14 November, 2012 marks the 90th anniversary of the BBC's first-ever broadcast and the beginning of the British love affair with radio. This fascinating book takes as its starting point those early, tentative programmes broadcast from Marconi House on the Strand, and follows the story of those magical radio voices through the years of economic depression, war and austerity, to the swinging 60s and up to the digital era. Above all, it celebrates the great, the forgotten and the notorious voices of radio from the last nine decades, and the programmes they made famous: Marion Cran in the 1920s, who pioneered the first gardening programme; Lord Haw Haw, whose sinister catchphrase 'Germany calling' punctuated broadcasts throughout the Second World War; the Goons and Kenneth Horne, comedy greats of the 1950s; John Peel, Alan Freeman, Kenny Everett and other heroes of Radio Caroline and the pirate stations; all the way up to Eddie Mair, Fi Glover, and Danny Baker, the much-loved voices of today.
The result is a wonderful blend of insight, history, and nostalgia that will appeal to radio's many aficionados.
"charming history of the call signs, catch-phrases, repetitions and modulations of tone that make up the world of the radio… The stories behind the voices are told with real affection for the subject." (Who Do You Think You Are Magazine)
"Simon Elmes’ latest book… pulses with his own love of the medium…. It’s an engaging read" (The Scotsman)
"Elmes’ beguiling book offers an appealing blend of history and nostalgia." (Good Book Guide)
"Simon Elmes’s gentle compendium of the medium’s most evocative and best-loved characters goes some way to restoring the glow of nostalgia that once haloed light entertainment." (Guardian)
"Just about every radio show you’ve ever loved features somewhere in a book you won’t want to put down." (Paperback Book of the Month, Choice Magazine)
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A lovely listen
- sue t