Radio Two: A personal memoir 

3 October 2007

Kirk surprises himself

Throughout my teens, I regularly dismissed my Dad’s choice of Radio 2 as stereotypically suitable for the old person that he was and completely inappropriate for a youngster such as myself – the same thoughts my dad had 30 years before me. Not that I had any particular aversion to BBC radio: my dial spent far more time tuned to Radio 5 Live than it did to Q103, my preferred music station.

So you can imagine my surprise when, less than five years later, I became a regular listener myself. This wasn’t through choice, you understand, merely the fact that the flat I had moved to couldn’t pick up any other stations. But as I woke up each morning to the dulcet tones of Sir Terry Wogan and Ken Bruce (I was a student, after all), I grew to love the station.

Many people will state that this proves the dumbing down of a once great network, but I think it simply proves that it’s a station for everyone. The fact that me, my dad and my grandfather all listen to the same station shows that Radio 2 has the ability to engage at least a sixty year age range.

It’s had a lot of effect on my musical tastes too. Don’t get me wrong, I like what I always used to, including plenty of things Radio 2 would never play, but the station has introduced me to many things that I like a lot, but would never have listened to otherwise. It’s the only station that’s ever actually done that – a station where I’m pleased to have the text scrolling away on DAB to tell me what’s playing.

To me, Radio 2 is comforting. There’s enough speech to make it seem like company on those quiet days, but with the added bonus of a pleasant music mix. Perhaps what I like is that it doesn’t demand your attention like some stations, but if you want to actually listen as entertainment, there’s enough there to keep you going. That’s what makes great radio, and what makes me hope Radio 2 will keep going for another 30 years.

A Transdiffusion Presentation

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Liverpool, Saturday 22 June 2024