the moment, many radio fans might think it better to stick with their analogue sets, which can tune to FM and AM stations. But they may not have a choice in the future if the BBC moves to DAB, or the Government orders a wholesale switchover, as expected.

Yesterday the lobby group Digital Radio UK hailed the uptake of DAB radios in cars as ‘great news for digital radio and for drivers’.

Laurence Harrison, a Digital Radio UK director, defended the cost to drivers of converting their car radios from analogue to DAB, telling Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘There is a cost but that cost is coming down and it is relatively easy to do.’

But Tony Collins, owner of Radio Jackie, an FM station in Surrey, said listeners were being forced to accept DAB against their wishes.

‘The consumer is being bulldozed into something they don’t want or need. Vested interests are pushing this forward because they have invested so much into it, but it should be a free choice,’ he said.

Mr Collins claimed these ‘vested interests’ – including the BBC and Arqiva, which provides the broadcasting infrastructure – were ‘pulling the wool over people’s eyes’ when it comes to sound quality.

‘People are being told the sound quality is better. The digital compression system being used in DAB was developed in the 1980s, but technology has pushed on at such a rate that the compression system is no longer valid. Often it doesn’t come up to FM quality.’

Radio 4 listeners appeared to agree. One wrote on Twitter: ‘My DAB is a disaster. It randomly cuts out for a couple of minutes or more at a time. Reception is very variable and it is not easy to tune.’

Another said he had been listening to Today on his DAB radio when the signal cut out.

Radio news selected from the Radio Today Site

Tributes paid to radio journalist Emily Bull

KLFM journalist and former Star Cambridge News Editor Emily Bull has passed away after a short battle with Cancer.

Both stations have paid tribute to the IRN Newsreader of the Year Runner Up, as have friends and colleagues on social media, including Sky News’ Kay Burley.

Star Radio Cambridge will be paying tribute to Emily on-air at 8am Friday. The station writes: “We miss her voice bringing us the news, and miss her sparkling wit, and razor sharp personality in our lives. We are sure that all Star Radio listeners will join us in sending love and wishes to her family at this incredibly sad time” on Facebook.

Earlier this year, Emily was appointed as Community Editor at KLFM, enabling the station to work closer with local charities and not-for-profit organisations. At the time, she said: “KLFM’s Cash In the Community will bridge that gap and really help to make this part of the world a better place.”

Her recent tweets talk about her being in hospital, followed by a message saying how wonderful it was to wake up in her own bed in her own house.

She took a break from work in May ‘for the summer’ with the aim of returning to work, but was diagnosed shortly afterwards.

Darren Taylor, KLFM’s Managing Director told the Eastern Daily Press: “The team at KL.FM are deeply saddened at the news of the sudden death of our friend and former colleague Emily Bull.

“Emily joined KL.FM in 2013 from BBC radio and quickly established herself as one of the most popular and distinctive voices on the station. She had a great skill at being able to inject her personality into news bulletins.

“Her voice had a deeply rich sound, while her in-depth understanding of west Norfolk and the people that live here allowed her to connect with listeners on a personal level.

“Emily had the gravitas to deliver incredibly emotive stories but then seconds later she could make listeners laugh by delivering a deadpan one liner.

“In January of this year Emily was runner-up as IRN Newsreader of the Year…an accolade that was richly deserved.

“She will be sadly missed by all of us.”


Actor David Morrissey and film reviewer Robbie Collin will be covering Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo this week.

They’ll be guest presenting the Film Review Show, which returns to its regular 2 till 4pm slot, and marks David Morrissey’s fourth appearance on BBC Radio 5 live following his most recent appearance in April last year.

Speaking about his appearance on tomorrow’s programme David said: “Really looking forward to sitting in for Simon Mayo tomorrow. Reviewing some great films as well, including Inside Out, Southpaw and Maggie. Hope you can join us.”

On this week’s programme, David and Robbie will be joined by the actor Jake Gyllenhaal, who will be talking about his new film Southpaw, and the star of US sitcom Parks and Recreation Amy Poehler, who provides the voice of Joy in the new Disney Pixar animation Inside Out.

