As mentioned the last Digi-Cream Times (the last proper one), Big Ben has been silenced for some repairs meaning Radio 4 has temporarily lost, in the words of ITV1, “the bongs”. As also mentioned in the last Digi-Cream Times (the last proper one), this is the kind of thing that has previously prompted listeners of both Today and PM on Radio 4 to compose emails suggesting pithy alternatives to fill the silent seconds up to the hour.
Well, the redoubtable Eddie Mair has gone one better and is positively encouraging people to rise to the challenge by way of a Sounds of Summer appeal. Expect wags to have already responded by insisting a) the “bongs” weren’t sounds as such, but tones; b) summer has already been and gone (it was on Tuesday a few weeks back); and c) the extra airtime could be better utilised for a few more seconds of Dan Corbett doing the weather.
Meanwhile, as also mentioned in the last Digi-Cream Times (at this rate the last proper one ever), some possible replacements are:
a) The Trumpton town clock.
b) The opening bars of the theme tune to Yes, Minister.
c) That doorbell sound effect from the start of Paul McCartney’s ‘Let ‘Em In’.
d) A few bars of ‘Portsmouth’ by Mike Oldfield.
e) That bit at the end of ‘Mr Blue Sky’ when the timpani come thundering in and you get one last fleeting glimpse of vocoder.
f) The typewriter bell from the signature tune to Press Gang.