RIP my formative years
Today’s obituary: Denis Norden. A name that hasn’t been heard so much of late, but was big in my formative years as half of a comic duo, Muir and Norden. Although their main works were before my time, the pair were, to my schoolboy self, the Grand Old Men of (light) entertainment on the radio. The quiz/chat show “My Word” (and to some extent its lesser twin “My Music“) – in which the two were lead panelists – was something my parents would have on around teatime, and that I enjoyed too. Light entertainment with wit and erudition.
It was My Word more than anything else that first got me hooked on speech radio. Maybe indeed radio in general: I don’t have a clear memory of what came first between that and starting to listen to broadcast music. I *think* My Word came first, some years before I had my own radio on which I could listen to music.
In recent times (hmm, in fact probably most if not all my adult life) I’ve most often thought of Muir&Norden when the BBC give us mindless and ugly drivel in the name of attracting a younger audience. The underlying assumption seems to be that young implies mindless, and it’s one of the things that makes me want to shout at the radio: no, you attract young people by putting on good shows – like Muir&Norden did, and like some of today’s entertainers do. And you accept that young people may naturally listen to less radio than old codgers not because they want to be treated as morons but because they have busy and active lives.
RIP one of the last surviving public figures to have influenced my schooldays.