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A revised focus for the 5 live blog

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Nigel Smith Nigel Smith | 13:02 UK time, Monday, 6 September 2010

Photo: Liverpool John Moores University

The eagle-eyed among of you may have noticed that the description of this blog in the right-hand column has changed slightly.

As well as announcements about 5 live there are now more entries here about specific programmes, for example Richard Bacon's broadcasts from Edinburgh or Shelagh Fogarty's post about this morning's Breakfast from a school in East London.

While you can still expect contributions from 5 live's controller Adrian Van Klaveren and the management team I wanted to make it clearer that the blog has a broader remit than that. In short the blog should embody the spirit and tone of 5 live and be a place where listeners can engage with the people who work here.

Since I started as Interactive Editor at 5 live two weeks ago I've read a lot of the comments on this blog. I appreciate that it's frustrating when comments aren't acknowledged, questions not answered and people who you've got used to seeing writing posts disappear after a while. I can't guarantee that I'll meet all your expectations but I will endeavour to make sure no one is left in the lurch from now on.

That said the tone of some comments here can be uncivil and I don't think it's fair to expect BBC staff to spend their time responding to impolite remarks. It's inevitable that not everything on 5 live will appeal to every listener but the blog is not a constructive place to air repetitive grievances about our output. I'm not saying we aren't open to criticism, especially when it's measured and well argued, but I do genuinely think that the majority of people who read this blog regularly are put off commenting when they see a lot of negative or particularly aggressive comments.

I hope you appreciate our effort to reinvigorate the blog and I'd welcome your suggestions on how you think we can best use it.

Nigel Smith is the Interactive Editor at 5 live


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  • Comment number 1.

    meet the new boss...

  • Comment number 2.

    same as the old boss?

  • Comment number 3.

    "In short the blog should embody the spirit and tone of 5 live and be a place where listeners can engage with the people who work here."

    I am sure all fans and former fans of 5Live think that would be a very fine thing. Trouble is, you and your staff take umbrage at criticism and you do not address any issues brought forward. That is why things get a little tart on here. Set up a blog for communication and the least you at the BBC can do is actually keep to your part of the deal and communicate. I would say that there is only a posting on here because a person cares enough. You do not give any credit to your brand loyalty because that is where the comments come from - people who used to love a NEWS and sport station and are now confronted hour after hour by yapping phone ins on football as if no news or other sport exist. (Please don't quote back at me the current cricket situation - your colleague Colin Murray showed how little knowledge he has of that and he is on more than not at the moment) Take yourself back to the days when the station was set up, because there was not one thing wrong with its format. The news type programmes you have on now are so heavily interspersed with celebrity, tweets and texts, that there isn't the chance to extend any subject or pull opinions from round the world together when something happens outside Salford or Wood Lane. When you had real foreign correspondents featuring regularly you actually felt you were getting insights from the places that mattered. Now we are left with banter and rubbish being spouted in flirtatious asides, newsreaders butting in to have a say about some non subject or other as if we want to hear their point of view, and lightweights presenting programmes when you could at least try and find people of the mental stature of Pienaar and Goldberg at a time of day when we could all hear at least something that had importance to our lives, instead of whether Coleen or Wayne should go to Relate. Come on!

  • Comment number 4.


    One question I would like asking, is Aasmah Mir confirmed now as the full-time co-presenter on Drive?

    I hope so.

  • Comment number 5.

    Makes sense to combine all blog postings into one place and if plugged on air and more obviously linked to from various web pages it should hopefully get more interest.

    Though I do think you are being over sensitive. We have previously had Jonathan Wall threatening the future of the blog over what he saw as abusive comments and dismissing all criticism as being from a small minority. It does seem that any criticism of a presenter or the station is regarded as abusive. Obviously it is virtually impossible to criticise a programme without highlighting what a reader sees as a presenters weaknesses. If they are so thin skinned they should find another job. You might regard some as repetitive but this could be that people share the same view or the fact that comments are ignored and rarely replied to. I don’t think negative comments are putting other readers off commenting, I think it is the fact there has been little activity on here during the BBC’s long summer break and probably consider it a waste of time. No helped by the revolving door of staff responsible for the blog.

  • Comment number 6.

    And where is Hasit? I forgot to ask.

  • Comment number 7.



    I'm prepared to give you the benefit of the doubt. It's nice to see you have acknowledged some of the many faults. That's a step in the right direction. Jonathan Wall's comments of a few weeks ago where incredibly unhelpful when you're trying to build a vibrant and valued community.

    Please remember that we've heard the same message above from Adrian, Steve, Ellie and Hasit but nothing has materially changed, so you will have to accept our generally cynical disposition.

    Finally, and most importantly, any festering negativity expressed here is the entirely of the stations own making.

