Blowing Smoke

31 03 2009

[You can listen to this episode here.]

The first time I ever smoked a cigarette there was an almost audible collision of clichés. It was behind the Cricket Pavilion at school. We’d just left the sixth-form dining club, where we’d been Read the rest of this entry »


Making Fuss

22 03 2009

[You can listen to a recording of this episode here.]

As some of the more attentive Facebook users listening may be aware, I have at last come to terms with the process by which these letters might be posted on the iTunes podcast store. Consequently I now have some idea of the numbers listening every week. (By the way, thank you, all of you, for downloading and listening) Read the rest of this entry »

The Great Issues Of Our Time

21 03 2009

A compilation of the great issues of our generation’s time is unlikely to include the great 2009 debate over where the University of York Summer Ball  should be held… but you wouldn’t have guessed if you had been on campus last week.

I made a short speech to the Extraordinary General Meetig that was held on Friday:

Getting Out

19 03 2009

[You can listen to this episode here, or alternatively download it as a podcast from iTunes – search ‘James Townsend’ in the iTunes Store.]

The late, great broadcaster Alistair Cooke – a man whose influence in these letters is, I hope, apparent – once passed on to his listeners a very sage piece of advice. Cooke broadcast a ten minute Letter From America on the BBC every Sunday from 1946 to 2004. Towards the end of his career he explained why one should never Read the rest of this entry »

Speakin’ Proper

8 03 2009

[This show was recorded live, and includes a brief news bulletin at the beginning. You can listen to a recording here.]

One of the great joys of broadcasting on the radio is that you never have to worry about how to spell things. Of course, pronunciation and tone are more important than in print but on the whole, if you use simple language this shouldn’t be a problem.


Unfortunately our colleagues in the print industry are not so fortunate. Not for them is Read the rest of this entry »

One to watch

7 03 2009

This is Jay Foreman. He played at the NGS Christmas Party just over a year ago, and went down a storm. I must confess that now he’s graduated, I have no idea what he’s up to but it shouldn’t be too long before we see him doing some pretty cool stuff. You can buy his latest CD from his website, or see his witty ditties on YouTube. Do have a look!

Talking Straight

1 03 2009

[You can listen to this episode here.]

If there’s one thing that a gap year in Australia has taught me it is this: Australians like it simple, straightforward – no poncing about. That, I think, is why Kevin Rudd, their Prime Minister, has managed Read the rest of this entry »