Oh, Mandy

Peter Mandelson was brilliant on the radio this morning. He and Evan Davies got into one of those tedious scraps where everyone is shouting and nobody can be heard – usually a signal that it’s time to turn off the radio and get out of bed, because it’s impossible early morning listening – but somehow Mandelson managed to stop it with a very patient, very measured “Evan, with the greatest love and respect I think I’m going to have to take some time to answer your questions.”

Whereupon Evan shut up for a good ninety seconds. It was lovely, and I wish more of Today’s guests had the guts, or the presence, or both, to try it.

But you don’t want to listen to Today when you don’t have to. Here’s Barry Manilow instead.

Another advent calendar

Radio 4’s Today programme also has an online advent calendar, with each day’s offering an “audio treat” from the past eleven months of early morning broadcasting.  Although as I write it’s after 7pm and today’s entry isn’t available yet.  But I mainly want to draw it to your attention because it will almost certainly feature the moment several months ago when Charlotte Green suffered a fit of the giggles whilst announcing the news of a death, and if you haven’t heard it already you really ought to.

You’ll be delighted to hear that I eventually found a real-life advent calendar which didn’t feature chocolates, although it is a bit godly.  But I suppose that’s forgiveable.  It’s from Oxfam – are they to do with god?  I can never remember.