    Unanswered questions and hollow requests for feedback which go ignored and blogs left to languish are not a way to encourage particpants.

    Imagine 5Live was a shop... Ask yourself Nigel.... would you be a little aggrieved if you paid for the shop and the staff but they ignored you, asked for your feedback and ignored it, then just before they disappeared without trace told you weren't allowed to critise them or their output.

    You would want it changed or your money back wouldn't you. Maybe that's why many of us are more then a little disappointed and upset.

    The reason we're here is we care about the station and it's direction.
    If we didn't we would bother.

  • Comment number 8.

    Seeing as the new doctrine seems to permit questions and answers...

    "Since I started as Interactive Editor at 5 live two weeks ago I've read a lot of the comments on this blog." -- Nigel why didn't you answer any of the questions? And what has Hasit been doing?

    "...the blog is not a constructive place to air repetitive grievances about our output" -- can you please tell me where and how we can now discuss issues about the output of the station? Or is that now forbidden?

    Many of us have already answered numerous time the requests about how you can heighten the appeal of the blog. To begin with you can replace "Life" with "Discuss" and link the blog. And then you can realise that with only one-third of one percent of your listenership following 5Live on Twitter you obsession with the medium is massively out of proportion.

  • Comment number 9.

    The easy questions first: @David Shield - Aasmah Mir is on holiday this week but she is indeed now confirmed as the full-time co-presenter on Drive. @carrie – Hasit has been on holiday but will be back tomorrow.

    @carrie @ryanw -

    I’ve read a few of your comments on various blog posts and it’s quite evident that you no longer enjoy 5 live as much as you once did. I appreciate that fans of any brand they are loyal to will not always be happy when that brand changes direction (taking ryanw's shop analogy, I've not been to my local pub as much since it changed hands after Christmas).

    I am adamant about how much 5 live values constructive feedback and while it’s wrong to assume that every suggestion from our audience will be implemented they are all listened to.

    Still, as I said above, I am particularly keen that the blog does not just become a forum for “repetitive grievances about our output”. ryanw asked, “where and how we can now discuss issues about the output of the station?” The best way to do this is the email form on our Contact us page (there's also a link to it on the 5 live homepage). Where a blog post invites feedback then obviously that’s where we’d expect it in that instance.

    I am determined to do all I can to rid this blog of any “festering negativity”. I understand that that requires attention from both blog regulars and us at the station. I also want to increase the profile of the blog and audience engagement with it. Your suggestions for how to do this are noted.

    This is only my eighth day at 5 live and I’m still very much finding my way around. By a rough calculation it’s probably about my 2,350th day working at the BBC. That’s enough experience to know that any changes here won’t happen overnight.

    I hope you’ll continue to give me the “benefit of the doubt”. Your patience would also be appreciated.

  • Comment number 10.

    Good luck Nigel.

    As ryanw and I suggested a while ago when invited along with all contributors to suggest improvements for this blog, it would be a very great step forward to make it easier to discover, by putting Blog on your subject tabs on your home page, so that it could be immediately accessible. Alot of people complain that they haven't been able to find it. Between Sport and Life would do nicely.

    Please make sure the level of respect for contributing listeners is as high as that you expect from all of us to you, telling people off and threatening to close up the only public communication left for 5Live listeners is very negative. Sending comments via the contact page is not what the old messageboards were about, or this blog.

  • Comment number 11.

    Nigel, can we have a post giving an update on Salford, some new photos, confirmed moves etc please?

  • Comment number 12.

    Glad Aasmah is going to be the new full time host of Drive, Nigel.

    The reason people complain about the station here, is that the Station board was closed down THREE years ago, and the Radio board EIGHTEEN months ago, and there's been nothing to replace either of them.

    Do you wonder your listens/ posters get upset and angry ?

  • Comment number 13.

    Well said Carrie. I couldn't agree more. I was pleased to see Nigel respond so quickly. We still don't have anywhere to have a discussion about 5 Live programmes, so we end up on here discussing them. The blog is difficult to find anyway, otherwise more people might contribute.

    Aasmah was tolerable when she did the news and perhaps she could be persuaded not to laugh her way through the programme and try to make Peter Allan look silly.

  • Comment number 14.

    Nigel, , I cannot let one of your points pass without remarking, "I appreciate that fans of any brand they are loyal to will not always be happy when the brand changes direction"

    When did this happen? Why did this happen? And why weren't we told?

    One of the frustrations shared by many posters is the dumbing down of the station. Many of us have suspected this is indeed a change of direction, an intentional move to cater to the lowest common denominator, the 140-character mindset that sees intelligent rational debate out and banal twitterings in. I must say I find it ironic that you want to raise the standard of debate whilst on air every effort is made to trivialise listener contributions.

    You see Nigel we have asked, repeatedly if the brand or station as traditionalists might call 5live, has changed direction. You have now confirmed it.

