Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Andy Kershaw

12 December 2018

On Sunday evening we were at The Stables in Wavendon to see the remarkable broadcaster and journalist Andy Kershaw. Long time readers may remember my enthusiasm for Andy Kershaw’s much missed Radio 3 show (see my review of his appearance on Desert Island Discs in March 2007). Largely absent from the airwaves these days, he is touring to promote his autobiography, ‘No Off Switch’. As he nears his 60th birthday, Andy Kershaw’s encyclopaedic memory, natural eloquence and strong Rochdale accent remain undimmed. He is a consummate story-teller and his encounters around the world with some of the greatest musicians of the past half century make for some wonderful stories. Using a series of personal photographs on his laptop as prompts, he started to take us through his life. Restlessly wandering around the stage with a focussed determination he explained how happen stance had taken him from student concert promoter to being Billy Bragg’s tour manager, to the Whistle Test on BBC television, to presenting the TV coverage of Live Aid, to becoming a Radio 1 DJ and latterly a BBC foreign correspondent visiting some of the most troubled parts of the world. Very like Danny Baker (reviewed here in May 2018) Andy Kershaw has an obsessive need to cram in as much as possible, taking more than three hours on stage to only get as far as 1987. He promised to return to complete his story and I really look forward to that. In the meantime many of his best radio documentaries are available via his website at (try his 2005 visit to Turkmenistan – an incredible piece of journalism).

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