I'll hang in for a bit longer, encouraged by the emails from listeners that come every week, always from somebody who never got in touch before, who is thrilled to hear stuff they never knew existed.
Please do hang in there, Charlie. I'm not sure what got Garth going - I didn't quite understand where he was coming from or why.
But there is something that arises out of the exchange above that has concerned me for some time - in fact, ever since I clocked up my personal half century some four years ago. And it's this. An astonishing number of those at the 1987 'birth of world music' meeting to which Garth alludes are still the main movers and shakers in world music. We desperately need some renewal. But where are the impatient, thrusting 20-somethings and why aren't they rudely trying to push us all out of the way?
I hope this doesn't offend anyone because at 54 I am of exactly the same generation : but consider the facts. Our two main world music broadcasters, Charlie and Lucy Duran, are in their 60s and 50s respectively. Both our world music magazines are edited by men in their fifties. The most influential British world music writers, reviewers and critics - the likes of Robin Denselow, Mark Hudson, Sue Steward, Peter Culshaw, Garth Cartwright, Howard Male (and apologies to anyone I've missed and if I have misjudged anyone's age!) - are I think all in their 50s or, at best, advanced 40s. Even that emblem of how cool and hip and youthful world music can be known as Damon Albarn turned 40 last month!
Where is the next generation which embaraces and loves this music - and why aren't they making us all obsolete and redundant? Once I passed 50, I became increasingly uneasy about my own role as a (minor) musical tastemaker : who am I at this advanced age to be telling people half my age what gigs they should go to and what records they should buy? That's why over the past four years I've concentrated more on writing books, where I can speak with the voice of experience from an historical perspective rather than pretending I'm the man with my finger on the pulse of what is hip and happening now.
Last year I lost my gig as The Times' world music reviewer to someone who endlessly goes on about what the 'kids on the street' are listening to right now. But in fact, he's in his mid-forties and has no more idea than me about what turns on these 'kids' (and, by the way, what a horrible, crass and patronising term only ever used by people who are past it!)
But despite my distatse for the term, I have to ask, where are these "kids on the street" - and why aren't they writing and broadcasting about this music and muscling all of us geriatrics out of the road? The truth is that world music is currently being 'run' by a bunch of people whose average age is greater than that of Brown's cabinet or Cameron's shadow cabinet. I think that should concern all of us working in world music on a professional level. Shouldn't it?