More than 2,000 guests attended Premier Christian Radio’s 20th anniversary celebration at St Paul’s Cathedral in London on Wednesday evening.

The event, which was broadcast live on Premier Christian Radio and via a webcast, included speeches from the Bishop of London, the Rt Rev Richard Chartres; Premier’s CEO Peter Kerridge; Premier’s founder, Peter Meadows; former chairman David Heron; along with Premier presenters including Pam Rhodes, John Pantry and Rick Easter.

Acting chairman of the Premier Christian Media Trust, Jonathan Alderton Ford, writing in the souvenir programme, said: “I believe Premier stands on the brink of another amazing 20 years. The advances in technology and the ability to reach people literally wherever they are, speaks right into the heart of some of the challenges we face in the 21st century as we see the changing shape of church and the new ways people are engaging with the Christian faith”.

The evening included drama and comedy sketches telling the story of Premier’s development over the last year performed by the Riding Lights Theatre Company, plus music and songs from Graham Kendrick and the All Souls’ Orchestra.


BBC Radio 2 will devote three days of programming to The Beatles and Elvis over the Bank Holiday weekend at the end of August.

The date marks the 50th anniversary of a meeting between Elvis Presley and The Beatles, and programmes will include a drama, a series of documentaries, special features and their music.

The weekend culminates in a drama, starring Tom Hughes as John Lennon, which is inspired by a secret meeting that took place in Elvis’s Bel Air mansion on August 27th 1965. No cameras, no recording equipment – and only those who were there really know what happened. ‘When Elvis Met The Beatles’ (Monday 31st August, 7pm) recreates that evening, bringing alive the story when they met exactly 50 years ago, inviting listeners to be a fly on the wall.

Tom Hughes from BBC Two drama ‘The Game’ plays John Lennon, alongside Kevin Mains as Elvis Presley.

Tom says: “It’s said that you shouldn’t meet your heroes, I’m not sure that’s true. John Lennon is a hero of mine. I’ll never have the chance to meet him, so playing him is the next best thing. I was delighted to be asked and I just hope that in some way I’ve done this great man justice.”

The drama is by Liverpool-based screenwriter and playwright, Jeff Young. “I was a big Beatles fan when I was younger but for this project, initially, I knew very little about the Elvis and Beatles meeting,” he said. “Then as I began researching the story, the strangeness of the meeting and the psychological dimensions, the dramatic opportunities became obvious. The larger than life characters involved, including Brian Epstein and Colonel Tom Parker, all set against a backdrop of corrupt American politics and the disastrous war in Vietnam, made for a strange and compelling narrative.”

He continues: “The piece that has emerged is a kind of fake documentary. Elvis’s life was an American Tragedy and the seeds of it are sown here in this meeting between the King and the pretenders to the throne. The Beatles were so young, bewildered and overwhelmed by their rapid rise to fame. In writing this drama I went back my old Beatles records and I became a Beatles fan, all over again.”

Other programmes across the weekend include:

Johnnie Walker Meets Priscilla Presley (Thursday 27th August, 6pm), an in-depth personal conversation in which Priscilla talks about meeting Elvis, his extraordinary music and film career, the ‘68 Comeback Special, the profound effect he had on her life, plus a brand new project involving Elvis recordings backed by The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Elvis’s Suitcase of 78s (Wednesday 26th August, 10pm), tells the story of Elvis Presley’s personal collection of 78 records.

There will also be Beatles and Elvis features within the network’s regular weekend shows including ‘Elaine Paige On Sunday’, ‘Sounds Of The 70s’, ‘The Radio 2 Arts Show’ and ‘America’s Greatest Hits’ with Paul Gambaccini, ‘Sunday Love Songs’ with Steve Wright, and Clare Teal; with ‘Sounds of The 60s’ and ‘Pick Of The Pops’ featuring the musical legends in their charts.

And on Bank Holiday Monday 31st August, from Sara Cox at Radio 2 Breakfast through to Simon Mayo at Drivetime, there will be an ‘Elvis Vs The Beatles’ countdown of the Top 50 best-selling songs in the UK, with Mayo playing the Number 1 track at the end of his show.

