This week, we talk to author and poet John Osborne, who wrote the book "Radio Head: Up And Down The Dial Of British Radio" I talked about a few weeks back.
John Osborne has long been a fan of radio - from late night sessions of John Peel to Test Match Special at dawn, he has always enjoyed tuning in to the riches of our best broadcasts. When his dull temporary job became drearier than ever, John decided to remain attached to his headphones all day to listen to some of Britain's more unknown stations as well as revisiting the mainstream to fully experience the breadth of our radio output. The result is a funny, disarming ride through aspects of Britain that are uplifting, informative and sometimes plain bizarre. Throughout his month of intensive radio listening, John flits through talk radio, sports shows, dips into the mainstream and the minority, exalts in specialist music shows, comedy and local radio before expanding his mind with an experimental arts channel. It seems there is something for everyone at the turn of a dial, whether that is the ranting of the permanently enraged, the gentle tinkle of a string quartet, West Indian stomp or the sound of frozen peas being thrown around Elephant and Castle underground station.John also gets under the skin of the radio business by interviewing presenters such as Mark Radcliffe and Nicholas Parsons as well as industry insiders. John's daily life is directly affected by his radio habit as he finds himself organising a poker night during exposure to The Jazz, and Zane Lowe's energy on Radio One goads him into cooking his stir fry at the same speed as Morecambe and Wise prepared their breakfast. Finally, John decides to turn his life around and radio becomes his saviour.
So we'll talk about that, plus his new book, "The Newsagent's Window: Adventures In A World Of Second-Hand Cars and Lots Cats", and trying to bum free copies off him, probably.
'I had met a lot of special people through newsagents' windows, and spent many enjoyable days with them. I found out about a community I never knew existed, the heart of rural Britain. I learned that everyone had a story to tell, and that people who live very ordinary lives are much more fascinating than explorers or pop stars.' John Osborne's second book is a comic voyage through small-town Britain via the ads in newsagents' windows: lost kittens, personal ads, a second-hand bike for sale, yoga classes ...Moving into an unfurnished house, John at first uses the ads in newsagents' windows to buy practical things like a bed and a settee. But on impulse one day he replies to an advert for a psychic masseur named Lucy, who tells him some startling home-truths as he sits on her settee in his pants. So begins a year of self-discovery and a wild obsession with newsagents' windows, which take John to a shoe-exhibition, to an Alan Ayckbourn play, to a wrestling match. He finds himself the owner of a man's entire video collection, a second-hand bike, a clapped-out Ford Escort - and discovers a community of a bygone age. Looking to improve his German, he meets a pretty German girl named Leni ...Hilarious and thought-provoking, The Newsagent's Window restores our faith - in our fellow human beings, in a world without ebay - and reveals the odd things that can happen if you let newsagents' windows dictate your day.
Any questions for him? Post them below, or send them to The Usual Address, @spikester, @higginbothamp or at the Googy Wave. Get your questions or comments in before 6pm USe/11pm UK tonight (tuesday 27th)