Why Spiegl should stay 

1 April 2006 tbs.pm/1143

I’m very pleased to see that our friend ‘Sir’ Gavin Sutherland’s excellent new recording of Fritz Spiegl’s Radio 4 UK Theme is now on the shelves, metaphorical or actual – backed with a very pleasant rendering of Sailing By, I should add, far better than the generally-peddled version with its distorted right-hand channel. Do go and buy a copy, won’t you.

I don’t know about you, but my support for the effort to encourage the BBC to refrain from replacing their opening theme with some common-or-garden news or sports report has nothing to do with patriotism. To me, it’s about the idea of broadcasters starting and ending their day with a sense of purpose.

Radio or television, time was when a station would open the day’s broadcasting with a piece of music – often a medley of traditional themes from the area – or, in the case of the BBC, the nation, as was the case with the BBC Television Service’s ancestor of the Radio 4 UK Theme, National Airs – and close with the National Anthem. These natural, circadian rhythms of broadcasting have become largely subsumed by 24-hour programming, but on the odd occasions where they remain, they represent a welcome tradition that serves a useful purpose.

In any event, BBC Radio 4 listeners are not huge fans of changes to their daily rhythms. This being the case, why not leave well enough alone? Is it good sense to upset the audience?

A Transdiffusion Presentation

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Richard G Elen Contact More by me

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Liverpool, Wednesday 21 September 2022