2017 Review – Entertainment Favourites


As well as having adventures in London, I’ve also been enjoying lots of TV shows, radio programmes, podcasts, films and music this year. And yet I’ve only wrote about some of it. So I wanted to bring that side of things up to date. Then in 2018 I want to start doing monthly favourites posts, like other bloggers do.

I’ve also done a video on this topic as well, although this post will mention a few things that I forgot to mention in that clip too.

Be aware that this generally doesn’t include anything I watched over Christmas (with a couple of notable exceptions), as there’s going to be a separate post about my Christmas favourites from this year. I’ll also be doing a separate post listing the DVDs I’ve bought during the year, as I haven’t done an update on those for ages, so this post won’t mention those either.

So I hope you enjoy looking through this list of what I’ve enjoyed during 2017. Feel free to let me know your favourites too!

TV Drama

Outlander

Emily Davison from Fashioneyesta recommended this time-travelling action drama to me, and I’m glad she did, it’s amazing. I’ve been working my way through it on Amazon, and caught up just in time to finish series 3 at the same time as everyone else. It’s a brilliant story, in terms of the basic concept and the way it plays out and evolves. It’s basically about a lady called Claire Randall, a nurse in World War II, who gets transported back 200 years to ancient Scotland, and the adventures and relationships that result from it.

Every series has a new story arc, situation and locations, progressing nicely from the previous series, and there’s a great selection of characters. I love how gritty it is too, it gets quite dark and a bit violent sometimes, with quite a few shocks and twists throughout. And it’s visually stunning – I’ve always wanted to visit Scotland, even more so after watching this, and the period details and costumes look wonderful too. The music is also gorgeous, especially the title theme (the Skye Boat Song), the instrumentation of which varies whenever the location of the story changes, which is a nice touch.

Game Of Thrones

This is the other series that Emily recommended to me this year, because I’ve been way behind the curve and never seen it. Hard to believe I know! But when you don’t have access to Sky Atlantic and it’s not on the streaming sites I’m signed up to, it’s difficult towatch it. So Emily very generously lent me the first season on DVD, and I’ve now completed that too.

And it’s an amazing show, I’m really glad I finally got around to it. It is very complex, because of the number of locations and characters involved, and I’ve nowhere near got my head around it all yet after just one viewing. It also takes a while to really get going, because there are lot of things to set up and pieces to move into place. But it all pays off, as it picks up pace in the second half of the series, with some genuine twists and surprises that I hadn’t seen coming. All the characters in the series are great – but it’s clear you mustn’t get too attached to any of them, because none of them are safe. You soon learn that from season 1 alone.

Like Outlander, it’s very gritty and doesn’t shy away from being graphic, without being horrific just for the sake of it. Game Of Thrones and Outlander both have sex scenes in as well, but they’re not too revealing, they’re not dirty shows in that respect. Such scenes seem to be a good excuse to do a bit of story exposition really, with the characters just before or after they’ve had their pleasure.

And, again common to both shows, the visuals and music are outstanding, with the Game Of Thrones title sequence being a very elaborate and clever flyover of the map where the series is set. If I weren’t visually impaired and could read and interpret everything within that sequence more clearly, I would appreciate it even more, because it’s as complex as the show itself. But it’s still impressive from what I can see of it, and the theme tune’s wonderful.

I’m reliably informed my multiple people that it just keeps getting better and better as the seasons go on, so I’m keen to carry on watching it now. The ending of season 1 certainly leaves a lot of promise for season 2. So one of my 2018 resolutions is to get the box set and catch up with it all before season 8 (the final season) airs. Or, if not, I can just watch all 8 seasons in one go afterwards. But it would be nice to finish it along with everyone else.

Doctor Who

Peter Capaldi has been a great Doctor, and I’ve enjoyed his final series this year. Steven Moffat’s reign as showrunner is also over with this season and, while there were those who complained whatever he wrote (as there were for Russell T Davies and will be for Chris Chibnall), I think he’s done a superb job. So it’s sad to see this season of the show come to an end. But what a way to end it, with Peter’s Doctor meeting the very first one in the Christmas special, it was a lovely way of linking the show back to its origins. It was very moving, and there were some lovely cameos towards the end as well.

