My drive home from work so far this year has been far less satisfying than usual. High on the list of causes for this is still people who suspect I’m telepathic and can just sense which way they’re planning on going round a roundabout, but this has been dwarfed in importance since BBC Radio Five Live went and misplaced Peter Allen. Anita’s still there. I like Anita. I’ve nothing against her. But she’s no Peter Allen.

I love Peter Allen. I don’t mind admitting it. He puts a smile on my face as I’m fighting traffic. He can muster a level of ambivalent impartiality most presenters can only dream of and he delivers the most versatile “hm” I’ve ever heard. Over the years, the “hm” has expressed surprise, distain, boredom, confusion, impish curiosity, exasperation, agreement. Mostly boredom.

But he’s been off for ages. Where is he? Is he coming back? Because his absense, coupled with Simon Mayo’s frequent sick days are forcing me to contemplate something I haven’t planned on happening for another ten years — switching to Radio 4.

So while I’m still young, let’s get Peter back, shall we? Please?

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