    Can you insist that Mr Van Klaveren appears here soon with a post to describe the new brand.

    You see, a little bit of transparency goes a long way. If I know that 5live is no longer the home of intelligent debate and live sport (last years schedule shakeup and the loss of rights seems to suggest it isn't) that what is the new agenda?

    We've asked and this hasn't been answered. Who is the new 5Live listener?

  • Comment number 15.

    This is all just window dressing. There are not going to be any fundamental changes to the direction the station has taken.

  • Comment number 16.

    I fear what you are looking for is comments that could be on Steve Wright in the afternoon – “Love the show Nigel”

    I know you say here “is not a constructive place to air repetitive grievances” and I admit I have complained more than once about what I see as the over reliance of listener texts to fill programmes but it is a frequent criticism on here, digital spy and other places of Five live. Why does virtually every programme need a trivial text in topic? Is there any evidence that this is what the majority of Five live listeners want or is it just cheap lazy filler?

    The change of direction you refer to involves what? What has been inserted between News & Sport as the station purpose, entertainment, celebrity and trivia?

    Lesleyclaire I agree about Aasmah’s laughing, she can be a good presenter but her laughing is over the top and can become annoying, not everything has to be made into a joke. Will Peter Allen continue on Drive after the Salford move?

  • Comment number 17.

    My only hope is that most, if not all, of the daytime presenters won't be moving to Salford and will have to be replaced. On the basis of probability some of the replacements should be better than the original.

  • Comment number 18.

    Wayne Rooney was practically wall to wall on Radio 5 this morning between 9am and 12.30pm. How on earth are we meant to take this station seriously?
    You have removed the message boards for the the station and formal complaints about the constant drivel are met by the usual ," Your comment means a lot to us and will be passed on to the relevant department...."
    Please, please use your new position to help us remove the giggly, celebrity laden, teenage obsessed content that occupies the airways of the station.

  • Comment number 19.

    I agree with arthurmee - the ongoing Rooney coverage was tedious and totally over the top this morning. I haven't heard one person in the street talking about the 'story'. It is being media led as usual. There are important things going on in the world and yet you choose to talk for hours about a footballer and his personal life. You are as bad as the gutter press at times.

  • Comment number 20.

    Intresting blog Nigel,the fact of that matter is,most of the posters who as you put it "air repetitive grievances about our output" are regulars from the old 5live station
    messageboard who used to voice such grievances on a daily basis on the said board,they cannot accept that 5live does not have a messageboard,and will not do for the foreseeable
    future thus you will always have negative unconstructive comments on this blog.

    I also agree with your assertion that many people are not posting on this blog because they feel uncomfortable with the aggressive and sometimes insulting posts that are made
    by the regular posters,the fact of the matter is 5live is heading in the right direction,thats why the last 3 controllers have stuck with the most complained about presenters
    on here.

  • Comment number 21.

    As a consumer I give praise where praise is due. I do not accept that the main tone on here is aggressive or insulting. I am a licence payer and I have the right to an opinion. The frustration in some of the posts on here comes from being invited to give your opinion then being totally ignored. The loss of the messageboards meant that there is nowhere to just put what you think of a particular programme, these threads do not allow it - off topic being the favourite expression used.

    The problem is that the content of many programmes has strayed away from news, the station's part remit, and veered badly towards celebrity and gossip. You only have to listen to UAN for one night to hear something of how it used to be on the station- Rod's UAN I mean, when he does interesting and in depth interviews and you feel you have learnt something about a subject. I think that vox pops of the text, tweet and persistent phone in type, really diminishes your broadcasting content, and as such although many of your presenters could perhaps rise to the challenge of upping the intellectual level a bit - a proper discussion on infidelity instead of the actual Wayne Rooney - Coleen should she chuck him out question being the most topical, would get you and the listeners somewhere. Livesey did it last night and he had a counsellor and a solicitor on air. That could have been the phone in instead of explicitly raising the gossip level using the Rooneys.

    I am sorry but I actually know so many people who feel the same way as many on here do about Colin Murray.

  • Comment number 22.

    To add to the hilarity - 5 live actually had a 'Twitter Expert' on this morning and text us in your favourite soup! How dumbed down are you willing to go??

  • Comment number 23.

    Different target, same ammunition.

  • Comment number 24.

    Up All Night with Rhod Sharp is a fantastic example of the old 5Live. No surprise that Rhod doesn't live in the BBC bubble either. Rhod's programme is outstanding.

  • Comment number 25.

    @Dom - I'll be going to see the new 5 live HQ in Salford in the next few weeks. I'll wait until I've been and then give you an update.

