Friday, 11 November 2016

Radio Review:11 November

Radio legend Desmond Carrington signs off

Written by Louis Barfe

In opening sounds of The 80s on Radio 2 the other week, Sara Cox paid a warm tribute to Desmond Carrington, who had done his final The Music Goes Round earlier in the evening. She said she hoped that on future Friday nights he’d use his new-found freedom to listen to her show, if, that is, he wasn’t off out nightclubbing. Seeing as he is 90 years old and coping with Alzheimer’s, among other health issues, the remark seemed a little misjudged. Louis-Barfe-colour-176

Carrington had sounded emotional as he said his final ‘bye just now’ and, to be honest, I wasn’t in a much better state as I listened. However, I knew that he was doing the right thing in going. Obviously foreseeing a time when his high standards could no longer be maintained, this most knowledgeable, experienced and downright agreeable of broadcasters has signed off on his own terms and with tremendous dignity. Following his on-air announcement at the end of September, he, producer Dave Aylott and Golden Paws Sam the cat have been able to have a month-long lap of honour.

With ‘looking back’ as the theme of the show, he opened with up, up and away by the Johnny Mann singers, the first record he’d played on his sunday show all Time Greats when it began in 1981. I never quite adjusted to the schedule change; Desmond will always be the sound of sunday lunchtimes. Instead, we have to suffer the forced laugh of Elaine Paige. This is not progress.

While it’s thoroughly good news that Tony Blackburn is returning to Radio 2 in January to take over the Friday 7pm slot, I’m going to miss Carrington’s eclectic, sometimes eccentric, always delightful shows terribly. The host of all Time Greats became an all-time great himself.

Louis on Twitter: @LFBarfe or email: 

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