Me and the lady are driving along in her car when we stumbled across a community radio station in Manchester. Community radio is in a different league to commercial or BBC radio. It is everything the BBC should be but isn't. Radio run by volunteers, there because they want to be. Lovely, pure, real radio. The show me and my girlfriend witnessed was a beauty. Two old people chattering away about the war. They weren't talking from direct experience* just generally about history and so forth. After a bit of prattle they then went into the following routine:
"Oh, it's a bit technical this next bit. Pick a number."
"Erm, can you have a half?"
"No, now come on, don't be silly, pick a number."
"Right, here it is then."
After this exchange on came some really old fashioned comedy sketch featuring 'Ching Chong Chinaman' who was explaining his country's position as regarded the war. Ching Chong appeared to only talk in an odd parody of Chinese and eventually the bloke listening to him told him to shut up and then shot him. Swiftly following the demise of Mr Chinaman the sketch faded out and an embarrased presenter went;
"Erm... that's all we've got time for... erm."
"Why don't you do the quiz for a bit while I choose something different?"
"Yes, that's a good idea, well, I've got it here."
"Oh, look here's someone calling in."
"Well, they can't know the answer to the quiz yet. I've not finished the question."
"I'll go and answer it, you get on with the quiz."
(You can hear one of the presenters getting up and pushing past the microphone to go answer the call)
"Right then, here's the question for you-"
(Off mic and in the background you can hear one half of the phone conversation)
"Hello? ... No I'm afraid he's not in..."
"Who was it?"
"Someone ringing to see if Simon was here but I told them he wasn't."
I was amazed. The show continued in that vein throughout the whole car journey. It was genius. Like you'd just popped round to their house for a chat. I'm not going to name the station as it's not my intention to mock it or have a go. I'm actually praising it. I listened to that above all the other stations in Manchester at that time! You just can't bottle a bit of radio like that. It was great. The whole experience put me in a good mood.
*Most of our war generation is gone now. Sad how these things move on.