BBC local radio: Top 50 of the week

The shows/items that impressed, moved, entertained or captivated me most on BBC local radio, week ending 29 July 2016 

  1. BBC Radio Bristol/BBC Somerset – Steve Yabsley returns from holiday and poses the big question: “If a restaurant menu had roast Womble on it, would you order it?”. There’s also talk about grapes (“I thought we’d start with an uncontroversial topic), fresh breath, renovating,  Monterey Jack cheese and the Top 10 toast toppings (“the definitive list”) and charming visits to Cleveland Pools and Blaise; and the big question: “If a restaurant menu had roast Womble, would you order it?” (Tuesday noon)
  2. BBC Radio Suffolk – Stephen Foster has great interviews with Kevin Rowland of Dexys and The Bodyguard stars Beverley Knight and Ben Richards. Plus: farmer’s’ death, rail overcrowding, Bupa care homes criticised, Mildenhall speedway, nuclear industry, music by Rachel Sweet, Bad Company, Daft Punk, the stunning Kansas by session of the week artist Luke Jackson (Thursday 1700)
  3. BBC Radio Leicester  – Jim Davis and Monica Winfield lead on the fall in recruitment by the Samaritans, blaming zero-hours contracts, including interview with volunteers; listeners contribute 1966 memories; Jim reports from the disused RAF Melton which housed nuclear missiles during the cold war (weaving in Two Tribes, Bob Dylan and archive audio); plus reports by Dale Neal live from the home of a Loughborough volunteer in the Our Rio feature and from the restored Friar’s Mill), Bridget Blair (the effects of terror attacks on travel), Tim Parker (meeting Labour members to talk about the leadership battle), Ady Dayman (his favourite place – Bradgate Park) and Martin Ballard (Leicester Tigers training sessions for children) (Friday 0600)
  4. BBC Somerset – Claire Carter pulls off a marvellous outside broadcast from the top of the Quantock Hills, celebrating 60 years since it was named an area of outstanding natural beauty, featuring excellent interviews including ranger Owen Jones, dog walker Annabel and councillor Roger Habgood (Wednesday 0630) And Claire shows her newsier side with an OB from the site of the delayed (again) Hinkley Point C nuclear power station (Friday 0630)
  5. BBC Somerset – Ben McGrail finds out who his shortest and tallest listeners are (“one of the daftest phone-ins we’ve done for many a day”) and meets teenagers at the Children In Care achievement awards, while Andy Bennett meets a homeless Taunton woman (who doesn’t like the term rough sleeper) (Tuesday 0900)
  6. BBC Radio Solent – Sasha Twining provides excellent coverage of nudity (featuring the sound of shocked colleagues as they watch Channel 4’s naked dating programme, an interview with the Naked Cyclist Roger Coupe, lots of calls including June who doesn’t like naked people being shoved down our throats). Plus: egg safety (including an interview with Edwina Currie) and eating disorders (interview with Jess Griffiths who recovered after suffering from the illness for 10 years) (Tuesday 1000)
  7. BBC Radio Suffolk – Lesley Dolphin has a radio gold guest: Christine Webber, a former Anglia TV presenter who became an agony aunt, Harley Street psychotherapist and author. Plus: Martin Myerscough, inventor of a recyclable paper cup, and Geoff Doggett of the River Waveney Trust (Wednesday 1400)
  8. BBC Radio Bristol – Claire Cavanagh meets actor Michael Cochrane (Monday 1416), musician and writer Ben Watt (Tuesday 1415), sweet-sounding Irish country star Nathan Carter (Wednesday 1415), Rebecca Chance, the author of racy novels (Thursday 1414) and  Whole Again/That’s My Goal songwriter Jem Godfrey from the band Frost (Friday 1412)
  9. BBC Radio GloucesterHayley Mortimer makes a beautifully produced report from the refurbished National Waterways Museum – and Mark Smith reports live from the site in Gloucester docks for the Mark Cummings show. Plus Steve Knibbs talks to a Gloucester teenager about her violent relationship when she was 13; Chris Brierley on Stroud’s referendum on the neighbourhood development plan; the 150th anniversary of Beatrix Potter’s birth; Dave Harvey on Hinkley Point nuclear power plant plans (Thursday 0600)
