Radio review: My funny valentine

The Smith Lectures | Private Passions | True Romantics Day | Razor Cuts

Whether you were coming to terms with a bulging postbag on Saturday, or no post at all, the archive comedy clips on The Smith Lectures (Radio 2) will have raised a smile. First, Arthur Smith put the smoochfest into some kind of context. "They say love makes the world go round," he said, "but they're wrong. In fact what makes the world go round is rotational energy generated by inertia's encounter with the aftershock of the big bang." The clips featured talk of how hard it can be to meet a woman. "I have to go where women are more vulnerable, where they really need me," quipped one. "Like Mexican border crossings, or the end of a marathon - that's where I go." There was attention to the different stages of romance as it blossoms: the "hold a fart in for five hours" stage, and the point at which you stop wanting to go out, and start wanting to stay in. "I was on this date with this really hot model," bragged Dave Attell. "It wasn't really a date-date. We just ate dinner, saw a movie. Then the plane landed."

"Hearts of fire creates love desire", Earth, Wind and Fire once crooned. EWF were included in Lavinia Greenlaw's startlingly eclectic musical choices on Private Passions (Radio 3), following on, as they so often do, from some Shostakovich. Greenlaw spoke with such elegant crispness about the business of writing poetry that you felt you wanted to borrow her phrases, sidle them into your own chit-chat. "Not the thought, but the mind thinking," she purred. "Slow, and the discovery of slow," she mooted. "It's what you do under the surface that makes the surface interesting," she confirmed.

I think that's what Midge Ure was getting at over on BBC 6 Music's True Romantics Day. Thanks to the emergence of Blitz, the New Romantic club, he explained, clubbers suddenly had a choice between Vortex, the punk club all a-pogo and drenched in spittle, or somewhere "with all these kids looking like Marilyn Monroe." The latter, he said, had a very real appeal. "If you were down there looking to try and pull, it was a much better prospect waking up next to someone that looked like Marilyn Monroe than something that looked like the Loch Ness monster."

There was even saucy boasting ("it was over 12 inches") on last night's Razor Cuts (Virgin Radio). Funk Brother Jack Ashford was telling Pete Mitchell about his huge tambourine. Marvin Gaye came to see him in action with it, and asked him to play on What's Goin' On. Ashford didn't know then what all the fuss was about. "When you're making history," said Ashford, replete with engrossing anecdotes from his Motown days, "you don't know it."


Elisabeth Mahoney

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Radio review

Talking Comedy | Woman's Hour | Civvy Street

Camilla Redmond

05, Jan, 2004 @2:49 AM

Radio review: So funny it hurts

Radio review: The Friday Play - My MS and Me | Drama on 3 - Festen | Today Programme

Elisabeth Mahoney

24, Apr, 2005 @11:01 PM

Radio review

Radio review: About a Dog | It's That Jo Caulfield Again. By Elisabeth Mahoney.

Elisabeth Mahoney

08, Oct, 2004 @6:33 AM

Radio head: Zoe Williams

Zoe Williams on Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

Zoe Williams

20, Jul, 2007 @7:28 AM

Camilla Redmond: radio review

Radio review: Lost Boy: In Search of Nick Drake | Tales from the Cutting Room

Camilla Redmond

24, May, 2004 @1:20 AM

Elisabeth Mahoney: Radio review
Elisabeth Mahoney on Julian Worricker

Elisabeth Mahoney

20, Sep, 2007 @6:19 AM

Radio 4's Caroline Raphael talks to Elisabeth Mahoney

From Alan Partridge to Little Britain, TV has plundered radio for comedy, as Radio 4's Caroline Raphael well knows. She talks to Elisabeth Mahoney.

Elisabeth Mahoney

02, Feb, 2004 @3:09 AM

Radio review

Dream On | Sunday Format | The Friday Play: Life Half Spent

Elisabeth Mahoney

02, Feb, 2004 @3:09 AM

Maxton Walker's radio pick of the day

Maxton Walker on The Essay | Book of the Week | The Brothers

Maxton Walker

19, Feb, 2007 @12:11 AM

Radio pick of the day

Inside the Harem | Discovery | Don't Look Back in Anger: The Story of Britpop

Phil Daoust

12, Oct, 2004 @11:00 PM