Charlotte Green had a fit of the giggles this morning on the 8am bulletin for the Today programme. I listened, with a smile spreading across my face, as I drove into work. This little moments make that commute all the more bearable.
Dear Charlotte Green reported the news of an American researcher team who have discovered the earliest known still playable voice recording, which predates Edisons effort by 17 years. Recorded with a phonoautograph, which records sound on smoke blackened paper, the 10-second clip features a scratchy though audible rendition of ‘Au Clair de la Lune’. The squeaky voice issued over the radio, sounding like nothing so much as a bee trapped inside a jam jar.
At the conclusion of the piece, listeners heard the clip played back, before Charlotte launched into an obituary piece for Richard Widmark. Moments into the obituary Charlotte started to stutter and stumble over her own fits of laughter, presumably highly amused by the mildly bizarre song. One cannot blame her for suffering this attack, but the timing could have been no less inopportune.
I’m sure nothing could be more embarrassing than ‘corpsing‘ during a serious news item, but sometimes you simply can’t help yourself. I know I’ve been set off my the smallest of things, then sat grinning and giggling until tears stream down my face and my jaw aches. Of course, I rarely find myself on a national radio station reporting the unfortunate death of a much loved TV and film actor when the fit of giggles makes its unwanted appearance.
au clair de la lune charlotte green radio 4 richard widmark today