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Feedback: Comedy on Radio 4

Friday 6 April 2012, 14:10

Roger Bolton Roger Bolton

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Roger Bolton

I hope he won't be embarrassed if we meet in Berkhamsted High St, my local town, but I love Ed Reardon, so I was delighted to meet his co-writer this week, Andrew Nickolds.

We were squeezed into one of those small BBC studios designed for down the line interviews, along with the Commissioning Editor for Radio 4's comedies Caroline Raphael.

As there were only 3 chairs my producer stood, which is good for her soul if not her back. Down the line in Cardiff was the writer and performer, Katherine Jakeways, she of North by Northamptonshire.

We were there to discuss comedy and the Radio 4 audience, following two weeks of rather heated debate about the merits of Count Arthur Strong. Some listeners seemed to be prepared to die for him, while others wished to slit his throat. So I began by asking Ms Raphael why she had commissioned the Count in the first place? This is what followed.

Also this week I talked to BBC Trustee Richard Eyre about a review the Trust is conducting into BBC complaints procedures. Many listeners find the present systems confusing and long winded. The consultation ends in two weeks time so here is a link to the Trust website where you can find details of how to take part.

Finally, next week on Feedback I will be talking to the Controller of Radio 4 Gwyneth Williams. I will certainly ask her about the lunchtime schedule changes she put in place which involved extending the World at One by 15 minutes and moving or cancelling the half hour programmes which had started at 1:30pm.

I'll also ask her about her proposed changes to Saturday mornings.

And the rest is up to you. I am your servant, please use me. Just email Feedback@bbc.co.uk

Happy Easter

Roger Bolton

Roger Bolton presents Feedback on Radio 4

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    Comment number 1.

    Vital Statistics is the worst 'comedy' I have ever heard.
    Unless a presenter had mentioned that it is a comedy, I would
    never have realised. I am a Radio 4/World Service addict. I have listened 24/7 for more than 40 years, first from London, and now from Berlin. The only programmes I ever turn off are Cricket, the Morning Service and now Vital Statistics....
    Does that say it all? Liz Busch

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    Comment number 2.

    I no longer listen to the 6:30 comedy slot on a regular basis, Friday excepted. I do listen occasionally and I enjoy Ed Reardon, The Write Stuff (is it still going?), David Baddiel's creation and the one written by Graeme Garden. There is a GP fellow who is very funny. This may sound like sacrilege, but I've gone off Just a Minute. I do not want to write anything about Count Arthur Strong - it just isn't good for me.

    I'm not happy about having to wait until 4:30 for Feedback on Fridays. Last Friday I almost missed it. When I looked at my watch it was 4:18, but I was able to get to a radio in time. I'm not criticising the World at One, but Feedback at 1:30 on Fridays was much better.

    I read something recently about Evan Davis' views on Thought for the Day. I agree with what he said. Does the Controller?

    When I turned on my radio on Sunday morning just before the 7 o'clock news I had my head blasted with Christian music. I do not see why Radio 4 should be promoting a particular religion in this way. Should Radio 4 not be examining the pre-Christian roots of Easter?

  • rate this
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    Comment number 3.

    Roger,it is commendably empathetic to suffer another's embarrassment at one's own embarrassment at not being able to live in a locality of one's choice-the Salford syndrome.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 4.

    BBC Radio 4's comedy output at 6.30pm is absolutely unique. Unique in that one listens to it with a totally straight face. A remarkable achievement by Caroline Raphael and others responsible. Half an hour of complete radio silence would be funnier !

  • rate this
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    Comment number 5.

    The comedy I can't understand being on is The Castle. It's not funny or original and is easily the worst offering on R4 since "Man of Soup". How it's got to a 3rd series is beyond me. And I understand that they've commissioned series 4. It makes Arthur Strong sound like a genius.

 
 

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Thursday 5 April 2012, 10:00

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