I have a particular fondness for staying in on Monday nights and listening to Start the week with Andrew Marr on Radio 4.
I understand that the week is actually started in the morning by Andrew and his guests but as I am at work then I don’t get to listen to the programme until later.
I don’t know why I find the programme so pleasing but it’s half an hour that I always enjoy. The guests and topics are varied but the discussion always relates to books, films, series or other cultural happenings that are scheduled for the week ahead or very soon after. I suppose listening to a radio programme forces you to hear about things you might not think you are interested in. So if there was a review of a book on the history of the economy I might skim over it in a newspaper but on Start the week I continue to listen and usually find I am interested- or if I’m not I will have learnt something.
I find the constancy of Radio 4 extremely comforting. I greatly admire a rich smooth voice and find even something like the shipping forecast quite hypnotic and mesmeric but when the chat is interesting and delivered like oral hot chocolate I am doubly happy.
Andrew Marr has a surprisingly good radio voice, it’s an engaging smooth baritone which is comforting but not too soporific . He isn’t quite at the level of an Alan Rickman who has my all time favourite speaking voice I think (and who I’m sure could convince people to do virtually anything with his voice, like a modern pied conversationalist of London).
In an ideal world I would start the week with Andrew and his guests, a pot of tea and the remnants of the Sunday papers that I never manage to read on Sunday. I am always unfathomable tired on Monday nights because I continue to make the mistake of sleeping in on Sunday mornings and then going to bed far, far too late on Sunday night and getting about 4 hours sleep- which is most definitely not the way to start the week.