Radio Gaga

BILLY'S CONTRACT goes on (about) the airwaves

When Darlington lost their league status it was noticable that the highlights of their games, however brief were no longer featured in the sports section of Monday nights BBC Look North.......obviously freeing up more time to feature Newcastle and Sunderland.

What is also very noticeable is that despite our demotion into the National League Pools have, in the main, retained their spot in this section of the programme. Which is just as well as, apart from Paul Mooney's weather forecast, it is now the only reason I watch Look North, particularly as they have recently started classifying Hartlepool as being part of Teesside.

I am unable to say for certain if Pools still appear on the Monday evening football slot on Tyne Tees (Channel 8), as it is always on at an awkward time for me ...namely when I am having my tea. Is Roger Tames still the sports presenter there?

It was much the same in 2012 when Darlo 1883 were thrown into the outer limits of non-league football due to debts owing to their creditors and at a stroke BBC Radio Borer/Cleveland/Tees/Team Valley or whatever they are called these days dropped them like a very hot potato or should I say a very hot parmo, which freed up more air time for them so they could slaver all over the Borer.

I dare say, much to the Borer commentators' displeasure, Pools, allowing for their recent demotion are like a bad penny, still turning up and receiving full match day commentary on DAB radio. Got to say I enjoy the commentary on DAB as almost two hours, no matter how bad, is devoted to Pools. The other plus about the DAB station is that beyond the odd score flash there is little or no mention of the Borer at all and we do not have to listen to those screaming imbeciles who do actually do the match day commentary on the Tees sliders. 
"Pools ...are like a bad penny, still turning up and receiving full match day commentary"

I also like the fact that Darlo are now getting a tad more airplay than they previously did on BBC Radio Team Valley, but, inevitably their fans have to wait for a break in the Pools play before they get a match update on their team which barely lasts twenty seconds. It is good to hear the voice of Ray Simpson back on the radio once more reporting on Darlo's progress or otherwise.

Ray is a Darlo fan through and through and and has a lot of knowledge regarding the local non-league scene ...which is a must for Quakers fans. At times he reminds me of our very own Arthur Pickering, who, back in the day, only had to utter two syllables and one knew that Pools were getting well beaten before he said a word. Ray Simpson is very much in the same vein. My favourite Ray Simpson radio moment came a few years back when Darlo were still a league team (The radio had valves in back then!) and as the Quakers took to the pitch he announced that Darlington will be playing in their traditional black and white shirts, black shorts and black and white 'Stockings'.  You can't imagine the image that that conjured up in my mind ...and what colour were the suspenders?

Once the Pools commentary has finished at 5pm the DAB radio reverts back to the Radio Cleveland-on-Tees studio for the Borer hour and that is my cue to reach for the off switch -- unless of course the Borer have been beaten and I generally leave it on for ten minutes listening to the great unwashed moaning on about their team of under-achievers.

I am looking at changing my car early next year. I can picture the car salesperson telling me all about the features and benefits of the model he is trying to foist onto me. I will explain that if it ain't got a turbo charged, fuel injected two litre DAB radio as standard, forget it.

The BBC were recently taken to task about its biased reporting during the recent Brexit campaign. You could compare their coverage on regional football in much the same way as they do with the political parties. The two big hitters Labour and Conservatives (Newcastle and Sunderland) get the bulk of the airtime. The Lib Dems (Borer) get a token amount. The SNP (Pools) are featured just to keep the natives happy. The Monster Raving Loony Party (Darlo) get a snippet of publicity which is normally reserved for the end of the news in the 'And finally' bit', to send viewers/listeners home with a smile on their faces.