If I appeared on Desert Island Discs my luxury item would be Radio 4. Aside from quality news bulletins and fascinating features and documentaries it has some of the greatest programmes ever created, including Just a Minute, I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue and the aforementioned DID, which will be celebrating its 75th anniversary on Sunday 29th January.
That a programme has lasted for so long is an incredible feat, and three cheers to the BBC for not tinkering with its format over the years. Although during the 1960s it did drop the sound of sea wash to the opening and closing credits. That soothing noise will be returning this weekend (phew!), but I don’t know if this is a permanent move.
The format may not have changed much, but the programmes vary widely owing to the guests’ personalities and their musical choices. When a castaway dies, their edition because an even more valuable part of broadcasting history as well as a moving experience if you go back and listen to them talk about their hopes, successes, failures and life stories. There was a tear in my eye when I recently revisited part of George Michael’s painfully honest 2007 appearance.