Looking at the BBC Genome website, it is absolutely fascinating to look at Radio 2 schedules from the 1980s and 1990s and seeing a "break from the norm" when the regular presenter goes on holiday, or cannot be in two places at once, and someone just as famous stands in, and they are not necessarily Radio 2 presenters either. I am mostly counting mid year periods when regular presenters are away rather than Christmas and New Year.

Bill Oddie of all people stood in for Derek Jameson for a total of three weeks in August 1987 which seemed to be the oddest (if you excuse the pun). The late Wendy Richard from that London soap opera also had a go, and others besides. During the Jameson, JY and John Dunn programmes, they were often understudied by those people such as journalists and the like - the more serious kind of broadcaster.

Ken Bruce just had music DJs standing in for him because of Popmaster and the like.

Jimmy Young's stand ins are fascinating and quite famous - I saw on the Genome, Frank Bough; Sue Lawley; Michael Parkinson doing a stint in both 1975 and 1993; GUAC predecessor Michael Aspel stood in and he also did Ken Bruce's show in May 1987, (a bit like his Capital Radio mid-morning show); Robert Kilroy-Silk; Pattie Caldwell; Gordon Burns in August 1988; even a few incumbent politicians such as Kinnock and Steel had a go - and so did Edwina Currie, which was great training for when she lost her Derbyshire South seat and go into broadcasting on Five Live. Even Trevor McDonald stood in for a week in 1995 which I remember well. Esther Rantzen had a go in November 1987, and again in June 1999. Liberal politician David Penhaligon stood in for JY on 17th to 21st November 1986, just a month before he was killed in a car crash - Ken Livingstone the following week's guest presenter.

Gloria Hunniford and Debbie Thrower often had female presenters standing in, probably as an echo to when Woman's Hour was on at 2.00 pm on the same station up until the early 1970s - Floella Benjamin; Judi Spiers; Debbie Greenwood are three of them.

John Dunn had the two former "Esther's Nancies" Paul Heiney and Chris Serle but not together like on That's Life!; Selina Scott in 1986 (I thought she was a JY stand in as well); barrister John Taylor; former GMP officer turned broadcaster John Stalker. Even the female Yuri Gagarin - Helen Sharman stood in more than once.

Of course, there were the weekend presenters standing in for their weekday counterparts such as Charles Nove; Patrick Lunt; Martin Kelner; Richard Allinson and others - we also have the incognito Debbie Thrower standing in for Gloria Hunniford a few years before Thrower took over the slot herself - the same with Walker standing for John Dunn, and Vine standing for Jimmy Young. There are lots of others of course.

They make a great change to what would otherwise be an "all year round" schedule of the same people presenting.