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Questions for the Controller

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Nigel Smith Nigel Smith | 12:20 UK time, Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Adrian Van Klaveren

Adrian Van Klaveren, the controller of 5 live and 5 live sports extra, will on Victoria Derbyshire's programme tomorrow to talk about Septemberfest, our move to Salford and the station in general. He'll also be taking questions from listeners.

If you have a question you can send an email now or text during the programme. You can also leave a comment here. Obviously there won't be time to answer every question but Adrian will write a follow-up blog post after Septemberfest.


You can listen to all of Victoria's interview with Adrian Van Klaveren below:

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Related Links
Victoria Derbyshire - more about the programme and links to iPlayer


  • Comment number 1.

    Well, I'll have a bash. I met Mr AVK when he was getting opinions about Vicky's programme, he looked as if he was listening but.............

    1.The changes in the daytime presenters have caused alot of bad feeling amongst those who loved the old Five Live. So could you please tell us your target age group and why you have chosen to dumb it down with tweets, Facebook and texts? If you are claiming 6 million odd listeners, your Facebook members are a minute portion and yet Facebook is pushed all the time on Derbyshire and Livesey in particular.

    2.Why do you persist in using presenters who clearly do not have the breadth of background knowledge to be omnipresent in too many programmes? Colin Murray a good example - his over exposure thins out his offerings to the lowest common denominator, as he rambles on and on trying to create a question to some guest or other.

    3.Could you please tell the truth about Rajar figures for individual programmes? Make them public. One hand says that is too complicated and you don't even tell your presenters, the other hand has some presenters telling us listeners their figures have gone up. So who is telling the truth and why can't we know them? I suspect it will be because we are right and some of the changes have not worked at all. We pay for them you know!

    4.Praise where praise is due, could you ask Inverdale to come back for good, and bring Claire Balding with him? True professionals who have intelligence rather than just quick-wittedness.

  • Comment number 2.

    I have two pertinent questions.

    1. Why does 5Live refuse to release Rajar audience figures? Numbers which the BBC hold the copyright to and commercial rivals have access to. This information isn't commercially sensitive. The only people who don't have access are the people who pay for it. Why won't you release the full BBC Rajar results?

    2. Why is Twitter and Facebook prefer to the BBC's own website as a method of communicating with the audience. Less one third of one percent of 5Live's 6 million listeners follow Five Live on Twitter or Facebook. Hundreds of thousands is ploughed into the BBC website only for it to be neglected by 5Live. Using other channels are fine but you have almost completely ignored the Blog for over a year. And why won't you give us our Message Board back? Radio1 is the only major network without one.

  • Comment number 3.

    Here are a few from me:
    1. Has the purpose of Five Live changed; there now is a greater focus on entertainment and celebrity which has been detrimental to the news and current affairs remit.
    2. Why is there so little use of foreign correspondents now?
    3. Why is there such an obsession with texts and twitter, does every programme need to rely on listener texts. Texts have become a crutch for presenters; it is lazy cheap radio. The worst type of text in are the trivial such as Bacon’s Daily Text-in, ‘When was the last time you saw a celebrity on public transport?’ etc. Is this really the best content that a national BBC radio station has to fill its shows?
    4. How can Bacon’s weekly features such as ‘Help’ and ‘What’s irritating you?’ be deserving of airtime on a national radio station? They are just fillers that would be hard to defend even on local radio.
    5. Has Bacon lost listeners compared to Mayo?
    6. Why is there no longer a place for books in the daytime schedule since the demise of Mayo’s Book Panel? His film show suffers from being spread over two hours, couldn’t it be a more general review show and include a reformed book panel?
    7. When is Logan’s departure going to be officially announced and can she be replaced by John Inverdale?

  • Comment number 4.

    When you applied for your current job, you knew that the Salford move was part of the deal. Why then are you personally refusing to move to Salford and do you not think that your refusal sets an extremely bad example to your staff? Do you not feel that you have taken advantage of licence fee payers who will now have to pick up the tab for your B&B whilst 'working' in Manchester?

  • Comment number 5.

    Today Bacon’s Daily Text-in is “When has somebody accidentally exposed themselves to you?” Mr AVK is this really what Five Live has come to?

  • Comment number 6.

    I have two relatively minor gripes:

    1. Far too many trails for upcoming programmes. Particularly annoying when snatches of commentary are used, as if we don't know what a football match, cricket match or F1 race might sound like. I would think the majority of listeners are well aware of upcoming sporting events and what they involve, and we would be fairly confident 5Live will cover them. The odd reminder is fine (without commentary highlights to remind us what sport is), but if you listen throughout the day they get very repetitive and tiresome.