And in his Pop Master quiz, Ken Bruce (9.30am-12pm) will offer bonus rounds on The Beatles and Elvis.











A collection of radios

Recently I ventured into our local antique/home clearance shop.

The most interesting radio I saw in there was this Czechoslovakian bakelite radio set!





This beauty is on sale for the asking price of £120

This is what has to say about it.  Interesting because they also include a link to a pdf file about the radio with circuit diagrams etc!



Tesla Talisman - 308u mains radio 1953
The Tesla Talisman – 308u mains radio 1953




Manufactured circa 1953
Long Medium and Short Wave
Valves – UCH21 UCH21 UBL21 UY1N
AC/DC Supply

Tesla Talisman 308U Service Manual HERE

These radios were made in Chekslovakia by Philips. Although they are nothing special, the Bullet-shaped Bakelite case has made them very popular amongst collectors.

The spelling error above is on the site!

Here are the other radios I saw


The Bush Radio is obviously a facsimile of the Bush Radio.




The item above may be like the device our Headmaster used to route radio programmes into our classroom via a Loudspeaker system, not sure though!



Not sure that the Bush Radio above is worth £22?

A pirate at the Henley Traditional Boat Festival

Today in Henley on Thames, in Fawley Meadows, just off the Marlow Road, a festival of old boats was assembled. The Royal rowing barge Gloriana was there for all to see. So was Sir Donald Campbell’s Bluebird boat that he broke the world speed record in.

One of the people in the sail by events bore the skull and cross bones!



Here is the sad video of Donald Campbell making a record and then sadly dying as result of a crash after the record was made.

Here is the man flying a pirate flag!


Pictorial Comments

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A weed in a nearby field reminds me of my school days!

Royal Horticultural Website explains:


Hedge bindweed or bellbind (Calystegia sepium) with its pure white trumpet flowers is a familiar sight, choking plants in borders and twining around any plant shoot or cane. The smaller field bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis) with white or pink flowers is problematic in long grass and bare soil.

In Russia it appears that Bindweed comes in an attractive blue colour.  Here is a Russian bindweed dance, the ladies have white hankies!



In our local Oxfam book and cd shop I saw this LP.  Sadly I no longer have the facility to play Vinyl. There are several videos on You Tube. This has the charm of being funny, and played at low fi quality from an old record player.  Also the person’s cat stroll past at the start.

A Geranium that is growing wild in a field amongst the weeds!   Definition of a weed, is an unwanted plant, or something like that. Does this make this geranium a weed?


Here is a video to show the variety of Geranium flowers that exist.


Radio Newsbeat


I DX Radio 4. Found out that the radio aerial in horizontal mode picks it up.  I have been dipping into it, when I have been in the kitchen cooking, on my second hand Sony radio cassette.  When a plane goes past the audio goes shaky, occasionally there is interference from lawn mowers, and very occasionally the audio shoots up in volume. Bad show considering Tony Hall, DG lives here!   We are in the Thames Valley!

The Pop Gold programme on ITV is very good indeed. Good to hear Andy Kershaw’s distinctive voice as well. It is a  pity however that ITV has not archived its material as well as the BBC.  The video quality and sound is not a good at the BBC.  They have copied the TOTP information captions idea, to give interesting facts about the artists and songs!

It is about time the BBC and Commercial companies addressed  DAB reception.  Also we could do with some different radio stations there.  It seems to me that Internet radio will soon take over full time!

The DX radio archive is a veritable treat. Apart form the archive mp3s of a variety of offshore and inland stations, I recommend the PDF files of items like “Radio Caroline and Its Stars”, also a book about radio by a chap at the BBC in days of your, called Burrows!

I haven’t given the British DX club a plug for a while.  I have been a member since 1980. Their monthly magazine “Communication” is superb, more up to date than the WRTH!  They also have two Yahoo groups for news and radio chat. There is a bi-monthly audio circle which is distributed free on mp3, or at a charge on other platforms!

