In the increasingly tall Tower of Babel that is the modern media, there’s only one show that I really care about: The Radcliffe & Maconie show on Radio 2. Except it’s not going to be on Radio 2 from April, as it’s being shunted from its Monday to Wednesday 8-10pm slot onto 6 Music, every weekday from 1pm-4pm.
Now, rationally, I should be pleased about this. There’s going to 15 hours of R&M, instead of a paltry 6 hours. I’ll also be able to listen to the show live a lot more instead of catching up on iPlayer. This last point matters, given how much listeners contribute to the show.
Given the plus points, why was I so gutted when I heard the news? Well, Radcliffe & Maconie are like mates. They’ve made a connection with me, and other listeners, through the relaxed bonhomie and badinage that comes across so well. Their eclectic playlist, with a mixture of classics, not-so-classics and new songs cutting across genres, is also sometimes educational (as well as entertaining, obviously). And their choice of live sessions is impeccable.
There’s also the fact that I have vivid memories of listening to Mark (Radcliffe) and Lard’s Radio 1 show in the 1990s. Stuart Maconie’s music journalism, although I didn’t realise it at the time, is also responsible – in an admittedly roundabout way – for me doing what I do for a living.
So on hearing that Radcliffe & Maconie were being moved to 6 Music, I was gutted not because I think the show’s going to suffer (I’ll reserve judgement on that) but because it felt like mates of mine are being under-appreciated and treated badly. For managing to elicit that response from me through the radio (and the occasional chat on the phone) despite my rational side, I appreciate Radcliffe & Maconie all the more. They are national treasures to be cherished.