Wednesday, 16 June 2010
When I was a kid, I used to go to sleep listening to a tape of The Railway Children read by Dinah Sheridan. (If I were writing this on Twitter, I might add a little #middleclassnightmares at this point - although they weren’t nightmares, they were happy dreams about old gentlemen waving from railway carriage windows). I listened to this tape so often, and my brain was so much sharper in those days, that it all sank in; I could probably recite the whole book word for word to this day. What a party trick that would be - if I wanted to kill a party stone dead.
Anyway, there was a line in it: “Of course, mothers never have favourites, but if Mother had had a favourite, it might have been Roberta.” That’s how I feel about tonight’s episode of Heresy.
I love all the episodes and (call me Pollyanna) all the guests. Rufus Hound has done sterling work this series, David Baddiel (as the show’s creator) is always perfect, Polly Vernon was sparky and smart in her first EVER public performance, Grayson Perry was brilliant, so was Dave Gorman, I love Richard Coles… I don’t think we have yet made an episode that I wouldn’t enjoy listening to on the radio - and I can’t have a yardstick other than that.
But if I had to have a favourite, in this series, it might be tonight’s. The guests are Matthew Norman, David Schneider and David Mitchell, and the topics they must argue against are
THE TELEVISION SHOULD NOT BE USED AS A BABYSITTER
YOU SHOULDN’T EAT ANIMALS THAT ARE KEPT AS PETS
TWITTER IS AN ACT OF MASSIVE COLLECTIVE NARCISSISM
I like it because tonight’s episode is a warm, funny little world to join. The guests all got on very well with each other at the recording, which was nice to be part of - it felt like being a successful party host! And I loved it that they all found each other funny and collectively made each other funnier. I like it because Matthew Norman is a restaurant critic and journalist, not a comedian, and he doesn’t do much radio but he’s done Heresy twice now and been as funny as any comedian both times. I like it because David Schneider is, I think, one of the funniest people around and yet he doesn’t seem to do many panel shows; I think he should do more and perhaps he will, but I was very glad that he did ours and was great on it. David Mitchell, of course, is clever and funny on everything he does.
I like it because the Twitter topic is one that means a lot to me (I really, strongly, disagree with this received opinion) so I genuinely wanted it to be argued out - and yet, other parts of the show are quite incredibly silly. Look out for two of the guests revealing they were scarred as children by watching lobsters die. Also, the audience members join in very well and inspire some good extra chat.
Altogether, the whole thing feels properly Radio 4. And, since Radio 4 is one of my favourite things, I am very proud of the episode. If you’re going to catch one in the series, do make it this one. Wednesday 6.30pm, Radio 4.