Tuesday, September 22, 2009
You know how it is. You've finally wrestled your Cabinet report to Council into some sort of shape. You know that newsletter isn't going to write itself. But still you end up browsing YouTube for bits and pieces.
And that's how I came across this recording of the old Radio 4 theme, which played every morning before 5.50am between the closing of the World Service and the start of the Today programme, from 1978 until 2006.
It's easy to mock the people who wrote in their thousands when Mark Damazager, the station's controller, declared that he was axing the theme. Don't these people have anything better to complain about? But I was really cross when the theme went. It seemed to me it was a needless change - just how many "news briefings" do Radio 4 listeners need?
The theme was personally important to me as a constant reference point. Of course I didn't listen to it everyday - it's a bit naff, and the composition isn't great - but it was always there. I first heard it when I was studying for school exams, and fruitlessly got up very early in the morning for last minute cramming. And every now again I'd come across it - taking James to swimming, or getting up early for work. And it was a reassuring point of continuity in a changing, confusing world.
It's gone now. But if you appreciated what it represented, enjoy it one more time with me.