    2. Listening at home I find the travel updates too frequent and too long. If there's a major incident which has caused a big tailback, that's fine, but do we really need to be told that traffic is "slow" on the M25/M6 every day? People who use those roads know they're congested. In short, too many minor or everyday incidents feature in the travel updates.

    Otherwise I love listening to the station - special mention to the superb Open Golf coverage earlier this year, and I echo previous comments about Inverdale being given a permanent slot.

  • Comment number 7.

    My questions:

    1. When is Gabby Logan going? She is terrible. Colin Murray and Claire Balding are great cover for her numerous holidays, let's see them on 5Live full-time.

    2. Is the move to Salford all a bit half-hearted? If management and presenters are not moving, but simply broadcasting from Salford it seems an expensive and fairly pointless exercise.

    Richard Bacon is OK, he is no Mayo, but neither does he have the experience.

    I use Twitter and Facebook to contact 5Live, I never realised I was in such a minority!

  • Comment number 8.

    I started listening to 5Live in Autumn 2009 and although I have found some of the changes to the programming quite unusual, such as moving Richard Bacon to the afternoon when he was much more entertaining at night, I have found the introduction of the usage of Twitter to be the best way for your programmes to be involved with the public as in my experience, I have found that using 'SMS' text's and e-mails to be more of a hassle as 'SMS' texts are not free, slow, and are generally a waste of money, e-mails take forever to filter through the massive amount of 'malware' filtering that exists on service providers, and phone calls are too intimidating to most people. Twitter (not a bloated and unsafe 'Facebook', which I have the qualification (BA.Hons. I.T.) to professionally admit) is the only ideal way to keep in touch as tweets are instant, short, simple and free, so I thank you for this and hope you can harness the power of "@BBC5Live" more in your programmes.

    There's my comment and my insight, now my questions.

    1. Do you think it is really a good idea (for example) to replace the 'mighty' Stephen Nolan show with a Tennis match that never went ahead because of rain? I found it awfully dreary to listen to people talking about the rain and would have rather listened to verbal political battles!

    2. People listen to the radio to be entertained and informed about all the good things going on in Britain and the world. Do you think they really want to know about serious and despicable crimes (which I won't go into) which will probably depress ~95% of the listener base? Please stop this or keep these reports as brief possible so if people want to know more they can look it up on the BBC news website.

    3. I find it quite annoying that when people accidentally swear after the watershed, presenters are still 'begging' for our forgiveness as if it was in the day. Is this really necessary? I've heard remarks that children might be listening. What? at twelve o'clock at night? I, and probably every other parent would not let their kids stay up that late at all, not to mention, listen to a radio programme that does tend to report bad news constantly!

    4. Is it really necessary that guests and contributors (the public) have to always be cut off on the hour, just because 'it's the hour' and the music is playing. It's understandable when it's the end of the programme, but when it isn't, it just seems silly to unfairly cut off the entire discussion!

    Final Question. How would one gain employment at FiveLive? Would there be any room for fresh new I.T. 'boffins' who love the fact that the BBC is a national institution that defines Britain and its core values and not just a place to milk licence-fee payers money and take industrial action when it suits them?


  • Comment number 9.

    No wonder you are so effusive in your praise Matt. G'is a job.

    I think twitter is just about the lowest common denominator in meaningless, mindless comment. Or does everything have to be distilled down into 140 droplets? Maybe AVK can explain why he thinks it is worth it?

  • Comment number 10.

    My questions for the controller is why was the excellent sports broadcaster Sonja McLaughlan replaced as the athletics trackside reporter by Katherine Merry who would be much better as a pundit?

  • Comment number 11.

    Carrie. I assure you that my final question was purely out of curiosity and not to make a request for a 'job', and I am sorry that I could not have worded it better to that end.

    I just recently thought of another issue I need to ask about seen as I have just been reminded of it and that is with the 'Rights Restrictions' on FiveLive.

    6. Why must the FiveLive internet streams be denied access to some sports coverage programmes? Surely the streams are set up so only the licence-fee payers can access. I ask this because the bbc website is the preferred way to listen to FiveLive and have no access to a medium-wave radio!


  • Comment number 12.

    Why does Radio 5 have a bias towards the left? The same left wing comedians, journalists and media types appear on almost every show (Kevin Maguire is never off Radio 5) I'm fed up of hearing Marcus Brigstocke and his ilk on Radio 5.

    Can the Radio 5 controller please explain (and put up evidence) how Radio 5 ensures the political balance across its output?

  • Comment number 13.

    Richard Bacon......why?

  • Comment number 14.

