Speaking to an old pal at the BBC yesterday, John Carmichael, who is now something incredibly senior and has sorted out the gremlins that were causing major problems to the show.
As noted below, The Radiocroft's ISDN line has proved too unreliable to risk with a daily two-hour live radio show. However, the long-standing fallback option - using the BBC's Lerwick studio and its fixed 'music quality' lines to Aberdeen - has also been prone to problems.
Turned out to be something related to the sharing of data (and there's TSUNAMIS more data whizzing about the BBC these days) with audio on the same lump of copper wire. This has now been 'partitioned' so sound and pixels don't interfere with one another. Hence the crystalline quality of yesterday's broadcast. Well, no didgeridoo noises anyway.
John and I shared a memorable trip to Los Angeles some, oh, 13 years ago, when the then Inverness-based TM show decamped to California for a week. Who can forget the Gregory Peck and Jay Leno encounters, the revolving rooftop restaurant at the Holiday Inn, Michael York wearing makeup for a radio interview, getting lost in the badlands of Compton at 3.00am, arrests on the Santa Monica boardwalk, an armed gangleader in the studio and much else...
Jings, it was bright in LA. And warm. The big equinoctial gales have started in Shetland, it's freezing and it's dark. Winter, suddenly, is on its way.