THERE is a lot talking going on. Everywhere.
When you get on in life a bit, as The Scribbler freely admits he is, a bit of peace and quiet is something you come to cherish.
Oh, to be able to sit in a quiet room and read a newspaper or a book, or even, if things are desperate, actually do some work.
The Scribbler, as you may have gathered, is not one for turning the radio on when he is working, or even just generally (usually) wandering around the house. In the car, yes. It is good to have some background noise when you are pootling along – a good tune can make the miles flow by.
But here we run into our problem. Talk Radio. It’s all the rage. Wherever you turn to on the dial, there it is – a discussion about something. Not an interview, say for instance with someone who actually knows what he or she is talking about, like an author, a musician or a scientist. Obviously not a politician. An interview is fine. It might actually inform you, tell you something you didn’t know.
But no. Mostly it’s talk radio. A discussion – pointless, rambling, endless. Usually with some radio host throwing in a subject, and then shouting at people who ring up and disagree with him.
There’s one particular talk station (LBC) that particularly irritates. The breakfast guy will pick up a headline from the Sun or the Mail and start a discussion about it. In the next show, the host will start another discussion about something else that was in the papers/news, and in the next show the host will start a discussion about probably the same stories that the first bloke and his listeners were blathering about.
The common theme of all these discussions? No experts. No info. It’s just Bert from Basildon or Cath from Croydon with their opinion.
And what are they usually taking about? SOMETHING THAT WAS IN THE PAPERS IN THE MORNING!!! Something that I already know about. Something that none of us can change. So why go on an on and on and on about it?
Occasionally when the Scribbler goes to bed, his darling wife – a fan of talk radio – will have a show on. AND THEY WILL STILL BE TALKING ABOUT SOMETHING THAT WAS IN THE PAPERS THAT MORNING. SIXTEEN OR SO HOURS AGO. And guess what? No one has an answer, or any more info. They just go on and on, and the host shouts at them. Again.
And as for football phone ins… Now regular readers will know that the Scribbler likes his football. Is obsessed with it, in fact. But obsessed with watching it, or talking about it in the pub with his mates.
The first national football phone in was (I think) the Saturday night 606 phone in with Danny Baker, which was a hoot – irreverent, cack handed, funny. Didn’t take the game or itself seriously. That was fine.
But Baker moved on, and they got serious. Now its Sid from Crewe ringing up after another disastrous result for the Alex, saying they should sack the manager, or Eric from Exeter, or Bill from Bromley saying Pardew should stop using wingers. And now thanks to Talk Sport, you get it every day. Every wretched hour. Reams of it, and all of it (or almost), complete cobblers. The game has gone. It is history. The result is the result. YOU CAN’T CHANGE IT. If you want to go on about it, do it in the pub with your mates. Like we used to. Not on my radio.
The Scribbler is probably in the minority here, but there you go. I’ve said it.