23 February 2009

The Best Radio Station On The Planet – BBC Radio 4

Posted by Dan Satterfield

My Mom likes to tell me of listening to radio programs like “The Shadow” and Soap Operas like “The Guiding Light” on the radio when she was little. She remembers clearly running all the way home from school the day they got their first television set. Since the advent of TV, radio has changed dramatically. Especially here in America.

I think it has changed for the worse.

An exception is NPR. They do a decent job when not begging for money. Don’t get me wrong, I give them some!

With that exception, most of what is on now is not broadcasting. It’s narrow casting to  soccer moms wanting traffic reports mixed in with music from 70’s groups like Styx and Journey. The AM radio band is even worse! Mostly populated by extreme political talk shows, where eager listeners are told what to think by extremist political propagandists.

Why can’t we have a station that does radio as if TV had not been invented??

 I’m talking hour long top quality news, and interview programs. Thirty minute comedy programs. A soap opera, or two!  Let’s not forget a game show or two. Oh, and how about a book at bedtime, and an afternoon play. How about a weekly show on gardening? Top it all off by wishing everyone a good night at the end of the day, and playing the national anthem.

I know what your thinking. “Dream on buddy”. “Those days are gone”. “Get over it”.

“No one would listen anyhow”.

Your wrong. It does exist. 

Best of all, you can listen to it just about anywhere in the world.

BBC Radio 4.


They have all of these things. They even wish you good night, and play God Save The Queen at 1AM.

BBC Radio 4 is truly, IMHO, the best radio station on the planet.

If you live in the UK, you can listen to it on a radio. It has a huge audience world wide, and in the UK.

The rest of us have to listen online. Their morning news program, “The Today Show” is the gold standard among news programs in the UK. “The Archers” is the longest running soap opera in the world. It helped me pass many days flat on my back after back surgery 4 years ago! (Brian your still a cad and everyone in Ambridge knows it!).

“The NOW Show”, “The News Quiz”, and “PM with Eddy Mair” are all programs I listen to frequently. I could go on, but why don’t you discover it for yourself. I have only scratched the surface on the offerings of Radio 4.


I keep one dial of my watch on London time, just so I can know what is on radio 4. Radio 4 keeps me tuned into the world. I learn Science, and Economics. I even know a bit of gardening, thanks to “Gardeners Question Time.” 

For those reading this post in America, think of NPR with real money!

The next time you are tempted to turn on the TV, and watch some mindless drivel. Do yourself a favor. Tune in to Radio 4. You will either learn something, or be entertained. More likely, both. Let your mind draw the pictures. It worked great with my grandparents!

So to all of you in the UK who work for the BBC and make radio 4 possible. Take this as a thank you. You are truly appreciated!