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Charlie Chester Sunday Soapbox BBC Radio Two 2nd December 1973

Charlie Chester Sunday Soapbox BBC Radio Two 2nd December 1973

Charlie Chester presented his Sunday Soap Box on Radio from 1969 until his death from a stroke in 1997, yet very few recordings remain. This one dates from the days of the fuel crisis in 1973, petrol ration books had been issued, thieves were siphoning fuel from parked cars, it all contributed to the kindly gestures offered by worthy listeners responding to Charlie's heartfelt appeals for assistance to those in need. Somebody even drove from Broadstairs in a small car with five wheelchairs. Charlie was more the traditional court jester, dubbed 'Cheerful' Charlie Chester; he certainly was but he also could turn on the pathos, none more so when presenting this show, as can be heard when he reads listeners poems to Katchaturian and an air on a g string and the tale of the girl with the hole in the heart who loses Trollope, her little pony will leave you choking back the tears. But fear not there are plenty of jaunty tunes to cheer us up, mostly from the baton of Norrie Paramour.

Comments

Robin Carmody

This just in - the Sunday afternoon show started on 1st October 1972, the same day Tom Browne replaced Alan Freeman. The daily show ran for two years: 5th October 1970 to 29th September 1972.

Eric White

What a genuine trip down memory lane! I hadn't heard any recordings of this veteran presenter since the mid 1990s when the rot was gradually starting to set in at radio 2.What I had forgotten was how in the early 1970s the family listening and putting up with the odd bit of interfearence as well as the tv not constantly being on as it is in most households these days.One of my pet hates is people leave the tv on all the time! Anyway the gentle music and pleasant presentation was a treat.thankyou.

N R Ogley
N R Ogley

'when the rot was gradually starting to set in at radio 2' - how true!

Robin Carmody

This is being sold on eBay as from 28th November 1993, the same day as several other Radio 2 shows from the same seller - maybe it is the precise twenty-year split which causes confusion? It didn't run quite as long as you say, though; he started a daily show in 1970 and the Sunday show began, I think, in the spring of 1972, and although he is billed in Radio Times until 10th December 1995, he is likely to have presented his last show on 19th November 1995, because he had his stroke, after which he could not walk or speak, the following week. I'd suspect that the reason why few recordings survive is that, for a lot of the audience, the cassette would have been dangerously new technology.