In My Own Time

9th September 2011 at 01:00
Tam Baillie, Scotland's Commissioner for Children and Young People

Books

- I'm catching up with Stuart McBride and his gory detective novels set in Aberdeen. Flesh House was my summer holiday read and provided an unsettling contrast to the sun, sea and sand. It features gruesome slaughterhouse tales and a twist at the end that was impossible to predict.

TV

- I watch Coronation Street when I can because it taps into something honest about people's relationships, even if you have to suspend your disbelief. It's better than EastEnders because it has a sense of humour and doesn't take itself too seriously. River City is a good Scottish soap but is making too much of the gangster theme, despite my love of the crime genre in books.

Radio

- I especially like to listen when cooking. I'm a bit territorial in the kitchen, so I'm happy with nothing more than the radio for company. Most often it's football - Radio Scotland, 5 Live and Real Radio. I have memories of listening to Scotland matches with my dad and uncle, crackly commentary that invariably disappeared when a goal was scored, just like the Sion-Celtic game the other night on Radio Scotland. The commentators are fine when describing the action, but infuriating when offering their opinions. They're never wrong, have always predicted a catastrophe nobody else spotted and are utterly lacking in humility; at times they make me cut my fingers rather than the onions. I like Radio 6 for music. It was only the hoo-ha around the threatened shutdown that brought it to my attention. It's good for alerting you to artists you've never heard of - even if I often miss their names because I'm too busy concentrating on getting a sauce right.

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