Radio Gaga


October 13, 2013 by benmblackman

1930 radioI love Radio. It’s as close to my heart as books, reading and writing are – so that’s saying something!

Looking back I can see it was honed into me via my Dad from an early age. He never went anywhere without a radio and, in fact, when he came to stay just last weekend, the first thing I noticed when I went to put a towel in his room was his faithful travel radio set next to his bed.

Back in my childhood days, he had a radio permanently stationed upstairs, one downstairs, and a portable he’d often be walking from one level of the house to the other with!


I grew up with 2 sisters and a brother in the age electrical toys had really begun to take off. We fast became dab hands at being able to nick the batteries out of one radio (whilst not in use) and replacing them before he returned to it later that day. I’m not sure it went completely un-noticed and in the early 90’s he went ‘rechargeable’. He was mad for them and, like a farmer with crop rotation, had a vigilant system in place to ensure:

i) Fully charged batteries were in all radios first thing every day;

ii) The batteries just taken out were placed on charge for the day;

iii) I dare say there was an emergency supply hidden away from us pesky kids somewhere, just in case!

Do NOT tell me what happens to Peggy with THAt thing. I'm only up to 2012 episodes currently.

Do NOT tell me what happens to Peggy with THAT thing. I’m only up to 2012 episodes currently.

Thanks to the big fella I can sing the theme tune to Desert Island Discs with the best of them, began an unhealthy obsession with the Archers age 30, and don’t even get me started on the perils of my addiction to Aggers and Test Match Special. As a teenager I often crept down the stairs, the morning after the night before, to the soothing tones of Radio 4 or Classic FM. Worse would be when Radio 5 (‘LIIIIIIIIIIVE’) was on. They were a bit intense in the early days of the station.

I'm starting a campaign, right here, right now - Bring Back 'the' Supplement

I’m starting a campaign, right here, right now – Bring Back ‘the’ Sunday Supplement.

When I first met my wife she was extremely interested and impressed that my Dad was actually ON the radio sometimes. Having pressed me for details I finally had to tell her it was a regular segment on the (thankfully not popular with my peers for some reason?) BBC Essex – Sunday Supplement show. I was amongst their most loyal listeners (I think there was more than one) – mainly to ensure he hadn’t embarrassed the family with yet another of his ‘amusing anecdotes’ or ‘incidents’ which he used to make his religious metaphorical point of the week.

Click for Online Station. Note: They play a LOT of Craig David.

Click for Online Station. Note: They play a LOT of Craig David.

I used to love the Top 40 on Radio 1 and I’d tape all my favourites from it. I was quite the dab hand with the record and pause button. But I  loved talk too. Caesar the Boogie Man used to get my ear every evening on Essex Radio as a teen.

I moved onto Radio 2 by the age of 23 – they had the better DJ’s and Play Lists, you see. In 2007 I had a brief fling with French Station MFM after a particularly sumptuous fortnight holiday in a secluded farmhouse where our only company was a radio set, swimming pool and case full of books.

Click for Website

Click for Website

So, imagine my delight when the good good people of Roberts Radio sent me a brand new Roberts Radio Classic DAB 2 last week – for free! (I’d like to point out, by the way, that they didn’t do this so I would mention them in a blog.) I won it, sort of, via an Absolute Radio giveaway type thing. The Christian O’Connell Show by the way –  that’s THE breakfast show for me these days (upstairs). We listen to Radio 2 in the kitchen (downstairs).

Stark Realisation: I AM MY DAD.

Best present ever

Best present ever

It brings my personal radio tally up to 3. I have my Roberts Revival, which the lovely Mrs Blackman bought me for Christmas many years ago. My favourite radio, it reminds me of my Granny, who also faithfully had a Roberts wherever she went. They can’t be bad – they’re by Appointment to the Queen don’t you know?

Best present ever

Best present ever

My Pure One Classic is another gift from my wife and I particularly love this for it’s DABness (it allows me to listen to Absolute and many other great stations). Plus it has a rechargeable battery pack which lasts for days – maybe my Dad should get one.

roberts officeI’m pleased to report the new Roberts Classic DAB 2 has pride of place in the Family Business Office and brings us joy on a daily basis already. So, thanks to Radio and thanks to Roberts!

And I guess, to my Dad too, for the memories and for being who I am.

He won't be happy about this

He won’t be happy about this (yes that is a necklace, and they are antlers).

Note: I have not received any products from Roberts or Pure to influence this blog but, for the record – I am fully available to ‘sell out’ and blog about any products – please just send me them ALL for free.

Particular Specialties: Expensive Technology Products :: Chocolate :: Crisps :: Sweets :: Fruit, at a push :: Peanuts :: Did I mention Chocolate ::


2 thoughts on “Radio Gaga

  1. MelJD46 says:

    Radio is such a great companion. There is always one in this house and when I head off out on my travels in my little car, the radio is my company. I love Sundays on Radio 4 – Just a Minute or Im Sorry I Haven’t a Clue, Gardeners Question TIme & The Listening Project which often has me crying or laughing. I have listened to a lot of classic literature via dramatisations on The Classic Serial so I have my vision of the characters involved. Radio requires use of the imagination and is therefore much more personal than visual media. And as you know I too have an addiction to TMS that started in childhood. Radio 2 has such treats as Alex Lester and Richard Allinson ( ok I listen through the night more than the day) & I enjoy listening to Jamie Cullum & Bob Harris with their evening programmes. I could live without television but Id be hard pushed to live without a radio

    • benmblackman says:

      Agreed re: TV vs Radio!
      I LOVE Gardeners Question Time even though I’m not a gardener. I love the nature of it, the laughs and just the traditional ness / helpfulness / all round good eggness.
      In a world of technology and XFactor, it’s very refreshing!

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