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On Now : 5 live in Short
25/12/2014
BBC Radio 5 live
The 5 live blog


To mark 5 live’s 20th anniversary, on 28th March, we’re asking “Has 5 live changed your life?”

The network has had the privilege to share so many special experiences with people over its 20 year history. There have been interviews that gave listeners goosebumps; interviews that kept people listening in their cars long after they’d arrived at their destinations; and even interviews that changed lives.

In 2013 we first met Steve Evans, who shared his journey of living with terminal cancer; in 2011 ‘Rachel’ a doctor, told us her story of alcoholism; and in 2012 footballer John Harston’s told us his experience of testicular cancer, that inspired a listener to seek help for what was found to be a small cancerous lump.

These stories provoked a lot of reaction from listeners, and now we are looking for more listeners whose lives are different after hearing something on air, from any 5 live programme. If you have a story you want to share, please email Victoria@bbc.co.uk.

Thousands of listeners have contacted Victoria Derbyshire’s show over the last three years, since the first intimate moment in February 2011 when ‘Rachel’, not her real name, publicly revealed her addiction:

I have been drinking today and I admit that fully.”

“Can I ask you how much?”

“I’m not sure, this sounds really bizarre, I’ve been drinking cans of Guinness because I think that’s got vitamins in it.”

“How long have you been drinking to this level for?”

“I’ve been drinking heavily for probably about 10 years now…I just want to let people know alcoholism is a disease”:



Her telephone call prompted one of the biggest reactions from listeners 5 live has ever had, to the extent that whilst in a rehabilitation programme in Halifax, Rachel met a woman who said was there due to hearing Rachel on 5 live:

“I knew I’d heard your voice before, I heard you on the radio, you’re the reason I’m here.”

Some of the messages we received:

“Please tell Rachel that she may have saved my life today.”

“I have been a heavy drinker for the last two years and have been diagnosed with depression, I have been sober for the last 10 days and your programme has just strengthened my resolve to stay sober and get my life together.”

“I have little doubt, if this interview could be heard by a wider audience it would be better than any government alcohol abuse advertising campaign.”

“Thank-you for doing the interview with Rachel today, I listened mostly in tears, it sounded exactly like my late wife.”


Steve Evans


When Steve Evans shared his experience of living with terminal cancer with Richard Bacon, hundreds of listeners responded through emails, texts and tweets. Steve died on January 16, at the age of 52.


To me, Steve took on our fears of terminal illness, pain, death, loss and being scared of all of the above - but he made it no big deal. He normalised it. He assured us that it is okay, that whatever the outcome life is bigger, the journey is just that & whatever our outcome we will be okay...What a guy! Anon

@Simon_Caley: @steveevans51 you have made me want to be a better human being through your chats with @richardpbacon one journey ends, another begins #rip

Steve, what a remarkable man I was waiting for scan results on my bowel when I first heard him, seriously ill, I found out I had a to have part removed, Steve kept me strong, as he said there is always someone worse off, luckily it wasn't cancer, after major op I'm ok now, he was so brave and his family too, the worry my family went through, my heart goes out to them R.I.P Steve. John, Wakefield

I am totally inspired and humbled by both Steve and Stephen's positivity and frankness towards their illness. Just incredible and I wish them all the best for the future whatever that holds for them. My mum died aged 54 from a brain tumour, which was a harrowing experience and I wish we as a family could have embraced a positivity and energy for life in the same manner that Steve seems to be. Sarah, Derby

A few months ago you talked to Steve just after I had been told I have cancer and I sent a text to say how he inspiring I found him and he still makes me drive on and look on the bright side may his god bless him and thank-you. Anonymous


John Hartson


Former Arsenal and Celtic striker John Hartson told Richard Bacon about his treatment for testicular cancer. Ben Pilling, 28, from London, checked himself out after listening to a podcasted version of the interview in 2011, and was diagnosed with testicular cancer. The two men met in January 2013:




Were you inspired to make a change because you heard someone else tell their story? Did our coverage of a news story make you do something about the issue concerned?

Perhaps you were inspired to have a health check; perhaps you met your future husband or wife at a 5 live event; or maybe you were inspired to change something in your life as a result of an interview you’ve heard?

Whether you've given something up - or taken something on, we'd like to hear from you. So much has changed in 20 years. But how are you different? And did we have anything to do with it?

If you have a story you want to share please email Victoria@bbc.co.uk or write in the comments below

Comments

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  • Comment number 27. Posted by Jackstumps

    on 21 Feb 2014 20:11

    Yes, I'm fascinated. Who is Steve Evans?

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  • Comment number 26. Posted by JoJons

    on 21 Feb 2014 19:06

    Abi k. says Steve Evans changed her life. Who is Steve Evans? As for the idea that the dislike of virtually all posters on here for Richard Bacon's show is because he's a younger presenter, I don't think so. Rachel Burden, Anita Anand, Mark Chapman, Phil Williams - they're all around the same age as Bacon. The reason people don't like Bacon is because he comes across as interested in himself only and his show has a very narrow range of celebrity and TV based shallow interviews. Plus features that are barrel-scrapingly inane.

