24 Hours

Exciting news from ResonanceFM,,,,

Bank Holiday Monday, 27 August : 12:00am – 11:59pm.

Twenty four hours in the company of Frank Key, writer in residence and creator of Resonance’s longest running programme, Hooting Yard on the Air. Comprising a selection of programmes from the very first in April 2004 to the present day.

It has been an eerily quiet summer here at Hooting Yard, what with one ting and an udder (as my mother used to say). I hope to return to the land of the living soon.

A General Air Of Decrepitude

Yesterday’s episode of Hooting Yard On The Air (aka A General Air Of Decrepitude) was a packed show. Mr Key read the stories A Dream, At Night, and An Old Manuscript, and he was joined for a performance of the one-act play Overheard In A Supermarket by Miss Blossom Partridge, aka Pansy Cradledew, who also read The Coronation and joined Mr Key for a recital of In Gath. In addition, there was a brief discussion of Scritti Politti, an old French saying, and new verse by Dennis Beerpint.

Babbling About Picnics Of Piety, Etc.

Here is a link to yesterday’s edition of Hooting Yard On The Air. Pin back your lugholes and listen to Mr Key read a list of exciting Christmas gifts, brilliantly reimagined as Easter gifts. Then ponder the emblems of inanity, after which you can hear the first of FK’s gutted FK stories, before finishing up with the details of some ruined picnics. Was there ever a radio show quite so straubenzee?

It Could Have Been You

The Hooting Yard item in the recent ResonanceFM fundraiser auction was a bespoke paperback. The highest bidder chose ten stories for inclusion, and Mr Key prepared a unique book, in an edition of one copy, never to be republished, titled, dedicated, and signed. The winning bidder was Guy Tritton, and here is the cover of the book made for him. I may repeat the exercise next year, so start saving your pennies …

Jubilate Agno Revisited

It is ten long years since ResonanceFM broadcast the historic reading of Christopher Smart’s magnificent Jubilate Agno. To mark the occasion, I am delighted to announce that the station will be repeating the programme – all three hours of it – on Boxing Day at 2.00 PM. Sluice out the valves on your wireless, tune in, and listen to Mr Key & Germander Speedwell read this utterly mesmerising poem.

Babbling About An Ogre

Yesterday’s episode of Hooting Yard On The Air was the final show for the Year of Our Lord MMXVII. As a special treat for listeners’ ears, it included a rather marvellous rendition of The Cuthbert Spraingue Song, for which Mr Key was joined by the dulcet tones of Pansy Cradledew. Thereafter, there was a lot of babble about an ogre, and Dobson, both on an atoll and in a pickle. Plus an end note on Italian fascist Benito Mussolini.

Meanwhile, don’t forget that ancient episodes of the show are being regularly added to an archive on YouTube.


Further to all the guff I mentioned about Hooting Yard housekeeping last week, there was a little flurry of concern regarding the vanished ResonanceFM podcasts. As a result, I have embarked upon a foolhardy yet I hope rewarding project to upload hundreds of past episodes of Hooting Yard On The Air to YouTube.

Et voila! Here is the first fruit of my tireless efforts – the very first show, broadcast all those years ago on 14 April 2004. Malachy O’Neill was the sound engineer.

I am hoping that further episodes will appear on YouTube on a regular basis, until the whole damned lot are there. This will take time. I am open to offers of help, should there be any devotees out there thrumming their fingers idly on the windowsill and staring into space, in need of some useful unpaid occupation.

ADDENDUM : Episode Two (21 April 2004) also added.

ADDED ADDENDUM : A link has been added to the sidebar to take you straight to the Hooting Yard home on YouTube. When you get there, press “Play All”, sit back, sluice out yer lug’oles, & listen until the cows etrcetera etcetera …

Unspeakable Babbling

In this week’s episode of your favourite radio programme, Mr Key discusses the cravat of an unspeakable cad, a village full of cheesegraters, birds and bats and the Bible and the BBC, and, last but not least, lint, with particular reference to some godawful power ballads.

As if that were not enough to have you swooning with unalloyed ear-pleasure, the show features the return of Miss Blossom Partridge and her knitting tips. Is there, or has there ever been, anything on the radio to compare with the sheer moral heft of this programme?

Knitting Babble

Yesterday’s episode of Hooting Yard On The Air was briefly interrupted by the dulcet tones of Miss Blossom Partridge with Miss Blossom Partridge’s Knitting Half-Hour, before Mr Key managed to regain control of the studio. Thereafter, listeners – deprived of tips such as keeping your knitting needles stuck in a jar of rice* – were treated to gobbets of prose about a Beatle, Cuxhaven, another House of Turps, and part of a lecture by Little Bo Peep.

* NOTA BENE : Miss Blossom Partridge has asked me to confirm that this is a wholly genuine knitting tip. I have seen the evidence with my own (admittedly myopic) eyes.

A List Of Birds

Eleven years ago, I devoted an episode of Hooting Yard On The Air to reading out a list of 601 birds, plus an astronomer, a newsreader, 2 jazzmen, 5 film directors, and 34 stars of stage and screen. This recording – hugely significant both culturally and ornithologically – has now been made readily available, split into three parts by dint of YouTubeosity. I strongly advise you lot to listen to the whole thing, repeatedly, umpteen times a day, until you have it committed to memory. You will find it invaluable next time you are leaning insouciantly against a mantelpiece at a sophisticated cocktail party and there is a lull in the conversation.