So now we move on to a new era of the show, with Chris Chibnall as the new showrunner, and Jodie Whittaker as The Doctor. Shock, horror, a female Doctor! You’d think the world had ended judging by some people’s very predictable reactions when that was announced. I personally have absolutely no problem with it. We know that Time Lords are possible, so there’s no reason why The Doctor can’t become one. So I think it will add an interesting and fresh new dynamic to the show. Jodie’s very brief entrance at the end of the Christmas special was great for what little it was, and I wish her the very best of luck for the role. I hope people give her the fair chance that she deserves.

What has personally irritated me a bit is just how much gets revealed about the show now. It’s so easy to follow social media feeds for your favourite shows these days, but you get so many spoilers from the teasers and trailers that way. I know they have to promote it a bit, but I think that can go a bit overboard sometimes. The reveal of The Master last season, for instance, would have been so much more effective if the BBC hadn’t shouted from the rooftops about it first.

So I’m experimenting with a new approach this year. I’ve unfollowed all Doctor Who related accounts on social media, muted loads of common terms about it on Twitter, and rapidly switch TV channels whenever it gets mentioned, because I want to go into each episode of the new season genuinely fresh and unknowing about what’s coming. And it also has the effect of muting all the moans about a woman Doctor, judging her before she’s even started. It’ll get harder to stay away from information as the new series approaches, but the less I can see, the better. I’m hoping the new era of the series will feel truly fresh and exciting that way. We’ll soon find out.

The Flash

I’ve been really enjoying this show since I stumbled upon it a couple of years ago and caught up with it all. It’s a great sci-fi action drama about Barry Allen who ends up with the power of super speed, and becomes a superhero saving lives and solving crime in the city with his team, finding out all sorts of weird and wonderful enemies. There’s lots of action and special effects and humour, and it’s really fun, so I’ve been enjoying season 4 since that started recently. It does throw me slightly when they do crossover episodes with other shows from the same universe that I haven’t seen yet (like Arrow), and I should watch them at some point. But I’m enjoying The Flash on its own, it’s great

Prison Break

This is another show I came to late after I heard some friends liked it, so caught up with it Netflix a couple of years ago. It had apparently ended with Michael’s death in the final feature-length episode, but it returned this year for a brand new series, bringing him back in a plausible and interesting way. While it may not have been quite as good as the original series perhaps, it was still very good nonetheless, and it was great to see all the characters back together again. And it had plenty of great action and excitement. So I was very happy to see that return this year, it was an unexpected treat.

24: Legacy

I loved the original seasons of 24, and have them all on DVD. It’s an incredible show, with great storylines and action sequences, and knows how to do a cracking cliffhanger at the end of pretty much every episodes. So the return of the show sounded like a promising idea. But as a spin-off, with almost none of the original characters, especially Jack himself, and with what felt like a weak storyline, it just didn’t have the same vibe to it. It was obvious that something was missing. I didn’t feel the same connection to the new characters, and it didn’t feel as shocking or exciting as the original series, so it just fell flat for me. It was worth a watch once out of curiosity, but I won’t miss it if it doesn’t return. Bring back the original 24 though, and I would be more interested!

TV Sitcoms

The Big Bang Theory

This is the only live-action US sitcom I watch. It’s very funny, it appeals to the slightly nerdish side of me, and the characters keep evolving nicely every season as their lives progress, which helps to keep things fresh and interesting. I have all the series to date on Blu-Ray too, it’s very good. I will probably try out the series they’re doing about the young Sheldon, but I can’t see it being as good as this. Could be interesting though.

Red Dwarf

The Dave channel has to be applauded for bringing this back, as it’s always been a great sci-fi comedy. The Back To Earth mini-series wasn’t their best work perhaps, but that was basically them finding their feet again I think. Whereas the full series they’ve done since has seen them back on form properly. This year’s 12th series has therefore been very good, and it was wonderful to see the return of various former characters like Holly in the final episode. I wish they’d bring him back permanently. Here’s hoping they do more series in the future, they seem to still be having fun making it.

