...podcasts still offer genuine hope. (If there's no DIY revolution in radio drama as yet, it's because amateurs do not generally do drama well.) The BBC has only recently begun to podcast The Archers, where it is thriving. And the rumour is that other dramas will follow soon. "Lots of writers and practitioners want to know, 'Why can't I have my play podcast? I know my friends would listen to it,'" says [Alison] Hindell [the BBC's head of audio drama.] "I would love to be in a position where we were podcasting a play of the week."
[Jeremy] Howe [Radio 4's drama commissioner], is keen to see this, too – though he remains adamant that, despite its travails, radio drama is in good health. "Audiences are now consuming things in a completely different way," he says. "Actually, the miracle is that audiences for Radio 4, and drama, have remained roughly stable for the last 12 years. The same," he cannot resist adding, "cannot be said of television channels." No, it can't. But radio can surely dream of better.Who knows: with more podcasts and some fresh writing blood, radio drama might one day rule the airwaves again.
Monday, June 21, 2010
In The Guardian, Leo Benedictus asks if Radio 4's decision to axe the Friday Play is the beginning of the end for radio drama.