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Answering your questions about 5 live

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Adrian Van-Klaveren Adrian Van-Klaveren | 16:32 UK time, Thursday, 19 November 2009

question mark block

Editor's note: last week's 'open post' has received 38 comments so far and many good questions and opinions have emerged but a comment from nayrsllew on an earlier post by Adrian Van Klaveren stands out as a nicely-organised summary of many people's concerns so I've asked Adrian to respond directly to nayrsllew's questions here - SB

1. Why does Stephen Nolan fly to Manchester when there are studios in Northern Ireland? And doesn't his abrasive style grate?

Stephen's programme has been produced from Manchester for the last few years - that's where the production team are based and we've set things up there technically to be able to deal with all of 5 live's requirements, especially for breaking news. We're expanding our Manchester operation in the New Year so that late night programmes seven-days-a-week come from the city. This is more efficient for us in terms of how we organise both producers and studio managers. Presenting Stephen's programme from Belfast would work out to be more expensive because of the need to take the production team to him three nights a week as well as the additional technical investment we'd need to make.

As for Stephen's style, it certainly doesn't grate with lots of people who really value his programmes and have been listening in increasing numbers since he joined 5 live. Last year he was once again nominated for a Sony Radio award, recognising the quality of his programmes.

2. Why can't shows be networked from studios from around the country (like weekend evenings from Manchester) rather then spending licensee fee money on moving everyone north?

In the end I think a radio station like 5 live needs a clear base. It helps makes the station as a whole sound more coherent, it improves the flow of information between programmes, it makes staffing and resourcing the station more efficient and it's crucial in our ability to cope with very unpredictable events such as major news stories. We are doing more and more outside broadcasts and we're totally committed to being all over the UK - but it's much better to do this starting from a place which is the heart of the station.

3. Will presenters cutting their on-air hours also have their salaries cut?

All presenters' contracts are negotiated individually and I won't go into any of those details. We work within an overall budget for presenters and I can assure you we have not had to increase that budget as a result of the schedule changes.

4. Does 5Live do any tracking research on listener preferences? Do you pay any attention?

We do lots of research into listener preferences, ranging from the actual listening figures through to more detailed work on individual programmes and focus groups where people tell us what they think. We pay a great deal of attention to all of this though it's always going to be a case of applying judgement and it's very unlikely that any one set of research or figures would be decisive.

5. Why does 5Live need two comedy shows on the weekend? Fighting Talk and the Christian O'Connell mistake?

Fighting Talk is well established as very successful sports-based comedy show. It seemed to me there was an opportunity also to develop a news-based comedy show which can help us build our audience and give 5 live another distinctive programme in its weekend line-up - that what we're aiming to do with Christian's programme this autumn.

6. How and when will the new line-up be judged a success?

It will take time. Changes to radio schedules always take time to bed in because programmes develop organically and it does take time for people to get used to the changes. We will look at listening figures, audience appreciation and at what people are telling us in forums like this and many other places. But instant judgements and reactions are something to be very wary of - it's always worth remembering how Simon Mayo's arrival at 5 live was initially greeted.

7. Was the Livesey appointment made on geographical grounds? While Aasmah Mir and Phil Williams were overlooked?

The appointment was certainly not on geographical grounds. I'm certain Tony will be an excellent presenter of our new late night show whilst Phil and Aasmah, also both excellent presenters, have important roles with the station and are very much part of the team.

8. Is 5Live a serious news and current affairs station or a lightweight tabloid news and entertainment station?

5 live is a station committed to bringing its audience live news and live sport in a way which is accessible, intelligent, informal and involves our audience. We cover a huge range of subjects and we aim to be in touch with how people live and the things they care. I honestly don't think the serious versus tabloid distinction is very helpful in defining what we actually do.

9. Why were Lovejoy, Issy Clarke et. al. dumped?

Neither Tim Lovejoy nor Issy Clarke have been "dumped". You can hear Tim Lovejoy regularly on Friday evenings and Issy Clarke joins Danny Baker on Saturday mornings. We have concentrated 6-0-6 at weekends and a different company is producing the programme and refreshed the format. But Tim and Issy are very much still with us.

10. Will 5Live management engage its audience more often and change? BBC Four's controller was on 5Live a few months ago. Adrian needs to front up on Mayo's show (safer as he's leaving the station) and hear from listeners live.

This blog is clearly a way of hearing from listeners and in posts such as this responding directly to listeners. I have appeared on both Simon and Victoria's programmes in the past as well as on Feedback and the Radio Talk podcast. I'm planning to do a question-and-answer session on this blog early in the New Year, which should be another chance to put points to me directly.

Adrian Van Klaveren is Controller of BBC Radio 5 live

Comments

Page 1 of 4

  • Comment number 1.

    There is no technical reason why a presenter has to be in the same place as the production crew. There are so many radio interviews done from one place to speak to people in another and it is seamless and unnoticeable. (Millbank studios as one example, I know this works!) In the days of computers and high tech, there is no earthly reason why Nolan should fly here at vast expense, or the crew producing the programme has to fly to NI.

  • Comment number 2.

    Thank you for answering my questions Adrian.

  • Comment number 3.

    Adrian

    I agree with Carrie. Flying Nolan to Manchester each week plus his hotel expenses doesn't stand up to scrutiny. Isn't an Irish production team worthy? If not, why not? On one hand the BBC tells us they want to be more representative of the United Kingdom, on the other hand, Nolan is dependent on producers in Manchester. He has a production team for his radio/tv programmes in NI. Are they no good? And technically, of course it is possible!

    As for Stephen's success at the Sony's, firstly he didn't win, he was only nominated, and secondly it's judged by a jury of peers, not the public. Hardly a worthy rebuttal. Perhaps some more qualatitive tracking on the Nolan show vs. an alternative might be timely. You might be surprised by the results.

    You've contradicted yourself on my question about networking programs.. Firstly you say, "We're expanding our Manchester operation in the New Year so that late night programmes seven-days-a-week come from the city" and in the next breath you say "I think a radio station like 5 live needs a clear base.", so 5Live with have a London base and a Manchester hub next year. No harm done obviously. With that in mind perhaps you can clip Nolan's wings and park him in Belfast.

    It's disappointing you're not willing to go on Mayo to talk about the changes.

    If you're serious about responding I hope you read this blog http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/5live/2009/11/an-open-post-what-do-you-want.shtml about the complete disatisifaction at how the 5Live blogs are managed.

    Thanks

  • Comment number 4.

