When it comes to planning a marathon (to me) 700-mile round trip between South Wales, mid Wales, North Wales and Milton Keynes, planning becomes extremely important. But not about the route, oh no – it’s the tunes, man. What is going to stimulate your brain on those lonely roads.
However, my fiendish plan to sample podcasting with my iPod came a cropper when I picked up my otherwise lovely-if-petrol-guzzling car. It didn’t have a cassette player to which I could attach said iPod – just a radio and CD player. So I was stuck with the radio – at least in those fortunate times when the mountains of Wales didn’t shield me from radio transmissions.
And so it came to pass that on a Saturday afternoon, I was idly scanning through the radio stations. And I came across the bliss that is Saturday afternoons on Radio 2.
Now, normally I wouldn’t go anywhere near Radio 2 since I still, for some unfathomable reason, like to think of myself as a reasonably hip dude – even if I can’t stand gangsta rap. (that’s sooo 5 years ago anyway). To my diseased trend-following brain, Radio 2 has always been a bit of a slippers-and-Ovaltine radio station, while Radio 1 and 6 Music has been the hip young thing. A bit too hip, since I cannot bloody stand Sara Cox, and she still pollutes the airwaves on Sunday afternoons.
But then I stumbled across the tail end of Jonathan Ross, then came a glorious hour of “comedy analysis”, basically an excuse to stitch together a bunch of comedy clips. Then came Chris Evans, and he sounds as interesting and zany as he ever was – except it’s far more palatable on a Saturday afternoon driving up the A470 than on a bleary-eyed morning. Those three hours were radio heaven, as far as I’m concerned.
So get my slippers and Ovaltine on standby, and slot a Val Doonican 8-track tape into the player, would you?