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On the Ropes - Andy Kershaw

Tuesday 28 April 2009, 10:00

Mark Damazer Mark Damazer

It is not often that we remove a programme from the schedule at short notice.

The 'On The Ropes' we had hoped to broadcast this morning in the end did not work. We were mindful of the background and, in particular, the strained domestic circumstances surrounding the break-up of Andy Kershaw's long-term relationship and the legal order, the result of which makes it very difficult for him to have significant access to his children.

We had hoped that we could explore the events leading to his personal and professional crisis and his subsequent efforts to recover while bearing in mind the interests of other parties and providing them with the appropriate degree of privacy. In the end that was not possible. The programme was recorded and edited close to the day of transmission - hence the lateness of the decision.


Comments

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    Comment number 1.

    I take it that the broadcast did not work for technical reasons after very recent editing. Thank you for your prompt reply. There has been a lot of interest shown here (see messageboards) and I am sure many people will look forward to hearing the final edited version soon.
    Regards
    Charlie

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    Comment number 2.

    Not recorded/edited so close to transmission that you were unable to trail it extensively. And right up to the start of the replacement programme, the Radio 4 website and 'Listen Live' listed it. It dies rather look as if a) someone from outside intervened or (b) you noticed only very late what it was you were planning to transmit. Neither breeds confidence or trust.

    It's ironic (and disappointing) that, one of the rare times you have a truly interesting subject, your (or someone's) sensitivities prevent you from broadcasting it.

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    Comment number 3.

    Thanks for the explanation, but it would have been nice had some sort of explanation been given on air for the pulling of the programme - or did my ears decisive me?

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    Comment number 4.

    Someone else on the messageboards crystallised what was bugging me - I hear what you are saying about the reasons for pulling the programme, and I'm not asking for any more detail on that, but in common with many other people posting messages the frustration is that BBC doesn't take responsibility for having invited listeners to tune in (and I'm an occasional listener who specifically organised to listen to this) and then taking no trouble at all to offer any explanation or apology - 'and now in a change to the advertised programme . . .' This is frustrating and unprofessional.

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    Comment number 5.

    BBC screws Andy Kershaw again?

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    Comment number 6.

    I totally agree with nicenick101. This programme was still being trailed during the last 24 hours; I find it difficult to believe the Controller's excuse of difficult late editing. Someone pulled the plug. Why? or does Salman Rushdie need even more publicity?

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    Comment number 7.

    One imagines that the broadcast was pulled because of an injunction by one or more of those possibly affected - and those persons may even have objected to that reason (or even just 'legal reasons') being given for the removal. The law is most annoying at times but we are stuck with it. I remember being surprised, when I first saw the schedule, that it was included - I am not wholly surprised that it has been removed with no reason given.

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    Comment number 8.

    It's very sad, the way the BBC is treating Andy Kershaw. Whatever the rights and wrongs of his current situation, he has brought you a lot of listeners in the past and he deserves a bit of help and support at a difficult time to get his career back on track and give him something else to focus on. Surely some way could have been found to allow him to have his say without compromising any legal position?

    I can only compare and contrast the way he has been discarded with the BBC's perpetual indulgence of the likes of Jonathan Ross, Chris Moyles et al, whose broadcasting talents are minimal compared to Kershaw's.

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    Comment number 9.

    I certainly agree with terencegibson about the lack of explanation or apology. Only I can't help but wonder if the pull might have been connected with the attention the broadcast might have drawn to the BBC's treatment of Kershaw, as compared with their handling of the Ross debacle.
    Having met Kershaw on a couple of occasions I personally found him slightly arrogant and unapproachable (I wouldn't have wanted to cross him meself.........) I also remember hearing him argue vehemently against the very existence of "Women's Hour during a debate broadcast a couple of years ago in terms that to me indicated a puzzling lack of insight into social history. Incidentally I also find his professional Northerner stance grating..............
    BUT, and it's a mighty "BUT", he has made a huge contribution to music broadcasting in this country and his work as a foreign correspondent was a vital and refreshing break from the established BBC take on "abroad". Let me see, how does that compare with Jonathan Ross? Ross appears to have no talent, seems chiefly to gurn and leer at his guests, mugs patronisingly for the audience, gets paid a fortune and stays on the payroll after being guilty of an astonishing lapse of taste and human decency. Hmm............
    I know who I'd rather hear on the radio.

