Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Perfectly Tailored

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Perfectly Tailored

Article excerpt

Christmas radio

Various stations

Radio this Christmas has a particularly heavy-lidded sense of sweet familiarity. Bradley Wiggins and Paul Weller (26 December, 1-3pm, 6 Music) are teaming up for a one-off show "jammed with classic tracks while the side-burned duo trade anecdotes about their musical heritage". It sounds like something you've surely heard before (and enjoyed in a vague way) a certainty born from the countless times the pair have been photographed gladhanding each other on various red carpets recently, Wiggins trying politely to not look so tall.

If this trial goes well, expect three hours with Wellins to become a seasonal feature. Radio 3's Early Music Show (22 December, 1-4 pm) goes for the hardcore trad jugular, looking at the earliest English polyphonic carol, "Ther is no rose", sung by the velvet-togged consort Alamire with an emphasis on the cosy surely only matched by Radio 4's look at Beatrix Potter's The Tailor of Gloucester (27 December, 11.30 am)--which reveals the story is based on fact (I knew it!).

Experts on Potter, interviewed to the sound of a ticking clock, reveal that as a child she had no friends (her gloomy Unitarian parents kept her a prisoner at home) and would smuggle baby hedgehogs and squirrels into her nursery to try to befriend them, a common story for lonely children. (The Chinese flautist Guo Yue once recalled trying desperately to befriend a dragonfly in a field after the Cultural Revolution).

Life continued quietly, with Potter secretly running her Kensington menagerie and feeling ever more keenly that "the lords and ladies of the last century walked with me". …

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