Sunday, 12 January 2014

Broadcast memories.

A radiogram like my granny had.

My Sunday mornings are inextricably linked these days to Radio 2.  The alarm clock blasts us awake to the Sunday House presented by a perfectly nice ex-Blue Peter presenter who tends to put in rather more "worship songs" than is to my personal taste and then proceeds on to Clare Balding who generally manages to combine quite interesting spiritual conversations with essentially non religious music.  I prefer the latter, myself.

It struck me today that this represent a major change in religious broadcasting from the days of my youth.  Then it was "Stars on Sunday" with Jess Yates (later drummed out of the religious broadcasting Brownies for an extra marital affair - viewers, then as now, disliked "hypocrisy", which kinda missed the fact that his wife had fathered their daughter by Hughie Green, so he was at least as much sinned against as sinning) or Highway with Harry Secombe whose brother was a Vicar in darkest Hanwell just up the road from where  did my 2nd curacy.  Thora Hird also appeared later on with "Praise Be!"  It was all slightly "hymn sandwich" with comforting piety, although Harry Secombe had a sense of humour and did the human interest stuff very well.  Today however, the presentation has got younger (despite congregations getting older) and more predominantly female - gender balance and all that but perfectly sensible given that most churchgoers these day are women.  What struck today most strongly is that the presenting has moved from white family favourites types to a much more mixed bag.  More women, the 1st black Blue Peter presenter (all after my time when it was John Noakes and Shep) and a lesbian in a civil partnership.  And it's on the BBC - the State Broadcasting agency.  

No doubt those whose read the Daily Heil and sic like publications lament this ("left wing metropolitan elite influence", "political correctness", yada, yada, yada).  I can't say I do.  Diversity is a good thing and variety the spice of life.  I'm delighted on the whole that the world has moved on since my youth.  No more NHS heavy framed specs, cooking has advanced beyond boiled spuds, 2 veg (overcooked) and some well done meat (child of the 70's I am - mind you the sausages did taste better as they came from the butchers, not a factory in Ireland).  Generally, the world has improved. Or more correctly, my bit has improved.  There always were and always will be tragedies both personal and global and perhaps we hear more of them now due to rolling news, the Internet and social media.  God may be unchanging but his world isn't and was never meant to be and nor were his people or his Church.  Faith may be the constant but how it is expressed changes according to context and situation and rightly so.  A simple illustration - my granny listed to the radio on her radiogram, I as a kid had a tranny (a transistor radio not a transexual in my young days!).  Now I use a DAB digital radio.  Same stations, different technology, better reception.  Simple isn't it?

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