    Oh dear, it's started. Richard Bacon has given us a preview of why he is going to be so bad in the afternoon. Just listen to the first hour of today. Spinning like a top, and then finds the safe waters of Katie Price (as opposed to the very unsafe variety in the North) which he can just about cope. Absolutely pathetic.

  • Comment number 5.

    I doubt very much whether Richard chooses every subject, writes every script, and then presents it all. Give the guy a chance.

  • Comment number 6.

    Carrie - he simply does not have the intelligence or charisma to carry this off. Just watch, it will turn into a text fest when can't think of anything to say. Just like Colin Murray. Yesterdays 'sport' show was a disgrace.

  • Comment number 7.

    Hey Carrie, you know me, all for giving peeps a chance but Bacon has had more than one and this afternoon was a perfect example as to why he is not competent or worthy to step into Mayo's shoes. It was all about him....again....like it always is, the constant referrals to his twitter, the changing of the txt format, me, me, me me...the complete opposite to Mayo. I think that Bacon's handling on the morning of the 7/7 bombings was an apparition: he has NEVER since that day repeated the fine job he did that day. It has all got lost within the ego of Bacon which has taken over completely. He has been consumed by his own ego and personality. His questioning of the lib dem MP was plain embarrassing, reminiscent of the Gary Richards mode of questions at the weekend. That's me gone. Drive is now the only programme during the day that is worth listening to....although I will give Gabby a fair hearing and hope that she can deliver.

    Now Mr AVK, when are you going to stop pretending that you are in charge of a some sort of cod democracy and start listening to the listeners?

  • Comment number 8.

    Hey Isobel, hello.

    I didn't hear it but things are so bad I just feel a chance has to be given to settle in, just like we all originally gave Mayo before he grew up before our eyes, or ears at least.

    Personally I think Twitter has alot to be blamed for in the current state of play; everyone seems to be so intent on reading out their tweets and sending new ones out to their followers that it seems impossible for them to keep up with their scripts. It should be banned, likewise Facebook entries. I do not agree with the Five Live powers that be that these two ways of contacting the programme is the future of interactive radio. At least texts go through some kind of editorial choosing, and I think preferably phoning and emailing can at least be more a considered way of getting over a listener's opinion on something.

    I just don't think the slot is right for Bacon incidentally, but time will tell. It is a pretty bad scenario wherever you look.

  • Comment number 9.

    Cant you put the blog of the phone in issue up earlier so one can make a comment earlier because not everyone has access to a computer or a radio whilst working when the programme is being broadcast. You'd already confirmed at about 0700hrs the phone in today was about the commencement of this futile Iraq enquiry yet there is no way to make a comment beforehand. Thanks

  • Comment number 10.

    I don't like Bacon's constant referals to his *personal* twitter account, rather then a BBC account like @bbclaurak etc.

    As for yesterday's program it has to be heard to be believed. I tuned in, groaned that it was Bacon, and then seconds later he started babbling on about Katie Price, as if proving all my concerns about the tabloidisation of 5Live. Utter rubbish. I reached for the off switch. Later I read online on the the other topics for discussion was In the thick of it. More self-indulgence. Bacon has been banging on about his appearance on the show for over a week. The ego is out of control.

    I agree 100% with Isabel's sentiments.

    Oh, and the credible commentator "Mr Holy Molly" is making a tidy earner out of 5Live, at least once a week I hear him on with Richard Bacon. What happened to diversity of opinion? And what makes this guy so great anyway? Either put him on a retainer, make him a regular and ratchet down his fee, or get some variety.

    What a shame the delightful Rachel Burden can't be a permanent fixture of nights? Sigh.

  • Comment number 11.

    Isobel - I think you'll find that the Five Live coverage of the 7/7 bombings was so good because Matthew Bannister hosted it. I remember listening at the time and thinking what a great job he did. Contrast this with the pigs ear Bacon made of the breaking news the night Michael Jackson died and you have the consumate professional up against the rank amateur.

  • Comment number 12.

    When Rachel Burden stood in for Mayo a few weeks ago she was much better than what I'm listening to now with Bacon. She sounded accomplished, knowledgeable and made the subjects interesting. However, I also think that Colin Murray and Phil Williams have been better stand-ins in this slot.

    On the plus side, after Christmas I'll be able to give work my full attention in the afternoons - they will be no radio to distract me (apart from on Friday of course).

  • Comment number 13.

    I hope Jon Pinnear will be tethered to the studio every afternoon next year. In an election year Adrian throws a lightweight into a prime daypart which requires an accomplished broadcaster and interviewer.

  • Comment number 14.

    Jackstumps, you are right! I was getting confused, I mean the tsunami...hope I haven't got that wrong too! I do recall that he was sitting in for someone when an enormous story broke and he handled it very well. However since then it has all been downhill. Bacon needs to leave his ego at the door of the studio and remember that he broadcasts to a varied audience and not just to himself.

  • Comment number 15.

    Isobel, it was Christian Fraser who dealt brilliantly with the news of the tsunami as it hit the news, even connecting a father who had been cut off talking to his daughter in Sri Lanka, mid-tsunami, and he managed to get the news across in an amazing way as the dramas unfolded.

  • Comment number 16.

    By the way, I have said elsewhere, Twitter use should be banned from presenters whilst they are working on air, not encouraged by the BBC powers that be. They are all doing it, not just Bacon, all referring to their tweets as they come in. Ban it!!!!!! My daughter was discussing this with me the other day - Nolan begging for followers, Mayo, Bacon, Victoria and Breakfast. Stop it as it is a worthless little disruption to airtime.

  • Comment number 17.

    ' Follow me on twitter ' must be the most irritating, saddest and self indulgent words broadcast by ( trying to be trendy ) presenters on 5live.

    Instead of all this ludicrous stuff why don't you try improving and upgrading the quality of your broadcasting instead of treating listeners as though we are all a bunch of half wits who's only interests include a 5live overload of celebrity culture and Facebook ?

    Here's a start........

    Stop that pathetic music review on Derbyshires programme on a monday aimed at 12 year old kids.

    What kind of an IQ does this station think it's listeners has ?

    This station is becoming ageist.

  • Comment number 18.

    Mr Van-Klaveren,

    Can you please ensure Aasmah Mir is given a prominent presenting role in your station. I enjoy listening to her presenting on the Drive programme.

  • Comment number 19.

  • Comment number 20.

