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One of the better paper versions of the week's TV
Member Name: Loopylooploo
Advantages: Plenty of information
Disadvantages: Heavy, small text
The Radio Times is a weekly magazine designed to bring the week's television, film and radio news to your door. These pages, moreover, cover a wide spectrum of channels - I believe that it advertises itself as covering over 400 channels, which is no small feat!
So, the Radio Times contains the week's TV guide, together with recommended shows and the occasional feature article on said shows; radio listings; and films, including some reviews. In addition, further articles are embedded, covering various subject areas (usually TV-related) and are often written by a celebrity, e.g. Sandi Toksvig. These features can equally be focused upon actor/actress interviews. These articles can be interesting and I think help make the magazine more than the run-of-the-mill TV guide. Moreover, many of these areas are split into categories, such as sport, film, soaps and television, so if you wanted to ignore/look at certain types you can easily pinpoint your topic.
As well as these guides for the week, this magazine also contains plenty of adverts, from places to visit to products, a puzzle section designed to cater to a wide variety of taste (Suduko, cross words etc.) and an area for customers' letters.
* Packed full of information on the week's shows, so you don't need to miss out on anything.
* They tend to have excellent covers that immediately identify it as Radio Times.
* Costs £1.10, which, considering the size of the magazine, could be argued as reasonable.
* Considering the competition (TV guides provided through Sky and Freeview, for instance, on the television) I think Radio Times has done a pretty good job to diversify within the constraints of what is essentially a TV mag.
* Packed full of information. This makes some pages appear chaotic and difficult to read; the size of font is ridiculously small in places as a result. The magazine is also thick and relatively heavy because of it being jammed packed.
* Adverts are annoying. I don't mind one or two, but too much of the magazine has been padded out to fill in the gaps.
* Paper is quite fragile; I find it easy to get paper cuts and it's easily ripped.
Would I recommend it?
Despite these disadvantages, I would happily pick up a copy of the Radio Times to look at - although it is cheaper just to access the TV guide online or via the television. On the whole, the company has done a good job to try and compete against the cheaper (more accessible?) versions through Sky and Freeview.
I think the decision essentially comes down to one thing: do you simply want to find out what's on TV or do you want something a bit extra, like an interview with an actor? If it's the former, I'd stick with the guides on TV, but for the latter, the Radio Times is worth picking up.
Summary: A magazine that lasts the years