The As It Happens Files: Radio That May Contain Nuts

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When the interviewer is absent, other CBC journalists typically sit in as substitute interviewers; when the announcer is absent, substitutes may include other CBC personalities, actors such as R. Thomson , or staffers such as program producer Chris Howden. The show has also interviewed a wide array of presidents, prime ministers, terrorists, inventors, and authors.

Despite the gravity of many of its stories, As It Happens is also known for being lighthearted and carrying news of the obscure and bizarre. For instance, during the early s there were updates for several years on the battle over a large fibreglass fish that annoyed a neighbour in England.

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The show opens with humorous synopses of the day's stories, which are followed by a pun based on one of the same. An example is "radio that reads between the Linuses," following a story about baseball stats in the Peanuts comic strip. Another well-remembered interview was with a hard-of-hearing but imperturbable British farmer who had grown a prize-winning giant cabbage. The interview was conducted by an increasingly frustrated Frum, who could not get the farmer to give any kind of coherent replies to her straightforward questions; by mid-interview, Frum was stuck repeatedly asking the question "What did you feed your cabbage?

Exasperated, she finally asks him "WHAT. Barbara Budd and Mary Lou Finlay maintained a recurring debate over whether ABBA 's " Dancing Queen " was an appropriate choice of bumper music between interviews, and more recently Budd and Carol Off solicited listener feedback to determine the world's most annoying song. On one occasion when Budd was away on a sick leave that coincided with April Fools' Day , she and Finlay arranged a prank in which Budd gave an interview explaining that she had been given a Canada Council grant to tour the world visiting all the cities whose names she had ever mispronounced on the air.

A frequently cited example of the show's sometimes whimsical sense of humour relates to its frequent references to the UK town of Reading, Berkshire. After almost any lighter news story or interview that emanates from any location in the UK , the As It Happens host will conclude the piece by straight-facedly noting how far the UK location is from Reading, frequently giving the distance in both miles and some other form of strange, non-standard measurement e.

This long-standing tradition on the show dates from the mids, when English-born segment producer George Somerwill once concluded a program script with a note that a small village mentioned in the preceding segment was located 'nine miles from Reading'. It quickly became a running joke on the show to identify all places in the UK even major centres like London in relation to their proximity to the comparatively obscure borough of Reading.

Radio evolves, but will never become obsolete, Ms. It's ancient, but it's not out of date.

The As It Happens Files: Radio That May Contain Nuts by Mary Lou Finlay

It was the first way we had of communication, apart from smoke signals and underwater cables, but the reason it is still current and useful is that it's cheap to own a radio and it's cheaper to do radio than TV or to own a newspaper. You really don't need much in the way of equipment. It's fast and very flexible. Voices over the radio are like words on the page.


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