    I have read all of the other comments above and agree with ryanw that "a little bit of transparency goes a long way". I am not going to get into a debate about what certain people like or dislike about the station. This was a post about my efforts to make this blog better; I take your remarks about it seriously and I hope that you see an improvement in the blog and it meets more of your expectations. I will repeat what I said yesterday though, "Your patience would also be appreciated."

  • Comment number 26.

    I tend to steer away from the daytime output of dumbed down ' celeb gossip ', annoying overly loud football trailers and commentators and the poor presenting style of 5live broadcasters from 10am onwards but give me the intelligence and knowledge of the Up all Night programme and team anytime.I have learned so much thanks to Rhod Sharpe and Dotun and particularly his book section which is I can't really work out is broadcast at 2am in the blinkin morning !!Sunday evenings looks much improved as well.

    Btw yes I am aggrieved that there is no permanent place to voice opinions on 5live and why should that be such a problem for public a service broadcaster to deal with ?Too see criticism as somekind of abuse is totally unfair to licence payers.

    Anyway I very much appreciate Nigels contributions.Lets hope someone takes note for a change.

  • Comment number 27.

    @Binkie Huckaback it is unfortunate that since Simon Mayo was replaced by Richard Bacon the afternoon book panel has not continued. I used to enjoy the book panel and have enjoyed many of the recommendations. Though I dread to think what a book panel presented by Bacon would sound like, celebrity autobiographies? I think it says a lot about the New Five live that there isn’t a place in the daytime schedule for books.

  • Comment number 28.

    It can only be a good move to replace Anita Anand with Aasmah Mir on a permanent basis.I could never quite understand the decision to parachute Anita into the Drivetime show in the first place.It just didn't work.

    Again I find it quite refreshing that someone somewhere at the BBC is obviously taking some note of us who take the time to make constructive contributions to the 5live blogs which I am sure will not only benefit 5live listeners but the much needed upgrade of the stations output in the future.

  • Comment number 29.

    Yes I totally agree Dom.Surely there must be a place on 5live for a decent book review.Instead of reviewing teeny pop music on a monday as in Ms Derbyshires programme, perhaps she could raise her sights a little higher in that direction,if at all possible.

  • Comment number 30.

    Thank you Nigel.

    Excellent news about Aasmah indeed.

  • Comment number 31.

    @ Binkie Huckaback, yes Ms Derbyshires would be the daytime presenter that would be most suited to doing a book review but maybe it is the wrong time of day, an afternoon magazine show is where books really belong.

  • Comment number 32.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 33.

    Hi Nigel,

    When you wrote, "I do genuinely think that the majority of people who read this blog regularly are put off commenting when they see a lot of negative or particularly aggressive comments", I think you got it spot-on. I genuinely hope things change for the better from now on....

  • Comment number 34.

    I personally have high hopes for Nigel Smith and I think we have finally found someone who will address the long standing , justified and well judged criticism about the present state of 5live.It can only be a good start by what has now happened to sunday evenings broadcasts where it very much looks as though our comments have finally gotten through to the man in charge.I also very much appreciate Nigels concerns about the ' festering negativity ' ( message 9 ) that requries attention and his words ' by both blog regulars and US AT THE STATION '.To go someway to admit that is definately someone we can all do business with.I can see we might be getting somewhere and the standard of broadcasting on 5live is hopefully about to change for the better.

  • Comment number 35.

    But, Binkie, there are nearly 7 million of us who don't think the standard of broadcasting on 5live needs to change for the better. We like it as it is, thanks - that's why we listen.

  • Comment number 36.

    Unless you know personally the other 6,999,999 I think you can only speak for yourself.

  • Comment number 37.

    Well said Lunchtime.

    Big Dave do you really think 5Live is better today then 18 months ago?

    I must though the new Sunday evening lineup is excellent.

  • Comment number 38.

    Nigel, I am sure many of us would also appreciate you directly addressing the usage of Twitter, specifically (and please answer each point):

    a. overuse (only one third of one percent of your listenership follow 5Live)
    b. marginalising substantive listener submissions -- only tweets and texts will do
    c. lightweight tweet-in/text topics
    d. the abuse of twitter and facebook at the expense of other BBC funded feedback channels, like the blog. For example the amount of airtime devoted to Livesey's Facebook group is completely disproportionate to people's interest (look at his paltry group numbers) and undermines the BBC investment it legitmate feedback channels like the blog.

    I think this is good topic for discussion here.

  • Comment number 39.

    Maybe you're right, lunchtime_legend. I'll leave the blog comments to those who wish to moan and rejoin the silent majority (6,803,999 people, to be exact) who just get on with listening.

    Best of luck, Nigel - it's all yours!

  • Comment number 40.

    No Big Dave its not about moaning, its about not accepting mediocrity and voicing ones opinion.Compared to the high standard of broadcasting when this station first started, controllers have let that standard slip.You may be more than willing to accept the present daytime output of a public service broadcaster but many of us feel that 5live has gone way too far downmarket for its own good and I am more than glad that others take the time to let the BBC know that fact.

