In 1922 the BBC was founded. Of course, it wasn’t television in those days, it was only radio, and even that was in black and white. You couldn’t even get it up North either, until after they built a station in Manchester, and then not in our house, because my father forbade it. But, after a few months, when it was all the rage, my Auntie Beryl bought a crystal set with a cat’s whisker. We used to go down to her house, me, Pearl and my Mother, and take turns with the earphone, listening to those funny voices and jolly music, all crackly and far away. It was hard to believe it was the work of the devil, like my father said it was. Although I did get worried when I got a painful ear infection, I thought maybe that was the work of the devil, but Mother said that it was because I hadn’t wiped Auntie Beryl’s earwax off the earpiece before I before I pushed it into the side of my head. Anyway, they got a valve set soon after that, and we could all listen in comfort. It wasn’t until the Second World War was looming that my father allowed one in the house though. And even then he would only tolerate having the news on. There are still people who complain that the BBC is the work of the devil though. Ruddy idiots. They are getting it mixed up with ITV. Those adverts are the work of the devil. They eat away at your brain and make you buy shite that you don’t really want or need, and end up costing you a damn sight more than the ruddy license fee. I can’t abide soft so and sos who reckon that the license fee is a criminal waste of money and then go shoving their hard earned cash into ruddy Rupert Murdoch’s pockets so they can have satellite television. They’re paying for it and still suffering the ruddy adverts. I used to like that Lord Reith. Of course, he was a posh toff, and so brainy that I couldn’t understand a half of what he said, but his heart was in the right place. “Educate, inform and entertain” he said the BBC was for. Not to pander to prurient so and sos with a load of salacious gossip and adverts for shite like you get on the other channels. I can provide my own salacious gossip thank you very much. There’s plenty of tittle tattle freely available about people I actually know, even here on the other side. Never mind my having to bother with ruddy talentless celebrities.
Pay your license and stick with the BBC. That’s what I say. And if Tony Hall ever reads this, and wants to offer me a small slot on Radio Four, I wouldn’t turn my ruddy nose up.
Auntie Doris’s Pop Pick of 1922: “Carolina in the Morning” by Al Jolson: I bet he liked to kiss the girlies where the dew was pearly early in the morning an’all. The filthy so and so.