City of Sound is about cities, design, architecture, music, media, politics and more. Written by Dan Hill since 2001.

Talk radio pre-Howard Stern

Written in


Recently discovered this reference to fictional parody of the BBC Third Programme (what BBC Radio 3 used to be called) in a 1962 John Updike short story, called "The Astronomer":

"Bela lit a cigar and, managing its fresh length and the wineglass with his electric certainty of touch, talked. Knowing that, since the principal business of my employment was to invent the plots of television commercials, I was to some extent a humourist, he told me of a parody he had seen of the B.B.C. Third Porgramme. It involved Bertrand Russell reading the first five hundred decimal places of π, followed by twenty minutes of silent meditation led by Mr. T. S. Eliot, and then Bertrand Russell reading the next five hundred places of π."

They don’t make ’em like that anymore.

(From Updike’s collection, Pigeon Feathers and other stories.)


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