To Radio With Love Review

This isn’t the worst job in the world: while I get paid to listen to radio, I happen to love the medium too, and hold it in the highest regard.

Honestly, I’d consider radio among the 10 or 12 greatest inventions in history: simple, practical, world-changing and – despite all the drum-banging for new media – can’t be improved on, and won’t be.

To Radio with Love (Newstalk, Sunday, 6pm) was billed “an audio love letter to the medium”, marking this week’s Unesco World Radio Day. For anyone who feels fondly towards the wireless – a hell of a lot of you, going on listenership figures – it was wonderful.

Patricia Baker introduced a set of varied contributors: Joe Duffy, Míchéal O’Muircheartaigh, Margaretta D’Arcy, Theo Dorgan, June Rodgers, Dr Rosemary Day of Mary Immaculate’s Media faculty, and more. From entertainers to intellectuals, all human life, appropriately enough, was here, interspersed with a series of iconic moments.

It captured the depth and breadth of radio, how it has a grand scope but also feels intimate and personal, the way it encourages all sorts of voices and opened the world up to everybody.

Rosemary Day summed it up simply and perfectly: “Dear radio, you have been my companion through life.” In a million years, when the world has fallen into anarchy and civilisation as we know it is extinguished, people will still be tuning their radios.

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