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  • Comment number 25. Posted by abi k

    on 21 Feb 2014 17:00

    I really enjoy 5live and listen pretty much everyday, Steve Evans changed my life, he made me realize how wonderful life is and that we should cherish it. I really enjoy Richard Bacon, Mayo & Kermode and love Danny Baker, Chappers etc. I find Nicky Campell, Derbyshire etc can be a bot wearing at times but it really depends on the topic.
    I do think some listeners struggle with change as some of the comments on here show, I would be interested to see if their age is anything to do with their dislike of the younger presenters such as Bacon.

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  • Comment number 24. Posted by James Mawgan

    on 21 Feb 2014 11:03

    I love non-music radio, so therefore I love 5 live, but I have to say I do agree with some of Andrew Rose's points. Especially about Bacon (he's just a glorified QVC presenter - all his 'top stories' and talking points turn out to be just some bloke with a book out or a woman with a new TV series) and 606 (where the presenters decide the narrative of the day's footy and any caller deviating from that is ridiculed). It's still a haven though, with most of the rest of the programmes being interesting and well put together. 5L's constant reassuring presence (I'm only 27) on my dial certainly has changed my life for the better over the years. Keep up the good work, but ditch the bad!

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  • Comment number 23. Posted by MJS

    on 21 Feb 2014 08:55

    As with the majority I've become a bit more selective in my 5 Live listening over the years. Breakfast, the excellent Drive (Peter Allen, worth a licence fee on his own), the peerless Danny Baker, and John Piernaar remain essential listening. Unfortunately although the sports coverage continues to be excellent, the demise of 606 is quite sad. Good summariser, but Robbie Savage on 606 a bit like listening to a 10 year old ranting on at times. I still tune in each week but usually switch off by around around 6:30. Whatever has happened to Fighting Talk? Bring back Colin Murray. However, overall still a fine listen, a fine station.

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  • Comment number 22. Posted by LeHomme

    on 19 Feb 2014 22:42

    I've been listening to Five since the beginning. I was in the last year of 6th Form back then, and I remember: (1) being in bed on a week night and trying to hold out for the next half-past-the-hour sports update, and (2) doing the Saturday morning shift at the local co-op, then coming home to have lunch then lie on my bed with the cat in the sunshine and fall asleep to the afternoon match commentary, stirring each time a goal went in. Happy days.

    Thoughts:
    - I listen mostly for the football commentaries.
    - World Football Phone-In is excellent
    - I still like the Film show, and always podcast it.
    - I hear and don't mind Dotton Adebayoo, and he has some good features.
    - Breakfast and Drive are both good.
    - Fighting talk is a great concept and should be brilliant, but it depends on the presenter. Johnny Vaugn was amazing at it, Murray was an abomination, but the new guy is showing much more promise.
    - I used to love Fi Glover - pure silk - and who who heard it could forget the Crofty-Widdy-Weight-off-Challenge! Julian Warricker was another excellent presenter that slipped away.

    Five Live was put together as a 24-hour news, sport, comment and magazine station. And to begin with it was excellent at it. But I can't help feel at some point someone said "Radios 4 and 5 overlap too much, and we can't justify the duplication. If we want to keep five, we need to come up with a new vision. How about this: Radio 4 is a broadsheet, 5Live is a tabloid".

    And so it came to pass that 5Live changed. Victoria Derbyshire punting Daily Mail-esque fear, and Nolan the borish characterisation of The Sun. Richard Bacon discusses the same vacuous "popular media" as the Daily Star. I used to listen all day, but now I specifically miss those shows, so generally listen to another station (normally BBC though, so no biggie!)

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  • Comment number 21. Posted by Sleekburnslim

    on 19 Feb 2014 21:49

    Has 5 live changed my life?

    NO

    Listen to it at work driving between jobs

    but find myself going off to R4 due to the amount of drivel produced

    Richard Bacon is R5L equivalent to SRITA on R2

    a radio 'moan in' ??? PLEASE STOP IT

    is not news or sport

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  • Comment number 20. Posted by jimbo2112

    on 19 Feb 2014 20:31

    I love 5-Live... It's always my first choice for radio. I love the sport commentary, Fighting Talk and most of the debates.

    But, I would love to see 2 things. More diversity. When doing radio documentaries take a few risks! Radio 4 do this amazingly well. The range of topics is so diverse and often abstract with them. Football is not the only sport! There's waaaaay too much banter on football. There should be much more on the fringe sports. Britain has many world class athletes ruling their sport globally and never receive any recognition. I'd guess that 70% of the sporting talk on 5-Live is based around football and that is 40% too much.

    The second thing is change the way they do radio phone in's. Debates are very rarely solvable with the question they ask at the beginning; "Is it this or that?", most often it's a million things and a combination of all of them. The debate deserves more scrutiny so maybe they should debate less things and spend more time on each of them.

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  • Comment number 19. Posted by Jackstumps

    on 19 Feb 2014 16:37

    As an update to my earlier mails:

    Read that Richard Bacon is to be offered a role on an ITV TV programme no one watches ....

    Robbie Savage has offered to 'not work again' if Man City overcome Barcelona.

    Is there a God after all?

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  • Comment number 18. Posted by David Longman

    on 19 Feb 2014 12:05

    I would like to add to my previous comment. Twice in the last year I have written to Ministers on two different issues. I have discovered that in neither case did the letters reach the offices of the Ministers - nor the Policy teams. They were replied to by a correspondence team - in other words, I was unable to express my views to the people who could bring about change in policy etc. Yet my voice - your voice - can be heard by the nation via 5Live. That, may I suggest, is a hugely important role for the station.

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