I love listening to talk radio. I'd go so far as to say I have spent my life listening to people talking on the radio. From eavesdropping on Woman's Hour while my mother listened to it when I was a small child to the pleasure of the changing fortunes of The Archers via quiz shows like I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue, BBC News which is always more sensible than TV news that needs dramatic pictures, and drama to recent podcasts like the gripping Serial, I have been a radio addict.
So when I say that one of my greatest radio treats is on BBC Radio Solent, I know that of which I speak. The Southampton football commentary team of Adam Blackmore and Dave Merrington has got to be one of the best listening experiences a radio lover can hope for. It doesn't matter whether you follow Southampton FC or even football generally, their commentary is an absolute pleasure to listen to.
Why? Firstly, their voices which have the perfect pitch for radio, neither grating nor bland. Staying with that, the way Adam's soft midlands accent contrasts so beautifullyy with Dave's gravelly geordie voice. Then there's their intuitive understanding of each other so that each one's words complements the other and they never seem to cut across what the other is saying.
They speak so well without hesitation, repetition or deviation that they could give contestants on Just A Minute a run for their money and this is so important if you don't want to bore or irritate your listeners. Adam's range of vocabulary in describing what must be essentially very similar moves is hugely impressive.
Finally there's just the sheer expertise they bring to the job- Dave Merrington clearly knows a thing or two about football because he had a career in soccer management including a year managing Southampton but he's kept up to date and impresses with his knowledge of the current team and their tactics. Adam is so fluent in his description of the play, you feel you are right there in the stadium.
This is radio at its very best. I feel sorry for those who live outside the BBC Radio Solent area.