There are good regional radio channels in England (along with excellent community and hospital radio, although not everyone wants to listen to radio while in hospital, Pipeline charity wants to stop it being played all the time, as bedbound patients literally have no escape, if they prefer peace and quiet to recover). However, most mainstream radio stations have issues – from some political bias on news channels to shouty presenters to non-stop ads and money-obsessed phone-in competitions. If you prefer something different, here are some nice choices, if you like to listen to the radio either at home or work, or in the car.
- Folk Radio is a wonderful online channel where you can find the best folk singers and songwriters around today. This national treasure also has a site with interviews, news and album reviews. Irish multi-instrumentalist Sive (above) is regularly played on this channel
- Smooth Radio does have ads, but the music is good (mostly 80s and 90s, from good quality artists). The presenters talk at normal volume, and it’s a good all-round channel that most people find relaxing. Greatest Hits radio is another popular show that again does carry ads, but far less than moststations, and the music is good.
- Classic FM is a very popular channel. Again it does carry a few ads, but the music is good (shorter pieces than heavy classical music like on BBC3) and the presenters are relaxing and likeable to listen to.
Putumayo World Music Hour
Putumayo World Music Hour is syndicated across the globe, by a wonderful record label that showcases the best of world music artists from Paris to Brazil to India to the Caribbean. Once you hear these songs, you are unlikely to want to hear much else!
Loop Playlists on YouTube!
If you want, you could just bookmark playlists of talented artists on YouTube, as an alternative to listening to the radio. Listen to whatever floats your boat: we love Stacey Ryan (here’s her gorgeous version of A-ha’a Take on Me).