    I would expect the hypocrisy of BBC management not moving to Salford permanently to be discussed (including Mr Controller himself), sadly I am sure the politics of the move and the crossing of palms with silver won't be.

    It will be VERY interesting to see what listener questions are discussed during this Q&A.
    I sincerely hope it isn't propaganda hour.

  • Comment number 15.

    Just kidding Matt.

  • Comment number 16.

    I would also like the controller to give his verdict on the perceived dumming-down of 5Live. Does he think that the station has been changing to suit a different demographic or a more mainstream audience under his stewardship?

    Many contributors to this blog on both this thread and others have given some examples. Three examples have occurred to me:

    In the last couple of years it sees that 'celeb' stories have begun to replace proper news, and the agenda of Victoria's show in particular as become more 'tabloidy'.

    Texts and e-mails have started to become overused in some programmes, and presenters are asking for pointless text-in topics which are completely irrelevant to the topics being discussed and/or uninteresting

    The loss of Simon Mayo's intelligent conversation and its replacement by Richard Bacon's 'Help' and other strange features. You only had to hear Mayo's interview with Blair on Radio 2 yesterday evening to be reminded what 5Live listeners are missing.

  • Comment number 17.

    Does AV-K care what soup other people like? If he doesn't, why should we? Stop the dumbing down of a once good and informative station that is (not so) slowly but surely turning into a lightweight and triviality obsessed one.

  • Comment number 18.

    In answer to #12, I suspect there's a surfeit of left-wing comedians because the right-wing comedians are too busy running the country.

  • Comment number 19.

    Why does Radio5 Live feel the need to act as the official opposition to the government? Why does Victoria have to pad out her show with plugs for pop music and interviews with "celebs" and wannabe "celebs"? Why the continual cross advertising for other BBC shows? Why can Nicky Campbell not go half an hour without referencing a pop song in juxtaposition to a news item? Why does 5Live include details of different BBC programmes within the news broadcasts (I am thinking specifically of the announcement of the cast of some dancing pap show on BBC1)? Why the constant begging for texts and tweets? I would like to hear the thoughts of an economist about the possible spending cuts NOT Jim from Burnley or Ishmael from Leeds. Why is the programme so Northerncentric? Why are 90% of the voices from the North and why whenever you leave the studio (why?) do you head off up the M1? And on and on. I have been listening to the various forms of Radio 5 since it's inception so you obviously get much right but the current guise is the worst I have felt about the station since your coverage of 9/11 and the first time that I have ever started switching off.

  • Comment number 20.

    This interview is cringeworthy.

    Avoiding all the questions,missing the clearly obvious.Defending the indefensible and total hypocrisy across the board.

    I actually stopped listening several months ago but was curious when I heard AVK would be appearing today.

    I shouldn't have bothered.

  • Comment number 21.

    No mention whatsoever of the constant urging for texts, a brief mention of Twitter, no mention of the closure of the messageboards or the high handed manner in which these blogs are handled. Should have just left Teresa May on, at least she has a point.

  • Comment number 22.

    Not too mention the hundreds of times Stephen Nolan repeats the text number, the email address and the phone number, just to pad out when he has nothing useful, ready to say. He even does it 30 secs before the end of his show. I will not listen to him anymore.

  • Comment number 23.

    Dismissed ryanw’s question regarding Rajar I’d be surprised if he keeps his promise and comes back and posts in 12 months about it, he probably won’t be controller by then and get his wish to stay in London.

    Everything is wonderful at Five Live in AVK’s view and it’s all about attracting younger listeners.

    Skipped the Bacon issue.

    Lame defence of Twitter and no mention of the contant use of texts.

  • Comment number 24.

    Bacon’s “Chart the week has potential” – has he listened?

  • Comment number 25.

    I was delighted to hear Adrian talk about plans to develop Sports Extra. The recent coverage of the tennis from New York was superb!

  • Comment number 26.

    I didn't realize how much I enjoyed Mayo until Bacon took over. He is dire. So blokey and trivial. Thank heavens for Fridays, with Mayo and Kermode.
    Victoria Derbyshire drives me crackers too. I'm only listening right now ready for PMQs, The pop and celeb elements are awful, and her inability to listen to anything a government spokesman says really doesn't help. She seems to be representing the Opposition, although most other broadcasters are no better on this station.

  • Comment number 27.

    Dom, of course they glossed over my question about the Rajars. More accountability and more transparency isn't in the BBC lexicon. There is no excuse for not releasing the information. But the numbers are good enough to use as propaganda.

    I can't help but feel it was an after thought to even open a thread on here about Mr Controllers appearance too.

  • Comment number 28.

