Memphis should move!

radio4messageboard
In case you missed the fireworks display that marked its launch, All The Way From Memphis, Radio 4’s first rock’n’roll quiz show, compiled and presented by that nice man James Walton, returned to the airwaves for its second series last Wednesday. (I am one of the team captains; Tracey MacLeod the other – our guests in the first show were Mary Anne Hobbs and Dave Gorman.) We must be doing something right, as a man called Trevor Lockwood has posted his feelings on the Radio 4 Message Board:

Radio 4 is a the best speech radio channel in the world. It is not a music channel, certainly not one based upon Memphis. I can just about take Counterpoint, although even that may get a more receptive audience on Radio 3, and Desert Island Disks is a national institution where the music is not really allowed to intrude too much upon Sue Lawley’s excellent interviews (who will do the job as well?). I can’t take Memphis. It is awful. Full of the usual band of ‘here I am being funny’ celebrities that most of us have never heard of, led by a man who speaks far too fast for Radio 4 and is clearly related to someone in authority. Move it to Radio 2 – they’ll like that sort of stuff there. Leave us with Radio 4 where good language, well spoken, is still hanging on my its fingertips.

It’s unfair to pick apart one licence-fee-payer’s message, but let’s do it anyway. I don’t mind him not liking our little quiz show, what I find curious is his inisistence that Radio 4 is a speech station and this cannot take any music, even though Memphis, as he calls it in the rather over-familiar manner of a fan, only uses clips to illustrate questions. Who are the ‘here I am being funny’ celebrities he’s never heard of? Dave Gorman. Me? Mary Anne, a Radio 1 DJ? Tracey, a respected Arts broadcaster and journalist? James, a journalist and Radio 4 presenter? What Mr Lockwood’s post tells us is that he finds rock’n’roll a bit distasteful and has very fixed ideas about what Radio 4 should sound like. And he can’t spell Discs, the tool. Anyway, I’ve had my right to reply. The second edition of the show is on tomorrow night at 11pm.

42 thoughts on “Memphis should move!

  1. “Tool” is a bit harsh! πŸ˜‰ Disk is an acceptable way of spelling disc (if that makes any sense?!), although obviously in this case incorrect as that’s not the name of the programme.I’m amused by the idea of, “a man who speaks far too fast for Radio 4” though, what a brilliant idea. Clearly there should be some sort of speedometer in the studio, an old-fashioned round one, probably divided into colour-coded segments for each station. It would start at Radio 4 and extend through Radios 3, 2, 1 and 6music. It would almost certainly have to be turned off for 1xtra though.

  2. “Tool” is a bit harsh! πŸ˜‰ Disk is an acceptable way of spelling disc (if that makes any sense?!), although obviously in this case incorrect as that’s not the name of the programme.I’m amused by the idea of, “a man who speaks far too fast for Radio 4” though, what a brilliant idea. Clearly there should be some sort of speedometer in the studio, an old-fashioned round one, probably divided into colour-coded segments for each station. It would start at Radio 4 and extend through Radios 3, 2, 1 and 6music. It would almost certainly have to be turned off for 1xtra though.

  3. To be fair, I can see how you might think of Dave Gorman as a “here i am being funny” comedian, who might be a bit unheard-of to some of the Radio 4 audience.But the idea of “a man who speaks far too fast for Radio 4” is indeed frankly hilarious.

  4. The thing that bugs me about this sort of post is the assumption that if you listen to another Radio station, in this case Radio 2, that you are less intelligent than the elite that listen to Radio 4.What “sort of stuff” does the Radio 2 listener like?I along with most people I suspect, do not fit into a pigeon-hole of a typical Radio 4 listener that Mr Lockwood thinks exist. I listen to Radios 2,3,4,5 and 6 Music. It is the Programme that interests me, not the Station.Ian

  5. To be fair, I can see how you might think of Dave Gorman as a “here i am being funny” comedian, who might be a bit unheard-of to some of the Radio 4 audience.But the idea of “a man who speaks far too fast for Radio 4” is indeed frankly hilarious.

