The BBC

When I moved to London in the 1970s I was a poor student. Finding money for entertainment was not easy, and the BBC was a godsend, especially the radio.

For the price of exactly nothing you could go to see a radio show or two being recorded at one of their central London studios and enjoy something that you could listen to again later and share with friends: “I was there”.

The usual venue was the old Paris Cinema in Lower Regent Street. It was quite an historic place. Lots of great shows had been recorded there, even The Goon Show and Dad’s Army. It was also used for rock concert recordings and as such was a cosy venue.

Usually you could just roll up and get a ticket for a comedy or quiz show, especially on a rainy evening. I have fond memories of going in and walking down those windy wooden stairs. It’s not used by the Beeb now, they use the radio theatre in Broadcasting House, a larger and much more impersonal venue.

Ronnie Barker

Most people around the world will know Ronnie Barker from his big hit shows, The Two Ronnies and Porridge, and maybe Open All Hours.

Mr Barker started as a stage actor, then moved into radio with a part on The Navy Lark for something like eight years. As well as playing “Fatso” Johnson, he also played other random voices, as did all the cast.

He moved onto tv in The Frost Report, and this lead to the shows mentioned above.