The Edge

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 03 April, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 03 April, 1999, 12:00am

The really exciting stuff this weekend is all happening on the radio. RTHK Radio 3 has re-vamped its schedule to include a 'wacky' new morning show from Phil Whelan and a club-style atmosphere in the early evenings with DJ Teng Boon. Before the traditionalists throw up their hands in horror, I can reassure everyone that Ralph Pixton (above) is simply being moved (to Sundays at 1.15pm), not banished, and regulars like Charles Martin, Pierre Tremblay, John Culkin and Folk Roots are not disappearing either.

The BBC World Service, re-broadcast here in RTHK Radio 6, has been trailing its new 'yoof' show, The Edge (Radio 6, 9.05am), for months now. The show will be a two-hour mix of music, interviews and news presented by Kirsten O'Brien and Steve Merchant. O'Brien has been presenting children's programmes on BBC national television for three years, Merchant is a broadcasting virgin who previously worked as a stand-up comic and defines himself as a movie nut.

The Edge dedicates a chunk of airtime once a week to younger (15-24) listeners that will not disturb the oldies too much. Not a bad idea at all, although the timing may be a bit off. What self-respecting 15- to 24-year old is even awake at 9.05am on a Saturday morning? Viagra: The Hard Sell (Pearl, 9pm) is the fourth imported documentary on local television to look at the issues surrounding the impotence drug. This one is from Britain, and does not add much to the debate. Same old mix of personal histories. Same old handful of urologists warning against treating this as a recreational drug.

There is a rather nice bit of hidden camera work taken in a Harley Street clinic called the Wellman Clinic, run by a real doctor who allows a bunch of self-styled consultants who combine a total lack of medical qualifications with a smart line in medical jargon, to advise patients. One poor man spent GBP4,000 (about HK$50,000) on a bunch of useless treatments.

Until the drug becomes available free on the National Health Service (NHS), the programme suggests, impotent men are going to be so desperate they will let rogues like this prosper.

The only voice of dissent is a medical administrator who questions whether the British taxpayer can be expected to pay for a drug that only improves the quality of life, rather than saving it. 'A haircut would make me feel better right now,' she says. 'Does that mean the NHS should pay for it?'