    Leonard-Zelig (#17) asks: "What kind of an IQ does this station think it's listeners has?" I would hope one that can distinguish between "it's" and "its" and use both of them correctly.

  • Comment number 21.

    Did AV-K just not understand question 8 or was that a deliberate refusal to address the issue posed. It is the main thing that we all complain about.

    We listeners bought into the vision of Radio 5Live that was portrayed in the original TV commercial of a white van man in a caff discussing the issues of the day with great intelligence and lack of pomposity.

    It's not rocket science AV-K.

  • Comment number 22.

    When I can I listen to some of Up All Night which to my mind is one of the best and most interesting programmes on 5live and so far has escaped the dumbing down trend of the daytime schedules.I'd advise you to give it a listen AVK to see the difference in quality.

    Can we dispense also with the crazed,manic and OTT reactions of your football commentators.

  • Comment number 23.

    It's the bit that says 'involves our audience' that really grates.

    Why? Do we really want to know what half wits text or twitter? How many valuable broadcasting minutes/hours are taken up each day by phone in's and people texting when we shoud be listening to informed opinion, or better still, well briefed commentators telling us like it is as opposed to opinions from the audience?

    This is lazy broadcasting ... witness the number of presenters who you can tell are clearly running out of things to say/ask, they then resort to the easy text get out. Are you listening Colin Murray?

  • Comment number 24.

    I was prepared to give Richard Bacon a go in the new slot and I *know* it's early days ... but today's show was appalling.

    The Scottish MP ran complete rings around him and made him sound confused and incompetent. Then there was more awe-struck broadcasting when he spoke to Holly Johnson, not quite as bad as when he interviewed Alice Cooper yesterday, but still sounding a bit like a schoolboy with stars in his eyes talking to his hero. Yes, they may well be his heroes, but his job isn't fawning to guests, it's interviewing them.

    Then finally there was the discussion on jazz with the incredible premise of 'I don't like jazz, prove to me that it's any good'. I don't like jazz much either, but an interviewer doesn't have a point of view, he should be neutral or playing devil's advocate. This was, as usual, personal. If it was suggested by his team, it was a very bad suggestion. If it came from him then it doesn't surprise me.

    He also needs not to read texts or emails when he doesn't understand what they are saying which happened several times yesterday. And please, oh please, never mention the performance at the Edinburgh Festival again? It was a failure. We don't have to hear about it every single afternoon.

    I've always admired Simon Mayo, but am now doing so still more when I can hear what a mess his show will be in future. No more serious in depth discussions I fear; no more afternoon show with incisive questions; no more the deft backseat style of interviewing which brings out interesting, and often unexpected, answers. Now it'll be all about the interviewer, not the interviewee.

    I will still keep trying as I feel RB has to get better - perhaps someone (Mayo?)could give him some serious coaching and advice? But I'm very much afraid that the only thing left for me on 5 Live next year will be Drive and Fighting Talk.

  • Comment number 25.

    I can't remember where I read it but someone posted a comment about Richard Bacon saying that his programmes seem to be more about him than the actual issues and features.I'll give him a 3/10 for effort on what I've heard so far.

  • Comment number 26.

    Gavin (#21) yes, I am not satisified which AVK's answer to question 8 I asked him either, especially as he's refused to go on air and let listeners quiz him.

    I think 2010 will be 5 Live Lite.

    Up All Night (Leoard #22) is appropriately titled I think. Rhod Sharp's programmes are brilliant. I'm often up All Night listening. The contrast between Rhod and Richard is enormous.

    Jack (#23) I think we can intepret AVK's comments about 5Live "bringing its audience live news and live sport in a way which is accessible, intelligent, informal and involves our audience" in the light of the new 5Live Lite he seems hellbent of introducing, perhaps we can do away with the euphenisms, I suggest he means :

    accessible = tabloid
    informal = unintelligent, gossip
    involves = twitter, txts

    Gill (#24) no "Thick of it" conversation today? Surprised! I guess today's self-agrandisement was the Edinburgh Festival #fail. Oh, and I believe betraying his dislike of Jazz (as if we care) AVK would say would be accessible. Wouldn't want to appear elitist, middle class, interesting or interested would we.

    Oh well, only two more days of it. Thank god Mayo is back next week!

    On a bright note great to see so many people posting, amazing what happens when you have a few answers provided!

  • Comment number 27.

    No Thick of It, just Edinburgh, unless my brain switched off for a while.

    As for why there's many people posting it's because there's nowhere else for people who care about Radio 5 to post. They took away our 5 Live Station message board, then they took away the general BBC Radio message board. All that's left is the blog when someone blogs something that we can comment on. Many of us prefer message boards, but we're just the people who pay for the place. We have no say.

  • Comment number 28.

    GillB hits the nail on the head. I tried, I really tried to get something out of Bacon's show today but it was banal. The trouble is they have made a TV commercial featuring the two worst offenders in the 'shake up' (Bacon and Murray) so no chance of a re-think. And I really fear for Gaby L being simply out of her depth.

    Did anyone read the rant by Michael Henderson in the Mail today? I know it's out of a book but any of us regular 'posters' could do a not dissimilar job on the network as a whole.

  • Comment number 29.

    In recent times it appears to me that the gigantic ego's of some of the presenters on 5live is vastly overtaking the output.

  • Comment number 30.

    I must say I did enjoy the discussion about jazz, where Richard Bacon
    did a wonderful tongue-in-cheek job pretending to be bewildered. And his
    guests all took him seriously! Surely the bone-headed tag line for the
    feature "Jazz - is it any good?" should have given them a clue.
    Hilarious!

    I look forward to Richard doing further variations on this theme. I
    suggest "Classical music: is it any good?", "Hip-hop: is it any good?"
    and "Pop music: is it any good?". Meanwhile, if you ever need a host for
    a feature with the topic "Richard Bacon: is he any good?", I hope you
    will let me know.

  • Comment number 31.

    Simon Mayo followed by Drive is compulsive listening ! Simon's is a superb interviewer and I must agree with GillB in her following remarks-
    "I've always admired Simon Mayo, but am now doing so still more when I can hear what a mess his show will be in future. No more serious in depth discussions I fear; no more afternoon show with incisive questions; no more the deft backseat style of interviewing which brings out interesting, and often unexpected, answers. Now it'll be all about the interviewer, not the interviewee."

    Richard Bacon is all about me, me and me ! I certainly won't be tuning in to him !
    Phil Williams would certainly have done a better job !
    Any chance of Simon changing his mind ?
    I wonder what the future holds for Drive and its superb presenters ?