The Story Of Only Fools And Horses

Only Fools And Horses is my favourite sitcom of all time, and this recent documentary series on Gold was a wonderful retrospective. It was a very comprehensive 6-part series looking at every aspect of the show, and it was great to see all the stars getting together again to reminisce. The rare and unseen footage they included was particularly good. Some of it I had already seen and have copies of thanks to the wonders of Youtube, but even so, it was great to see it getting an airing on the TV. And there were a number of outtakes I hadn’t seen before. So it got the treatment it deserved. If only the BBC would release proper delux DVD editions of each series where all the episodes are the proper, uncut, as broadcast versions, not the edited versions we have now, and clearly there’s lots of extra features they could put on them as well. They’re missing a trick there. But in any case, it was wonderful to see the show being celebrated so well in this new series.

David Jason: My Life On Screen

David Jason is an amazing actor, and this documentary series was broadcast on Gold shortly before the Only Fools And Horses documentary, to tie-in with it. And it was really interesting, showing lots of things he had done that I’d never been aware of before, and he led a fascinating life in general. I also listened to his autobiography a while back, and that’s really interesting too. Gold also broadcast a couple of the earlier, lesser-known sitcoms that he had starred in early on, which were completely new to me. So that was great. He’s someone who can truly be called a national treasure, so he deserves to be applauded and celebrated in my opinion.

Family Guy

ITV2 have been showing new episodes of this show again this year. We’re behind the USA I’m sure, but the episodes are new to me. Sure, it’s a stupid and puerile and infantile show, but that’s the point. It’s not as good as it used to be perhaps, but it’s still nice to have a laugh in front of something mindlessly sillylike this  sometimes, I like having that kind of escapism sometimes.

TV Comedy News Shows

The Last Leg

I’ve loved this show since it started during the 2012 Paralympics. It’s consistently funny and deals with sensitive issues in the news very well. Adam Hills, Alex Brooker and Josh Widdicombe make a great team, and the guests are often very good sports as well. I was lucky enough to be in the audience earlier this year too, which was awesome.

Mock The Week

I’ve been watching this comedy panel show for many years as well. It’s not as great as it used to be, sure, the lesser known comedians can be a bit of a mixed bag these days. But it’s still funny overall, and I really enjoyed being in the audience for this earlier in the year.

Have I Got News For You

This is another show I’ve been watching for many years. The switch to guest presenters was an inspired decision after Angus Deayton’s departure (great host though he was), and has helped to keep the show interesting every week. So I’m very glad it’s still going after all this time. I tried to get in the audience for the current series but missed out, but hopefully one day I’ll get to be there.

The Russell Howard Hour

This is basically Russell Howard’s Good News from the BBC under a new name on Sky. I love Russell’s humour and his take on the news, he’s always very funny. And the way he promotes positivity, unity and good deeds towards others is wonderful as well. The new Playground Politics segment with the kids I could live without, and the stand-up guests at the end of each episode haven’t really hit the mark for me. But overall it’s a very enjoyable show, it’s great to have Russell back doing what he does best. And there will be a second series next year, which is great to know.

TV Comedy Gameshows

Taskmaster

This show is amazing. It’s such a simple concept – get a bunch of comedians together and set them ridiculous challenges – and it sounds like it’d be too silly and dull when you word it like that. But it’s hilarious, believe me. There are always multiple ways of interpreting a given task, and it’s great to see how creative the contestants get. And these aren’t unknown comedians either, these are very well known names. The selection every series has worked really well, and the recent 5th series has been no exception.

Greg Davies is also the perfect host – the show wouldn’t work so well without him in charge. His reactions and judgements on the various tasks, as he is the one in charge, are always a joy to observe, he’s hilarious. His assistant, Alex Horne, is also great as well, a perfect counterpoint to Greg. And just before Christmas we had an extra treat, with a 2-part Champion Of Champions special, where the winners of the previous 5 series came back to see who was the very best of the bunch. And, as per usual, it was really great. I hope that’s not the end of it, I’d love to see them do more series, it’s one of the best comedy shows out there.

Would I Lie To You?