  10. BBC Radio Manchester – Mike Shaft’s playlist includes a rousing Matt Goss track and he conducts studio interviews with volunteers making refugees welcome, a Jehovah’s Witness attending a convention in Manchester, the bishop of Salford on plans to close up to 35 churches, Redeeming Our Communities about setting up community cafes and Sarah O’Connell about her play Concrete Jungle (Sunday 0600)
  11. BBC Radio Shropshire – Clare Ashford and Eric Smith talk about egg safety and midlife crises and feature reports on the road by Ian Perry (on a railway heritage trust walk), Kate Tebby (on a campaign to recruit medical army reservists), James Bond (at a Dorley school as part of the station’s Pride In Shropshire features), Jonty O’Donnell (on the Made in Telford mural) and Nicola Goodwin (meeting a sheep farmer at the Malvern show) (Wednesday 0600)
  12. BBC Radio Bristol – Emma Britton presents calm coverage of rubbish left by travellers and their fish-throwing behaviour with a voxpop, a live report by Richard Lawson and an interview with a campaigner seeking to change negative attitudes to travellers (who accepts that it is unacceptable). Plus coverage of Todd Blackadder’s appointment by Bath rugby club; Adam Crowther on Pokemon Go at Bristol zoo; Transplant Games (Thursday 0630)
  13. BBC Radio Cumbria – Mike Zeller marks 150 years since the birth of Beatrix Potter with a 1966 recording of Mrs Gaddam (“what fantastic audio”) who was related to the author by marriage followed by an interview with the Beatrix Potter Society about the author’s sheep farming in Cumbria (Monday 0850)
  14. BBC Wiltshire – Emma Colman follows lambs (mainly orphans) as they are taken from a Corsham farm to a Chippenham school to provide awesomely cute animal assisted therapy (Sunday 1210 in Wild About Wiltshire)
  15. BBC Radio Berkshire – Anne Diamond talks to a French woman living in Berkshire and a Berkshire man living in Germany about the spate of terror incidents, Nigel Farage about his life after politics, two National Citizenship Service volunteers and reporter Adam Kirtley in Majorca on the Brexit effect on holiday prices (Wednesday 1000)
  16. BBC Radio Cambridgeshire – Dotty McLeod reports on repairs to vandalised swimming pool, followed by a studio visit by Huntington toddler Ted, who has complex needs, as his mother talks about the success in raising money for a power chair. Plus: Julia Greenaway reports from Trumpington Meadows on controversial development issues and Johnny Dee meets Peterborough youngster Laureano to talk about how he has been helped by the Prince’s Trust as it campaigns to help people lacking “inherited opportunities” (Tuesday 0600)
  17. BBC Radio Leicester –  Ben Jackson ‏continues his Afternoons Afloat week as he sails a 1969 mirror dinghy on the Grand Union canal, spending most of the first hour learning about its history with Mary Matts, who has lived at Foxton Locks for 50 years and then meeting the jolly folk at the Navigation Inn to hear its ghost stories (Tuesday 1500)
  18. BBC Radio Humberside David Burns focuses on antisocial behaviour on Beverley Road (with James Piekos reporting from the street) and talks to Jim from Cleethorpes who went to all of England’s 1966 World Cup games. Plus Lloyds bank cuts; the poor state of Pickering park; beekeeping (Thursday 0900)
  19. BBC Radio Cambridgeshire – Jeremy Sallis finds out how being a fan of Ronan Keating inspired Ali McNamara to becoming an author (Wednesday 1235) and features Martin Lester from Wicken Fen in in the Wildlife Wednesday slot (1420)
  20. BBC Coventry & Warwickshire – Vic Minett comes out as a fan of the Goombay Dance Band as she talks to Oliver Bendt about Seven Tears, limbo dancing and fire eating, has a lovely chat to Monday Mayor: Ann Morrison from Leamington, and discusses faith in sports stars/Russian doping. Plus Tom Cooke investigates how ice cream vans’ tunes work at Criminisi Ice Cream in Holbrooks (Monday 0900)
