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Monday, July 16, 2007

We have all the time in the world

Just before nine on Sunday morning on Radio Four used to be the Alastair Cooke slot. It's now occupied by a simple ten minute programme called "A Point Of View" which is even better. This used to be done by Brian Walden. It's currently done by Clive James.
This week's monologue (for that's all it is) was about the wisdom of veteran tennis players. You can read it or listen to it here. Noting that a handful of former champions (McEnroe, Navratilova, King) can be relied upon to say something insightful when given the chance, he celebrates the many rain delays in the recent tournament for the chances it gave them. I found when I was flicking around I actually preferred it when there was no play for this very reason. I'm the same with the cricket on Test Match Special. Hearing Viv Richards and Tony Cozier talking about the Caribbean during the recent series was not just a joy - it provided illumination you wouldn't get anywhere else. During a lunch break in the one-day games they had Graham Taylor and Frank Skinner talking about their love of the game. I could have listened quite happily for more than an hour.
TV and radio presenters spend most of their time saying "that's all we've got time for", which is a lie. These media are actually at their best when they decide they have all the time in the world. Maybe that's what we can all learn from podcasting.