  6. The thing that bugs me about this sort of post is the assumption that if you listen to another Radio station, in this case Radio 2, that you are less intelligent than the elite that listen to Radio 4.What “sort of stuff” does the Radio 2 listener like?I along with most people I suspect, do not fit into a pigeon-hole of a typical Radio 4 listener that Mr Lockwood thinks exist. I listen to Radios 2,3,4,5 and 6 Music. It is the Programme that interests me, not the Station.Ian

  7. How can you find fault in James Walton? He appears to be the kind of person who would be horrified if he thought he had upset anyone, in anyway!Mr Lockwood is obviously put out because he doesn’t know the answers to the quiz!By the way, disk isn’t an acceptable way of spelling disc. Disk is a computer term, as in a computer disk.

  8. How can you find fault in James Walton? He appears to be the kind of person who would be horrified if he thought he had upset anyone, in anyway!Mr Lockwood is obviously put out because he doesn’t know the answers to the quiz!By the way, disk isn’t an acceptable way of spelling disc. Disk is a computer term, as in a computer disk.

  9. ‘Disk’, with a ‘k’, is derived from the Greek word diskos and has been in use since the 17th century, a bit longer than we’ve had computers (although I accept that’s how it’s most commonly used now)! I think (and doubtless someone will now) that it’s still the most common spelling in American English.So there you go, totally acceptable!

  10. ‘Disk’, with a ‘k’, is derived from the Greek word diskos and has been in use since the 17th century, a bit longer than we’ve had computers (although I accept that’s how it’s most commonly used now)! I think (and doubtless someone will now) that it’s still the most common spelling in American English.So there you go, totally acceptable!

  11. Fair comment toby1kenobi, but the only time I come across disk is when computer disks are being discussed.My Oxford Concise dictionary also defines disk as US spelling and computer disks.Colour is spelt color in American English, it doesn’t mean it should be used in English English.

  12. Fair comment toby1kenobi, but the only time I come across disk is when computer disks are being discussed.My Oxford Concise dictionary also defines disk as US spelling and computer disks.Colour is spelt color in American English, it doesn’t mean it should be used in English English.

  13. I reckon, and it’s just a guess, that the reason we in the UK tend to use disk mostly for computer-related items is that the USA has driven the spread of IT culture.I was wondering if disc was perhaps derived from Latin, but I haven’t managed to find anything suggesting this yet, so I’m not sure if the way we spell it is a corruption or if there’s some other etymological explanation for it?

  14. I reckon, and it’s just a guess, that the reason we in the UK tend to use disk mostly for computer-related items is that the USA has driven the spread of IT culture.I was wondering if disc was perhaps derived from Latin, but I haven’t managed to find anything suggesting this yet, so I’m not sure if the way we spell it is a corruption or if there’s some other etymological explanation for it?

  15. Surely Ned Sherrin talks faster than James Walton? Perhaps what tool man means is that James Walton doesn’t mention Stephen Sondheim enough.

  16. Surely Ned Sherrin talks faster than James Walton? Perhaps what tool man means is that James Walton doesn’t mention Stephen Sondheim enough.

  17. “Tool” was a small in-joke for myself. Back when I worked at the NME with Steve Lamacq in the early 90s, he was admitted to hospital with a broken foot, having kicked a chair in the office after a row with our editor Danny Kelly. The get well soon card from us all said “YOU TOOL” on it, in reference to one of his favourite insults.

  18. “Tool” was a small in-joke for myself. Back when I worked at the NME with Steve Lamacq in the early 90s, he was admitted to hospital with a broken foot, having kicked a chair in the office after a row with our editor Danny Kelly. The get well soon card from us all said “YOU TOOL” on it, in reference to one of his favourite insults.

  19. I recall reading somewhere quite recently that the original spelling for words such as “colour” did in fact not have a “u”. The “u” was added after the colonialisation (is that a real word?) of the USA. So … apparently ‘color’ is correct… or at least it was a few hundred years ago.I await correction from someone who really knows this stuff.

  20. I recall reading somewhere quite recently that the original spelling for words such as “colour” did in fact not have a “u”. The “u” was added after the colonialisation (is that a real word?) of the USA. So … apparently ‘color’ is correct… or at least it was a few hundred years ago.I await correction from someone who really knows this stuff.