  • Comment number 32.

    I have been trying to find somewhere where I can comment about programme content, but there is nowhere online to do so other than third party sites. All phone in subjects are decided by the production teams and the nearest the listeners get to choosing what to discuss is on 606 which is obviously limited to football.

    Also has anyone at 5 come up with a valid reason why we have to be led by Blog content decided by the powers that be at 5 rather than choosing our own topics for discussion through messageboards? If 5 is really going to engage its listeners surely they need to have a role in commenting on content and I am sure we can be trusted to do so constructively.

    I would also like to add as there is no other place - haven't we had enough of Bacon on the subject of The Thick of It?

  • Comment number 33.

    I would like to hear Adrian Van-Klaveren comment on the use (abuse?) of Twitter and why Five Live is so wedded to it. It seems to be a lazy way of filling a programme. In addition, as other posters have noted, there appears to be nowhere on the BBC's own sites where it's possible to comment on the content and style of programmes. Is this BBC policy? Is it also BBC policy to say that because so few people bother with blogs there is no need to provide a forum for feedback about Five Live? I agree with other posters about Richard Bacon. His obsession with his appearance on The Thick of It speaks volumes about his shallowness and solipsism. I note that a poster above commented on how well Matthew Bannister handled the breaking news of 7 July and wondered how Bacon would have managed. It's not just that Matthew Bannister is an experienced broadcaster. Years of experience will not do anything to improve Bacon. How long does Adrian Van-Klaveren expect it will take his programme changes to 'bed in' and how low do listening figures have to fall before he reviews his policies?

  • Comment number 34.

    Bacon is on the MediaGuardian podcast this week talking about his two favourite topics (twitter and The Thick Of It) and he mentioned he has got a three year contract for this new afternoon show so it seems like he is hear to stay.

  • Comment number 35.

    Adrian Van-Klaveren

    Here's an idea; after I've written this and and posted it, can someone press the 'complain about this item' tab? We can then complain about AVK!!!

    Feeling a bit Friday 'ish, does it show?

    Brilliant afternoon prog today. What a surprise, presented by Mr Mayo.

  • Comment number 36.

    Adrian Van-Klaveren: "I honestly don't think the serious versus tabloid distinction is very helpful in defining what we actually do."

    Yes but WE are telling you that we do think it's helpful.

    'Tabloid' is defined by the OED as "A compressed or concentrated version of something, in later use esp. with implication of a sensationalist, populist, or reductive approach resembling that of tabloid journalism."

    We don't want a sensationalist, populist, or reductive approach thank you very much. We want in-depth reporting of news and sport in a way that neither pompous nor condescending not with the tabloid froth that is so often served in its stead.

  • Comment number 37.

    The Jazz discussion with Bacon was quite simply 'Alan Partridge'.

    Quote Bacon ''I've got Miles Davis's kinda blue but I'm not sure when I'd ever listen to it''

    This is one of the most accessible jazz records ever made and you don't even have to like jazz or even to have heard it to find it a pleasant listen.He is quite simply out of his depth and goodness knows why he's been given a 3 year contract when there are so many other better presenters at the station.
    I also agree with the overuse of Twitter and Bacon is a prime example.How does he have over a million followers when Mayo(who uses it sparingly and to good effect)has just over 17,000 ?
    Answer-His ego is in overdrive and he's being followed by around 980,000 people who don't have a clue who he is.
    Wake up AVK-The majority of people who like listening to 5 live don't like Richard Bacon !
    Shame you don't want to listen but you'll be held to account when the ratings slide.

  • Comment number 38.

    It's not possible for Nolan's 5Live programme to be broadcast from Belfast but we've had a month in Hull, and now Victoria is swanning around Zimbabwe and South Africa hosting programs this month.

  • Comment number 39.

    Telling observation from "our" blogs editor today via http://twitter.com/bowbrick "Waiting at 6Music for a meeting about Twitter. That's the kind of thing I do these days" ... says it all really. Yes, that's the same blogs editor who didn't mention anything about working for 6Music when quizzed here, http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/5live/2009/11/an-open-post-what-do-you-want.shtml, and panned for his lack of attention to the 5Live blog. Said blogs editor hasn't posted a single comment or post here since this one 11 days ago. Seems like our requests are falling on deaf ears.

  • Comment number 40.

    More on Bacon... subjects on his first hour of his Tuesday night programme... 5Live being dumbed down? Oh, never says AVK.

    Richard Bacon's world
    1. My visit to Downing Street
    2. Sarah Brown's tweets to me.
    3. What else would Nick Cosgrove be good at (Who? A 5Live finance reporter)
    4. Are vets unnecessary and a rip off?
    5. Does anyone watch I'm a Celebrity anymore?

    The rest of the world: (UK google news ranking #1-3, World #1-3)
    1. Global Warming predictions
    2. Copenhagen summit
    3. Failing Schools

    1. Afganisatan surge
    2. Iranian sailors held hostage
    3. World Aids day

  • Comment number 41.

    Only heard of the schedule changes last night when RB alluded to them. I only normally listen to Five from 1pm (won’t say why) to about 8pm. Went to bed depressed!

    Agree with all the negative comments on RB but his lack of knowledge and lack of interest in sport has not been focused upon. Many prime sports events occur in his new slot; instead no doubt listeners will get his juvenile drivel.

    Gabby Logan is an average sports presenter. Is it really the role of a public service broadcaster to buy expensive “talent” from commercial broadcasters or hire due to nepotism (Logan ticks both these negative boxes)? Kate Silverton has dramatically out performed her on Sunday mornings.

    So the majority of comments made after Simon’s sad announcement have been ignored. Yes, people with a negative view are more likely comment, but a controller who believes young faces will bring young listeners does not understand this audience.

    The ill conceived move to Salford is a difficult card to negotiate. But surely the role of the BBC should be to identify new talent, perhaps in the north-west. Or some of the mentioned former greats could be re-introduced, or indeed Mark Pougatch given a wider brief.

    The controller may not like the term tabloid. But it is incisive and what many of his listeners are feeling. I too fear this will be confirmed by the eventual ratings.

  • Comment number 42.

    It's fair enough for 5Live Drive to be bumped for the FIFA World Cup draw today but utterly ridiculous for Victoria Derbyshire to host the programme even if she is on a junket/summer holiday in South Africa.

    Incidently I wonder how many BBC employees are in South Africa at our expense for the draw today?

