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Nicholas Parsons honoured

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Steve Bowbrick Steve Bowbrick 17:36, Friday, 29 October 2010

Richard Bacon, 5 live presenter, in his introduction to last week's Radio Festival, called the rather civilised radio industry conference "our Glastonbury." If that's the case, then it was "our Michael Eavis", Radio Academy Director Trevor Dann, who inducted Radio 4 legend Nicholas Parsons into the 'Radio Hall of Fame' at the event. Nicholas couldn't come to the Hall of Fame dinner (at which Dave Lee Travis, Whispering Bob Harris and David "Kid" Jensen were also honoured) so Trevor gave Nicholas his lovely glass bowl on stage before the Festival's special recording of Just a Minute.

It was a genuinely touching moment: Nicholas celebrated by his appreciative radio peers in front of his adoring radio audience. The bowl, inevitably, went on to become a comedy prop in the Just a Minute recording and, for the first time in my memory, a member of the audience made it onto the scorecard (fifth place, sadly).

Steve Bowbrick is editor of the Radio 4 blog

  • Just a Minute is off-air at the moment but will return later in the year.
  • There are more videos from the Radio Festival here.
  • The Radio Festival is an annual event organised by industry body The Radio Academy. This year it took place in Salford and it's intended that it be held there from now on.


  • Comment number 1.

    Nicolas Parsons - the guy is top drawer! He's such a great foil to the comedians he has on just a minute. Well deserved Nicolas.

  • Comment number 2.

    Mary Goldring would be my nomination

    1. The only female R4 presenter who could form a close listening bond with engineers and non-V-neck pullover scientists
    2. Brilliant – and sexy - descriptions of her male interviewees. Probably checked if her interviewees were wearing turn-ups on their trousers!
    3. Cared deeply about science education within schools……..’the vernal freshness of a child’s mind’.
    4. A strong supporter of UK manufacturing and didn’t regard people who worked within the manufacturing sector as uncool.
    5. Always stayed aloof from trendy women when interviewed on ‘Woman’s Hour’
    6. The only R4 presenter who could get away with chatting up an interviewee on air
    7. Outstanding programmes and analysis (beautiful scripting) on the economics of nuclear power and power station economics and money supply. I would love to hear Miss Goldring analysing the current behaviour of US bonds. Bond yields rising; equity markets rising?????!!!!!
    8. Had the ability to hetrodyne a smile into the audio band
    9. Sir Walter Marshall interviews were a classic piece of radio
    10. Never afraid to be unfashionable – not a fan of Concorde, but probably possessed a detailed knowledge of the Olympus engine and its development
    11. Signature full of character in her Investors Chronicle articles.

    Other radio people who I would like to see in the Hall of fame:

    Robin Lusting (impeccable manners…….’I’m grateful to you’….and a fine radio presenter). The World Tonight must be one of the most underrated programmes on R4

    Susan Rae (never moans about working unsocial hours and isn’t afraid to make the occasional reference to pop music e.g. her reference to the The Ramones). Never sold out on her Scottishness or pretended to be Southern posh. I have often wondered if she’s made to sit on the Liverpool table in the R4 canteen (as opposed to the Oxbridge table) as a punishment for being Scottish.

    If she can’t gain entry to the Radio Hall of Fame, then The R4 knitting club should make her a nice double knit (with EMU wool) white cardigan for those cold 0520 starts.

    Douglas Stuart

    Swoon, What a voice and fascinating interviewer !!!!!! Time for a Miranda Hart faint

    Mary Anne Hobbs

    Outstanding music presenter – who cared deeply about her listeners - and moved off quietly to a non-fashionable job. I wish her well.

  • Comment number 3.

    Marvellous list Lawrence! I'll pass it on to those you mention...

    Steve Bowbrick, Editor, Radio 4 blog

  • Comment number 4.

    I don't know if they accept posthumous nominations but for me David Hatch was the quintessential Radio person, performer, producer, administrator, he did everything and helped make BBC Radio what it is today. He is still sadly missed.

  • Comment number 5.

    Many, many congratulations to Nicholas - the award is richly deserved.

    And I'd like to second Leon's nomination for David Hatch. Amongst his many talents, he was influential in Just A Minute (being the one who chose Nicholas to chair the programme, according to the Arena documentary).

  • Comment number 6.

    Replying to Leon Duveen (message 4)

    'I don't know if they accept posthumous nominations but for me David Hatch was the quintessential Radio person, performer, producer, administrator, he did everything and helped make BBC Radio what it is today'

    How right you are Mr. Duveen, Sir David was always happy to stay with Radio and never entertained any thoughts of defecting to TV.

  • Comment number 7.

    Replying to message 3

    Thank you for the response Steven, I have noticed that Paul Donovan – the Sunday Times radio critic – is the only radio reviewer who ever makes references to the Radio Academy Hall of Fame. I would like to see some producers admitted – another posthumous nomination would be Bernie Andrews. Annette MacKenzie's productions of ‘The Interview’ on the World Service are also, in my opinion, a fine piece of radio and I would like to see her efforts rewarded. The World Service must be off its rocker to bin this fascinating programme. It’s the choice of guests that enhances the quality of the interviewing.

  • Comment number 8.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.


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