Titters and witters with Sarah
"Sarah Kennedy is an anomaly on grown-up BBC Radio: a female presenter d'un certain age who is neither an ex-performer nor born of News. Instead she brings with her the whiff of the home-mixed cocktail and the rustle of the Daily Mail - never happier than when giggling at modern life.
Her programme runs for just 90 minutes, from 6am to 7.30am; a job share with Wogan (7.30-9.30am), who is far too established to present a full, three-hour breakfast show. Though their styles are similar, Sarah can't help putting her foot in it. Her most recent gaffe was to report that she couldn't see a black man in the dark until he smiled. She apologised, but you fear that she doesn't know quite why.
On Tuesday she carefully read out a letter from a 53-year-old listener who'd taken her life in her hands and travelled on the tube. 'There was a group of Asian... erm... people,' said Kennedy, clearly worried that she might be using the wrong term. And, blimey, one of these 'people' offered the listener his seat! 'Their behaviour was exemplary!' read out Sarah. Hallelujah! Play them a record! And then wonder why anyone needed to know that they were Asian!
If you start your day with Sarah, your life takes on a butterfly quality. One minute she's treating you to her 'mazin' observations - 'I saw my first kingfisher up at Ludlow. They're tiny!' 'Why can't Ruth Kelly have a law that bicycles must have a light on them?' 'Everybody I know has got colds' - and the next she's wondering who the next record is by. 'Who have we got here? Terence Trent D'Arby? Ah.' Plus, she insists on reading things out - an Oscar Wilde poem (Tuesday), a letter about chicken feed (Wednesday), an entire news piece on shoes that cure sweaty feet (Thursday). If you heard this stuff on local radio, you'd feel short-changed. A small titter, a lengthy witter, that's Sarah's formula. It can't last."