Jarvis Cocker: ‘I’d regard it as a success if people were to nod off during my radio show’

The Pulp singer will bring the latest installment of his 'Wireless Nights' series to Radio 4 on Monday

Jarvis Cocker has said that he hopes people fall asleep during his forthcoming Radio 4 show Wireless Nights.

The latest installment of the occasional radio show will form part of the station’s BBC Philharmonic Presents… series and will see Cocker narrate a history of insomnia, backed by a selection of classical works performed by the orchestra and other pieces.

Speaking about the show to The Guardian, Cocker has said that he wanted it to be deliberately “low-key”, even suggesting that they record the show in total darkness. “It’s deliberately low-key as I’d regard it as quite a success if people were to nod off during the broadcast,” he said. “I wanted to record the programme with all the lights out, but in the end we had to settle for it being very dim in the studio so the players could see the music. He added: “But they were very good sports and agreed to do a little improvisation in total blackness.”

Inclusions on the show’s classical playlist feature an extract from the Goldberg Variations, described by Cocker as “Bach’s greatest hit”, and a compilation of late night recordings of Richard Nixon.

Going into more detail about his reasons for doing the programme, Cocker also stated that he, “like a lot of people”, wanted to know more about the genre. “I’m very ignorant about classical music really,” he said. “I think, like a lot of people, I always aspired to develop an appreciation of classical music, but didn’t know where to start. It’s like going round and round this magnificent edifice without being able to find the way in.”

Wireless Nights will be broadcast at 11pm on October 13 on Radio 4.

Meanwhile, the Pulp frontman recently came out as saying that the band’s 1995 hit ‘Common People’ couldn’t have been written today because the class dynamics have changed. “The impetus behind ‘Common People’ was that this girl thought that people in Hackney or whatever were having a good time,” he admitted. “I think now people are trying to gatecrash prince Harry’s party – they think rich people are having a good time.”