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A great national institution
Member Name: dmandrew
Advantages: Through, proper and informed
Disadvantages: The most expensive
This one is the business in broadcasting reviews. It's also the most expensive, and the price goes up regularly - it's now £1.10, but there are various subscription deals available that can save you a fair amount and get it delivered free.
There are comprehensive listings for all the terrestrial channels, as well as several pages per day on digital and satellite. Listings are normally complemented by descdriptions of the programmes, and with cast lists. Every day, a few programes are expecially highlighted in the "Choice" section, with more detailed reviews and previews. These are well written and informative. They are expecially interesting when the writer has not seen the programme but raises inventive speculations about what might happen in it.
Interviews are well researched and of high quality. It's not a sensationalist magazine, like so many of the 30p TV guides, and although there is a fair and gently humourous recognition of soaps, Radio Times just gives one page for all of them, amusingly referring to Soapland, and pointing out the many quirks of the programmes. If there is a particularly strong episode, then that appears in Choice.
There's a good letters page, and a quick-fire interview at the back, also a puzzles page, including some tricky crosswords, word games, and Sudoku-type problems.
All of this is good, but the real jewel in the crown is the radio listings for the BBC channels. This, of course, is what the magazine set out to do when it started, in the first half of the 20th century. Here you have concert programmes, fine drama, searching documentary, great light and popular music and jazz, top sport and professional journalism, all listed on a double page for every day, leaving enough room agian for programme descriptions.
This is a national treasure of a magazine - and we look forward to every Tuesday when it comes out.
Summary: You get what you pay for