From the age of around 12 I became an avid fan of Radio 4, or the "Home Service" as it was originally called. It shone like a beacon of quality between Hilversum and Luxembourg on the illuminated dial.
I'd listen on big old valve radios beside my bed and later transistor kits which I built myself. Of course as teenage years progressed I switched over to the Pirate Stations, Caroline and Radio London, where the young tearaways Blackburn, Everett, Peel and Walker were wreaking their youthful mayhem. However I soon switched back to the intelligence of Radio Four with its news, discussions and comedy programmes. Robert Robinson was my hero.
This affair with the Four went on most of my life, sometimes with long sessions in the car and later intimate listening in bed with the radio alarm clock bought from a Freeman's catalogue and paid off over several decades.
However I have to confess that it's over. The magic has gone.
I've decided in recent months that Radio Four has turned into an aural nightmare of scary stories, consumerist tedium and unfunny comedies. And of course the omni-present news. News of war, pillage and murder in graphic detail. News of instability and global system failure. News of grasping greedy Western economies, famines and banking crises. John Humphries berating anyone in public service, none of whom are earning as much as he is. I've had enough.
Yes, I'm off to Radio Four Extra. Classic Comedies. Plays. Minimal News. Ed Reardon, Claire in the Community, Paul Temple, Smiley, The Navy Lark ..... what's not to like?
Perhaps I'm just getting old.