Last week radio stations across Britain revealed how many of us tune in to them. Two big climbers were BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM. Radio 3 had its highest figures since 2016 – more than two million a week. Classic FM did even better. They had more than 5.4 million listeners
You can make any number of reasoned arguments why this might be.
Alan Davey, the boss of Radio 3, talked of “having a place where you can take time out from the world, listen to something in depth and get a new perspective”.
And while executives announcing good news can get a bit platitudinous, there is some truth to what he says.
In the deep, dark trenches of the Brexit debates last year, an alternative was present. Why listen to a minor government minister repeat a line they barely believe themselves when you could stop for 10 minutes in your kitchen and be surrounded by a Bach mass?
With Classic FM, you get comfortable repetition. You can’t switch on for more than 10 minutes before you’re hit by Holst’s Planets or Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia On a Theme by Thomas Tallis. And while both are a welcome break from circular discussions about trade tariffs, sometimes you need more.