By all accounts, Archive On 4 – broadcast at the same time on a Saturday night as Britain’s Got Talent – is a classy programme which takes bits of old audio on a particular theme and builds an interesting and intelligent discussion around them.
Why, then, BBC news media editor Amol Rajan chose to announce this week’s edition in the breathless manner of David Walliams reviewing a semi-clad sword swallower, is a question the corporation will likely be asking itself for some time. “On Saturday, for the first time ever, Enoch Powell’s Rivers of Blood speech will be read in full on UK radio,” Rajan gushed in a tweet which – whatever his intentions – promoted this piece of populism as a pleasure to be savoured as opposed to an incitement to racial hatred to be summarily dismissed [ . . . ]
Like Powell, Farage et al have presented immigrants as a drain on resources, pushing hard-working indigenous Brits out of jobs, schools and the health services as opposed to a net value to the country’s economy. They have conjured up an image of Armageddon so vivid that just before the EU referendum in places like rural Cumbria – where space is plentiful and immigration limited – residents would talk in horror about an anticipated flood of new people from countries like Romania and Bulgaria.
Philomena Cunk is back on television, effing the ineffable as she ponders the great questions. Questions such as “What is clocks?”, “Who was Churchill?” and “Why did Elizabeth I happen?”Diane Morgan’s comic alter ego doesn’t just skewer dimwitted documentary presenters and TV talking heads – she also occasionally stumbles upon universal truths.The character was first introduced alongside “Barry S–tpeas” (Al Campbell) on Charlie Brooker’s Weekly Wipe, with on-screen captions listing her shifting occupations: “crowd member”, “showbiz liker,” “instant theorist” and even “flesh emoji” [ . . . ]
Prizes included Folk Singer of the Year, Best Duo, Best Album, Musician of the Year, and the Young Folk Award.
Belfast music legend Van Morrison presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to musician and producer Dónal Lunny for his contribution to folk music.
The Good Tradition Award went to the Armagh Pipers Club to recognise their contribution to the preservation, dissemination and progression of traditional music over more than 50 years.
Folk Singer of the Year was awarded to Scottish singer-songwriter and musician, Karine Polwart, a talented artist who is also a theatre maker, storyteller, spoken-word performer and essayist.
Dónal Lunny took to the stage to perform with acclaimed musician Zoë Conway on the fiddle, and earlier in the evening Cara Dillon performed accompanied by Sam Lakeman on piano and John Smith on guitar.
Opening the show with a rousing performance of Devil In The Woman was Eliza Carthy & The Wayward Band.
The gala evening featured performances from Lankum, with their song “What Will We Do When We Have No Money?”, County Tyrone’s Paul Brady with a solo acoustic rendition of the ballad “Lord Thomas And Fair Ellender”.
A nine-piece from the Armagh Pipers Club brought the evening to a close with a performance of three specially-composed new songs.
The evening included the presentation of the 20th annual BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award, an educational contest that exists to discover the next generation of folk acts.
Mera Royle, a young harpist from the Isle of Man, was the recipient.
Lewis Carnie, Head of Radio 2 said: ‘I’d like to congratulate all of tonight’s winners – the calibre of nominees was extremely high and the wealth of talent that was seen on stage across the evening in Belfast was spectacular.
“The Radio 2 Folk Awards is an annual celebration of the thriving folk music scene – supporting both established and burgeoning folk musicians – and part of our specialist music content that Radio 2 is proud to broadcast across the year.”
Influential singer-songwriter Nick Drake was inducted into the Radio 2 Folk Awards Hall of Fame to celebrate the lasting impression he has had on folk music, despite passing away at the age of just 26 in 1974. Had he lived, he would have turned 70 this year.
Olivia Chaney performed a special tribute with a sublime piano-based interpretation of Drake’s essential song, River Man.
Olivia is a great fan of Nick Drake and a multi-talented singer, musician and songwriter.
Her collaboration with The Decemberists, Offa Rex, was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2017.
Although Nick Drake’s music didn’t garner commercial success during his lifetime, decades after his early death, his music would find a wide and reverent audience.
Actor Gabrielle Drake, Nick’s elder sister, was present at the Radio 2 Folk Awards to tell the audience how her famously shy brother might have felt about the occasion.
A Radio 2 documentary – “Lost Boy: In Search Of Nick Drake” was re-broadcast after the award ceremony.
In this 2004 programme Hollywood film star Brad Pitt shines a light on the life and work of the cult singer-songwriter.
Featured in the programme are contributions from producer Joe Boyd, engineer John Wood, Fairport Convention’s Ashley Hutchings, Gabrielle Drake and Nick’s late mother, Molly Drake.
The Folk Awards will be televised on Sunday 8 April on BBC Four at 21:00 and on BBC Two Northern Ireland at 17:30.
Selected highlights will be available to watch at bbc.co.uk/radio2 after the show.
Across Great Britain, adults are drinking less often. So how are tastes changing and why are they cutting back?
But 18 pubs across the country closed every week in the second half of 2017, according to The Campaign for Real Ale (Camra).
So how are UK drinking habits changing? What are the UK’s favourite drinks and how often are adults drinking?
1. Pubs are closing their doors
In 2016, 500 pubs across the UK called last orders for the final time.
Since 2000, the number of pubs in the UK has fallen by 17%, or 10,500 pubs, according to the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA).
The decline has been blamed on a number of reasons – high taxes on pints, the smoking ban, the price of food and drink going up, and the 2008 recession meaning that consumers had less to spend in their local.
But the BBPA say that the rate of pub closures is slowing down.
About 1,100 pubs closed their doors in 2015, but fewer than half that number closed in 2016.
2. More beer bought in shops than pubs
The volume of beer sold in supermarkets and off-licences (off-trade) in the UK topped the volume sold in pubs, clubs and restaurants (on-trade) for the first time in 2014 [ . . . ]