The Urban Guide to the Countryside

Eclectic French Radio? Mais oui!

9 Dec 2016

I live with the radio on in the background — so a new station is always a bit of a treat.  Makes a change from The Archers and arguing with Mr C about whether 5 Live Sports Extra actually counts as proper radio.  Debbie, down in Muddy Sussex, has come across a continental choice that might liven things up now and again…

Are you one of those annoying people who can actually concentrate and do desk work with the radio on? I have a friend who even claims to produce coherent sentences with the TV burbling away in the background.


If I’m doing a bit of web research or uploading some pictures I love having the radio on – BBC 6 Music with a smattering of Radio 4 is my choice. But somehow even years of filtering out other people’s conversations in an open plan office still haven’t given me the ability to structure a paragraph if a DJ’s talking, and if there’s a song I know entering my earholes then my brain (if not my mouth) just can’t resist singing along.


So, I was excited when I discovered FIP. I was actually lying on my back, eyes tight shut at the time having an eyelash tint at Powder (nice boho-chic salon in Duke Street, Brighton and the bonus of buns of steel if you can handle all the stairs to the treatment rooms). I realised I was listening to French radio and what’s more, I was enjoying it.

Having thought French music was all accordions and bad Europop I was intrigued. The first programme I heard was mainly vintage-sounding blues but the station, which has been around since 1971, plays an eclectic mix of, jazz, rock, classical, French chanson and world music in a mix of languages, mostly French and English. The other day I heard, in sequence, a blues singer, rap, classical and folk.



There’s minimal chat and when the presenters do talk, if your French, like mine, languishes back at ‘Qu’est-ce que c’est? C’est un stylo’ then it’s not too distracting. In fact it feels a bit like being on holiday.

Apparently I’m late to the party on this as FIP already has a Brighton following thanks to a local fan who made a pirate rebroadcast of the station for years. Nowadays you can check it out wherever you are through the web or the Tune In app.

Give it a whirl and let me know if you actually get some work done– or just start craving for pain au chocolat…


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The Urban Guide to the Countryside -
Hertfordshire Edition