Jeremy Paxman's wound me up this week.
I know that's what he's paid to do, and to be fair he did a good job in his prime of cutting through the arrogance and moral certitude of TINA-era Thatcherite politicians, those whose stock reply to every challenge was 'there is no alternative'. In recent years he appears to have become a caricature of himself.
We must be careful not to confuse the man and his screen persona. However, one would assume off-screen evidence given to the Pollard inquiry (the investigation into why a report on alleged paedophile Jimmy Savile's activities by Newsnight was dropped shortly before it was due to be transmitted) would be free of any of the posturing and stagecraft required by television.
It got to me when he went on about 'radio people'. And it got me thinking about them too.
According to Paxo, BBC news had been "taken over by radio ... Helen Boaden, a radio person. Steve Mitchell, a radio person. Peter Rippon was
a radio person. These people belong to a different kind of culture." A culture that doesn't libel an innocent peer by failing to do some basic journalism, maybe.
Paxman, who's 63 in May, went on to add that "In television it tends to be a younger person's game. There are - with fewer older people in it and fewer people - I would
say, preoccupied with their pensions". This, presumably speaking of Boaden (56) and Rippon (47) although Mitchell is, admittedly, a few months Jeremy's senior.
So it got me thinking, in a wider sense, how we could more legitimately categorise 'radio people'.
The first word that comes to mind is realistic. It's Only Radio is not only the title of John Myers' autobiography but also an attitude. Radio people do their best, but if it all falls over nobody died.
Next up - resourceful. There's no money at all in local radio and precious little in network. So radio people get used to doing more with less as a way of life. At Leeds Trinity we had a Very Important TV Guy turn up once to give a talk. He'd forgotten a DVD. His first reaction was to call the studio and have the missing disc put in a taxi and driven over. I rest my case.
Thirdly - seldom conceited. There are many radio presenters with massive egos on the air but comparatively few (OK, OK I do know they exist) who carry that ego into the office after the show. You just can't keep it up. Add to that the fact that promotion in wireless means a move to the breakfast show, and the possibilities for posing at 4.30 am are vanishingly small.
Which leads me on to a somewhat ... delicate ... point.
Radio People are, by and large, unglamorous. That doesn't mean that there aren't ravishingly beautiful women and superbly chiseled chaps who can turn heads on a night out in town. But honestly, have you ever looked around the room at a radio conference? A Martian who turned up at a typical industry do would quickly grasp the idiom 'a great face for radio'.
It doesn't mean they're not articulate. Far from it.
We've all experienced 'four radio people at a party'. They're discussing children .. or cars .. or holidays. We reach 'the silence'; the point at which no-one in the group has anything further to say. At a radio party, all four people immediately begin speaking at once, so as to fill the silence. As nature abhors a vacuum, wireless types abhor a silent pause.
Radio's lack of superficial glamour might well be related to this next, more serious point; I'll leave it for you to decide which way round is cause and effect.
In my experience a LOT of radio people are introverts who have over-compensated. I know I am. The types who maybe were not first in the gang, first up to dance, first to be picked for sports, first to stick a hand in the air - but who maybe spent more time alone. Maybe reading, maybe gaming, maybe enjoying music, maybe fiddling with technology .. but in the course of things they discovered the magic of radio.
It's then a small step for these solitary types to realise that radio could be, potentially, accessible. They belt off a letter .. or an email .. or a tweet and after a bit of effort (see 'resourceful' above) they get a foot in the door answering phones and making coffee. Those with the necessary skills will develop from there.
So there can be a culture clash when 'radio people' reach the top of their game and have to manage those like Paxman who have come from the school of the conspicuously clever, the theatrical and the brashly self confident.
I think I know which tribe I would prefer to call my own.