Listened In is 2ZY’s air-check blog. Every week, we listen to a random 20 minute sample of a station or programme in the news.

By now you’ll know their story. They’re 86, and 90. They met at a ‘Tuesday Club’ for older folk, and were talent-spotted by Radio Humberside’s David Reeves while on a station tour. And six years later, they beat Frank Skinner and Adam & Joe to Best Entertainment Show at this year’s Sony Radio Academy Awards.

But what do they do on the air?

WHAT BBC Radio Humberside

WHO Beryl and Betty with David Reeves

WHEN 23 June 2012

1816 Magic Moments/Perry Como

1818 Back Announce.

Here’s another challenge to get the Buble on the show, says David. I’m here! shouts Beryl or Betty – it’s sometime hard to tell them apart if you’re new to this. And we’re straight into a running gag about these two ladies’ (joint age 176) lust for the crooner. Beryl and Betty are known for their skits – and this is one of the best: Destiny’s Child, Bootylicious. Stand out lyric, ‘I don’t think you’re ready for this granny ‘cos you’re way too … Buble-icious!’

David asks what Michael would say if he heard it. ‘He’d say put me on the next plane, I want to meet those two lovely ladies’ comes the reply.

1821 Beryl and Betty’s Record of the Week. Set-up in which two 30 second excerpts of new singles are played to the women, and they choose which one will be played in full later. This week it’s Andy Grammer’s Fine by Me vs Coldplay/Rihanna’s Princess of China.

1826 Rock the Boat/Hues Corporation

ID: Officially the most entertaining show in the UK, says deep voiceover man, before a discussion about how nice he sounds. ‘Would be more entertaining if that man was here. It would add some spice to it.’ ‘He’s under the table!’

David reads a poem submitted via the duos Facebook page, based on Beryl’s comments last week that a man is only properly dressed if he’s wearing freshly shined shoes and smart socks.

Banter about shoes for a while.

1829 David reads a paper funny about naturists attending a German supermarket in return for free food. ‘Imagine that in Bransholme?’ he asks, to much giggling.

1832 It Might as well Rain until September/Carole King

1834 ID: Beryl and Betty with David Reeves on BBC Radio Humberside

Black Heart/Stooshe


It’s impossible to dislike Beryl Renwick and Betty Smith. This is a joyful slice of radio, slight but affecting. It’s worth it for Betty’s contagious laughter alone. Reeves expertly guides them through the double, and occasionally single, entendres.

I watched them humbly take the stage at the Radio Academy Yorkshire event last week. ‘If Bob Shennan came knocking at your door ..,’ asked one questioner, ‘I’d say ‘come in’!’ says Betty, without a beat. Their comic timing is spot on. ‘And that Peter Levy can still cut a rug.’

The trick here will be maintaining the appeal – not that that seems to be an issue six years in. Where do you take them next? I’d like to hear more of their remarkable life stories, a little more shade with the light.

And we should spare a thought for Mrs Reeves. Clearly there are now four people in this marriage! At the Academy event, David revealed that his wife believed he talked to Betty and Beryl more than he did to her. He checked his mobile phone call  list.

Wife 34. Betty 54. Beryl 74.

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