« Previous | Main | Next »

What will you be doing Sunday morning?

Post categories:

Phil Williams Phil Williams | 02:10 UK time, Saturday, 3 October 2009

Sunday morning in Buenos Aires

How will you spend this Sunday? Maybe you'll be enjoying a Sunday lunch with loved ones. Maybe you'll be enjoying the staple British diet of DIY and gardening. You might be at your chosen place of worship. Or Stamford Bridge. It is, after all, Chelsea v Liverpool at 1600 (full commentary on 5live, of course.)

The reason I ask is that this week Rachel and I are making way for the Japanese Grand Prix. So there will be no Weekend Breakfast on Sunday morning. Now - Don't get me wrong. I happily acknowledge that I have a pretty good job. However - When you get the opportunity not to wake up at 0345 on a Sunday, you embrace it with both hands. This got me thinking, what would really make this rare Sunday off special and how would I enjoy it the most? The answer lies in the company you keep. People.

This week: Wayne Rooney said he would miss Manchester United's Champions League tie with CSKA Moscow if it clashes with wife Coleen giving birth. Quite how Sir Alex would react is not yet known, but hopefully better than the way Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez reacted to Xabi Alonso not flying with the squad to play Inter Milan in March last year, so that he could attend the birth of his first child. It was the start of a very long plank walk for Alonso out of Anfield. Benitez himself has strict standards in this area, missing his own father's funeral in preference for a game of football.

The Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill confirmed this week that defender Luke Young should return to first team football after a period of mourning for his younger brother Andre. He died whilst on holiday in Crete in August. O'Neill, to his credit, has said that his player should take as long as he needs.

Wayne Rooney, Xabi Alonso and Luke Young have what you may think is the best job in the world. They are incredibly well-paid. But they have recognised that it is the people who are, or in Luke Young's case, the people who are no longer in your life, that matter. You will have your own view on whether or not a footballer should miss a game to attend the birth of their child. For those of us not playing the game, football is an incredibly unifying thing. It has the ability to bring us together in pubs, living rooms, crowded round radios, travelling in cars, cheering at the same time or screwing your face up with anxiety at the same time. We do that with the people we love.

So this Sunday, I shall be taking advantage of not doing my job, by going for a seven mile run with a close friend of mine that I don't see enough of. Then I shall venture into the kitchen to cook a healthy Sunday lunch with all the trimmings before settling down with some mates to Chelsea v Liverpool at 1600. "Such a perfect day. I'm glad I spent it with you." What will you be doing? You can tell me here on this blog.

Phil Williams presents Weekend Breakfast on BBC Radio 5 live

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    My Sunday will start as everyday does when you run a business: get up early and go to work. Tomorrow I will start the day differently by turning Radio Five off. Whoever thought that waking up to the scream of F1 engines is a good thing must be seriously deluded. It puts me in a bad mood and I like to wake slowly to a bit of gentle banter and the knowledge that someone else is up earlier than me.

    Enjoy your run and by the way what is a healthy Sunday lunch with all the trimmings?

    Just on the other points remember that Martin O'Neil gave up the Celtic job to look after his wife when she had cancer - a good man.

  • Comment number 2.

    Interesting you say Andre Young "died" - while clearly true, I understood that he was actually murdered out in Crete.

  • Comment number 3.

    " How will you spend this Sunday?"

    Well I used to spend Sundays debating the issues of the day on the 5-live messageboards until the BBC closed them.

  • Comment number 4.

    "What will you be doing Sunday morning?"

    What a stupid question.

    Can we have the Radio 5 Live News messageboards back for rather more sensible and intelligent discussion.

  • Comment number 5.

    Messages 3&4, How I wished I'd said that. Spot on.

  • Comment number 6.

    Couldn't have put it better myself Tom Adjustus and Stirling. The fact that there is now no BBC place to openly discuss news is ridiculous.

  • Comment number 7.

  • Comment number 8.

    We've gone way off topic here, of course, but I'm curious (honestly, I am). @Stirling, @Tom Adustus, @zeldalicious and @vicolaW Why should the BBC provide a place for you to discuss the news? There's nothing in the charter or the other permissions that govern the BBC's output that requires it to. And there are plenty of other (non-BBC) places to discuss it too so there's no evident market failure. Should the BBC be providing places for licence fee-payers to discuss the news and life in general? Or should we confine the discussion to the stuff that's paid for by the licence fee (the programmes and web sites)? What do you think?