    Why aren't one of 5Live's talented sports team, or Colin Murray, anchoring the programme? It's a snub.

    Is this the first signs of AVK tinkering with the sports programming? It's the last bastion. In his short tenure he's managed to dumb down everything else on the station.

    We've got a blue peter presenter/dj set to take over a key daypart in election year on a news station and now Derbyshire anchoring an important sports program.

    It's disappointing but some how inevitable under the current regime.

  • Comment number 43.

    Incidently I wonder how many BBC employees are in South Africa at our expense for the draw today?

    Heard Mike Ingham on Breakfast this morning - he's there
    Ian Dennis has been there all week
    Jonathan Pearce is there for the TV
    A sports news reporter is there to (think it might be James Munro but not sure)
    VD has been to Zimbabwe this week , but even so surely a proper sports presenter should anchor the draw coverage from London while linking up with correspondants in South Africa, and VD should be on a plane home.

    The BBC's cricket team are in South Africa as well, but they are in Durban and not Cape Town.

    Looks like South Africa is the new Salford

  • Comment number 44.

    How long are we going to have to wait for the Controller of Radio Five to respond to what have been largely negative comments about (a) the waste of licence fee payers' money and (b) the quality of the reporting in terms of coverage and content arising from Victoria Derbyshire's jaunt to Zimbabwe and then South Africa? Please can we hear from Adrian Van-Klaveren himself how he justifies this expenditure? It was telling that the review in the Guardian thought that the highlight of the morning Victoria spent broadcasting from Harare were the interviews with refugees from Zimbabwe who are currently living in Britain, which could just have easily been conducted from London.

    Is the fact that Steve Bowbrick elsewhere on this confusing network of blogs refers to us as 'customers' rather than listeners an indication of the contempt with which we are held by Five Live management in particular and the BBC in general?

  • Comment number 45.

    What exactly was the point of sending Derbyshire going on a licence fee payers, paid for holiday this week ?What a complete waste of time with an inadequate broadcaster.It has become quite obvious that her knowledge outside of some football topics,babies,teenypop music or celebrity gossip is extremely limited.And yes we are ' listeners ' who deserve better.A guy even got onto Nicky Campbell's phone in the other day saying how this station has gone downhill.So the ones that complian can't all be wrong.Is Gabby Logan or the dire Richard Bacon the answer ? I don't think so ! Somebody in management had better wake up.

  • Comment number 46.

    The very thought of a mixture of Gabby Logan and Wednesdays PMQ's is utterly bizarre.What authority has she to discuss anything about politics except by way of trying to earn or pay back an extremely extravagant BBC contact/ salary ?

    Any chance of someone replying to some of these points.

    Is it possible to have a 5live or radio message board back? It is just impossible to make time to seek out these blessed blogs. I stumbled across this one quite by accident.

  • Comment number 47.

    As suspected Derbyshire was a complete disaster hosting the draw! Interviews were fraut with technical problems and there was the most trival, repeatative and superficial commentary. Absolutely pathetic. I'd encourage everyone to have a listen back on iplayer from 6.45pm Friday, and defy anyone to tell was world class football coverage. It could have been so much better. Mark Pougatch's polished presenting skills weren't put to use.

    What possesed Adrian VK to give this gig to Derbyshire?

    Probably as good as Gabby Logan will be hosting PMQs, or Richard Bacon conducting a serious and incisive political interview during the election.

    We are witnessing the rapid decline of a radio station here. 5Live Lite is born.

  • Comment number 48.

    I totally agree with ryanw.

    Anyway the BBC should be leading the way in setting higher standards instead of bringing them to an all time tabloid low.

    Someone get a grip.

  • Comment number 49.

    VD's trip to South Africa was just a disaster; out of her depth, out of her knowledge, but no doubt a nice little holiday. She did absolutely nothing that could not have been done, with some decent production from London. Why keep asking for listener comments from the UK? Who bloody cares?

    Writing this as I listen to yet another Colin Murray catasrophe. Unfortunately I have listened to Fighting Talk and that other disaster on Sunday mornings (O'Connel?). Why does the controller insist these are comedy programes? Not a laugh other than the non entity guests who are self congratulatory, But who the hell is listening?

    Five Lite is ua

  • Comment number 50.

    And I'm on again. I make absolutely no apology. Colin Murray (ex radio 1 DJ) followed by 'Spoony', Radio 1 DJ. Sunday is supposed to be about sport with knowledgable presenters. These two are just a joke. Spoony seems to have a major problem with the english language let aside he knows nothing about footbal other than Spurs or Arsenal. And Murray? Words defeat me. He even thinks he's funny. When ever will the fat controller get a grip?

  • Comment number 51.

    The thought of an adult male calling himself 'Spoony' is beyond my comprehension.

  • Comment number 52.

    Interesting that this response mechanism to the blog seems to be the only way listeners (not customers) can make a view. So much for democratic expression about a Corporation that we fund.

    By chance I hit upon VD's blogs from her recent jaunt in Zimbabwe and SA. Dear oh dear. Is this the level of jornalism that this station has reached? An earlier contributor mentioned he/she never listened before 1.00pm. I agree. Woman's Hour is really quite good. Radio Four is such a good, relatively balanced listen after all the tabloid driven drivel on Five Live (if you can bear it, listen to the Sunday morning drive show - X Factor, dancing, oh and a bit of news. "Text us and tell us what you are having for breakfast," yes it really is that bad.) We need a forum other than this, a controller who is accountable and we need to pull this radio station up from the low level it has sunk to. AVK ... you are becoming the Tony Blair of Five Live. Get out before you wreck it but please don't take the big pay off!

  • Comment number 53.

    It's purely 'by chance' that you find most of the blogs on here. And then you can't ever find them again if you haven't written on them.

  • Comment number 54.

    You're absolutely right, Zelda. This is the most confusing and badly organized collection of blogs you could hope to encounter. Like you, I came across this blog by accident. I wish the Controller of Radio Five would also stumble across it and respond to some of the points that have been made. In the meantime, perhaps Steve Bowbrick (if he is still responsible for this collection of blogs) could put a little thought into arranging them so they are easy for listeners to find their way around and deleting all those that have had no responses.

  • Comment number 55.

    Hmm, when I try and read again the (largely critical) comments about the changes to the 5Live schedule and what we'd like to see on this blog all the comments have mysteriously disappeared [9am, 08/12/09]. Both here: Some big changes to the 5 live schedule (http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/5live/2009/10/bbc-5-live-schedule-changes.shtml) and here: Some big changes to the 5 live schedulehttp://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/5live/2009/11/an-open-post-what-do-you-want.shtml

    How convenient. Not only do they not read our comments, now they loose them.

