Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Mark Thomas: My Life In Serious Organised Crime

It is not unusual to wake up to Radio 4. Humphrys and his coterie do a wonderful job in getting a variety of intelligent, varied, and consistently sleepy guests to appear and fight their corner. Admittedly, if you listen to it from 6am until 9am, it does get a bit repetitive, but hey, how much news can take place in 24 hours. Nonetheless, I imagine a lot less people go to bed listening to Radio 4, and I imagine even fewer still sleep all night with it on in the background (much to the chagrin of an ex-girlfriend). Personally, I like to be tucked into bed by Zeb Soames (who I met when I was doing work experience with the BBC on The Culture Show - no word of a lie, that guy can't be a day older than 30, right, yeah, I know, its mad, crazy right?), and then have the dulcit tones of Neil Nunez caress me into slumber (please somebody tell me you have heard this guy speak, his voice is like fine gravel being filtered through a bed of Nicaraguan coffee beans) once the World Sevice kicks in at 1am. However, one thing that does NOT do it for me is the comedy the programmers always schedule in as a repeat at 11pm. Often it seems like they got an autistic work experience kid to right these awful comedic stabs in the dark. We get grating surreal sketch shows, imbecilic radio sitcoms (surely anathema?), and camped up historical farce, which whip me into such an angry frenzy that I can't even dream of sleep until at least half way through Sailing By. So imagine my sheer unadulterated pleasure when Mark Thomas came on one night in March 2007 whilst I was revising for my finals. This is ESSENTIAL listening:

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