This is a another very funny show with a very simple concept, and it’s been back for yet another series this year. Each celebrity contestant on the two teams has to read out a statement about themselves, and then the other team asks them questions to try and figure out if it’s true or not. So if it’s a lie, the person telling the story must convince the other team that it’s the truth to win the point, and vice-versa. It regularly leads to very funny exchanges, especially between the team captains Lee Mack and David Mitchell, but all he guests usually turn out to be great choices. And Rob Byrdon is a great host as well (having taken over from Angus Deayton after the first few series). So I’m glad it’s still going strong, and hopefully there are more series to come.

8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown

This is a mash-up between the comedy panel show 8 Out Of 10 Cats and gameshow Countdown, neither of which I tend to watch on their own. I have done occasionally, but have never got into them in a big way. But I love this crossover between the two. Jimmy Carr’s great as the host, Sean Lock and Jon Richardson are great as the team captains, Rachel Riley and Susie Dent are great sports for doing this on top of the original Countdown show they also work on, and the guests they have on are very funny as well. The weak point tends to be Dictionary Corner, as some of the guests there have been awful – but then again, sometimes you get legends like Bill Bailey there too, so it’s not always bad. So overall the show is really enjoyable and very funny, and they’ve done loads of episodes now. It’s easy to overlook in the schedules sometimes, as it moves around sometimes, but thankfully I’ve series linked it on my Tivo box so I always get the new episodes.

Dara O’Briain’s Go 8 Bit

This show is all about comedians playing video games in a light-hearted competition. And they’re often old, retro games too. So it’s a great bit of nostalgia, especially when you see games you used to like, and it’s always very funny as well. This year they did a spin-off show as well (Go 8 Bit DLC), with Dara’s assistant Ellie Gibson talking about computer games with the team captains and a different celebrity guest each week. But I couldn’t really get into that much, it just felt too random and silly really.  The main show is far better.

TV Variety Entertainment Shows

Michael McIntyre’s Big Show

I forgot to mention this in my video, but Michael McIntyre is another of my favourite comedians. I love his energy and his observational humour, his shows are always fun. So it’s great that he’s had a prime time entertainment show on the BBC, and it’s worked really well, which will be why it’s got a 4th series commissioned for next year. It’s just a Saturday night variety show, with music, comedy and surprises throughout.

So you get a bit of stand-up comedy from Michael himself, and another stand-up guest later in the show, the Send To All game where a brave celebrity allows Michael to send a funny text message to everyone in their contacts list to see what the responses are, The Midnight Gameshow where someone sets up their partner to be surprised in the middle of the night in their house for an impromptu quiz show, and of course The Unexpected Star Of The Show, where a member of the public who enjoys singing as a hobby gets the shock of their life with a chance to perform at the end of the show. It’s a great mixture.

Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway

This is always good fun for a Saturday night as well, they always have such a variety of guests and surprises and music on it. The show always starts off with a game that surprises a member of the audience in some way, with them getting a big prize at the end for being a good sport. There’s Ant vs Dec, where the hosts compete against other in a silly game each week. And there’s Win The Ads of course, where a member of the audience can win the contents of one of ITV’s advertising breaks. And at the end there’s usually a big musical number or some other fun act that Ant & Dec get involved with. So it’s always a really good laugh.

Stand-Up Comedy Shows

Dave Gorman’s Modern Life Is Goodish

This came back for its fifth series this year, and was as great as always. Dave’s observational humour about modern life is brilliant, and he’s good at surprising you – just when you think you know where things are going, he’ll thrown in a little twist, or reconnect it to something seemingly unrelated that he’d spoken about earlier. The regular highlight of every show is a ‘Found Poem’, where he scours the comments sections of the internet for people arguing over completely inconsequential new stories, and puts them all together in a poem structure. It’s always really funny.

This was the final series, however, so there won’t be any more for the foreseeable future. Which is a great shame, but I completely understand his reasons for stopping as well, so fair play to him. I’ll have to try and get to see him live one day, and hopefully he’ll come back on TV for something else as well one day, just like he’s done other shows in the past. So thank you Dave Gorman for a wonderful series – Modern Life has been more than goodish, it’s been great!

Live At The Apollo

This has been going for ages, and is basically a stand-up show. The headline comic hosts the show, and the introduces a couple of other stand-up comedians to do short sets of their own as well. By it’s nature, some comedians are better than others, but each week there’s usually at least one I quite like, so it’s always worth a watch to have a bit of a laugh.

