Happy Christmas! Or if you’re not reading this until New Year’s morning – boy, you look terrible, what did you DO last night? Still, isn’t 2015 fabulous?
It’s possible you pick up a copy of Radio Times only once a year, when it’s this enormous double-issue size. (Why they don’t get more claims for severe back injuries I don’t know. It should be the new whiplash. Even the digital iPad edition is heavier.)
Can I politely suggest you consider buying Radio Times all year round? You’re missing a year of listings lovingly edited by people who care about radio and TV and know what they’re on about. There are all those interviews and articles you only read snippets of in the papers. And, astonishingly, there’s me: a man you’ve probably never heard of, so let me introduce myself.
I’m Eddie Mair, suave international man of mystery. Friend to the stars, catnip to all the ladies and gentlemen who matter and the best-looking man in the whole magazine, apart from Barry Norman. I’m a playboy, business guru, philanthropist and spiritual healer. Really. There’s no need to Google me.
I’m tasked each week to bring searing insights into the world around us. I’m sort of a cross between Henry Kissinger, AC Grayling and Mystic Meg. I don’t want to brag, but this is a particularly well-thumbed page in a certain well-known palace in London – and I don’t mean Crystal.
So, could I tempt you to perhaps consider taking out a subscription to RT by reliving some of the highlights from this column from the past year?
JANUARY Ukip suspends a local councillor who said this month’s floods were caused by God, angry at same-sex marriage. I confidently predict this party will disappear into oblivion in 2014.
FEBRUARY Smooth Radio announces Simon Bates will no longer host the breakfast show. His final Our Tune is Kill the Director by
MARCH Radio 1’s Nick Grimshaw forced off air to visit hospital after swallowing glass in his coffee. Police fingerprint Chris Evans. APRIL Jeremy Paxman announces he’s leaving Newsnight. Take it from me, I’m a shoo-in for the job.
MAY An original Humpty from TV’s Play School is sold at auction for more than £6,000 but is immediately arrested by Operation Yewtree detectives. This actually happened and nothing I write to follow it could be funnier than that fact.
JUNE Lovely dinner out with Robert Mugabe, Vladimir Putin, Katie Hopkins and Piers Morgan. Embarrassing scenes when other diners object and Piers is asked to leave. At least he still has that primetime show on CNN.
JULY Apparently there’s been a leak from Doctor Who. I said they shouldn’t have appointed such an old guy.
AUGUST Rona Fairhead is appointed to chair the BBC Trust. May I say what an excellent idea this is. She will be quite brilliant. Wonderful news.
SEPTEMBER During one of the warmest Septembers on record, the BBC is accused of being biased against the Yes campaign in Scotland. I find no evidence of anger on a visit to Glasgow where I am carried shoulder-high by cheering fans who kindly cool me down in the Clyde.
OCTOBER Two episodes of At Last the 1948 Show are discovered in the private collection of Sir David Frost. Editions of some of my early PM programmes, thought to have been lost, are also discovered, listened to, and then promptly lost again.
NOVEMBER Bob Geldof announces an urgent appeal to save Michael Buerk.
DECEMBER Very excited. Getting strong hints that the Radio Times editor has finally agreed at last to put me on the cover of the Christmas and New Year double issue.
Eddie Mair hosts Radio 4’s PM and iPM