Search tips
Search criteria 


Logo of brjgenpracRCGP homepageJ R Coll Gen Pract at PubMed CentralBJGP at RCGPBJGP at RCGP
Br J Gen Pract. 2007 November 1; 57(544): 925.
PMCID: PMC2169326

Happy 40th birthday BBC Radio

As I write this, I am on the Radio 2 website, listening to Benny and the Jets from Elton John's O2 Arena concert on the BBC listen again feature. It sounds like a great concert. I know that it doesn't have the street cred of Snow Patrol but it is great music and you can hear all the words. Where were you when you first heard ‘Philadelphia Freedom’?

Of course, the other BBC stations have their uses but only for specific purposes. Like a toilet brush perhaps. Does anyone listen to Radio 1 these days? When you eventually tire of atonal music on Radio 3 and endless political speculation on Radio 4, it is good to get back to Radio 2. Like a well-worn pair of slippers, there is no question, it is the place to be, today, tomorrow, and always.

There is something quite special and connecting with the past, about starting the day with someone who I remember from my schooldays. I know that Terry's other listener would agree with me that his wit and observations on life grow more true with each passing year. Like most GPs, I don't hear much of Ken Bruce in the forenoon but Jeremy Vine over lunchtime never fails to produce interesting debates before handing over to the unique talents of Steve Wright and the madcap Chris Evans at drivetime.

Who could forget giants of the past such as John Dunn and Jimmy Young? Brian Matthews is back after a long illness. Jonathan Ross on a Saturday. Bob Harris on a Thursday. These are household names. It is not too strong to say that they contribute to my understanding of what it means to be British. Gentle, civilised, but with a hint of self-deprecating humour.

Radio 2 is not all pink and fluffy. It also has the power to stir strong emotions. It engages with the affairs of the day. Some of the evening magazine programmes have gripped my imagination causing me to listen to the end. Stories about Karen Carpenter, Pavarotti, and just last week, one about the career of the Sex Pistols were as good as anything on Radio 4.

I'm a well-balanced individual though with chips on both shoulders and not a zealot. Let us celebrate the achievements of Radio 2, Europe's most popular radio station. By all means try the rest, including the ones with adverts. Then come home to the best.

Articles from The British Journal of General Practice are provided here courtesy of Royal College of General Practitioners