Ross Noble – Brain Dump

Ross Noble isn’t doing a DVD this year, as he feels the market isn’t there for them. I would certainly have bought one though, as his DVD sets have been amazing. Every show he does his completely improvised, and thus unique, so he can put multiple shows in a DVD set from one tour without any repetition between them, along with a variety of fun extra features. So it’s a shame he’s stepped back from that. However, we can still get our Ross fix by downloading shows from his Brain Dump tour, at a very reasonable price too. Which I’ve done, and they’re all very funny as per usual. So at least we can still get his material in some way. And I loved his performance in the stage musical Young Frankenstein this year as well, it must be said.

TV Factual Entertainment

All The Stations

This was an online series that I really enjoyed this year. During the summer, Geoff Marshall and Vicki Pipe travelled by train to all 2,563 stations on the UK national rail network, and documented their journey on their Youtube channel, Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram with documentary videos and thousands of photos.

It was really interesting – and it’s important to stress that it’s not just about trains. They’re no trainspotters. This was about exploring the country, and the places you can get to and enjoy by using the railway. So they got out and explored at many stations along the way, as you can see in their videos, looking at the local landscapes and tourist attractions, including quite a few castles, and chatting to local people. They couldn’t get out and explore at every single station, because that would take forever, but they did cover a lot of them. And they did take photos of every single station they passed through, so they didn’t miss any out. They also talked about accessibility for the disabled on the railways on a few occasions, which was great. So it was really comprehensive and informative and fun, and they got so many beautiful videos and photos out of it. It was fascinating to watch their journey.

I was one of the people who helped to crowdfund the project on Kickstarter, and it was well worth it. I got to sponsor a station – Barking – which I then visited to have a look around. They also created a “Have An Adventure” day, encouraging as many of their fans as possible to travel to a station they’d never been to before, and explore the area around it. So I joined in with that by visiting Southend for the first time, which was lovely. And then, later on, I was lucky enough to be one of 100 people who took part in a fun little project with them, to create a human version of the British Rail logo, and they made a great video of that. So it was great to feel so involved with the project as well as just watching it, I loved it.

Blue Planet 2

I don’t watch many nature shows, purely because I don’t have enough time on my hands. But I have the original Blue Planet series on DVD, because it was amazing, so I had to watch the sequel that they broadcast this year. It took them 4 years to make, and it was absolutely worth the wait. It’s the most stunning programme that’s been on TV this year, with David Attenborough narrating it as wonderfully as ever. And the BBC had audio description for it too, which was great. It’s just incredible to see all these weird and wonderful creatures and the lives they lead. I defy anyone to watch it and not be drawn in and moved by it. Nothing else on TV has come close to the beauty of this show this year, or is likely to any time soon.

QI

Sandi Toksvig has done a wonderful job taking over as presenter of this panel show from Stephen Fry, and they’re now on to the ‘O’ series, which has recently started on BBC2. This is always very interesting and very funny, and the guests are always great, and so I always watch the extended XL editions rather than the short half-hour shows.

Duck Quacks Don’t Echo

This show hosted by Lee Mack on Sky is also very interesting and very humorous. Celebrity guests are invited to share a fact each, which then gets tested in an experiment to see if it’s true or not, and then you get the audience and Lee sharing facts as well, with the panel of experts verifying if they’re accurate. So every episode always throws up some interesting and surprising facts, and often in very interesting ways given the experiments they do to prove them. So it’s a fun show for learning random new things.

Fighting Cancer: My Online Diary

This was a documentary shown on Channel 4, that focused on 3 incredibly brave and strong people who shared their battles with cancer by vlogging online. They were all amazing, but the heart of the documentary was undoubtedly the wonderful Charlotte Eades. I never knew her, but I became a follower of her Youtube channel for a little while before she sadly passed away, through Emily at Fashioneyesta who is a good friend of hers.

And since Charlotte’s death, her family have kept her legacy and Youtube channel alive, by setting up the Charlotte’s BAG charity and providing updates on a regular basis. Her mother, Alex Eades, also recently won the Inspirational Woman Of The Year on ITV’s Lorraine show, quite rightly. So Charlotte was represented very well in this very powerful and moving documentary, which was very sensitively produced and edited. So if you can watch it on catch-up, or if Channel 4 repeat it (which they’re bound to at some point one would hope), do give it a look. It’s not easy viewing, but it’s interesting and important.

