Wireless Programmes is a handwritten essay by Delia from her Juvenile Papers, submitted as a school exercise in English when she was 16.
It deplores the loss of quality in BBC Radio programming, due to a move from music to drama. This eerily foreshadows the way that her music was crushed and scorned at the drama-dominated BBC in later life.
The essay is dated 8th May 1953.
8.V.'53 Wireless Programmes. ------- ------------------- Wireless programmes can be divided into five groups:- religious services, variety, music, talks and plays. When broadcasts first began, the predominant feature appears to have been music. Music in itself can never have any bad effect on its listeners and therefore the programmers then must have been of a fairly high standard. It was not until variety programmes were introduced that this standard was lowered. These programmes, such as "Kay's a Laugh," "Life with the Lyons," "Take it from Here," "The Goon Show," etc. require no concentration or mental effort on the part of the listener. An occasional one of these programmes may have some real entertainment value, but followed one by the other as they are early on a Sunday evening, and repeated as also many of them are, this value ceases to exist, and they have no value whatsoever. This has therefore resulted in lowering the general standard of broadcast programmes until now it is getting too low. Many families with radios have them turned on all the time which they are at home, regardless of what is broadcast, though generally preferring the lighter programmes, while occupied in some other task. Therefore, if the lightest programmes were gradually made less light, the programmes would reach, in time, the standard once maintained. The B.B.C. has the responsibility of making sure that the leisure ---- which they give to so many people is of a desirable standard; if they offer the public a lower standard of programme, they expect, in time, these programmes; this produces the bad effect of making people's minds lazy.