Belfast Telegraph

Where I tune in to escape the real world

By Jane Graham

I note that the latest RAJAR (radio audience) figures show an upsurge of interest in BBC Radio 4 Extra, the digital station which puts out a mixture of archive comedy and drama.

Listening to 4Extra, on which every utterance is pre-recorded, is a curious experience — the total lack of news updates, interactive elements or indeed a single ‘live’ word creates an escapist, threat-free cocoon; even in the event of the apocalypse, 4Extra’s output would not alter. Listeners would be blissfully, safely, oblivious. And in the modern rolling news world, in which we’re constantly on alert for screaming panic, that is an increasingly lovely idea.I’m a total convert. I’ve been dipping into old episodes of Alan Partridge and Lee & Herring and, on really bad news days, immersing myself in the distant universe of Anthony Trollope. I often fall asleep imagining that all is right with the world. What more could you ask of your radio?

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