  • Comment number 41.

    If everyone, who has listened for more than five, ten years, was honest
    they'd say there's been massive change here. Campbell, mid-morning with a panel of informed guests. No real-life stories of triumph over tragedy. Mayo:9/11 coverage & books & (some) other arts, religion and a lot in between. Pete @ Drivel -before now - when he didn't just goes through the motions etc.

    And none of it, none of it will come back. But get worse, as the management chase ratings....and then are told - that was never what we (the BBC) should have been about. 5 Live will be axed, eventually, as it offers nothing, now, that isn't by the commercials.

  • Comment number 42.

    Big_Dave, I expect those listeners you mention dip in and out of their favourite or access time programmes and don't feel the need to make comments. The way I feel about Radio Four for example. I love alot of it and loathe some of it.

    This is the BBC you know, not student radio. But I can't write in to a messageboard in the way one could on the old one for Radio Five Live as it was then. Let's face it, you can never like all of a tv output, a newspaper or a radio station. The sad thing is this one has actually plummeted in content and quality and no amount of "we all like it, go away" will change the fact that there are certain media writers and even BBC people bemoaning the fact that this station in question is forsaking quality in favour of listener numbers wanting red top content. News = Wayne Rooney, favourite soups, tweet contents and showbiz. I am not going to criticise the slowly decreasing sports content.

    Not sure that the remit of the BBC is therefore being fulfilled:

    "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;
    (e)bringing the UK to the world and the world to the UK.............

    Mind you, if you want to know listener's favourite breakfast cereals, how much they can drink over a weekend, their attitude to the paying for prostitutes while they are married, their favourite soup, you are in the right place.

  • Comment number 43.

    That quote was from the BBC Charter of 2006, sorry I did not give the reference.

  • Comment number 44.

    I think one of the biggest problems has been that the tone and focus of the station has been changed by stealth in the last 18 months rather then publicly stating a change tone and approach and when you put it to the Controller directly as we did in our 50 questions series, there's no admission of this change in the "brand" as Nigel put it.

  • Comment number 45.

    Big_Dave the comments on the blog should be about debate, you are lucky you like every aspect of Five live, you shouldn’t take it personally that some disagree with your view. Though I bet even the Van Klaveren doesn’t think everything is perfect.

  • Comment number 46.

    To counter the charge of negativity on this board, I would like to agree with previous posters that Up All Night is excellent, particularly with Rhod Sharp. I also liked the new Saturday and Sunday evening line up. It's just a shame that these programmes seem to be scheduled at times when I imagine there is a smaller audience than during the day.

  • Comment number 47.

    Is the spirit of positivity sweeping across the blog, it is great to see that John Inverdale is the doing the Thursday and Friday lunchtime programmes this week.

  • Comment number 48.


    Now he is a good presenter.

  • Comment number 49.

    Hi Nigel,

    You wrote "I do genuinely think that the majority of people who read this blog regularly are put off commenting when they see a lot of negative or particularly aggressive comments"

    That's not the reason I haven't posted a comment in the past, the reason is in the most I agree with the posts here.

    The radio station in the past had a more interesting and educational output, in my opinion that's not the case today.

    The reason I started reading this blog back in Nov 09 was that I found the station less engaging than it once was, I wanted to see if I was alone in that opinion.

    I wasn't.

  • Comment number 50.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 51.

    would it not be a good idea to place a survey online so the feelings,ideas of listeners could be gathered.This would highlight the areas that are considered good and those that my need looking at

  • Comment number 52.

    Thanks for all your comments. As I said yesterday I'm not going to get into a debate about what different listeners think of our programmes. I have noted all of your questions though and while I'm not going to answer them now I will try to make sure the blog addresses the issues raised among our other posts in the future.

  • Comment number 53.

    Nigel, I'll ask for a third time if you can address the Twitter issue.

    It is directly related to (a) your portfolio (b) the importance placed on the blog vs. other mediums and I would contest over use of Twitter and Facebook directly impacts and dillutes the blogs value.

    I'm sure you're not already not answering simple and important questions. We're giving you the benefit of the doubt.

  • Comment number 54.

    @ryanw - I will answer your question in due course but I'm not going to dash off a quick reply in the blog comments. I'd much rather write a thorough response in a blog post but that won't happen soon I'm afraid. This is my last day in the office until the middle of next week and then we will be in the thick of our big Septemberfest oustide broadcast from Newcastle and Gateshead. There are also many other things that demand my attention as well as the blog. With that in mind, I'd again ask for your patience and hope you appreciate the time I am willing to give to your question.

  • Comment number 55.