    @ 25, yes Big_Dave it should be developed, so people who want to know minute by minute what’s happening at the cricket can so that the rest of us don’t have to have our listening interrupted with ‘there has been a wicket at the cricket’.

  • Comment number 29.

    In reply to #28, I don't see how a cricket update can be considered an 'interruption' on a news and sport station.

  • Comment number 30.

    @ 29 It is an interruption when it destroys the flow of an interview and it isn’t such a life changing piece of news that a wicket has fallen that they could not wait until the interview has finished before transferring to the cricket commentator. If the cricket is so important to a listener surely they would be listening to TMS?

  • Comment number 31.

    @29 5Live isn't a news and sport station, it's an entertainment, tweet and text station.

  • Comment number 32.

    Nice piece of irony with Ms Derbyshire this morning which went something like....

    Ms Derbyshire..... ' what audience is 5live aimed at ? '

    AVK.....' 30 to 40 year olds.....'

    Ms Derbyshire....' I interviewed Tynchy Stryder last week and I got shedloads of abusive emails saying that this is was not what 5live should be about.......'

    Is it any wonder ?

  • Comment number 33.

    The choice of what questions were asked could have been better but on the whole I thought VD did a decent job in interviewing AV-K. I don't listen to VD normally and missed the first 5 minutes of the interview but I have to give credit to VD for attempting to dig further and not accepting at face value the answers that were given.

    Having said all of that AV-K did not come out of this at all well. His answers regarding his own acceptance of a job where he his not leading by example were appalling. Personally AV-K I resent every single penny of my licence fee that will go towards your 'flat' in Salford and I think you should hang your head in shame for accepting the job whilst knowing that you would never make the move yourself. And if you need examples of exactly what 'dumbing down' means, there are plenty of actual examples scattered about this blog. You should try reading it and attempting to get in touch with your listeners a little more. Seems like you the prestige of your job, perhaps a mere stepping stone to another, but dislike getting your hands dirty. People like you give the meaning of delegation a bad name for you use it purely for selfish reasons and in avoiding responsibility.
    No doubt this comment will be removed for not being positive enough and also for not being nice to AV-K. It's called blunt speaking AV-K. If you stayed up north long enough you may become acquainted with it.

  • Comment number 34.

    Two words to describe AVK's performance - glib and exasperated.

    Vicky didn't do a bad job, she was playing devil's advocate and she knew when she had to try and pretend to push for an answer.

    It was a poor show of trying to reach out to the listeners though. Most of the real criticisms were not touched by him, and I burst out laughing over Tinchy, it was just awful to hear him trying to make positives out of that, tweets and the Rajar figures.

    What a waste of time.

  • Comment number 35.

    I have to disagree with #30: I repeat, a cricket update is not an 'interruption', it's an essential part of the output.

    And no, ryanw (#31), it's not an 'entertainment, tweet and text' station, it's a news and sport station, and a very good one at that.

  • Comment number 36.

    AVK seems completely obsessed by Rajar figures.Someone should explain to him that this is a public service broadcaster and not a commercial station.

    Btw I had a peep over to the 5live Connect page where amazingly only 10 contributions appeared in half a hour.I took the time to contribute about the dumbing down issue but it got moderated out.Strange goings on indeed at the BBC.

    I'll give credit to VD about pressing him on AVK's Salford move.You could almost smell his unease at being questioned in such a direct mannner.Watch out Vicky.

  • Comment number 37.

    @35, Ok Big_Dave we know you are Five Live’s biggest fan and they can do no wrong in your opinion, but would it be so bad to wait a couple of minutes while a guest finishes their point rather than interrupt with the news that a wicket has fallen and completely spoil the flow of an interview? It is a news and sport station as you say and cricket does not always have to come first, it is a balancing act, Test Match Special is there for those listeners who can’t wait a couple of minutes for the wicket news.

  • Comment number 38.

    I think VD did a good job of interviewing the controller this morning. Then again, she has been the main victim of the schedule changes (first her programme gets shifted an hour later and then she has it cut from three hours to two).

    The responses the AvK were a bit disappointing. I thought at one point he was going to answer a callers' accusations of 5Live 'dumming-down', but then went off to talk about Twitter and say how great it was.

    The interview was the usual, carefully rehearsed justifications for spending ridiculous amounts of money on a move up North that nobody really wants. (I live in Norwich, it makes no difference to me whether 5Live comes from Salford or London - all I know is that one of the best presenters left the station because he didn't want to move and, as a result, my listening experience is poorer).

  • Comment number 39.

    In reply to #37, it is unlikely that an interview on 5 live will have the kind of flow that Dom seems to desire because of the nature of the station. It is, after all, called 5 live, and wickets have a habit of falling at the most inconvenient times.