Films

Beauty & The Beast

I saw this film during the year as part of an audio description experiment, where we got to test an app on our phones that delivered the description through our headphones, which worked really well. And the film was good fun too. Emma Watson was great in the title role – yes, you could tell her voice was auto-tuned sometimes, but it didn’t detract from the film for me. The songs were good, the story was fun, and visually the film was beautiful. So I enjoyed it.

Finding Nemo

I know, this isn’t a new film. But Emily from Fashioneyesta was shocked when she found out that I’d never seen it! So I stuck to my promise in that vlog and watched it very soon after. And I really enjoyed it, it’s a brilliant film. The animation is great and it’s often very funny. And I need to check out the Finding Dory sequel, I haven’t got around to that yet.

Audiobook

The Screaming Staircase

Lockwood & Co series, book 1, by Jonathan Stroud

I don’t listen to audiobooks very often, I just don’t have the time. But this was yet another recommendation from Emily at Fashioneyesta that I tried out. And yet again she has great taste. In this series, children are able to detect the presence of ghosts and spirits, and banish them from the places that they haunt, whereas adults are unable to do so. Hence agencies are set up where the public can hire children to investigate and deal with any paranormal happenings. So The Screaming Staircase is told from the perspective of a young girl called Lucy, who joins one the Lockwood & Co agency, and takes you through her early adventures with them. And it’s really fun. There are enjoyable characters, very vivid and clear descriptions, and lots of tension and mystery. And because it’s told from Lucy’s point of view, you feel like you’re with her, experiencing things through her eyes. So I’m going to be checking out the other books in the series very soon, they’re going to be great.

Music

I’ve bought a number of new albums this year, but haven’t got around to reviewing or mentioning many of them. I did, however, do unboxing and review posts for a couple of box sets I got for my birthday – Hysteria by Def Leppard and Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles, borh of which are great.

The other albums I’ve bought and enjoyed this year, which I haven’t written about, are Pollinator by Blondie (a great new album by the band), Wembley Or Bust by ELO (an incredible live show with the legendary Jeff Lynne and a superb backing group), Without A Word by Hank Marvin (very interesting instrumentals in his trademark style, including The Doctor Who theme!), and On Air (BBC Sessions) by The Rolling Stones (a very interesting compilation with a great variety of songs). They’re all very enjoyable albums.

 

Radio Music Shows

Sounds Of The 70s & Sounds Of The 80s

These are my two favourite decades for music, and these weekly shows on BBC Radio 2 are presented by Johnnie Walker and Sara Cox respectively. I love listening to these on the iPlayer every week, as they’re great to have on in the background while I’m working.

Geoff Barker’s Rock & Roll Party

This BBC local radio show goes back a bit further in time, and has a lot of very good music on it. It’s a good mixture of rock & roll tracks by artists that I know, and other great tracks that I don’t. It’s the sort of era my parents loved, so I grew up hearing that kind of music, hence I really got into it. And it adds further variety to the music I listen to.

6 Music Classic Concerts

I stumbled on this on the iPlayer app this year, and it’s great. Each week you get a classic live concert by a different artist, so it’s great to take a look each week and see if there’s someone that interests me. Led Zeppelin were featured at one point, for instance, and over Christmas they’ve had an Elton John concert. So you get a nice variety.

Radio Comedies

Just A Minute

This is the first of 4 shows from BBC Radio 4 that I want to mention. It’s amazing to think that Just A Minute is 50 years old, and still being hosted by the wonderful Nicholas Parsons. And it still works. It’s a very simple concept – speak for 60 seconds without hesitation, repetition or deviation on the topic you’re presented with – but it’s not easy to do! So it’s a very entertaining and funny game to listen to.

The Unbelievable Truth

This is a fun and interesting show presented by David Mitchell, where each guest has to give a lecture on a topic, all of which is false, apart from 5 truths they have to smuggle in amongst the lies. The other contestants get points for spotting the truths, and lose points if they mistake lies for facts, while the person giving the lecture gets a point for each truth that goes unnoticed. It’s very funny and you learn surprising things at the same time, so I really enjoy it.

