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Radio Times. Buy a copy each and save arguments.
Member Name: GillMN
Advantages: Packed with information about the media. Inexpensive.
Disadvantages: None really.
It is called the Radio Times because when it was originally published there was no TV. It now covers both comprehensively.
I find it a very interesting read. There is always at least one article in there that grabs my attention. It is laid out imaginatively and attractively with a good balance of pictures and text.
The listings pages are logically and clearly displayed with a colour code to the days on the side of the pages. The print is readable and the quality of the paper it is printed on is high.
The advertisement scattered through the magazine are unobtrusive and take only a small percentage of the space.
It costs £1.05 per copy and it is very good value. It has about 140 pages and the front cover tells you what the main stories are going to be about. This week's cover shows Martin Clunes whimsically holding his Spaniel's ears out from it's head. (Even in this strange pose the spaniel is prettier than Mr Clunes!)
The covers are always eye catching and well laid out. (It makes them easier for me to find, but not alas, for my husband. I will talk about that later!) I particularly like the drama of the Doctor Who themed covers. The photography and artwork is of a consistent high standard.
A typical contents list looks like this.
Picks of the week from TV, Radio and Films. Articles and comments and bits of gossip on particular shows and previews of what's to come.
Very interesting pieces about various tv shows, how they were made, background information, interviews with the actors, producers etc.
Film reviews. Barry Norman's excellent crit's of what he has been watching. A 'pay per view' guide. A sometimes very funny guide to all the films that are on the box that week. The reviewers don't pull any punches.
The actual listings of what's on the TV including the five main terrestrial channels and about 25 other channels.
Radio listings covering all the main BBC stations and some none BBC. There is a fairly comprehensive guide to local radio too. In this section you will find articles looking behind the scenes of radio programmes.
Articles, reviews, letters to the Editor, puzzles, special offers, (at the moment you can get 4 issues for £1.00 delivered to your door.)
~To finish the issue.~
' One Final Question.' An interview with a celebrity or Sports personality. It is always interesting to read and often amusing too.
My favourite parts are the puzzle pages although I can't quite get the hang of the rules for the new Mandali puzzle. I do the Sudoko first, then read the letters page. The best letter wins a digital radio usually. I like the letters because they are not afraid to publish letters from readers which criticise BBC programmes. It always seems fairly balanced to me.
I like the 'behind the scenes' articles. especially when they are about BBC's excellent period dramas or childrens series. The issues with information about making the Narnia series was particularly well written and informative.
Some of the gardening offers are superb and we have had lovely plants and useful garden tools from them. The prices are very reasonable.
The travel offers are sometimes out of our price range but they are always worth looking at.
The only problem with the Radio Times is that my husband thinks it is his! And his alone! There are ructions if I move it away from where he was last hunched over it, highlighter in hand.
It has to leap out and do a fandango for him to be able to find it, (or anything else for that matter!)
So, if any of the producers of the Radio Times are reading this. Could you please attach a device to it whereby it would leap into my husband's hand when he was looking for it, I would be a happy bunny and it would save me whacking him one with it when I have to come and find it for him.
I can understand his distress when he can't find it though. It really does give you a well laid out, easy to read, informative guide to all the week's viewing. It beats any other TV guide hands down.
The tone of the magazine is one that treats it's readers with respect. It does not pander to the lowest common denominator and never patronises.
It is published on Tuesdays. To avoid missing ours we now have it delivered. It's cheaper per copy that way too.
Summary: The best TV listing publication available.