  21. BBC Essex Tony Fisher talks to Tony Pearce of the Bon Jovi Experience about performing with his idols etc. Plus: river care cleanup, film expert Phil Toms on the Beatles documentary, Shakespeare in Colchester, music by Lene Lovich, Elvis Costello, Poco (Thursday noon)
  22. BBC Radio Berkshire – Andrew Peach has a good breakfast show mix including Heathrow passport delays, bowel cancer, an Owen Smith interview, meerkats, buzzards attacking runners and newsreader Sarah Walker on her nightmare bank account saga (Monday 0700)
  23. BBC Radio Bristol – Jonathan Ray talks to a Methodist church minister on his opposition to Theresa May’s stance on nuclear weapons (Sunday 0740) and gets Nick and Dawn to tell one of the Grave Tales ghost stories being told in a Bristol cemetery (0850)
  24. BBC Radio Merseyside – Spencer Leigh talks to Steve Earle, rattling his jewellery throughout, and Shawn Colvin about teaming up to make an album together in One The Beat (Sunday 1700)
  25. BBC Radio Bristol – Laura Rawlings ‏features audio following in Mary Shelley’s footsteps as she wrote Frankenstein in Bath; Ask the Expert on naturism; and Try It Tuesday, making an oat bath dumpling and an oat face mask  (Tuesday 1600) 
  26. BBC Radio Cumbria – Mike Zeller leads on food banks helping children over school holidays with an explainer by Neil Smith, a report by Sarah Dumbbell from the Workington food bank and an interview with a food bank organiser. Plus Jennie Dennett reports live from a protest against concrete plant and Siân Hall reports from the Keswick premiere of Swallows and Amazons (Monday 0725)
  27. BBC Radio Cornwall – Laurence Reed  challenges a Cornwall councillor and has lots of feedback on traffic delays plus coverage of Falmouth university expansion and radicalising children (Wednesday noon)
  28. BBC Radio Derby – Andy Potter begins a week of memories of England’s 1966 World Cup win by talking to Eric of Swadlincote who has some terrific stories about watching 10 games at the tournament including the final. Plus: TV reviews, report from Buxton sensory garden (Monday 1300)
  29. BBC Radio Solent – Richard Latto kicks off another rocking Stereo Underground with Turning Japanese by the Vapors, Oblivious by the week’s featured artists, Aztec Camera, and 100% Or Nothing by Primal Scream while Adam Blackmore contributes Big Adam’s Rock and Blues Corner comprising tracks by Rush, Joe Bonamassa and Kenny Wayne Shepherd (Saturday 1800)
  30. BBC Essex Sadie Nine talks about charges for missed hospital appointments, dangerous dogs and, the demise of the shampoo and set plus interviews with two Essex businessmen featured in Channel 4’s The Job Interview and an Essex woman who is volunteering at the Rio Olympics (Monday 0900)
  31. BBC Radio Gloucestershire David Smith joins Alison from the Home Start voluntary group as she visits young mother Emma and Mark Smith visits a young Dursley mother for tips on coping on a small income with a researcher who is investigating money management skills (Monday 0900 on the Anna King show)
  32. BBC Three Counties Radio – Justin Dealey opens the Sixties hour of the Sunday Jukebox  with Lesley Gore, Joe Brown and Al Wilson; the Seventies hour begins with ELO, Free and T Rex (Sunday 0900)
  33. BBC Radio Kent – John Warnett and Maggie Doyle lead on the introduction of body cameras for parking officers in Gravesham and talk about body piercing stories. Plus Joe Pocock continues the station’s Great Outdoors series with a visit to Chatham’s karting circuit (Tuesday 0600)
  34. BBC Radio Lancashire – Graham Liver tries his hand at flower arranging, guided by Margaret Mason, in his Give It A Try In July slot, while Mike Stevens meets three youngsters missing out on Majorca as their holiday firm has gone bust (Tuesday 0600)