    Steve Bowbrick, editor, 5 live blog

  • Comment number 9.

    @steve_bowbrick

    Your arrogance is breathtaking, particularly when it's directed towards the people who fund your job! The BBC, irrespective of what the 'charter' (the one it's in breach of anyway) says, provided a message board for folks to discuss news. Hardly surprising they're a tad annoyed that it's been removed, especially since they've had absolutely no say whatsoever in the process, despite being forced to pay for it! It's wonderful really, how you can ignore the charter when it suits you then wheel it out to refer to whenever someone asks an awkward question. The BBC should be providing services that the people who pay for it want and will use, not the ones it feels they should have.

    Incidentally, sad as I was to see the R5L boards go, I have to say a very big thank you - I've gained, on my own message board, some of the best posters that were there. Your loss is, most definitely, my gain.

  • Comment number 10.

    Steve, there's nothing in the BBC's charter that requires it to provide these pointless blogs. Why don't we axe them too? Come to think of it I don't suppose there's anything in the charter that requires the BBC to have an online presence at all.

    The point is that the BBC thinks that there is some value in having it's own website and at one time it thought that about the news forums otherwise it would never have set them up. They provided a useful place for people to discuss the major (and not so major) events that affect us all but have now been closed and yes, we're angry. Many of us don't feel we've been given an adequate explanation and these blogs we've been directed to are not a satisfactory substitute.

  • Comment number 11.

    Steve Browbrick

    But you did provide several places didn't you? So you must have thought it a good idea originally for people to discuss news, you know the stuff you provide paid for by the licence fee. And then you took them away because some of the sentiments expressed were not quite in accordance with those the BBC wishes to promulgate. Not that you are into censorship or anything like that of course.

  • Comment number 12.

    By the way Steve, what will you be doing this Sunday? Will you be enjoying a Sunday lunch with loved ones? You can tell us here on this blog.

    I shall be doing some gar-den-ing.

  • Comment number 13.

    I don't think the BBC is obliged to facilitate chat among license-payers and I regard the moderators on some blogs as way too lenient, e.g. on Justin Webb's blog from America (no longer functioning) some posters split off and formed a group within a group. If they found the main topic boring or enraging or whatever they would click on an old dead thread and chat there in comfort and relative seclusion about anything under the sun. The moderators evidently had no problem with this, perhaps since the group was comprised exclusively of typical tunnel-visioned lefties, some of them among the more reprehensible I've encountered on the Internet.

    So yes, you have a point. Problem is, if comments were restricted to the programmes and the websites, as you suggest, the BBC would still cheerfully ignore all feedback and carry on in its inimitable fashion regardless. The BBC claims to be interested in "citizen journalism" and claims to want to facilitate it. In truth, it is scared to death of it because it plays havoc with the BBC's slick propaganda and distortion of the news.

  • Comment number 14.

    Steve I really think you should go back and read your post, it's jaw dropping !

    Radio 5 would inform its listeners far more if it allowed them to discuss the news on its message boards, rather than writing blogs about what people are doing on Sunday morning.

  • Comment number 15.

    #8

    Strangely the BBC seems to be quite happy to provide chat space for fans of the Archers and radio services for certain ethnic groups

    The charter staes that the Public Purposes of the BBC are as follows
    (a)sustaining citizenship and civil society;
    (b)promoting education and learning;
    (c)stimulating creativity and cultural excellence;
    (d)representing the UK, its nations, regions and communities;

    I fail to see how denying licencefee payers the ability to chat about news issues of the day is consistent with any of these

    It is not as if the swollen budget of the BBC cannot support it - there seems to be plenty of money for z-list celebrities

  • Comment number 16.

    Steve - I don't suppose it is in the BBC charter to spends tens of thousands of pounds on taxis to ferry BBC staff around. I don't suppose it is in the charter to lavish gifts and hospitality on 'celebs' and I don't suppose it is in the charter to do many things the the BBC do either. We had a messageboard which was well used and was closed with less than a weeks warning. You then invite us to blog about a BBC presenter running a half marathon (btw well done Helen) and what we will be doing on a Sunday???


  • Comment number 17.

    "Why should the BBC provide a place for you to discuss the news? There's nothing in the charter or the other permissions that govern the BBC's output that requires it to."

