WALTER FULLER: THE MAN WHO HAD IDEAS, Letterworth Press
I was fortunate to be sent a copy of this fascintating volume covering the life of the second editor of the Radio Times, Walter Fuller and his family. I make a point of mentioning the latter as his life is heavily intertwined with his sisters, so the majority of the book reads more like 'The Fullers' than just a biography of the man himself.
Sadly, his untimely death means that for those who are interested in his short time at the BBC and Radio Times in particular, it is only really the last couple of chapters, a small part of the book, that will hit the mark.
A very in depth, and academic, read, I have to confess that when I originally tried to fit in reading the book in short snatches it was easy to get lost amongst who was who and who did what, that I quickly went back to the start and set aside quality time for it. This isn't a complaint about the book, but more an observation that most books these days are aimed at an audience with little attention spans, and something a bit meatier can be a jolt.
As I say, the first two thirds of the book, whilst interesting in its own merits, covering the Fuller Sisters touring America to sing the folk songs they collected and researched, World War I and the peace and propaganda movements, and Walter's not insignificant contribution to both, is only a sideline to the story that readers here will be interested in, but it is well worth spending the time to get to know the man, his almost limitless ideas (hence the title of the book) and his ideals, as they are what made his contribution to Radio Times something special in its formative years.
New technology has also been embraced with this publication, as much more than could be included within the covers is available on the associated website, and I found myself flitting between the printed covers and the web.
For those of you unsure about buying, you can readily access the web based material, read the first 20 pages, browse the index and more.
I like to think of myself as an authority on the history of the magazine, but the research behind the book has been so thorough that there are items new to me. Highly recommended.
RADIO TIMES CHRISTMAS SHOP
With less than 364 shopping days to Christmas now, I can see the panic setting in when I do venture out to do shopping. The supermarkets have already piled the decorations, tins of sweets, and puddings and cakes as high as they will go on the shelves, and there are all sorts of useless gifts to tempt people to part with their money.
Radio Times haven't got decorations or cakes, but they do have a selection of gifts based on their back numbers available, with the benefit of you not having to gird your loins to foray out amongst the crazed shoppers as their shop is online.
For me, it is the book Radio Times: From The Archives, that stands out. Having been in their photo library I can attest to the wonderment and thrill that surges through the body as you open a drawer and spot an original photo that has either graced a cover or been the focal point of an article inside. With a 90 year history to cover, the scope of the archive is huge, and it covers anything and everything that has happened in broadcasting at the BBC and beyond. Cover Story which charts those 90 years in the covers of the magazine is also still available.
Various things for the well kept kitchen are available - tea trays, tea cosies, tea towels (spot the theme here) and a selection of the great and glorious covers from the past adorn each.
Completing the range is a calendar, a jigsaw puzzle, and a trivial pursuit game. Something for everyone.
The Radio Times has been a constant companion to those listening to the radio or watching television since September 1923.
It has adapted to the many changes in broadcasting during its nearly 90 year lifespan, and has embraced new services as they arrived.
This site is intended to provide a general overview of that rich history and cover some areas in much more detail.
It overlaps with the BBCs own site covering their history and you are encouraged to take a look there, but not before you have explored this one a little more.