I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue

This show is delightful nonsense. It’s just a collection of very silly games, currently hosted by Jack Dee, and it’s always a really good laugh. You get things like the Uxbridge English Dictionary, where you get new definitions for words, or One Song To The Tune Of Another, which is exactly what it says, and the deiberately incomprehensible Mornington Crescent, involving the naming of London Underground stations.

The News Quiz

Miles Jupp is the current host for this, and it’s effectively the radio equivalent of Have I Got News For You, with comedians taking a satirical swipe at the week’s events. It’s more fun getting the news from shows like this than it is the actual news sometimes, because at least there’s a bit of humour involved. And, like Have I Got News For You, this show also has an extended edition, called The News Quiz Extra on Radio 4 Extra.

Podcasts

The Christian O’Connell Breakfast Show

I stumbled upon the daily podcasts for this Absolute Radio show when I was looking for stuff to listen to when I started homeworking this year, and I’ve been a big fan ever since. I spent time catching up with as many of the older podcasts as I could, and then once I was up to date I just carried on listening on a daily basis. It’s just good, fun banter, basically, and it often makes me laugh out loud. There are lots of regular features, like The Buzz List, At Work Timewaster, Did He Really Say That?, Hitler’s Toilet, and much mroe – if you know the show, you’ll know what they’re all about!

They’ve also been fulfilling some people’s unusual bucket list items recently, which has been fun to listen to. For instance, there was a lady with MS who got the chance to star in a trailer for a zombie movie, with lots of people giving up their time for free to help her fulfil her wish. The resulting trailer for Morning Gory was great, and the comment I posted even got read out on air, which was an exciting surprise when I heard it on the podcast!

Also, one of the new people who joined them recently is called Glenn Moore. So it’s a bit surreal but great to hear a namesake of mine on the radio (my name is only spelt with one ‘n’, but it sounds the same on a radio show). But also, Glenn is a stand-up comedian, and a pretty good one at that. I saw him at a comedy gig last year in the Westcountry, but I had been too shy to speak up when he asked if here were other Glens in the audience! I wished I had afterwards, but never mind. I tweeted him about it later, which I think amused him!

The Jason Manford Show

Jason Manford is another great comedian, and this is the show he hosts on Absolute Radio every Sunday, from which there is a weekly podcast as a result. Each week he has a different guest with him, usually another comedian, with whom he discusses all sorts of topics, with contributions from listeners too of course. Jason is very active on Facebook and Twitter, and it’s great to see him interacting with his fans so regularly. He’s he’s recently released an album as well – A Different Stage – which I need to buy and listen to soon, as the clips I’ve heard sound really good.

No Such Thing As A Fish

This is the podcast spin-off from QI, where the researchers for the show get together for a chat about some of the things they’ve learned each week. It’s entertaining and educational, and again has lots of humour in it. And some of their recent podcasts have even been recorded in front of a live audience, which has been fun. So if you like QI, or just enjoy learning about things in general, then it’s well worth subscribing to.

Disability Podcasts

RNIB Connnect Radio, BBC In Touch, BBC OuchVI Talk, Infosound & Fashionability

These cover a variety of topics for the visually impaired every week (except BBC Ouch, which covers all disabilities). So I cherry-pick the episodes that feel most relevant and interest me most. They’re all very useful sources of information, and it’s great that there are so many of these podcasts out there. So they’re all worth subscribing to.

Conclusion

And that’s it. I hope you found this list interesting, and maybe it’s given you a few ideas for things to check out. If you have any recommendations for me as well, then please do share them. I will try and post more regularly about the things I’m enjoying as well – a new year’s resolution of mine is to try and do a monthly favourites post and/or video of some sort, as I reckon that could be interesting.

I hope everyone’s still enjoying the festive season, and best wishes for the New Year! 🙂

Author: Glen

Love London, love a laugh, love life. Visually impaired blogger & Youtuber with aniridia & nystagmus, posting about my experiences & adventures.

2 thoughts on “2017 Review – Entertainment Favourites”

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