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Saturday Live: Jan Ravens, Charley Pride, Les Dawson's family

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Reverend Richard Coles Reverend Richard Coles 14:32, Friday, 2 November 2012

Editor's note: Saturday Live is Radio 4's Saturday morning magazine show featuring extraordinary stories and remarkable people. You can listen to the show here. In this blog presenter Richard Coles gives us an insight into his week and looks ahead to the next show. - CM

Jan Ravens

Jan Ravens is a guest on this week's Saturday Live

A day of being poacher turned gamekeeper today.

My new book has been published so I was on the other side of the BBC's baize tables, from the Today Programme yesterday morning to Steve Wright in the Afternoon yesterday, well, afternoon.

It was odd because the last time I was interviewed in this sort of way was when I was in the Communards, back in the days when we played records and had industries and no-one did trick or treat, so it was, first, like a weird flashback, and, second, required different circuits to fire up from the ones which fire up when you're doing the interviewing.

First call was the Today Programme, where I was on just after the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who, unlike me, did not have Marmite on his face (egg possibly, after the Europe vote yesterday) . I actually know all the presenters but, in that radio way, by voice rather than by person. The live trail on the Today programme Sian and I do every Saturday morning is down the line, because they're in White City and we're in Broadcasting House, so you only recognise someone when they speak.

I was sitting with my toast and coffee when a nice lady came in but it was only when she said hello I realised it was Sarah Montague. Corrie Corfield, whom I know from Broadcasting House came by too, and Martha Kearney, and suddenly it was time to go into the studio.

It is quite odd seeing the radio programme I have listened to practically every day of my life for the past twenty five years in the flesh, as it were. I think of it, completely irrationally, coming from a studio that looks like the Houses of Parliament, all green leather and portcullises, but actually it's a rather modest affair, and... I tremble to write this.... not as nice as the Saturday Live studio; ours is roomier, and we have a cooker although we're not allowed to switch it one unless there's a fire officer present.

We'll be cooking with gas on Saturday, with JP filling in for Sian who's down to do the New York Marathon, Frankenstorm permitting: on the menu are Jan Ravens, comedienne of a thousand voices; the wife and daughter of the late Les Dawson, comedian of a thousand faces; a British woman who worked as a hostess in a Japanese bar; the head of the British Roundabouts Appreciation Society; and country music's greatest black singer, Charley Pride. Bon appetit!

Richard Coles presents Saturday Live at 9.00am on Saturday mornings on Radio 4.

  • Visit the Saturday Live website and hear the most recent episode.
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  • Comment number 1.

    Mistaken Identity

    I am always being told I look like Phil Daniels the actor, and having a fairly broad cockney accent I suppose, sound like him too.

    I was once travelling on a train from Scunthorpe to Doncaster and having an animated conversation on my mobile.
    At Doncaster I rose to alight. A woman who had been sitting nearby with her son made eye contact and said to me of her son, 'he thinks you're the man outa Eastenders.' I looked at the lad and said 'I am.'
    'Do you want my autograph?' He replied ' Nah, ya'orite.'

  • Comment number 2.

    I was buying a book for my brother when the bookseller asked me whether my brother was someone famous.'No' said I 'Who did you think my brother was?' 'Boris Johnson'. It doesn't say much for my appearance but it does give us a real laugh.' My brover!' Rosemary Muntus Suffolk.

  • Comment number 3.

    Hi, just a thought on people who take on strange voices - yoga teachers! Who take on this weird reeeelaaaaaaxing voooice!

  • Comment number 4.

    Regarding radio voices. I was a radio newscaster when my daughter was in Catholic primary school. When it was my turn to read during Mass, I moved into my dramatic-reading radio voice without even thinking. My daughter was so embarrassed, I didn't read in church again.


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