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    Comment number 10.

    I really hope that Andy Kershaw returns to the BBC before long. He is a fine broadcaster. I can see the difficulties with today's On the Ropes, but it is unfortunate that he has been treated in a different way from others who have transgressed and have been returned to the fold without problem.

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    Comment number 11.

    Why was the programme made so close to transmission? If there were legal issues waiting to be resolved why not push it back in the schedule? Why was John Humphrys on 5 Live yesterday plugging the show hard if there was a chance that it would be pulled? Looks like senior management intervened at the last second having lost their bottle. Either that or a legal injunction - in which case why not tell the audience? Given the well reported situation with Mr Kershaw and his ex-partner and children this was never a good idea for a BBC show - perhaps Andy's agent should give Jeremy Kyle a call.

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    Comment number 12.

    I too was looking forward to hearing this programme. Having been through the same sort of bad bad times as AK. I found I had to get used to the opinions people, even close friends and family, had formed during my absence...... absent from reality as well as physically....sorry if that's obscure, but AK & people who have been through this will relate. I'm just pleased I got through it, and now accept every day for what it is. I hope it will be re sceduled soon. Good luck to AK, a DJ I put in the John Peel bracket.

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    Comment number 13.

    re the comment made @ #5

    I think you actually need to switch that comment around, as someone else said (and I have to agree) - "I remember being surprised, when I first saw the schedule, that it was included" - the BBC should have known better...

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    Comment number 14.

    I assume he is an individual desperate to bare his soul and make reparation.. perhaps the programme revealed his raw state too vividly and might have made the BBC vulnerable to accusations of both voyeurism and taking advantage of Kershaw's confessional urges. Perhaps Andy himself decided that his revelations were just too personal.... I'm sure the story will come out in the end

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    Comment number 15.

    My gripe lies with the BBC's last minute pulling of the broadcast without explanation. The words "the next program replaces.." are still resounding in my frustrated ears. When trails include snippets of dialogue from a program it implies that it has been recorded and presumably edited/vetted and cleared for broadcast - otherwise why advertise it? My only hope is that the BBC producers have treated Mr Kershaw with a good deal more respect than it has treated its listeners on this occassion.

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    Comment number 16.

    Whatever the reason for it being pulled, it would surely only be courteous to give an explanation on air. And if it was pulled due to an injunction, shouldn't you have foreseen that? And why not just say so on air? Very annoying.

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    Comment number 17.

    Will the programme be re-edited to make it suitable for broadcast? Of course privacy issues in family break uo are more important than what we hear on the radio 4, but not only is Andy a treasured broadcaster, but his experiences will be relevant to many listeners, and it would be good to hear his story at some point.

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    Comment number 18.

    Yes I'm disappointed that this weeks 'On The Ropes' was cancelled. However the more important issue is for the BBC to reinstate Andy ASAP. When one thinks of professional, passionate, knowledgeable DJs - John Peel, Bob Harris, Charlie Gillet and Andy Kershaw certainly come to my mind. There are far too many BBC DJs that prefer the sound of their own voices, who often forget to mention who sang on the last record that they played ('Steve Wrong In The Afternoon' springs immediately to mind). Please BBC, don't let Andy Kershaw slip through your fingers, raise your standard of broadcasters.

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    Comment number 19.

    A shame this had to be pulled - a bit of an explanation would have been useful.

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    Comment number 20.

    Dear Mr Damazer,

    Whilst your comments are appreciated, the station scores another 'own goal' by it's lack of courtesy at the time of broadcast. If the show has been pulled for legal reasons, why on earth did'nt the announcer apologise and say so? Frankly, this increased complacency when dealing with the listener is a sad feature of your stewardship of OUR station.

 

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