  35. BBC Newcastle – Gary Philipson broadcasts from the 28th Sunderland Air Show, with reporter Peter Grant, as part of the station’s day of OBs, and finds out that the Typhoon fighter plane is “a beast” that goes “from benign to brutal in half a second” when he talks to pilot Mark Long (Sunday 1220)
  36. BBC Radio Northampton – Stuart Linnell leads on the summer ban on hedge cutting around farm fields to protect birds with Sam Read meeting farmer Bob and an interview with the local MP. Plus Carroll Weston reports on charities forced to clear mess dumped around their collection points (Wednesday 0600)
  37. BBC Radio Nottingham – John Holmes interviews Dr John Powell, author of Why We Love Music, about the psychology of music and play his music choices by the Temptations, Jimi Hendrix, John Williams, Genesis, Joni Mitchell, OMD, the Inkspots and the Who (Sunday 1105)
  38. BBC Radio Nottingham – Alan Clifford is joined by Mike Payne, the founder of the Unload charity for people who have suffered trauma fighting wars or crime (Wednesday 1412) and two parrots (one who likes saying “hello”) and a cockatoo, accompanied by members of the Guardian Angels bird sanctuary (1509)
  39. BBC Radio Shropshire – Marie Crichton opens her wonderfully annotated country show with Mark Chesnutt,  Alice Wallace and David Ramirez (Saturday 1800)
  40. BBC Hereford & Worcester – Malcolm Boyden “laments the VCR’s sad passing” with the Gadget Detective and listeners, and talks to an eccentric life coach on mobile phone users’ “screen separation anxiety”, a colour psychologist about what the colour of front door says about you, and experts on the Lowcostholidays collapse, the nine lives of cats and complicated car engines (Thursday 1000)
  41. BBC Radio Shropshire – Jim Hawkins meets Martin and Beth of Mr Moydens handmade cheese who talk about their pride in their Shropshire heritage and the essence of Shropshire in their range (Tuesday 1017) Plus meeting celebrities in unusual places
  42. BBC Surrey Mark Carter talks to Dennis Locorriere about living in Worthing, Dr Hook, touring, The X Factor etc (Sunday 1500)
  43. BBC Radio Stoke – Emma Thomas, whose report from a church in Stone in Staffordshire which has become a Poke Stop for Pokemon Go fans aired on various Sunday morning faith shows, meets teenagers from Germany and Stoke carrying out maintenance work on the 5,000 graves at the German military cemetery at Cannock Chase, and Liz Ellis talks to Aisha Khan of Chic Muslimah about modest but cool and stylish summer wear for Muslim women (Sunday 0600)
  44. BBC Radio Suffolk – Stephen Foster broadcasts from Jimmy’s Harvest Festival, featuring live music by Ethan Ash and Ulysses and interviews with Jimmy Doherty, Kate Quilton, Reef and the cast of The Tempest and the Royal Association for Deaf People (Sunday 0900)
  45. BBC Three Counties Radio – Jonathan Vernon Smith airs a report by Joseph Hall who joins police officers training to use firearms before asking: would you feel safe or scared if there were more armed police? (Wednesday 0900)
  46. BBC Surrey – Danny Pike hears stories about getting into difficulty at sea, linked to the RNLI’s Respect The Water campaign, plus travel insurance advice, Maureen Nolan on Footloose and delivery drones (Tuesday 0900)
  47. BBC Radio Jersey – Charlie McArdle broadcasts live from St Brelade’s Bay where he meets participants in the 30 Bays In 30 Days swimming challenge and historian Jason Castledine before exploring Durrell wildlife park in the rain (Thursday 1310)
  48. BBC Radio Oxford – Kat Orman has a lively interview with Johnnie Rocket author John Chapman (Wednesday 1008)
  49. BBC Radio Shropshire – Paul Shuttleworth talks to Louise and Saskia from Buy-From Shropshire which supports independent businesses and  Ryan Kennedy reports from Cooper’s sausage roll factory in the Sunday Kitchen (Sunday 1100)
  50. BBC Radio Kent – Dave Cash talks to the Lincolnshire-born, US-based country singer Callaghan (Sunday 1720)