I had a great gig on Saturday morning -- as I was a guest on Saturday Live, 9.00 am on Radio Four presented by Fi Glover.
I have listened to this programme for a long time on and off. It took over from the John Peel, "Home Truths" spot . . . and I listen partly because, in our house (as in millions of others), Radio Four tends to be on at nine on a Saturday. So how could you not?
You can judge how I did yourselves. (You can listen to the whole programme here.) But I have become even more of a convert to this show that I ever was before -- partly, of course, because I was dead flattered to be asked to come on. But there is more to it than that.
First of all, any time you do a Radio Programme of this kind on the BBC, you discover they really have done their homework. Fi -- who did Classical Studies plus Philosophy at Kent -- had actually read quite a lot of what I had written. You don't get that on most commercial stations, I can assure you -- more likely, they will phone you up in advance and say, "Can you tell me all you know about Roman Sex . . . and no, I've not read anything about it ." This is what the Licence Fee is all about (and never mind J Ross's salary, it really is well worth it).
Second, it is great to go and talk about Classics, and other things, on a programme that isn't overtly didactic or dead serious (as Fi said, "Saturday Live" isn't the same as "In Our Time", great as IOT is - I hasten to say). Otherwise, people like me do tend to get pigeonholed into the "this is the austerely serious/good for you" spot. Actually Classics is FUN too.
And then of course the programme really IS live, which makes it hugely more edgy and exciting to do. The poet of the morning (Murray Lachlan Young) was actually finishing his poems during the programme. And there was instant feedback from listeners about what was being said.
I had responded to one rather moving interview on the programme -- about addiction to prescription drugs -- by reflecting on what made (or how you recognise) an addictive personality. I thought (as I said) that I could recognise my own addictive personality when I saw that (as a student) I wanted to eat all of a cake, sent by a loving Mum, in one go -- not share it out and consume it over 4 or 5 days. I was not a prudent consumer, but an all or nothing girl. ("Don in cake addiction shock", as Murray put it.) It was meant as a tiny, domestic example of a big problem.
It was perhaps nor surprising that someone texted the programme to say how offensive it was that we were likening addiction to a partiality for cake (which would have been a fair point if it had been quite what I said!).
Everything got a bit rushed in the second half of the programme and there were lots of comments and questions which didn't get answered on air. The idea is that they will be sent to me (suitably anonymised) and I will answer what I can on the blog). So if you put a question and wanted a response, do watch here.