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I am very picky about who I wake up with. Only two people will do: Duskman of course and Sarah Kennedy on Radio 2’s Dawn Patrol programme broadcast between 6:00 and 7:30 in the morning. I cannot stand television at this time as it is too bright and I think it would be a distraction when I am trying to get out of the door on time. Nor can I stand hyperactive young breakfast show presenters who shout a lot, play noisy music and want to do wacky things such as shove jelly down their trousers.
The Dawn Patrol is none of these being a rather civilized affair including a mixture of music, news and Sarah Kennedy’s gentle humour and slightly eccentric ramblings and anecdotes.
The music is not exactly cutting edge. It is a nice mixture of old favourites such as the Eagles, the Beatles and Simon and Garfunkel alongside more melodic, middle of the road new stuff. Basically radio 2’s daytime policy. The music can sometimes get repetitive with the same songs being played but at that hour of the morning I feel I just want something that I know well and does not wake me up too quickly by being uncomfortable on the easrs. Kennedy also has a slot at around 7.15 called “its Showtime” where Kennedy plays a number from a musical or a film soundtrack as requested by the listener. This is usually well worth a listen and something different. Beforehand she had the Love hate slot where listeners requested songs that made them really cringe such as novelty songs or just ones that did your head in. that was sheer genius although often I could not get the song out of my head all day long.
At 6:15 we are asked to “pause for thought”. This is the BBC and still tries to be a moral bastion. Luckily this being a multi cultural country those presenting the slot come from a wide variety of faiths. I do like this is it gives me a time to think although I do not adhere to any religion. Pause for Thought is followed by a short piece of classical music that is a breath of fresh air when you are fighting to open your eyes.
The show being an early breakfast show has all the usual features such as news every half hour, travel and weather. I like the news as you have headlines on the half hour and a fuller news report on the hour. I am not a driver but the travel does not seem to be too London centric and covers major traffic black spots. Another feature I like is Sarah Kennedy’s review of the papers just before & O clock. She covers most of the major stories alongside some lighter ones from the full spectrum of the papers. She might be a bit biased when talking about political news but aren’t we all. It is natural to put your view across.
Kennedy’s style of presenting is an acquired taste and very much a love hate thing. The conversation in between songs is peppered with listeners’ emails on cute things kids say and anecdotes of childhood misdemeanors. The conversation is also sprinkled with events from Sarah’s Kennedy’s immediate life. We get to hear about the much Beloved packing too many pairs of pants, floods at Kennedy Tower’s in Gods own County (Warwickshire), how she slept last night and of course her beloved cats. Her cat talk really reminds me of those eccentric teachers I used to have who talked about their pets. Accompanied with twee cats mewing we get to hear all about hector, Vernon and co’s latest adventures! You also get cute little noises within the travel report when she mentions trains etc. it really is rather strange and sometimes can be off putting. However in general I actually quite like this gentle banter.
Sarah Kennedy has been accused of being very old style radio 2 being part of the old style uncool presenters. As said she is an acquired taste and not for everyone. I doubt many under 25s will like her. Those who like rather specialist music genres might find the play list a bit dull and predictable. However for those who like a quiet beginning to our days Sarah Kennedy ‘s dawn patrol is ideal.
I listen to this in the morning in work, I do prefer Alex Lester and Janice Long though! You've covered pretty much everything about the show, in fact I don't think it's changed at all even now! Rachel x
rishmitra 23.09.2004 13:44
Interesting programme. Very well written. Well done. Best wishes, Rish
KarenUK 25.08.2004 20:32
I saw Sarah Kennedy in Portsmouth once. She walked past me in the street. She was very orange in the face!