In Brief

Five best radio programmes of all time

Desert Island Discs voted into top spot by panel of industry experts

Long-running music and chat show Desert Island Discs has seen off rivals including The Archers and Today to be named the greatest radio programme of all time.

A total of 46 industry experts - including presenter Cerys Matthews, the Today programme’s Justin Webb, BBC Radio 5 live presenter Adrian Chiles, news presenter Caroline Wyatt and Radio 4’s Sue MacGregor - chose their top 30 British radio classics in the Radio Times poll.

Here are the top five:

1. Desert Island Discs (1942-present)

Each week the BBC Radio 4 features a different famous figure, who names the eight records, book and luxury item they would take with them to a deserted island. Past castaways have ranged from David Beckham and Tom Hanks to Tony Blair and David Cameron.

The programme is currently being presented by Lauren Laverne, while regular presenter Kirsty Young is treated for fibromyalgia, the BBC reports.

Desert Island Discs is a deserved winner, with a back catalogue which reflects our cultural history and still remains as relevant, entertaining and insightful as it ever was,” said Radio Times editor Mark Firth.

2. The Archers (1950-present)

Another Radio 4 staple, the radio soap opera is set in the fictional village of Ambridge, and follows the everyday dramas of the Archers’s family farm.

3. Round The Horne (1965-68)

Round The Horne brought a frenetic mix of wit, satire, parody and innuendo to the BBC airwaves. The comedy show was built around Kenneth Horne and the talents of Kenneth Williams, Bill Pertwee, Hugh Paddick and Betty Marsden.

Hancock’s Half Hour (1954-59)

The popular Tony Hancock comedy began life as a BBC radio show, before launching on television from 1956. The radio show starred the likes of Hattie Jacques, Bill Kerr and Kenneth Williams, with Hancock playing an exaggerated version of himself, as a down-at-heel comedian.

In The Psychiatrist’s Chair (1982-2001)

The BBC Radio 4 series featured psychiatrist Dr Anthony Clare conducting in-depth interviews with prominent people from different walks of life, including Stephen Fry, Ann Widdecombe and Barbara Cartland. 

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