I try to focus most of my writing on this blog to the City of Worcester and its immediate environs, but those of you who are regular readers may know that I get 90% of my news from the BBC World Service.
I started my love affair with the World Service when I was in college. I had an evening dishwashing job in one of the school cafeterias. When I got out of work, usually about 10:30pm, I’d walk to my dorm, pick up a Wall Street Journal by the door (as there were students who subscribed but never, ever read their newspapers), headed upstairs to take my shower and then settle in for a leisurely evening with two of my greatest pleasures: reading the WSJ from cover to cover and listening to the BBC World Service.
When my older son was born, I was a stay-at-home parent, and the World Service often kept me company in the middle of the night. (I particularly recall one morning, around 3am, when my husband reminded me that parts of an Ian Fleming James Bond novel was on the Story, so I needed to stay up a bit longer.)
When I returned to work, I had a less-than-intellectually-stimulating job, and the World Service kept me from losing my mind.
Since I started listening, there have been numerous program changes: the 15-minute Story has gone, as have separate programming for the different arts, a great women’s program, Reporting Religion (with Dan Damon); the hour-long Outlook was replaced with a half-hour shadow of its former self.
The science programming is usually great, and Peter Day’s business shows are always informative, but I’ve really felt the cuts to the other programming (especially religion and arts) have made a big impact to my listening.
Those of you who listen to the highly addictive Over To You (or, as I affectionately think of it, BBC Bitchfest) know that not only is the World Service considering cutting The Interview (!) but they are also cutting drama and, most upsettingly, World of Music, which is now hosted by the incomparable Mark Coles.
Sorry Bidisha fans, but Mark Coles is my favorite.
And I’m not just saying that because he commented on this very blog a few weeks ago!!! (Yes, it appears that that was really him. And, yes, I totally squealed when I saw that.)
Anyway, if this matters to you, if you feel that The Interview is too important to lose, or if you feel that you’re really going to miss that one hour a week of Mark Coles sharing world music, please share your thoughts at Over to You.