MISSING the Edinburgh International Festival? Yes? Radio 3 is too. Last Saturday’s specially Edinburgh-themed New Music Show, presented by Kate Molleson, was very aware of just how different this August in the capital has been.

In between playing archive choices and music specially recorded by local musicians, Molleson went for a walk along the Water of Leith with crime writer Val McDermid who lamented both the lost opportunities to meet friends during August and also the possible impact on local writers and artists.

“It’s a great stimulus to creativity,” McDermid said of the festival. “You go to concerts, you go to plays, you go to other writer’s performances ... Other doors open up in your own imagination.”

The question was raised as to what kind of legacy the pandemic might lead to. McDermid wasn’t sure. “I can’t write against this because the here and now changes from day to day. I have no idea what things are going to be like in six months. Are we going to be in lockdown again?”

Against that uncertainty, she added, “it feels to me that anything I write is inviting disaster.” As a result, it’s perhaps just as well she’s going back to the 1970s for her next book.

David Walliams was also time-travelling last Saturday. The comedian presented LOLS on LPs on Radio 4, a nostalgic wallowing in the history of the comedy album, a history that actually stretches back to the 19th century. Walliams, though, concentrated on the 1960s to the 1990s and all the familiar touchstones; Peter Sellers, the Pythons, Billy Connolly.

The programme was an enjoyable excuse to play lots of familiar comedy routines, a joy when said routines were by Bob Newhart or Woody Allen. Less so when it’s Peter Cook and Dudley Moore doing their Derek and Clive routine, beloved of schoolboys but not actually very funny.

Quite how Walliams got away with playing a snatch of Richard Pryor at his scabrous best before the watershed is beyond me. But it was a reminder of the shock and thrill of his work. It made me want to see some live comedy. If only there was a festival for that.