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Arena: Radio Night


We have produced a Style Guide to help editors follow a standard format when editing a listing. If you are unsure how best to edit this programme please take a moment to read it.
Your television and radio are cast as personalities (played by Peter Cook and Josie Lawrence) in this night of themed programmes showing how the two media have competed over the years, and which medium does what best.

To make the most of the evening, as David Attenborough explains in his introduction, you need to have your radio and TV in the same room, so that they can "talk to" each other, although there are times (marked with a dagger) when you can choose between listening and viewing.

There's nostalgia, science, drama and documentary. And linking it all, some lively sparring between the spirits of your radio and television, barely controlled by announcer Peter Donaldson.
Producers Mary Dickinson, Anthony Wall, Alastair Wilson; Series editors Nigel Finch and Anthony Wall

From 8.10 until midnight, timings are approximate.

8.10 The Seven Ages of Radio
Ian McKellen ruminates on the distinct eras of radio broadcasting, characterised as Shakespeare's seven ages of man, with the aid of Professor Asa Briggs.

First: the Infant.
Producer Christopher Bruce

8.20 TV Talk, Radio Rabbit What does the voice reveal?
Producer Nicola Roberts

8.50 The Seven Ages of Radio 2: The Schoolboy.

9.00 Heard But Not Seen
Alistair Cooke, whose weekly epistle has been broadcast on radio since 1946, explains why it is the best medium for him.
Introduced by Mark Tully.
Producer Debbie Geller

9.05 Back to Square One
The story of early radio's method of broadcasting live football, referring to a numbered grid - published in the Radio Times - on which listeners followed the action.
Producer Steve Bendelack

9.25 The Seven Ages of Radio 3: The Lover.

9.35 Sunday Dinner
Family Sunday meals conjure up for many Family Favourites,
Round the Home and The Billy Cotton Band Show.
Producer Diana Mansfield

9.50 The Seven Ages of Radio 4: The Soldier.

10.00 Pirates
On just one estate in east London there are five pirate stations, battling to stay on air. Producer Nigel Finch

10.15 The Seven Ages of Radio 5: The Judge.

10.25 TV Theft, Radio Rip-Off
Does TV steal radio's best comedy ideas? Included in the debate are Frank Muir,
Denis Norden, Armando Iannucci and the voice of Spike Milligan.
Producer John Silver

10.55 The Seven Ages of Radio 6: The Old Man.

11.00 The Spot FX Man
Harold Listings, a frustrated radio technician, takes revenge. Starring Peter Vaughan.
Producer Peter Kavanagh

11.20 The Seven Ages of Radio 7: Senility.

11.30 It's Life, Jim.... t
Nasa scientists are using giant radio antennae to pick up communications from ET.
Producer Fisher Dilke

11.50 The Time Signal t
Dr Carl Dolmetsch finds out why the pips changed pitch.
Producer Fisher Dilke

12.00 The Two Voyages of Donald Crowhurst
The tragic story of the lone yachtsman and his radio.
Producer Jill Evans

12.33am The Shipping Forecast
Live on TV for the first time,
Fisher, German Bight, Dogger
Producer Gerry Pomeroy


Television: Peter Cook
Radio: Josie Lawrence
Introduction: David Attenborough
Announcer: Peter Donaldson.
Producers: Mary Dickinson
Producers: Anthony Wall
Unknown: Nigel Finch
Unknown: Ian McKellen
Unknown: Asa Briggs.
Producer: Nicola Roberts
Unknown: Alistair Cooke
Introduced By: Mark Tully.
Producer: Debbie Geller
Producer: Nigel Finch
Unknown: Frank Muir
Unknown: Denis Norden
Unknown: Armando Iannucci
Unknown: Spike Milligan.
Producer: John Silver
Unknown: Harold Listings
Unknown: Peter Vaughan.
Unknown: Dr Carl Dolmetsch
Producer: Jill Evans
Producer: Gerry Pomeroy

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About this project

This site contains the BBC listings information which the BBC printed in Radio Times between 1923 and 2009. You can search the site for BBC programmes, people, dates and Radio Times editions.

We hope it helps you find information about that long forgotten BBC programme, research a particular person or browse your own involvement with the BBC.

Through the listings, you will also be able to use the Genome search function to find thousands of radio and TV programmes that are already available to view or listen to on the BBC website.

There are more than 5 million programme listings in Genome. This is a historical record of the planned output and the BBC services of any given time. It should be viewed in this context and with the understanding that it reflects the attitudes and standards of its time - not those of today.

Feedback about Arena: Radio Night, BBC Two England, 20.00, 18 December 1993
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