Need a break from television, going out and general madness? Radio's your friend, friend. Here's six shows you won't regret tuning in for, says Will Gore.
Very Loose Women (Resonance FM)
Not just a brilliant name, but also a brilliant show on London's arty and eclectic digital station, Resonance FM. Like Woman's Hour with balls (you know what I mean), presenters Emma, Lili, Lucy and Katherine get together once a week to discuss a different theme with varying levels of seriousness (previous subjects include comedy, their dads and hair). They're also adept at coming up with silly puns and playing a fine collection of indie records. The Very Loose Women are taking a break for the summer, but you can catch up on previous shows via their blog.
Craig Charles (6 Music)
Craig Charles is famous for two reasons:
1) Starring in Red Dwarf.
2) Smoking crack in the back of a taxi.
If there were any justice in the world he'd also be famous for his superb Saturday night funk and soul show on 6 Music too. With Adam and Joe showing no signs of returning to the digital station anytime soon, Charles's Saturday night offering is easily the best programme on 6 Music and his party tunes are the perfect pre-night out soundtrack.
The Afternoon Drama (Radio 4)
Weekday radio drama is one of those delights that used to only be available to the retired and the workshy. Now thanks to iPlayer you can catch up on all kinds of plays (adaptations, short series and new works) at your own leisure. The Afternoon Drama has been around on BBC radio in one form or another since the late 1960s and with a play on everyday throughout each series there's always a terrific variety in both style and content. This week there's a mockumentary on cults, a comedy about a Welsh football team and a drama set in a young offenders institute to pick from.
The Sunday Night Music Club (Absolute Radio)
Sound Women (www.soundwomen.co.uk) is a network that promotes women working in the radio industry, and argues strongly there should be more of them. One of their high profile members, Sarah Champion, hosts an excellent weekly show, The Sunday Night Music Club on Absolute Radio. The playlist tunes might be a little mainstream for some tastes (Mumford and Sons, Kings of Leon etc.), but Champion is also committed to playing tracks from new artists and gives airtime to a number of unsigned bands.
Roddy Hart (BBC Radio Scotland)
This show is broadcast from Scotland and although it does play a fair bit of music from Scottish bands (but then, isn't listening to Camera Obscura a joy?), it's more about new music from all over and indie classics to make you happy. In a typical show, you'll hear Nick Drake, Kathryn Williams and the Hold Steady. Oh, and Roddy Hart's a particularly charming Glaswegian singer songwriter with plenty of stories to tell. A great way to spend a Thursday night.
The Film Programme (Radio 4)
As good as Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo's FiveLive film show is, it is not the only option when it comes to film coverage on the radio. Radio 4's Film Programme is a serious and seriously good weekly show dedicated to all things cinematic. It's also a must for those who find Claudia Winkleman (and her fringe) more than a little annoying on BBC One's Film 2013. Presented by Francine Stock, the show features reviews and star interviews (Johnny Depp recently appeared), along with DVD round-ups. Experts also look back at classic and cult films so after only a few shows you'll be able to drop references to the nouvelle vague and neorealism into your post-cinema trip discussions with no worries at all.