My book bought for reading on my train-journey-by-bus yesterday was I Think The Nurses Are Stealing My Clothes – a tome both eulogising Linda Smith and collecting some of her previously ephemeral broadcast and live work into print.
There is no doubt Linda Smith deserves all the kind and insightful words from the likes of Mark Steel and Mark Thomas. I only ever knew her from hearing her on BBC Radio 4, but the wit, warmth, accuracy and charm of her humour made a strong impression on me.
She always spoke using the language you would overhear on public transport – even when addressing complex issues surrounding the banality and vileness of political injustice. In one moment she could conjure a biting image of an inept politician you would never forget, in the next she could express a ridiculously strong passion for the small things that make life a triumphant experience – tea, cooking or a perfect frame of film.
Reading the book reminded me that I am the poorer for not being able to hear the voice of Linda Smith because it takes real talent to be able to be angry, perceptive, warm and funny all at the same time.