On Wednesday, 8 November, BBC local radio will be 50 years old. It is a tribute to presenters, listeners and friends that it has lasted that long. Sometimes it has seemed like it hasn’t had many friends in the top echelons of the BBC. It has long been eyed at with envy by commercial broadcasters and local newspapers, who don’t get a public subsidy. It has lasted so long because it reaches out to local communities as a friend.