Those of us that reside in the UK may remember the days before privatisation of the British telephone system, when it was attached to the mail system and known as the GPO, or Post Office Telephones. In the days before the commercial information services such as astological prediction lines and the “Sexy Sandra” type phone lines, the GPO provided a small selection of subscriber info services.

For those that found the speaking clock and weather line a little boring, pop fans of the day could dial 16 and listen to Dial-a-Disc. I can’t recall whether they changed the song daily or weekly, but whatever – the same disc would be repeated all day and it was left to a GPO operator to make the recorded announcement between plays. Annie Nightingale and Tony Blackburn the operators weren’t, but it provided an additional source of music, probably exclusively to those people at work sneaking a free call or two at their employer’s expense !

Privatisation in the mid 80s would result in a more commercial approach with a kind of hip top 10 programme linked by a DJ. It underwent a name change too, although to something instantly forgetable