    Thanks for keeping us up to date Nigel but ( and I totally agree with andashark ) I was also rather taken aback by your comments ' that the majority of people are put off commenting to blogs when they see alot of negative or aggressive comments '...

    Perhaps you would be kind enough to produce some evidence to back up your sweeping statement.I personally feel that the majority of contributors on here, who take the time to voice their opinions,( and why shouldn't they ? ) do so in an non aggressive,articulate, and dignified way compared to that of some other forums I could mention.Please give us credit for that at least.

  • Comment number 56.

    Can I add to ryanw’s twitter questions please for when you get chance to blog on it.

    Does Five Live have a policy regarding presenters use of twitter and plugging personal accounts on air by the likes of Riley and Bacon?

    Also does the use of texts come under your area of responsibility, does every programme need to use texts, should the text questions be relevant or is it the more juvenile and trivial the better? Despite being a good programme on the whole, Declan had a ‘guess the sound feature’ during On The Money, my kids enjoy this feature on CBeebies is that where the idea came from ;-)

  • Comment number 57.

    Thanks Nigel. You can be sure we'll hold you to your promise. Enjoy your trip to the North.
    Btw, perhaps you can remind your colleagues England also has a south west.

    Happy travels.

  • Comment number 58.

    @ryanw - I'm not away on a work visit to Salford; it's a holiday - to the south west as it happens.

  • Comment number 59.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 60.

    I know there are criticisms on here that Nigel does not like or accept, but is that not part of being in what is essentially the entertainment business? People like some things, not others. I have heard Bacon saying he has never watched some particular programme because he knows it is awful and it is for old people. Are we to assume he can say that, and diss his BBC acting colleagues, but we cannot say something about Nolan or Murray, for example? On his TV review section he has guests who dislike some programme or other quite vehemently, does that mean it is fair for them to say what they think but not us? I don't really accept that it is fair. I suppose you will say he is a professional and paid to broadcast his opinions. Mmmmmm. As the BBC has seen it fair to stop all messageboards that provided consumer feedback, and this is the only place for same, why not let us say what we think, or provide listeners and online users over all of the BBC with some kind of vehicle that allows us to post our..............points of view. I must say I don't particularly like being criticised for giving my feedback by one or two people who post on this blog, but if you put out a point of view it does allow for discussion if the site is treated with respect.

  • Comment number 61.

    Smith is only an interactive editor, he's not a controller, commissioning editor, producer; unless he tells us otherwise he has no influence on programming or programme content. This blog will not be a medium for change - that will only happen if and when the Rajar figures go into reverse.

  • Comment number 62.

    Can you please formally announce that the "Five Live Breakfast" blog is now defunct and delete the link? And when you have done that please can we have some serious topics (and that does not mean how many England footballers have mistresses) to discuss on the Five Live blog?

  • Comment number 63.

    Looks like the blog button has gone off the breakfast webpage - get sharpening your honing skills. I refuse to use my free texts that come with my phone package to send in one, so I am down to 140 characters full stop.

  • Comment number 64.

    I know this has been brought up before (obviously to no avail) but Justine Green's persistance in referring to an individual's mother/father as 'Mum'/'Dad' when reading out the news bulletins (as in " David Cameron will be flying back to Britain ...after the death of his Dad ...) sounds unprofessional, over-familiar and childish.

  • Comment number 65.

    [quote]Still, as I said above, I am particularly keen that the blog does not just become a forum for “repetitive grievances about our output”.[/quote]

    They shut down the 5Live forums for the same reason.

    Have you ever thought that, maybe, the same people continue to post what they feel is wrong with the station and suggestions as to how to make the station better because they are the ones that care enough to post? They are the core listeners who have been with the station for several years and who object to the dumbing down of a good station which had its niche in BBC radio broadcasting. The 140 character society is the lowest common denominator and ignorance by presenters in unforgivable.

    Anyway, I'm digressing from my point which is that you should listen to the people who bother to post because they are the people who care.

  • Comment number 66.

    John Inverdale has been great listening this lunchtime.

  • Comment number 67.

    Agree with above two comments. Christian O'Connell (sp?) has been a good listen too (in the Streaky slot)

  • Comment number 68.

    @67 says it all when the stand ins are better than the regular hosts

  • Comment number 69.

    // @zeldalicious: From now on all Breakfast related posts will appear on the main 5 live blog.//

    We shall see.

  • Comment number 70.

    Since it is apparent that commenting here means I am being "negative and unconstructive" but not commenting here means I am either scared off or it will be taken I whole heartly agree with how the station is going I suppose I'd better risk it and add my two penn'orth for Nigel's benefit (so he knows there is at least one more person not completely happy). I quite agree with the majority view that the station has changed it emphasis and dumbed down its content, I don't like it, I wish it hadn't, but I really object to the fact the station management do not seem to have the ability to be honest about what has happened and come and explain or to justify why the decision was taken. Yes individual presenters are an issue - Richard Bacon being my bugbear - but I'm sure he was chosen because that's the direction they wanted the program to go not the other way round. Anyway, if you don't want us to make these comments here then either kill off the discussion by giving us (who pay all your wages) another outlet or better still a proper explanation as to the whys and wherefores of the changes to the "brand".

