Will Self

    I grew up listening to Alistair Cooke's Letter from America which used to be scheduled in the spot now occupied by A Point of View - why? Because my insufferably bien-pensant parents had got rid of our television because they thought it was a terrible influence on children, making them distracted and functionally illiterate.

    Well, if they were alive today I expect they'd be just a little bit pleased with themselves upon hearing my lugubrious tones flute out of the set as I deliver the first of what I hope will be many Points of View.

    I'd like to adopt Cook's own chirpily-austere trademark salutation "Good-morning", but of course this wouldn't scan for the repeat and plenty of listeners might feel I was traducing the late, great meliorist. Instead, I will hope to complement not only the sort of broadcasting that he so effectively did, but also to be a worthy stablemate for such excellent views-makers as John Gray.

    What will I bring to it?

    Well, rather like Kenneth Williams in his Round the Horne guise as Gruntfuttock, I'm afraid I may not be able to restrain myself from doing "the voices".

    It seems to me that POV is a spot that while ostensibly mandating a monologue, nonetheless allows for opening-out into an entire playlet, complete with a dramatic arc.

    Opinion is everywhere in the contemporary world, and I suspect some listeners may feel a little blase when they're offered still more of it.

    I hope to insinuate really rather radical ideas into those nodding heads and closed ears by couching them in contexts - humorous, anecdotal, amusing - before hitting them with the sucker-punch of wanton irreverence. I hope Cook would, if not approve, understand: needs must...

    Will Self presents A Point of View from this Friday, 30 September on Radio 4

    • A Point of View is on Fridays on Radio 4 at 20:50 BST and repeated Sundays, 08:50 BST. You can hear the programme shortly afterwards on the Radio 4 website.
    • Visit A Point of View on the web
    • You can find an archive of A Point of View episodes to download and keep via the podcast page. You can also subscribe to the podcast.
    • You can find the weekly A Point of View essay published on the BBC News website Magazine.
    • You can hear previous presenters of A Point of View including John Gray, Alain de Botton, Joan Bakewell, Sarah Dunant, Lisa Jardine, David Cannadine, Simon Schama and Clive James in the programme archive.
    Loading...

    More Posts

    Previous

    Next