    Anyway, I thought all the interviews on the station were with celebrities nowadays. Surely, most of the contributors to these pages welcome cricket updates as a brief respite from all that dumbing-down.

  • Comment number 40.

    Blimey ... is Big Dave Fedster by another name?

  • Comment number 41.

    I don't understand #40. Who is Fedster?

  • Comment number 42.

    Mr Stumps your petty swiping is doing you no favours at all, you have your views and you are entitled to them, but please dont be so arrogant to assume everyone who is supporting 5live is somehow me.

    The fact of the matter people who enjoy listning to 5live are getting put of posting on this blog because reading your and other posters rants is akin to having a very cold shower, in other words you aggresive, childish posts are making potential posters extremly uncomfortable.

  • Comment number 43.

    Complete and utter waste of time - so predictable. A master exercise in flannel and obfuscation.

  • Comment number 44.

    That was uncalled for Fedster.

    It seems to me that quite a few more people have constructive criticism of 5Live than have all out love. Anyway, nothing will change so you can be sure those that love will carry on loving, those that want improvements will carry on hoping for that to happen. I got the feeling AVK was a bit narked this morning which shows something has gotten through, I think he knew that some of the things being said/written had more than a grain of fact and truth behind them.

    Now Big_Dave and Fedster, when did you last expose yourself on public transport? What is your favourite soup? Come on now, join in.

  • Comment number 45.

    Fed old son ... Cool it! Who is the one getting aggressive?

    Didn't here the AVK piece but will catch up later. But once again, kicked off a good deal of very constructive comment (here) that is a joy to read. Shame he buries his head in the sand. Surely this is a man under pressure, particularly with the Salford none appearance? I did catch the end of VD's show where she lined up a group of phone in's and then missed the last one out. Also a cracker on PMQ's intro - Piennar said it would all be about Coulson - not a mention!

  • Comment number 46.

    I think it says a lot that criticism of any aspect of Five live is regarded as abusive and aggressive, where is the evidence that a large number of readers are being intimidated from posting on here? I’m regularly asked for my opinions on the blog so there must be some figures on this? Also quite a few new posters have appeared recently who care enough to comment.

    I look forward to the blog post we are promised from AVK for after Septemberfest, hopefully he will be able to address the dumbing down question he skirted today. Also answer some of the questions posted above such as the value of trivial text-ins.

    Regarding the point he made about making Five Live more attractive to a younger audience, I’d be interested to know how much he is willing to risk losing the core listeners aged 35+ just to gain a few younger listeners who are probably less loyal, does he not think that younger listeners are well catered for already by other stations, both BBC and commercial?

  • Comment number 47.

    Looks as though the aggression that Nigel Smith talks of putting others off posting is coming from some who actually like 5live.

    That can't be good .......can it ?

  • Comment number 48.

    "constructive criticism"

    I would say 20% is constructive criticism the rest is nonsensical jibberish

  • Comment number 49.

    I'm bang in the middle of Mr Controller's stated demographic. I'm a year younger that Richard Bacon. I'm on Twitter. I have almost 2000 followers so I understand the medium. I've also worked in radio and now have a digital job at an advertising agency.

    But, it's increasingly not a station for me.

    My issue with the Twitter obsession is (a) the neglect of the BBC owned-channels, (b) the relentless drive towards trivalising listener contributions and marginalising coherent, well argued listener comments delivered via another channel.

    Twitter is a crutch for lazy producers and a filler for lazy talent.

    I'm all forward broadening the communications channels and listener engagement -- this is a smart strategy -- what isn't good radio is soliciting ridiculously trivial tweets and dumbing down the programme content.

    This is a question of balance.

    There is a massive over reliance on pre-cut 140 character submissions at the expense of quality email or blog posts.

    I listen, or listened to 5Live because of its blend of breaking news, the intelligent debate and its ability to convey the pulse of the nation. That is giving away to Heat Magazine inspire pap, celebrity drivel and trivial tweets.

    The Twitter-generation is smart, they'll just as easily listen to a podcast, or fire up the latest radio app on their Android phone and listen to a quality radio station from home or abroad. Those same Twitter types are just as likely to have already got the entertainment news from their mobile or Radio 1 we don't need the likes of Tynchy Stryder, whoever he is rammed down our throats.

    Please don't disenfranchise your core listenership.

    Overseas, stations in Australia Newsradio (ABC), 2GB (Macquarie, Sydney) and 3AW (Fairfax, Melbourne) and NewstalkZB (Auckland) meld news and current affairs well. 2GB, 3AW and NewstalkZB are top of the class, top rating in cume and share across all major demographics over 30.