  • Comment number 71.

    After a rocky start on Monday, Christian O'Connell settled in to the role and has done a good job standing in for Bacon this week. It has been a pleasant change to listen to some enjoyable interviews with a host that lets the guests speak without constant interruptions. Also he didn’t resort to the lazy fillers such as the weekly features ‘Help’ and ‘Irritations’. Just a shame that we still had daily text ins.

  • Comment number 72.

    Contained myself 'till blog 71!

    Really enjoyed this thread and of what a lot of good sense written. Let's hope Nigel reads, digests and .... (will we ever know?)

    Bracing myself for the weekend Murrayfest; he'll be like the proverbial pig in the brown stuff now the Premiership is back. No need to bother with pesky cricket. F1 is always a challenge for him though and I love the dismissive way the presenters talk back to him.

    Dismissive? That's a good word AVK - would you like a list?

  • Comment number 73.

    I thought Christian O'Connell was so much better than Bacon. I realised how much I hate Bacon's irritating voice, as well as all the other irritations of listening to him.

    John Inverdale was a joy. It's so good when you tune in and find a professional presenting the programme. The trouble is I don't switch on mostly and only hear them by chance.

  • Comment number 74.

    5 Live Sport tonight was excellent. The full hour and a quarter (between 7.45 - 9pm) discussing in depth the role of the tabloids in 'exposing' sports personalties private lives, was an absolute aural treat. The excellent Eleanor Oldroyd and her intelligent analysis, her intelligence and her ability to conduct a sustained discussion without the need to ask for tweets etc was like listening to radio-for-grown-ups-and people with a concentration span of longer than 25 seconds. It was a blessed twitter/text-free zone and was a thoroughly interesting and enjoyable listen. She is VASTLY under-used at the Station and knocks socks off Colin Murray (who I could not envisage being able to produce that excellent standard of broadcast at all).

    I'd forgotten how good 5 Live used to be - indeed could still be.

  • Comment number 75.

    Agrree with you, lesleyclaire. I stumbled across Christian O'Connell (y'day) AND John Inverdale today - as like you, I tend to avoid Bacon (in particular). The voice is dreadful - def. not a good voice for radio.

  • Comment number 76.

    I am not sure if any of you good people are Facebook devotees but Victoria has been attracting criticism, polite and constructive mostly, about the dumbing down of her show and in particular the recent edition that featured Tynchi Stryder (sp). I draw attention to this so that Mr.Smith can see that it is not just a few malcontents drawn to this page but a wider discomfort with the direction that this wonderful radio station has taken over the past couple of years.

  • Comment number 77.

    That's interesting to note, TrifectaCJH. I heard some of the Stryder 'bit' and cringed. Along with the Mondsy morning 'music review', Victoria is the equivalent of the 'embarrassing Dad on the dancefloor' syndrome. The format is better suited to R1.

  • Comment number 78.

    I heard a bit when I was in the car, so I re-tuned to Woman's Hour - with Jenni Murray, who I am afraid I do not like (interviewing style I mean) and she was interviewing Deborah Mitford. It was so fascinating I sat in the car to hear the end of it before completing the point of the journey (supermarket). Such an improvement on whoever that person was on Vicky's programme. Definitely a Radio One interview. There is too much blurring of the edges between the two stations when entertainment, music and "interviews with singers" get going.

  • Comment number 79.

    Have now read the comments - surprised yet gratified to see that the majority are in agreement. Maybe, just maybe Victoria and/or her producers (seeing as they lay such great store on Facebook and Twitter contributors/contributions/content) MIGHT actually re-think some of their ideas as to the programme's content and what their listeners actually want! I know that any criticism on the show and the Station is routinely dismissed/ignored from THIS forum - but from Facebook as well.. will they dare ignore feedback from that forum?

  • Comment number 80.

    Gaby Logan's off, (as if she was going to go to Salford) not that she turns up often. Maybe the new line-up's unravelling

  • Comment number 81.

    Yes heard the Tinchy Stryder interview, I just thought why is this on? Am I at 38 too old for the new brand Five Live? Who is the target listener now for the channel? For somebody who doesn’t want White Van Man Talksport or the Archers on Radio 4 – what are we supposed to listen to Mr Van Klaveren? If the BBC can’t provide current affairs based talk radio who is going to?

    Occasionally we are reminded what Five Live used to be, for example last Friday with Inverdale followed by Mayo, but then we have the awful Bacon back on Monday.

  • Comment number 82.

