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Tim Davie responds to the Trust's review of Radio 4

Wednesday 23 February 2011, 11:57

Steve Bowbrick Steve Bowbrick Head of Interactive, Radio 3

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The Bosphorus, Istanbul

In the Radio Times, BBC Radio boss Tim Davie has written a response to the substantial public debate about the Trust's review of Radio 3, Radio 4 and Radio 7.

He endorses the suggestion that Radio 4 broaden its audience:

The idea of making more people aware of Radio 4 makes sense: there are so many programmes waiting to be discovered.

And denies that this means reducing standards:

The station's commitment to quality - whether drama, comedy or programmes from the radio archive - should offer further comfort to those who fear "dumbing down".

He suggests that readers looking for evidence of the health of the network dip into the Radio 4 programme directory - and that particular richness awaits listeners in programmes beginning with the letters 'B' and 'M'. Read the whole of Tim Davie's article on the Radio Times web site.

Steve Bowbrick is editor of the Radio 4 blog

  • The picture illustrates Ed Stourton's Bosphorus, one of the highlights of the Bs.
  • Tim Davie has written about BBC Radio's increased emphasis on live output on the Radio blog.
  • Radio 4 Controller Gwyneth Williams responded to the review on the Radio 4 blog

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    Comment number 1.

    If "broadening the audience" requires some programmes to be broadcast that I will not like I am not too bothered. I can always change to another BBC radio station or explore the on-line archive. Radio 3 and Radio 4 remain excellent in my view.

    I do not listen to Radio 7 (soon to be re-branded), but for some time I have wondered why I do not. When I have looked at the schedule I have seen programmes listed that look quite good. Perhaps, I will get lost in the archive and listen less to current affairs.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    Today's Independent:


    Paul Donovan article in ST culture was also very interesting:

    Donovan., P. 'A Breach of Trust' Sunday Times 'Culture' 20th February 2011

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    I thought that Tim Davie might be heartened to hear that my 23 year old grad student daughter has announced she is now a Radio 4 listener, after many years of pouring derision on my middle aged taste for the station. What she values, in comparison to the stuff she's listened to previously, is the coverage of news, discussion of issues in the news, ethical debates, big ideas ... and anything that's involving. What she doesn't like is R4's limp comedy and The Archers!

    Meanwhile, I'm going the other way, becoming ever more selective in what I listen to. My new iPad allows me to carry the BBC News channel around the house, saving me from R4 repeats, R4 sanctimoniousness (sanctimony?), R4 limp comedy and The Archers!


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