    They offer intelligent debate from articulate interviewers (who do their research) with popular opinion and community issues well.

    I think the Controller needs to spend some time listening to these stations to see how real news talk radio can sound.

    The changes to the Sunday lineup are a triumph. Now we just need to address the weekdays and put some spine into the schedule with a quality broadcaster sandwiches between Derbyshire and Bacon.

  • Comment number 50.

    In reply to #46, 'the evidence that a large number of readers are being intimidated from posting on here' is before our very eyes: they don't post. What more evidence do you need?

  • Comment number 51.

    Big_Dave, what evidence do you have for this? By your flawed logic I suppose you think 5Live is the most popular radio station in the world but not everyone listens?

  • Comment number 52.

    Let's not get into bickering with each other please.

  • Comment number 53.

    Agreed Nigel

    Ryan why is that the people who respond to 5lives audience research who enjoy 5lives output,never seem to contribute to this blog?

    The answer surely is what already has been said

  • Comment number 54.

    In answer to #51, I repeat, the evidence is before our eyes: they don't post.

    My logic is apparently flawed, so perhaps ryanw can explain why people who enjoy the station don't post on here.

  • Comment number 55.

    Nigel, how about asking AVK to come on here and answer some of the stuff he didn't have time for this morning?

    Fedster, looking up this thread alone I can see people posting who hardly ever do. Anyway that isn't the point. I would like to know what AVK thought of trivia text in subjects and Heat taking over half the programmes when there are plenty of other people around who could do a good commentary/critique job.

  • Comment number 56.

    I quite agree Big Dave.Surely it explains alot as to why large numbers don't post on here. As you will have observed from my previous post and for the sake of repeating myself, the aggression Nigel Smith talks of appears to be coming from those who actually like 5live.The evidence, as you say, ' is before our very eyes '.

    Not a good sign is it ?

  • Comment number 57.

    #54 I have no idea why more people don't post on here. And nor do you.

    Many of us have been calling for more visibility and more publicity for the blog for months. Everyone is free to contribute here.

    It's worth noting, dare I bring it up again, that the message board was well supported.

    I'd say the majority of former posters have actually been disenfranchised by the stations contempt for the blogs and closing the message boards.

    Radio2, Radio3, Radio4 and 6Music have a message board.

    How surprising that 5Live keeps company with Radio1, the only other national network without a message board.


    #55, Carrie, great suggestion

  • Comment number 58.

    In answer to #57, the Radio 2 messageboard is closing on Friday.

  • Comment number 59.

    Radio 2 and 6music are closing their messageboards, and i would make a guess that the others will be closed soonish, that also includes the PoV boards.

    The 5live station board only had 20 or so regular posters and usually they posted similar jibberish as they do here.

    The 5live station board was a waste of money as are most BBC boards.

  • Comment number 60.

    @carrie - as I said in the post above Adrian will write a follow-up post after Septemberfest.

    Please keep this post on topic, i.e. questions/reactions to Adrian's appearance on Victoria's programme this morning.

  • Comment number 61.

    Btw the way we did once have a message board to discuss 5live which was very well contributed too.Unfortunately the BBC and the presenters decided to end the whole interaction/forum thing and hated the criticism so much that the only way now of making contact with any real person at the BBC and trying to get an answer to listeners concerns is now through a blog.

  • Comment number 62.

    @Binkie Huckaback - The most effective way to make contact with a "real person" at 5 live is actually via email. You can contact us directly via our Get in touch page.

  • Comment number 63.

    Thanks Nigel but been there and done that.Perhaps you would like to address the failings of your rather overly aggressive colleague who considers licence payers/ listeners comments as ' jibberish '.I have to say that I find that pretty insulting to those who take time out to contribute and have different and well justified opinions of 5live.

  • Comment number 64.

    Nigel, a bit of helpful historical context for you... Carrie's question about exactly when Mr Controller will appear for a Q&A on the blog is well in order.

    IIRC after Mr Van Klaveren said he would answer some questions "early in the new year" it took months of persistence before he finally posted in May, hardly early in the new year I am sure you will agree.

    I am sure we'd all appreciate a follow up for the unanswered questions on the blog. An excellent use of your new reformed blog!

    I presume Mr Controller is just there for the week unless he's travelling back via Salford to find a property to rent 4-5 days a week using our generous £1900 per month subsidy?

  • Comment number 65.

    Hello Nigel,

    While message #64 doesn't apparently break any House Rules, the final paragraph is clearly provocative and insulting. Is there any way this kind of post can be removed?

  • Comment number 66.