    Dom, Vicky is 3 or 4 years older than you, so she is definitely a bit too old to be doing youth radio if you feel you are past the 5Live sell by date. Bacon is 35, so he will be on Radio Four soon........

  • Comment number 83.

    @ Carrie, Bacon doing the Today Programme on R4 with a daily text in, you shouldn’t joke if AVK ever got promoted to controller of R4 it could happen ;-)

    No I’m not too old for Five Live but interviews with the likes of the Tinchy Stryder are obviously chasing a different audience that Five Live was set up to be for and is already well provided for by the likes of Radio 1 and the commercial sector in my opinion. I think Sarnia’s 'embarrassing Dad on the dancefloor' comment was spot on.

    I presume this is part of what Nigel refers to as the “brand changes direction”, but until AVK comes on here and tells us what the direction, purpose and target of the station now is we can only speculate what has been inserted between News and Sport as the purpose of Five Live 'brand'.

    If it is true she is leaving let’s hope that we see a replacement for Logan of the quality of John Inverdale or Clare Balding rather than a celebrity plucked of TV

  • Comment number 84.

    Good to read Logan off. Such a bad move.

    Listening in my shed this afternoon to a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon of excellent sport with Pougach

    ... except Juliet Ferrington. Why dores she think we are all deaf!

    George Riley - made it all the way to QPR so probably in the pub as we speak. Will he go with Gabby?

    .... and the the dulcet tones tones of Robbie Sagave talking complete b******s as usual.

    Turn it off.

  • Comment number 85.

    Before I had time to switch off I did get to hear Ms Derbyshire say that the Tinchy Stryder geezer is apparently a friend of Dizzee Rascal,which explains alot. This is all becoming rather cosy as Vicky has given up more than enough airtime on her show to promoting the Rascal chap in the past.Surely this ' promotion ' is more suited to 6Music and a much younger interviewer for getting down wiv the kids.

  • Comment number 86.

    Why does Tinchy Stryder call himself by that name, his real one of Kwasi Danquah is so much more attractive to us old dears that listen to Vicky

  • Comment number 87.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 88.

    Msg 86 - Did they drag out Tinchy Stryder again? And it wasn't even the Monday music review!

  • Comment number 89.

    Tell me it's true.....has Ms Logan really gone?
    If so, please let Mr Bacon be next and we may be on the way to getting our station back from radio for under 16s!

  • Comment number 90.

    ' Tinchy' is releasing an album soon! He is doing the rounds I suppose. Lots of lovely free publicity from the BBC. If only were were all under 20, I am sure we would be interested.

    //Stryder has announced he will be releasing his 3rd studio album in 2010. album release in November 8, 2010.//

  • Comment number 91.

    If that's the case, we can look forward to him appearing on Vicky's programme again, Bacon four times and maybe even Livesey, on, before or around November 8th.

    Gabby is hearsay is it, or is she just doing a Hasit? (Read fast)

  • Comment number 92.

    I wonder as Hasit is allegedly back from his holidays is he covering the blog during Nigel’s holiday?

  • Comment number 93.

    A heads up (as they say) for anyone interested: The 'controller' of 5 Live is a guest on VD's programme on Weds - as posted on her facebook page:

    // Victoria Derbyshire Morning - it's Rachel Burden presenting the show today. Back tomorrow; the controller of Five Live is a guest on Wed - so post any qtns you have for him here..//

  • Comment number 94.

    That's me out then, although I have about 300 questions, I am not a Facebook member. So I shall have to trust someone to ask them for me - ryanw, Sarnia, Dom, zeldalicious, Jackstumps, Binkie and everyone and anyone else!!

  • Comment number 95.

    I would hope that the appearance of AVK on VD would justify a post on the blog so that AVK can come on here and answer the points raised on here not just by Facebook fans.

  • Comment number 96.

    How APPALLING that this is posted on a NON BBC outlet and not here on the blog.

    Almost as bad as the 'secret' appearance on Radio 4 a few months ago.

  • Comment number 97.

    Agree, Ryan. Have had a look and a few people have posted - a lot of questions as to the Logan/Bacon appointments.

  • Comment number 98.

    My email to 5Live Connect this morning wasn't posted - I simply pointed out that Bob Crow had a 12% rise last year - his basic pay rose from £84,923 in 2008 to £94,747 at the end of last year, according to figures published by the RMT!! Obviously not political enough on the correct wing of comments.

  • Comment number 99.

    The comments selected to read out aren't a true representation either, it seems.

  • Comment number 100.

    5Live Connect is Hasit's job. Bob Crow is OK, just as Ok as all those bosses he loathes so much. Which brings me to: Nigel is on holiday so there may not be a new subject on here to cover AVK's appearance. So could we put them on here as duplicates, do you think, for someone to then post on Facebook?


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