  21. And according to Bill Bryson the American ‘aluminum’ is properer than our ‘aluminium’, which goes to show something or other. But then we have ‘autumn’ and I love the way that the not so superfluous ‘n’ comes into its own for ‘autumnal’, my favourite word. I can’t imagine Danny Kelly having a row.

  22. And according to Bill Bryson the American ‘aluminum’ is properer than our ‘aluminium’, which goes to show something or other. But then we have ‘autumn’ and I love the way that the not so superfluous ‘n’ comes into its own for ‘autumnal’, my favourite word. I can’t imagine Danny Kelly having a row.

  23. Aaaaaand, (probably from the same Bill Bryson book) apparently the Northern (UK) pronunciation of words like bath, grass and path appears to also be properer. It seems that somewhere along the way southerners started to mis-pronouncing it, possibly just to distinguish themselves from the ‘riff raff.Tools!Toby (a southerner)

  24. Aaaaaand, (probably from the same Bill Bryson book) apparently the Northern (UK) pronunciation of words like bath, grass and path appears to also be properer. It seems that somewhere along the way southerners started to mis-pronouncing it, possibly just to distinguish themselves from the ‘riff raff.Tools!Toby (a southerner)

  25. Was Danny Kelly’s row about whether or not Adrian Sherwood is a genius by any chance?If you think about it, “disk” is the more typically English spelling, and I’ve always stood up for its equivalent status with “disc” in non-computing contexts. It’s not the one used in the programme title though.Sadly people here now also seem to think that it’s an Americanism to spell words like “realize” and “realization” with a “z”. My copy of Word won’t even accept this spelling with the UK English dictionary enabled. But for those of us who feel like fifties throwbacks this is the “proper” spelling.

  26. Was Danny Kelly’s row about whether or not Adrian Sherwood is a genius by any chance?If you think about it, “disk” is the more typically English spelling, and I’ve always stood up for its equivalent status with “disc” in non-computing contexts. It’s not the one used in the programme title though.Sadly people here now also seem to think that it’s an Americanism to spell words like “realize” and “realization” with a “z”. My copy of Word won’t even accept this spelling with the UK English dictionary enabled. But for those of us who feel like fifties throwbacks this is the “proper” spelling.

  27. It is, and always will be FILLUM. Danny Kelly does have a great story about his uncle, I think, who bought a car full of bricks in the boot. Long story, but worth it. Well it made me laugh. Danny Baker (c) BBC Radio 1 1993

  28. It is, and always will be FILLUM. Danny Kelly does have a great story about his uncle, I think, who bought a car full of bricks in the boot. Long story, but worth it. Well it made me laugh. Danny Baker (c) BBC Radio 1 1993

  29. Maybe it was a row and Lammo was annoyed because his end of the boat was up in the air the whole time. Baker and Kelly on Radio 5 – some of the best radio ever, even half-heard through a medium wave blizzard.

  30. Maybe it was a row and Lammo was annoyed because his end of the boat was up in the air the whole time. Baker and Kelly on Radio 5 – some of the best radio ever, even half-heard through a medium wave blizzard.

  31. I believe it was a discussion about one of “Steve’s bands” not going on the cover. Perhaps it was Midway Still? The Family Cat? Family Gotown? Consult Steve’s autobiography forthwith!

  32. I believe it was a discussion about one of “Steve’s bands” not going on the cover. Perhaps it was Midway Still? The Family Cat? Family Gotown? Consult Steve’s autobiography forthwith!

  33. Judging by the comments made by Radio 4 listeners complaining to Feedback or the BBC duty log, a lot of Radio 4 listeners seem all too keen to pigeonhole themselves. You’d have thought generations that found pop music simply incomprehensible – as my grandparents certainly did – would have all died out by now. But there is clearly some corner of Tunbridge Wells where they still sporting black arm bands over the death of Alvar Lidell.

  34. Judging by the comments made by Radio 4 listeners complaining to Feedback or the BBC duty log, a lot of Radio 4 listeners seem all too keen to pigeonhole themselves. You’d have thought generations that found pop music simply incomprehensible – as my grandparents certainly did – would have all died out by now. But there is clearly some corner of Tunbridge Wells where they still sporting black arm bands over the death of Alvar Lidell.

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