  • Comment number 56.

    Just wanted to add that surely the lack of comments on the 'news' blogs and the large number of comments on the 'what do you think of 5?' blogs is evidence that the blog system is not working.

    Someone in accountability at the beeb needs to look at this. Resources of journalists are being wasted on writing blogs which get little or no feedback and the needs of listeners to address their opinions on the station are not being met.

  • Comment number 57.

    Prospergirl you are absolutely right. This blog system doesnt work. And as if to prove the navigation has been tinkered with again, but it is even harder to find things now. I didn't think that was possible, but it's happened!

    What a joke.

  • Comment number 58.

    This blog is entitled 'Anwering your questions about 5 live'. How much longer do we have to wait for the Controller's answers to the questions that have appeared here since he last deigned to reply to us, the listeners, including the reason for sending Victoria Derbyshire to Zimbabwe (which she was clearly under-prepared and too inexperienced to undertake); the presenters' reliance on Twitter; the shambolic nature of 5 Live's blogs; and, most urgently, the continuing slide downhill into tabloid territory of what used to be a network devoted to news and sport, not to babies, music, C-list celebrities and TV programmes? Any chance of a response or two?

  • Comment number 59.

    Don't hold your breath DaPonte.....

  • Comment number 60.

    and while I am at it ...... why is that when there is (on a very rare occasion) more than one page on a blog , you click next and nothing happens???

  • Comment number 61.

    Ok ... can _everyone_ who has any interested in the future of 5Live please listen back after the news from 12.30am Thursday 11 Dec morning (last 30 minutes of the recording of Richard Bacon) ... http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b007lb08 ... just 2 minutes should do the trick.

    Be interested in your thoughts. Frankly, I'm speechless.

  • Comment number 62.

    The X Factor Carp?????? 2 minutes? - you have a strong constitution ryanaw! That is one of the reasons I stopped listening to 5live at night, pathetic, over indulgent rubbish about trivia. If I was interested in programmes like X Factor I would watch them.

  • Comment number 63.

    No Zeldalicious... from 12.30am on Thursday AM's show you will hear Richard Bacon and sycophants saying breasts over 100 times .. it is the most banal, childish, cheap, tabloid radio I have heard in many years.

    It seems this kind of rubbish is acceptable now on 5Live Lite.

  • Comment number 64.

    I didn't get that far ryanw - I tried to find the post news bit and I heard them banging on about X Factor and that was enough for me. I am not in the least bit surprised at anything that mob discuss. Puerile trash and Bacon go hand in hand. I switched off this morning when Rachael Burden started to discuss the X Factor. On the POV TV board we are not allowed to discuss anything other then BBC programmes but they seem to have carte blanche to talk about ITV productions on air.

  • Comment number 65.

    Please can we have a response to the many points raised above about the endless discussion of ITV programmes on Radio Five Lite? It's not long since Sheila Fogerty spent a morning promoting Coronation Street for ITV, and now no programme can, apparently, last for longer than 10 minutes without mentioning the X Factor. Why? It's not news. It's not sport.

    Also, please can someone explain to me how much Jamilla Knowles is paid to write blogs to which no one responds. How many have there been so far? What is the point of them? What else does she do? Please can we have somewhere to discuss Radio Five? Please?

  • Comment number 66.

    I've written to Tim Davie, the Director of BBC Audio (Adrian's boss) about the blogs. I thought you might be interested .. to his credit he replied with 24 hours.

    From: ryanw
    Sent: 10 December 2009 12:14
    To: Tim Davie
    Subject: BBC Audio blogs

    Dear Mr Davie,

    I write to express my concern about the usage of blogs by BBC Audio.

    I accept these non-core activities can complement a broadcast and provide a platform to engage listeners and continue the debate, however their current usage and value for money is questionable.

    In this age of austerity I would ask you to review the usage of blogs across the audio network, and in particular -

    - the development and staff costs to maintain the Audio blog network vs:
    - unique visitors and page impressions
    - frequency of posts
    - number of audience contributions

    Any rational interpretation of these metrics will not justify the investment or prove that the implementation has been a success.

    Posts are infrequent and audience contributions levels poor at best.

    As the Corporation has invested in this platform it is important that their potential is realised.

    It is currently a serious waste of license-fee payers money and BBC resources and needs to be urgently improved or discontinued. They can be a vibrant forum of debate but currently they are wasted.

    I would suggest to you they fall short on qualitative measures also and would recommend your team prepare a user survey at the earliest opportunity to provide such analysis.

    5Live is particularly concerning. Blogs are more important to support factual programming but the current platform is alienating not engaging the listenership.

    I would ask that you personally invest the time to read two instructive threads and, importantly, the comments:

    1. An open post - what would you like to see on the blog? http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/5live/2009/11/an-open-post-what-do-you-want.shtml

    2. Answering your questions about 5 live, http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/5live/2009/11/answering-your-questions-about.shtml.

    It will provide valuable raw insight.

    You will see simmering discontent therein about the blogs, ineffective editors, and twitter usage among other issues.

    I sincerely hope you will invest the time to review this information personally and look forward to your reply.

    Kind regards
    ryanw

    Subject: RE: BBC Audio blogs
    Date: Fri, 11 Dec 2009 15:23:44 +0000
    From: Tim.Davie


    Dear Mr ryanw

    Many thanks for your email, it is helpful to get your feedback. I will raise these issues with the team, and let me confirm that we will be keeping a close eye on value for money.

    Best regards

    Tim Davie


    Tim Davie Director
    BBC Audio & Music

  • Comment number 67.

    Good to see the above Ryanw - it seems a survey may be on the way. I wonder if the tide is beginning to turn on the blogs - somebody must be monitoring them and noticing how few are commented on.

  • Comment number 68.

    i have been reading through the the comments posted lately and the question has to be asked when will we see the back of richard bacon he simply not good enough.amongst the highlights i have had the mis fortune to hear are"text me what you are doing right at this very moment " my answer was i am about to turn the radio off. i agree with other comments regarding dj spoony whats next? the drive programme with 'pistol' peter allen and anita 'avenger' annad

  • Comment number 69.

    Good luck with that ryan. Fingers crossed but not expecting anything.

  • Comment number 70.

