Gillian Reynolds - Audiophile

To mark her 50 years as a professional reviewer, Gillian Reynolds unearths the voices that have echoed through her life as critic and broadcaster on commercial and BBC radio.

Gillian Reynolds has been a professional writer about radio for fifty years and, for Archive on 4, unearths the voices that have echoed through her life as critic and broadcaster on commercial and BBC radio.

Gillian's love affair with the medium started when she was a child growing up in pre-war Liverpool. The first real characters to make an impact on her were those legendary Second World War voices like Lord Haw-Haw, Nazi propagandist William Joyce, Mrs Mopp, from Tommy Handley's madcap wartime show ITMA, and Band Waggon star Arthur Askey.

But in a lifetime of listening and reviewing, initially for the Guardian but for four decades at the Daily Telegraph, Gillian Reynolds has always kept pace with what's new on the broadcasting block - from the advent of commercial radio in the 1970s, the BBC Gulf War station cobbled together at short notice (popularly known as 'Scud FM') which inspired Radio 5Live, or the latest American podcast sensations that have been making recent headlines for audio.

Gillian spices her show with brand new interviews with a handful of her contemporaries, heroes and friends. Sue MacGregor (of The Reunion, Today, Woman's Hour and The World at One), Dame Jenny Abramsky (who retired as BBC Director of Radio in 2008), Nick Pollard (Gillian's colleague at commercial Radio City, and later a senior figure at ITN and Sky News) and Jimmy Gordon (who founded Clyde FM) join Gillian to capture the seismic changes in radio during her lifetime and its unquenchable, irresistible appeal even in the clamorous age of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Producer: Simon Elmes
An Overtone production for BBC Radio 4.

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58 minutes

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