Thursday, 24 January 2008

Alas, Oneword is no more

It was great, and now it's gone...

As a jeweller, I do a lot of work which uses only a part of my mind. The spare bit of mind gets bored easily, but it's quite specific in its requirements. It hasn't the capacity, for instance, to work on plots or characters in my writing; that would detract from the wax modelling or polishing. No, what it wants is something absorbing to listen to on the radio.

Radio 4 is not as good as it once was; BBC7 devotes all afternoon to children's broadcasting, with its strangely manic children's presenters (what are they on, one wonders?) Then I discovered Oneword.

Oneword serialized a variety of books, had lively film reviews and best of all, Paul Blezard's author interview programme, Between the Lines. Paul Blezard (see the photo) is a man of great charm and enthusiasm, who had always read the book he was talking about. He appears in my short story, Showing Them. I wasn't able to ask his permission, but am sure he is too nice to mind.

Another good thing about Oneword; there were virtually no distracting adverts.

And that, I suppose, is the reason Channel 4 returned for £1 the 51% stake it acquired in the station for £1 million in 2005.

If I go now to my Oneword preset, the station is broadcasting a recording of the dawn chorus.

I do miss it.


  1. It seems to be a law of nature, one that surely would have made it into Bacon's writings if he had lived in this age. Those rare radio and television programs that do not cater to the lowest common denominator, that have some spark of originality, creativity, wit and erudition about them are inevitably fated to pass from the scen prematurely, mourned by a faithful few while the masses have no clue it was even there at all.

    There, that's my cultural snob post for the week.

  2. Alan, feel free to write a cultural snob post on my blog any time at all.

  3. Try "A Way With Words" at and see if the word lover in you isn't nourished.

  4. Thanks for the link, Norm.

    Unfortunately, the computer's in the office and my workbench in the workshop. Else I could use the handy 'Listen Again' facility the BBC offers.

    When I'm in the office, I'm doing work that uses all the brain.

  5. Good lord, I haven't used all the brain in heaven knows how long. Last time I tried I got a cramp. Painful it was. Had to soak it in porter, if I recall.