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Feedback's back

Friday 8 October 2010, 14:30

Roger Bolton Roger Bolton

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A man assembling the statue of Prospero and Ariel on the facade of BBC Broadcasting House in 1932.

Since Feedback came off the air in late August, the BBC has rarely been out of the headlines. There was Radio 1's Chris Moyles complaining at considerable length that he hadn't been paid. Then the Chairman of the BBC Trust, who had old me in June that he wanted his contract extended, suddenly changed his mind and said he wanted out next spring.

And of course there have been the on/off strike threats of the BBC's attempt to cut the cost of its pension scheme which will take up around seven per cent of the licence fee if the last proposal is accepted by union members. Most important for Radio 4 listeners is the new occupant of the Controller's office. Mark Damazer has departed for Oxford University, taking with him his Boston Red Sox sweatshirt and all things Americana.

In has come Gwyneth Williams, born in South Africa, and with a continuing interest in the continent. Still casing the joint, her lips are sealed - for the moment. But those of our listeners are not and in Feedback this week they told Ms Williams what she should and should not do. First here is a brief profile of the new Controller.

Do let us know what you think Gwyneth Williams should have at the top of her agenda - even Feedback and its presenter if you want! If you really want.

Roger Bolton is presenter of Feedback

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    Comment number 1.

    I was quite surprised to hear that the new Controller of Radio 4, Gwyneth Williams, refused Feedback's request to be interviewed for the programme. I was further surprised when Roger Bolton said that "we will keep trying". This implies that Ms Williams did not offer to be interviewed for the programme at a later date. Ms Williams attitude on this matter is in stark contrast to that of the previous controller's: Mr Damazer always accepted Feedback's requests to be interviewed.

    I must disagree with one thing that the interviewee of the Independent said. In her view the fine programme Thinking Allowed presented by Professor Laurie Taylor should be scrapped. This is nonsense. Professor Taylor's guests include experts in many fields, and Thinking Allowed lets listeners grasp in an engaging manner the basics of their research findings. Guests have included, for example, Professor Danny Dorling whom I have heard speaking on several other quality Radio 4 programmes.

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    Comment number 2.

    Very disappointed to hear that Gwyneth Williams felt she wasn't ready to be interviewed. There again, perhaps it was a blessing in disguise: when it comes to selecting items for presentation from the audience, Feedback seems unable to move beyond the tiresome one-liners about Thought For the Day and the UK Theme. If that's all she's going to get interviewed about, I'm not surprised she refused to show up.

    The brief interview with Jane Thynne was interesting though.


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    Comment number 3.

    sorry I appear to have the wrong blog,but I desperately need to get Fridays Archers and your site keeps informing me that it is on it's way................help

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    Comment number 4.

    roger, You're right. The episode doesn't seem to have made it to the Archers page on the Radio 4 web site. It is available on the podcast page, though.

    Steve Bowbrick, editor, Radio 4 blog

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    Comment number 5.

    I have waited eagerly for each episode of AHOTW and I am looking forward to hearing Neil MacGregor reveal his choice for an iconic 21 century object.

    The current unwelcome intrusion into the series by the Today programme has, however, taken away much of my enjoyment. I have stopped listening to the Today programme until AHOTW is finished. The question is: will this two weeks of purdah finally allow me to break the habit of listening to that increasingly uncivil and bullying daily rant.

    In any case I am sure that, having announced the final object tomorrow the BBC will assume that all their listeners know about it. I suspect I would have to give up the BBC altogether to have a chance of avoiding premature knowledge of the denouement.

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    Comment number 6.

    The link "Feedback is now on Twitter. Follow @BBCFeedback." is wring - takes you to the radio4 twitter feed rather than the rather good feedback one!


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Find out about this year's panel and theme