I realised today one of the things that I miss most about not being in the UK (after family and friends of course). It’s not HP sauce as I can get that here, nor is it Waitrose or Waterstones. And while I miss holding the British papers in my hands, I can just about deal with my Guardian separation issues.
No, what I’m really having trouble with is not being able to listen to British radio. It’s odd not waking up listening to Today on Radio 4, or Nicky Campbell and Shelagh Fogarty one-upping each other on Five Live. I miss late night comedy session on BBC 7, or cooking a roast dinner with the soporific tones of Magic FM in the background. Hell, I even miss Alan Green’s Premiership football commentaries.
Of course, I hear you cry, I can listen to some of these stations on the internet, but there’s something odd about listening to programming that was intended for a wholly different time of the day. I mean, who wants to be listening to The World At One as they’re getting up, or the Greg James early breakfast show as they’re going to bed?
British radio is simply ahead of the game. Don’t get me wrong, there’s some cracking stations here (if you like classic rock, you’ve got to give the “progressive sound of WEHM” a try), but it’s only when you’re away from Britain that you realise how much you miss the BBC in particular. Maybe some people have a problem with “the unique way the BBC is funded”, but £135.50 a year seems a bargain right now if you ask me.
Anyway, I’m off to iTunes to download podcasts of Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand’s respective radio shows. Maybe it’s not quite the same as listening to the programmes live and in the flesh, but at least it’ll bring a little bit of the UK to my subway journeys next week.