    Thank you, Ryan. I hope you'll let us know when (?if) you get a response.

  • Comment number 71.

    Hi all, it's more than a little ironic that you have to act almost like a forensic investigator or investigative journalist to find out anything about the BBC, but, I have been told -

    - the social media usage guidelines are being reviewed by the policy department now, and they will be released in the new year
    - Steve has mentioned 5Live's own survey, I wouldn't be surprised if they would also be fed into the review
    - you'll see I've raised with Tim Davie issues around ROI on the blogs and the usage of twitter. He says they'll be discussed, I'll follow up in a few weeks and see if there's been any action or just posturing and let you know in a post (if you can find it) by then I suspect Bowbrick "our" beloved blogs editor will have closed this blog to comments.

    I hope we're chipping away slowly, I just want value for my money, more effective audience engagement, legtimate questions and concerns answered and I don't want to see a 5Live Lite but a quality service.

  • Comment number 72.

    can someone here explain to me why simon mayo and his guest from a few weeks ago..an ex met police chief..said that the story that on 7/7 there were drills going on that matched the real attacks perfectly was just a myth..that the drills took place months earlier..when anyone who wants too can listen and watch the reports from 7/7 on youtube were its quite clear that these drills did indeed take place on 7/7...the presenter from drive is even interviewing the man who planned the drills on 7/7..

    its incredibly worrying when our most beloved journalists and presenters spread such blatant lies and propoganda.

    the bbc and simon mayo should apologize to the families of the dead for this misinformation.

    the bbc always was a part of the government propaganda machine...now however it seems they are turning on the people..

  • Comment number 73.

    Does anybody know if, or when, 5 Live will be on FM?

    So many people have mp3 players with built in FM radios and it's annoying that it's not available in this medium.

  • Comment number 74.

    I read today the details of Five Live's Christmas Day offering. OK, there's no sport. But to the best of my knowledge there will be news. The dead beats are all in there. Nolan (Flying in from Belfast?); Bacon and someone I've never heard of but bet your life there will be lots of e-mail, text and twitter requests because he hasn't got the brains to think up anything original ... and then I'm lost. Never heard of the rest. I suppose the 'A' team will now be off 'till the new year. (It's a big worry though that Bacon will be in the A team. He really is just the worst)

  • Comment number 75.

    Why does WilliamMc want it on FM? Banal sounds much netter on MW!

  • Comment number 76.

    "It's a big worry though that Bacon will be in the A team. He really is just the worst"

    Alas, this is true and afternoons will be insufferable with him in charge. I will go to Radio 2, 3 or 4 or play CDs.

  • Comment number 77.

    Didn't we have all this resentment when Simon Mayo took over in 2001? Now Simon is moving on, we mourn the loss of one of the BBC's most capable presenters. In my opinion, Richard Bacon is also more than capable. He is unlikely to bring his late-night style to the afternoon slot as shown when he recently stood in for Simon. It would be sad if the BBC were not able to make use of Richard's unique, open style.

  • Comment number 78.

    WilliamMc You ask about 5 live on FM. I'm no expert but I do know that the history of 5 live and its radio frequencies is a long and complex one. I found this Wikipedia entry quite illuminating, although, of course, I can't vouch for its total veracity.

    Steve Bowbrick, editor, 5 live blog

  • Comment number 79.

    My favourite blog must be that of Victoria Derbyshires.

    When Victoria or Louise Compton can be bothered to start a daily blog, the very few replies they get are used as a vehicle for the programmes inadequacys or as criticism of Victorias poor presenting style.How many features are there left to which she has to sink to include references to the X Factor or Britians got Talent ?

    Unfortunatey there is nowhere else to vent our spleen against such dire radio as the message board was closed down.

  • Comment number 80.

    Oh my Leonard-Zelig, that Derbyshire blog is a hoot! I am glad she was given both barrels over holiday to Zimbabwe and her comedic efforts at hosting the World Cup draw coverage.

    For those of you, like me, who had to search for ages to find the blog, it's here http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/victoriaderbyshire/

    Leonard-Zelig, have you seen that 5Live has again asked us our thoughts on their interactive offerings. I am so encouraged after the wonderful response and immediate improvements we've seen after "our" blogs editor asked us what we'd like to see on the blog.

    Here's the latest effort. http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/5live/2009/12/2010-5live-interactive.shtml

    "We're keen to know what you want from 5 Live online, on interactive TV and on your mobile phone so please leave a comment below and we will try and make it happen."

    Heard it all before haven't we.

  • Comment number 81.

    It is just impossible to keep up with all these ' nicely hidden and out of harms way ' blogs. I suppose that is how the BBC wants it.Hoping that we'll just get tired and go away.

    I always find some amusement in Victoria Derbyshires blog but what irritates me more than anything and winds me up is her smug picture at the top right.Being greeted with that mid morning from such a extremely poor and lowest common denominator features broadcaster is becoming a bit much even for me.

  • Comment number 82.

    I work from home and so listen to 5 live all day. I also sleep badly so listen to Radio 5 much of the night! Although Simon Mayo will be sorely missed, the suggested changes are looking good. With one exception - I was really hoping that somehow you would manage to "lose" Stephen Nolan during the shakeup. His "shock jock" tactics are vile and the type of calls that he encourages make me curl up with embarrassment - to the extent that I can no longer listen to Radio 5 when he is on. From looking at the posts above, I am not the only one who feels like this - and what is more, it appears that the licence payer is paying over the odds for the privilege.

  • Comment number 83.

    Richard Bacon is an unlikely substitute for Simon Mayo, whose departure greatly weakens the afternoon schedule. Who dreamed up this dumbing down?

  • Comment number 84.

    I very much agree with the comments above about Stephen Nolan.I have tried to listen but it is some of the most cringeworthy radio ever.

    On a positive side I quite enjoyed Mathew Bannisters stint in the 10.30 pm - 1pm slot but there again it doesn't take much effort to improve on Richard ( it's all about me ) Bacon.

  • Comment number 85.

    Sorry that should read 10.30pm - 1am slot.

  • Comment number 86.

    I agree about Matthew Bannister - he is very good. Mindyou I don't mind Richard Bacon - I am fairly easy to please - only Steve Nolan is totally un-listenable to - cringeworthy is a very good word to describe him. I have wanted to moan about him for a long time - but this is the first time I have managed to find a way of doing it.

  • Comment number 87.