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News selected by me from the Radio Today Site

Jim Naughtie’s replacement on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme is Nick Robinson.
Nick will join the team – John Humphrys, Sarah Montague, Mishal Husain and Justin Webb – from the autumn after ten years as the BBC’s Political Editor. He will also report and present across television and radio for BBC News and Current Affairs.

Nick is already well known to Radio 4 listeners. In addition to his regular appearances on Today he has presented a number of series on the station including The Prime Ministers, Decision Time, Battle For The Airwaves and more recently Can Democracy Work?

Nick Robinson says: “I cannot remember a time when my morning did not begin with Today – the programme – setting the nation’s agenda. As a child it was the sound not just of the latest news and the sharpest comment but also of my best friend’s Dad, Brian Redhead, who inspired my love of radio. Brian relished the opportunity to “drop a word in the nation’s ear”. I’m delighted that all these years later I am being given the chance to sit in what was his chair.

Gwyneth Williams, Controller Radio 4: “Nick is already a regular on Today and we have come to rely on his acute political judgement and the context he sets, as he unravels the real story behind the headlines. His unique access and understanding of the way Britain works has been evident both in his news reporting and in his numerous, acclaimed Radio 4 series such as The Prime Ministers and Decision Time. I am thrilled to welcome him to the Today programme as a presenter.”

After the coverage of this week’s Budget Nick is taking some time off to complete his recovery from the surgery he had in March which successfully removed a Neuro-Endocrine Tumour from his lung. He is still undergoing a course of chemotherapy.

Tony Hall, Director-General of the BBC, says: “The BBC has been fortunate to have in Nick Robinson the most authoritative and engaging political editor at work in Westminster over the past decade. He has been tireless and inquisitive, acute and open-minded. He has deciphered the coded world of politics with intelligence, clarity and wit. I am delighted he will bring that exceptional mixture of journalistic rigour, sound judgment and great character to the Today programme.”

A new Political Editor will be appointed soon.

UKRD’s CEO, William Rogers, has welcomed the recent announcement contained in Radiocentre’s new policy document urging that there be no “enforced” switchover of local commercial radio stations to DAB.

Speaking exclusively to RadioToday, William says: “We’ve been banging on about this for years, sometimes in the teeth of opposition from some within Radio Centre, and so I’m delighted that, at last, we’ve got clarity on the trade body’s considered position as well as its endorsement of the position we have been advocating since 2002″.

A fierce critic of the proposed enforced switch-over plans for local commercial radio stations, leading ultimately to UKRD’s resignation from Radio Centre in protest four years ago, the CEO told RadioToday, “This is a major improvement on the previously ill-considered position and we are delighted that there is now likely to be a sensible debate about this going forward. The concerns of genuinely local commercial stations were disregarded for too long and I view this as a welcome and important move towards a common sense position, taking into account the practical business and commercial realities we all have to manage.

“I hope that this is the beginning of a genuine attempt to garner and consolidate the views of the whole industry and make something of a more concerted effort to deliver a common and universally supported position for local commercial radio and the wider sector in all areas of policy,” he said.

UKRD has not been a member of Radiocentre, along with UTV, since 2011 and has not taken part in any initiatives carried out by the official body for commercial radio. This includes being excluded from the Arqiva Commercial Radio Awards in 2012 and 2013. Last year, non-Radiocentre members were allowed to enter but both UKRD and UTV decided not to be part of the awards evening.

In reaction, a Radiocentre spokesperson said: “Our new policy document sets out priorities on everything from advertising regulation to the role of the BBC and we are really pleased that it has such widespread support.

“On digital radio we have sought to reflect the position that Government and industry have adopted since 2013, when it was announced that any future switchover must be consumer-led and that small stations can continue on FM while options like small scale DAB are being developed.”

Stray FM takes to the skies above Yorkshire
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Stray FM takes to the skies above Yorkshire

For the first time, UKRD’s Stray FM will be providing travel news for the upcoming Great Yorkshire Show from a helicopter.

Presenter Will Smith will report on-air from above the event, circling the area looking out for the best ways of beating the queues. Travel news will air every 15 minutes at Breakfast during the opening day.

