Remembering Today in the sixties

Evan Davies on Today this morning reported that a new clock, provided via a listener’s website, has been installed in their studio. It shows the time in words, which is rather novel. This is following some time-telling difficulty displayed by Davis and his co-presenter, Sarah Montague.

This reminded me of Jack de Manio. When I was at primary school, during the mid to late sixties, I used to join my parents in their big bed to listen to Today on Radio Four. In fact, I think I even got in there for Farming Today sometimes. I remember hearing “here is the news and this Alvar Lidell reading it”. Yes, although Alvar Lidell is associated with wartime brodcasts, he was reading the news on Today well into the sixties. I also remember a chirpy cockney called Monty Modlyn, a sort of Danny Baker character who did roving, often homourous, reports. And of course there was the great Jack de Manio.

One of Jack de Manio’s signature habits was to get into a right pickle, sometimes, trying to tell the time. It’s easily done, especially at that time of the morning. If you’re concentrating on interviewing cabinet ministers, your brain tends not to bother itself with telling the time.


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