    @65 Big_Dave it is actually fact, for those that choose not to relocate to Salford they can instead claim £1900 a month for rent from the BBC for two years. Mr AVK has chosen not to relocate so is entitled to the rent allowance - so there is no reason for the comment to be removed.

  • Comment number 67.

    Yep Big Dave's stock has just plummeted in my estimation.

  • Comment number 68.

    In answer to #66, the accuracy or otherwise is neither here nor there: I object to the tone, which is provocative and insulting.

  • Comment number 69.

    Try to keep to the subject everyone and stop rising to the challenges laid down by people you disagree with, or this blog will disappear too and that would be a pity after all the "work" we have put in to having a communications channel with the station.

  • Comment number 70.

    You're right, carrie: I'm sorry.

  • Comment number 71.

    I don't really need to define myself as others have kindly pointed out the backstory to post #64, but to recap:

    1. It is a fact the BBC is lavishing £1900 on employees per month to rent in Salford if they cannot or will not move there permanently. It is not provocative but a matter of fact. In fact you can read more in an article published on this very day and as a result of the Victoria's interview: http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/sep/15/bbc-radio-5-live-salford

    2. Victoria's interview covered Salford, and specifically the Controller's commitement to the move, further evidence my comments were in order. This is topical and specifically relevant to this thread.

    3. We were discussing a follow up post by the Controller and when that may be. It was perfectly reasonable for me to ask when he might appear here.

  • Comment number 72.

    From a quick look at the R2 board they are closing it so that folks can use Face book , Twitter and all the other modern stuff.

    Where have we heard that before?

    Great quote from rugby coach Martin Johnson yesterday; "If I had a Twitter account I would post one message - 'mind your own business!

    My thoughts entirely

  • Comment number 73.

    Everyone knows where my viewpoint lies, just trying to get back to the reality of the points we wanted answered.

    As ryanw pointed out, I wouldn't think it is worth holding our breath - AVK took a very long time before, and as we also know, Hasit has disappeared.

    Expect nothing while the pope (sic [on purpose]) and Septemberfest are running. On the matter of the latter, Tony Livesey had exactly the same discussion last night as was held by Nicky earlier on today, precisely the same union stats and then followed by an identical pope discussion. Fortunately I will be out so I don't have to hear it re-churned ad nauseam.

  • Comment number 74.

    I am hopeful that we will get some answers from AVK, I think Nigel has shown himself as committed enough to chase up a blog post from him.

    Judging from yesterday’s interview I think it may well be more productive for us to focus on issues we have with the output of Five live rather than AVK’s living arrangements.

  • Comment number 75.

    Dom, at the risk of straying off topic... I must concur, Nigel has been doing a good job so far.

    Still waiting for a post on Twitter and news on Hasit's demise though. He no longer seems to be working on the blog.

  • Comment number 76.

    Now caught up with AVK interview; Thought VD's questioning was exceptionally good (a first in my book but well done her).

    Sadly AVK toed the party line throughout; evasive, too much Corporation speak and there was an undoubted undertone of 'everything we do is brilliant, we've never been wrong etc etc'. The justification for using Robbie Savage was laughable. He definitely got the nark later on ... well spotted Carrie.

  • Comment number 77.

    @ryanw - Hasit's demise? I'm pleased to say that Hasit is alive and well and currently in Newcastle working on our Septemberfest coverage.

  • Comment number 78.

    Nigel, Hasit is, or was, working on the blog the last we heard. Where has he been? We haven't heard a peep out of him and furthermore there haven't been many lively Connect sessions to trouble him either.

    Several of us were wondering, forgive us, if he was still with us. You see Mr Bowbrick disappeared without trace, as have several others.

    We Hasit continue to contribute to the blog or has he had his 15 minutes of fame now?

  • Comment number 79.

    @ryanw - Hasit will continue to contribute to the blog. He is also working with programme teams to generate new blog posts from them.

  • Comment number 80.

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

  • Comment number 81.

    Why does my comment saying how bad Bacon’s show today at Septemberfest is get removed? It is relevant because it is an example of Five Live dumbing down to chase a younger audience that AVK wants and is in my opinion not what a news and sport station should be about.

  • Comment number 82.

    @Dom - comments that are "abusive" or "objectionable" contravene the House Rules so may be removed by the moderators. Comments that are "off-topic" will also be removed.

    If there are no more specific questions for Adrian Van Klaveren that have already been raised in some way I will close the comments thread on this post.

  • Comment number 83.

    It is a bit premature to close the thread don’t you think, the interview was only yesterday.

  • Comment number 84.

    It would appear that the BBC really can't handle what people really thing Dom. It's a shame they are so defensive. The best form of defence is attack perhaps?

  • Comment number 85.

    Nigel, it is very fine line between moderating discussion and closing down debate.