Stray FM has teamed up with Heli-jet, the aviation company based near Leeds Bradford Airport as approx 130,000 attend the event over the three days, with over 45,000 cars expected. The station is also broadcasting live from the show at various times.

Stray FM was also in a helicopter in April this year, giving a listener the ultimate ride home.

Managing Director at Stray FM, Sarah Barry, said: “Stray FM is incredibly proud to work closely with The Great Yorkshire Show as we welcome thousands of visitors to the area. It is absolutely essential as the area’s local radio station that we help both residents and visitors to the show get from A to B as smoothly as possible with regular traffic information. Stray FM celebrates 21 years of broadcasting this year and what better way to do this than by broadcasting live from a helicopter!”

Director of the Great Yorkshire Show, Bill Cowling, said, “It is wonderful, I am absolutely delighted to hear about it, what a wonderful thing to do to help people find their way through if they don’t want to be at the show.”

The new Trustee Board for the Radio Academy has been announced by Chair Chris Burns in an email to members.

The 10 new board members represent a number of different areas of the industry – and includes three from the BBC, one from commercial radio and the Student Radio Association Chair.

In addition to the Trustee Board, the Radio Academy will also have a series of mini Boards. Chris says: “Decisions will still be signed off at Board meetings, but I want these sub-groups to help us be the sort of Radio Academy that meets your needs and also helps us get things done more quickly.”

The Trustee Board will be:

Chair – Chris Burns, BBC
Alison Gold, BBC Trust
Sanjay Nazerali, Carat Global
Tony Moorey, Bauer
John Dash, John Dash Media
Camilla Byk,
Jane Ostler, Millward Brown
Matt Payton, Radiocentre
Sam Bailey, BBC
Jonty Usborne, Student Radio Association
John Baish, BBC Radio Berkshire

Others who applied to be a Trustee but didn’t get a Board position have been given other roles, including Dom Chambers, Chris Lycett, Tony Currie, Iain Betson and Mal Reding.

Sun FM has given away five thousand pounds to a listener, who had to spend it in one shopping spree.

Ten finalists took part in the competition over a two week period, and on the final day they all had to guess the closest price of a number of items.

The winner, Chris, then embarked on a whole day shopping spree going across the North East to 10 businesses and spending £500 in each.

Julian Carter, Managing Director told RadioToday: “Unlike other radio stations all prize winners are local, and our competitions are free to enter and we do not operate premium phone lines/text”.

Pictorial Musings

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Some pictures of what I believe is a frog, it does hop.  I took this on my lawn a few weeks ago. This weekend I cleaned out our small water feature, and found this chap at the bottom with our goldfish swimming happily around him.

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A while back I saw this poster in a local travel agents window. I can remember a while back a similar cruise being organised with Emperor Rosko on board. This claims to be an inaugural Rock the Boat cruise.  I can remember that in Newcastle Upon Tyne, there is a ship permanently moored on the river which gives people endless drinks and music all night long. Maybe this trip will be the same but moving about?


At a recent Sue Ryder Sale at Nettlebed I saw this book for sale.  It must be out of date by now, so many new names have come into being over the past 10 years or so.



Above a book that was published in the good old days of radio, when they published a miscellany of BBC radio programmes in book form!

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Also at the same outside sale at Sue Ryder at their home in Nettlebed, an issue of Wireless World!  I remember buying an amplifier from Premier Radio in the 70’s.  This issue was printed in 1953!


A tiger moth in my garden taken recently.

The moth really is more attractive than the Tiger Moth Plane above.

More another time, thanks for viewing this post!

The Royal Regatta Henley started today.

I hope that nobody is taken ill today at the Regatta. The combination of drink and sun is dangerous for all. I think that the rowers will have a real challenge on their hands.

A quick series of photos this post, one of cars ferrying Regata visitors, from the Marlow Road to River Front, and also the winning entry for the window display competition. Judged by Paul Daniels and  his wife, alongside the Mayor and others.  Then two shots of the town from beside the town hall. Pics of the Regatta to follow.

The town is crowded, and happiness abounds!!