    Good that this thread is seeing some action again - it seems to be the only way 'we' can communicate our views.
    I'm not his greatest fan but I thought Phil Williams did a good job this past week. I'm dreading Monday. I think I will become a new fan of R4's afternoon play!

    Reference comments on Matthew Bannister; I feel he's R5's great untapped presenter talent. He surely deserves a regular slot where a bit of gravitas, authority and intelligence is needed. How about Vic's morning show? It really has to be the most dreadful piece of radio. The whole concept of throwing the airwaves open to a three hour phone-in, straight after we've already endured NC boring the backside off us with some weak phone in topic, is just plain wrong. And with her presenting styleit, it makes wrong into, well just bad!

  • Comment number 88.

    True, Phill Williiams is not bad at all. But surely, it is MB's choice not to have a regular slot - otherwise, if he were available, R5 surely would snap him up - they would be highly imcompetent not to. Although agree about enduring NC - God he is smug - as long as he is not S Nolan!. But I think you are being unfair to Vic - taking into account what that slot is tradititionally for - "housewife choice" - , I think she does it well and manages not to be mawkish or abrasive in the face of some of the pretty ghastly topics that she covers. I would like to turn this thread into a get rid of Steve Nolan and bring in Matthew Banister thread!!!

  • Comment number 89.

    Yes, what a welcome change Matthew Bannister has been. At least he listens to what people say to him, which should, you would have thought, been an essential attribute for a presenter but which appears to be a characteristic completely lacking in many, notably Nicky Campbell and 'I am' Bacon.

  • Comment number 90.

    I remember when he first came to Five Live and the ego wasn't quite as bristling as it is now, someone said even than that Nicky Campbell had mastered the art of both asking the questuion and then answering it himself. Rendering the 'guest' irrelevant of course, which is true to this day!

  • Comment number 91.

    Bacon has David Cameron on his first show. Will be interesting for more than one reason.

  • Comment number 92.

    "Just writing the David Cameron interview for tomorrow. I'll include a 'tweet section'. So, you can ask David Cameron 1 question, what is it?" http://twitter.com/richardpbacon

    Writing the interview? Don't you just write the questions? And how about thinking on your feet?

  • Comment number 93.

    Would it not be better to get the station moved to FM rather than Salford?

  • Comment number 94.

    5Live Lite tomorrow .. Richard Bacon's intro made me laugh. Richard's big obession? That would be Richard then? I see the dumbing down continues as predicted... I wonder if he will have a blog?

    "Bill Bailey discusses his new celebrity bird watching show while Max Beesley talks about the second series of BBC1 drama Survivors. Includes Richard's big obsession, the buzz from America, and TV reviews. Plus your emails, texts and tweets."

  • Comment number 95.

    Are the 'tweets' from Bill Baileys bird watching show.....

  • Comment number 96.

    Continuing the theme of "Give Matthew Bannister a regular slot", I totally agree Stephen Nolan is unlistenable to and I have enjoyed listening to MB. Nolan has been so over-the-top excited about the Iris Robinson affair, trying to get people to say sensational things. I was hoping Victoria Derbyshire would get replaced, but at least she has an hour less. I can't stand her style and the recent change to a sob story to start the programme off has just made me turn over to Radio 2 or Woman's Hour, which discusses issues in an intelligent way rather than tabloid style. I object to the "housewife choice" comment! I am a housewife and do not like her programme.

    I like Phil Williams and wish he had a bigger role than the weekend breakfast one. He is more blokey and chatty, but I like that. If I want more solemnity I can listen to Radio 4.

    I quite like Gaby Logan, but oh dear, the first show has been very football orientated with George Riley seeming to almost be a co-presenter.

  • Comment number 97.

    I agree with lesleyclare's comments about the co-presenting thing. I thought just the same. Is this a footie programme or an analytical look at news? I really worry about Wednesday where she may simply drown. Its a blessed relief to be an hour less of Vic and her sighing and general lack of (intelligence?) broadcastoing nous.

    Didn't hear Bacon - was he any good or did we twitter and tweet throughout?

  • Comment number 98.

    Jack, Bacon was better then expected, but that's not saying much. The first show wasn't much about him which was a relief, only early days though. At least he put the effort in, more then can be said for Livesey... he was awful. Phil Williams, Matthew Bannister or Asmah Mir would have been so much better. Looks like Manchester got its man. Surprise surprise.

  • Comment number 99.

    Just listened to today's Logan show and again football predominated. George Riley seems to be a fixture - she even said at one point, 'George is in the studio with us 'till the end of the show'.

    And they couldn't resist the bloody text-in. "This is my second show, text us and tell us what you are doing for the second timetoday" Good grief, do the people who think these up have no idea about content? By the way, it's supposed to be a news show ... isn't it?

  • Comment number 100.

    Regarding listener preferences, although not perfect, I would like to see a simple online survey asking us to rate presenters. There are some superb presenters on 5-Live but also some absolute honkers. I listen a fair amount live but mostly on podcast and I highly rate Dotun, Mayo/Kermode, Fighting Talk/Colin in general, Dr Karl/Naked Scientist, Phil Williams, F1.

    I cannot stand Drive; superior, hoity toity, whinge filled pap, always focussing on the negative aspects of everything. I can avoid the station for a couple of hours though and I understand that many of the parents on school runs do love to listen to "a good old whinge" whilst they drive home, though I find that concept in itself very depressing and wish it wasn't so prominent in media in general.

    Gary Richardson; who I believe to be an absolutely abysmal interviewer, but I still listen because the content is of interest. He CONSTANTLY presses for negativity. When interviewing Seb Coe and Tony Blair about 2012 his primary concern was what's going wrong and what's over budget. When they said it's all fine, he asked 3 times "yes but something must be going wrong, surely". What is this guy's problem and why does he always need to find what is wrong with everything? There are many, many other people who could do a better job and who could ask questions with imagination rather than just feeling like you're listening to someone read their questions off a quickly compiled but rigid list.

    Richard Bacon. I feel he was well suited to the evening slot when jibbering about nothing in particular is appropriate. He is not appropriate for the current slot. He is far too light-entertainment and low on actual content of merit. This slot has been highly factual and interesting with Mayo in charge. Since Bacon we are talking about topics such as "the demise of the letter to local newspapers". He lets the viewers drive the show, when personally I have no interest whatsoever in what listeners think or do (those who are loudest are not the most informed or interesting) - I want to hear from people who actually know what they are talking about because they are involved in the relevant field. Let the experts speak, let the listeners listen; that's what I loved about Mayo. Thanks :)

 

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