    I hope you might right read some previous threads where Mr Bowbrick chose to prematurely close threads.

    This was extremely poorly received.

    I would counsel you against this action as it will only play into the narrative of the 5Live being keen to stymie those who chose to articulate a position other that held by the station.

    As Dom says, this is a young thread and will die of it's own accord. Of course ironically Facebook threads are never closed, which makes you wonder why these threads ever need to be.

    If people tire of posting, if people don't want to engage in the conversation they won't.

    Let the listeners decide.

  • Comment number 86.

    msg 84 - sorry typo. Should read 'what people really THINK'. Sorry.

  • Comment number 87.

    Dom; your comments about RB were I am sure well intentioned but I too had a post taken down last weekend after I had blasted off about Fighting Talk.

    RB's shortcomings as a front line presenter are well documented here and elsewhere. I think we should also be asking questions of his producer. Surely he or she has to act as a guide on what is good radio or not. Or is he a complete loose cannon who just go's off on one and into Tweeting heavan? A producer should rein in the presenter excesses and also challenge with high quality guests. Bacon's guest quality has sunk so much below the admirable standard set on the Mayo show. This I respectfully suggest has a direct bearing on where Bacon feels his comfort zone is. Not too challenging, not needeing to read up too much the night before (which Mayo regularly admited too) and simply conduct a light weight flirty chat that is forgotten as soon as the news comes on. Sad really.

  • Comment number 88.

    @ Jackstumps good post, I agree one of Mayo’s strengths was his preparation, you always knew he was well researched and knowledgeable about the guest / topic, it never felt like he was winging it.

    You are right that this unfortunately can’t be said about Bacon, I understand that shows take time to become established and Mayo is a hard act to follow but Bacon’s show is in my opinion getting worse and I think it hit a new low today with pantomime type interaction with the live audience. I also agree with you that he needs reigning in by a good producer, he needs to reconsider his reliance on the weekly features and texts that he uses as filler. Rambling unstructured chats with second rate guests seem to have become the norm. Well he gets away with it so why should he change?

    I hope this comment doesn’t get removed because I think Bacon’s show is the most obvious example of how the style and quality of Five Live’s output has changed and is relevant to this blog post. My question to AVK is: does Richard Bacon represent the new ‘brand’ Five Live that is about targeting a younger audience with greater prominence given to celebrity and trivia than news & sport?

  • Comment number 89.

    The controller has previously said he wants a more "accessible" radio station.

    Two questions then.. clarifications perhaps...

    I would appreciate it if Mr Van Klaveren would expand on what this means.

    My interpretation is that his accessible means colloquial, low brow, simple, unchallenging and basic -- ie, not probing, intelligent, insightful, edifying or robust.

    He has also described Richard Bacon as a "big personality". I would like to ask the Controller if this is now the model for a 5Live host, as opposed to perhaps a "big interviewer" or a "big intellect" ... a big personality does admitedly seem to fit with this accessible meme.

  • Comment number 90.

    Jack, Dom and ryanw, maybe Bacon's producer is telling him that is what the station wants to deliver in that slot, and that is why he was chosen for it. Maybe the producer, who after all books the guests and prepares the programmes with Bacon, is influencing him and is following AVK's guidelines. He ain't no Mayo, but that's what AVK wants.

  • Comment number 91.

    Adrian Van Klaveren has written a new blog post that answers the main questions raised above that were not covered on Victoria Derbyshire's programme. Here's the link: Your Questions Answered

  • Comment number 92.

    AvG have you "dumbed down" 5L sport?
    How come TalkBalls is now LESS shouty and egocentic?
    AvG you have wrecked FiveLive - go to Salford now!

  • Comment number 93.

    R.I.P. Radio 5 comment......they have effectively killed off all criticism of the mess that used to be an excellent station. We will have to learn to live with giggles, shouting, celebrities, Heat magazine, Hello, Sun gossip pages, etc......you can all extend the list.
    Farewell all until Bacon, Logan, weekend mornings, and more are removed and replaced by standards which used to prevail before the present management destroyed this once excellent station.

  • Comment number 94.

    The station is in such a fast downward spiral. This blog is called 'questions for the controller'. So mine would be simply are those in charge aware of this? I'm sorry if the regular bloggers think this is a question they have been asking for months / years without a reply. At the very least mine will just add another name to what must be an ever growing number of ex listeners. I will not turn radio 5 on again until Cheltenham - unless of course they send Richard Bacon.

  • Comment number 95.

    How much air time this week has been spent on the Andy Gray / Richard Keys situation? We now have a British player in a Grand Slam semi-final and its not live. Why not?


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