    That may be true but you provided a service and then withdrew it - and then express surprise when the users express their disappointment.

    Are you thus in any way surprised at the subsequent responses, particularly the reference to "arrogance...?"

  • Comment number 18.

    Another thing - these blogs that replaced the MB were trumpeted as a more interactive way to reach presenters and producers - yet in amongst the carefully selected texts and the odd e-mail, I've not heard a presenter say, "And this posted on my blog a few minutes ago - [insert posters topical point here],

    Either you're not getting any topical points through the blogs or the spin was a load of bovine excreta. In which case, you might as well axe the blogs, too.

  • Comment number 19.

    BBC apparatchiks cancelled a well subscribed-to board on current affairs, leaving us with "Ouch", "How to have a baby", and numerous forums on pop music. I feel sure that Lord Reith is rotating rapidly in his grave. Shame on those responsible.

  • Comment number 20.

    Another another thing - where's this "File Live Now" interactivity thing anyway? I've looked all over this now-rather-hard-to-navigate website and can't find hide nor hair of it. Where is it? What is it? If it is so integral to the functioning of the station and so crucial to finger-on-the-pulse news and sport broadcasting, as has been claimed, why isn't there a big shiny button linking to this mythical interface slap-bang in the middle of the home page, where it can be seen, found and used...?

    Or was that all smoke and mirrrors, too...?

  • Comment number 21.

    Thanks for your comments. I feel like a heel using Phil's blog post to host this discussion so I'm going to publish an 'open' blog post in the next few days which will be a more appropriate place for this discussion. I understand everyone's frustration with the loss of the boards but one thing I've noticed is that none of you answered my questions (which were quite serious). I asked:

    Should the BBC be providing places for licence fee-payers to discuss the news and life in general? Or should we confine the discussion to the stuff that's paid for by the licence fee (the programmes and web sites)?

    And if you think the BBC should provide places to discuss the news - why? Is it because there's a lack of such places elsewhere? Or because that's what a public service web site should do? Or for some more specific reason. What do you think?

    Steve Bowbrick, editor, 5 live blog

  • Comment number 22.

    The BBC is preeminent in the dissemination of news in this country and although it vaunts its impartiality it is regarded with a great deal of suspicion by many of its licence payers who consider it has a bias.

    "The BBC is not impartial or neutral. It's a publicly funded, urban organisation with an abnormally large number of young people, ethnic minorities and gay people. It has a liberal bias not so much a party-political bias. It is better expressed as a cultural liberal bias",

    Andrew Marr

    That this bias should be able to be challenged on message boards and not diverted and emasculated by BBC managed blogs surely comes within its remit as a public broadcaster for all.

  • Comment number 23.

    @ Steve Bowbrick

    Should the BBC be providing places for licence fee-payers to discuss the news and life in general? Or should we confine the discussion to the stuff that's paid for by the licence fee (the programmes and web sites)?


    Yes, it should, and there should be no other reason required but that the people who pay for it want such a service. Your charter provides, as far as I can see, further reasoning in favour of message boards;

    (a)sustaining citizenship and civil society;
    (b)promoting education and learning;
    (c)stimulating creativity and cultural excellence;
    (d)representing the UK, its nations, regions and communities;

    Take point a - a message board provides a neutral area whereby folks of very different view points can come together and attempt to find a common ground. People learn that different doesn't always mean wrong, it just means different. It also teaches that despite people holding views that are, on occasion, directly opposite to your own, you can agree to disagree and get along together. Point c - stimulating creativity. Writing posts can be very creative, and I've known posters spend a great deal of time and effort not only writing their posts but researching their sources. Point b, education and learning - see point c. How can it not be educational when people are learning about such a wide variety of subjects, points of view, and issues?

    I'd take issue with point d though; you certainly don't represent much north of the border and the difference between the BBC coverage north and south of the border is astounding. I lived in Leicester before moving to the Outer Hebrides, so you might want to bear that one in mind before replying!

    Considering that your websites and programmes cover news and current affairs, why on earth wouldn't you want to provide a place where people can discuss those subjects? Or is it that, as has been suggested, there were far too many posters on the R5L boards, myself among them, who were most certainly not on the BBC message? I have to say, it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if this is the case. Most of the posters on that board are clearly articulate, intelligent people who are most firmly opposed to the BBC/governments current agenda and, quite frankly, who despair at the mess this government has made and the fact that the BBC, once hailed worldwide as impartial, fair and something to be looked up to and emulated has been reduced to nothing more than the propaganda arm of a failed government and its' appalling and failed policies.

