From Ding-Dong! The Witch is Dead to Dimbleby’s tattoo: Eddie Mair recaps 2013

Hello, stranger. What a year you've missed!

I expect you’re up to your eyes with all the things that make the festive season special. Converting the weight of your turkey from imperial to metric in the hope of avoiding a fatal miscalculation; thumbing though Yellow Pages in search of a good divorce lawyer; wondering how much more of the pulverising demands of everyday life you can possibly take.


Anyway, a very Happy Christmas from me!

As is tradition, I have compiled some highlights from the past 12 months of Radio Head especially for misguided readers who seem to believe Radio Times is only on sale once a year in December.

Just cast your eyes over the gems you’ve missed and I’m sure you’ll be RUSHING to take out/cancel your subscription.

JANUARY Lovely dinner out with Alex Ferguson as he confides his plans to retire from Manchester United. I persuade him to write his autobiography, which I predict will be a bestseller. Evening marred only by disquiet throughout the restaurant about the people at the next table. Chris Huhne, Vicky Pryce, Bashar al-Assad and Piers Morgan are in full flow about their current travails. Eventually, Piers is asked to leave.

FEBRUARY With Korean tensions constantly in the headlines, I am told to stop referring on air to “our Seoul correspondent”.

MARCH The BBC leaves Television Centre for the last time, turns off the lights and boards up all the windows, leaving 156 middle managers accidentally trapped inside.

APRIL The British public collude to embarrass the BBC by buying thousands of copies of Ding-Dong! The Witch Is Dead in the wake of the passing of Baroness Thatcher, forcing Radio 1 into a tricky editorial decision with regard to playing it on The Official Chart Show. Out of habit, Newsnight apologises.

MAY Consternation on Radio 4’s Broadcasting House when the programme is interrupted by a ten-second burst of the gospel song Jesus Put a Yodel in My Soul. This actually happened and nothing I write to follow it could be funnier than that fact.

JUNE The Queen officially opens the New Broadcasting House and is given a tour by Lord Patten. Much fawning, until he insists that she treats him just like a regular person.

JULY Polling suggests the public is divided over the latest twist in the press regulation saga. Ten per cent support Lord Prescott’s decision to resign in protest from the Privy Council. Ten per cent oppose it, and 80 per cent don’t have the faintest idea what the Privy Council is.

AUGUST As the sizzling summer continues, record high temperatures are taken at Heathrow Airport and Northolt Airport in west London. Shouldn’t they have built fun parks rather than airports in such hot spots?

SEPTEMBER BBC discovers 156 middle managers are missing. Appoints 200 more to replace them.

OCTOBER Mishal Husain’s first day co-hosting Radio 4’s Today, where she joins the 15-strong presenter line-up. Her colleague on day one, James Naughtie, sportingly allows Mishal to conduct the big 8.10am discussion between the former culture secretary Jeremy Hunt and a group of hunters from west Kent.

NOVEMBER Jonathan Dimbleby refuses to follow his brother in getting a tattoo, announcing that nothing on earth would get him to sit in a chair for 50 minutes writhing in agony, except on a Friday night at 8pm.

DECEMBER Very excited. Getting strong hints that the Radio Times editor has agreed (at last!) to put me on the cover of the Christmas double issue.

Eddie Mair hosts Radio 4’s PM and iPM.