  • Comment number 24.

    " Should the BBC be providing places for licence fee-payers to discuss the news and life in general? Or should we confine the discussion to the stuff that's paid for by the licence fee (the programmes and web sites)?"
    Reply, message 21.
    Steve.
    There are plenty of other message boards to discuss topical subjects -with vairying degrees of moderation and partisipation-so I can't see any obligation for the BBC to provide message boards. Though it could be argued that news is "stuff that's paid for by the licence fee" and part of the BBC charter.
    Its my understanding that the BBC use an outside contractor to moderate message boards ?Was that cost the major factor in the decision to close the boards ?
    Of course some people will be upset about closing the boards because to some it was a club ....a virtual meeting place...they will get over it.
    There is no reason the BBC cant do what Sky does and blog about current events.....







  • Comment number 25.

    "Or should we confine the discussion to the stuff that's paid for by the licence fee (the programmes and web sites)?"

    By all means - as long as you bear in mind that the licence fee not only pays for NEWS programmes but also an entire NEWS channel.

    At the top of this page it says, "Now we're talking." Apparently, not - unless it's about the things approved by agenda-setters at the BBC.

    I'm sure the tag-line of R5L is (or, at least, was), "NEWS and Sport...)

  • Comment number 26.

    By the way, when I get to the bottom of page one and click "next" it takes me to the blog entry page with no comments whatsoever. I know there must be a second page because it showed my last as #25.

    This is the case on the other blogs and topics, not just this one.

  • Comment number 27.

    "The BBC is preeminent in the dissemination of news in this country and although it vaunts its impartiality it is regarded with a great deal of suspicion by many of its licence payers who consider it has a bias."

    Two words: Balen Report.

  • Comment number 28.

    Steve Bowbrick, you said:

    "....but one thing I've noticed is that none of you answered my questions..."

    I thought I made a direct attempt to answer them in comment 13. So have others in their comments. Let me clarify my position:

    I don't think anybody has an automatic right to be published on the BBC or any other media and the BBC is certainly under no obligation to publish chat. Public debate on the news, however, is legitimate. The BBC entered the blogging world because it realised it was the only way to go in order to remain relevant in an IT world. I have followed various BBC forums such as 'Have Your Say' and 'World Have your Say' for a number of years and have seen the BBC make these forums more open and user friendly and then retreat in apprehension at the wave of popular opinion that does not coincide with the BBC world view and subsequently limit that opinion and shut down the debate.

    When you closed the discussion boards many people saw this as just more of the same stifling of off-message opinion.

    BBC journalists should stop campaigning for their pet left-wing causes and concentrate on journalism. Feedback from the public can only help in steering you back to the job you should have been doing in the first place. Please take it seriously.

  • Comment number 29.

    Thanks to all for your responses on this thread: all adding up to a very rounded picture of the reaction to the messageboard closures and to the continued demand for a forum for news chat - I'm going to bring it to the attention of 5 live management - although, of course, it's too late to influence the decision to close the boards.

    I'm going to try to draw the thread to a close now and see if this issue and others can be taken up in further 'open' posts here on the blog. Watch this space.

    Steve Bowbrick, editor, 5 live blog

  • Comment number 30.

    A very rounded picture? More like a sharply pointed one, I'd have said!!!

  • Comment number 31.

    "I'm going to bring it to the attention of 5 live management - although, of course, it's too late to influence the decision to close the boards."


    The long grass beckons.

  • Comment number 32.

    is the original blog not very cringible and is post 29 not just a weak running away from all the critisism and unanswered questions.

  • Comment number 33.

    I may be new but I thought this was very pointless. I have been on lot of message boards with that very same question

  • Comment number 34.

    "although, of course, it's too late to influence the decision to close the boards."

    Although, of course, the infrastructure remains and so do the boards, albeit locked and relabelled "Archive," so taking the kicking, having the cojones to admit you all fumbled the ball on this one and switching them back on is not a particularly long-winded or arduous task. I imagine the mods are still there as you need them for all the boards you didn't close and the blogs you opened.

 

More from this blog...

Categories

These are some of the popular topics this blog covers.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.