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Eddie Mair | 13:59 UK time, Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Yes, once again, PM is to feature in a TV trailer!

Some lovely people came to see our editor, Joanna and me last night to kick around a few thoughts.

Something we were all agreed on was that we'd make the process of making the trail as open as possible - they are mad keen for bloggers to help out and be involved in the process.

I'll keep you posted...but in the meantime...have a think about how you would persuade people to listen to PM if they don't listen to Radio 4, or listen to Radio 4 but not to PM.


  • 1. At 2:14pm on 17 Feb 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    "they are mad keen for bloggers to help out and be involved in the process"

    There'll be tears, Eddie, just you see! ;o)

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  • 2. At 2:15pm on 17 Feb 2009, eddiemair wrote:

    Well, obviously I tried to warn them, but...

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  • 3. At 2:17pm on 17 Feb 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    Okay, Eddie, I've just checked the train timetable and I can be with you by four o'clock. I'm sure you'll find many other obliging bloggers who'll join us (that's you, me, Joanna, and the whizz kids) in a brainstorming session.

    Can you get somebody (Sean Ley springs to mind) to put the kettle on at about 3.45? Oh, and I prefer shortbread, since you ask ....

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  • 4. At 2:22pm on 17 Feb 2009, lordBeddGelert wrote:

    Big Sister,
    Oh babe, we need to 'cut out the steps in the process' and just go 'straight to the implementation'. None of that 'blue sky thinking' mullarkey - I suggest we turn up with pots, pans and any other musical instruments and 'Do It Live !' as Bill O'Reilly might say...

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  • 5. At 2:26pm on 17 Feb 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    Ooh, it's been a long time since anyone called me 'babe' - Extra brownie points for that, LordBG!

    Not sure that a bunch of Radio 4 listeners banging the old metal would raise Eddie's listener figures though.

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  • 6. At 2:29pm on 17 Feb 2009, SeriousSoundBiter wrote:

    Looks great!

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  • 7. At 2:36pm on 17 Feb 2009, oldgifford wrote:

    Run a lottery.

    Prize - Dinner with Eddie at a restaurant near you so the whole PM team can decamp and also eat at the very expensive restaurant at the license payer's expense. OR Dinner with the Radio/TV presenter of your choice. - J Peasemold Gruntfuttock would have chosen Judith Chalmers!

    A chance to:
    Air your 2 minute rant on any subject broadcast on PM, available as podcast with your photo on the website for a week.

    Have your poem read out on radio in the worst poet of the week slot.

    Coup de grace.
    Each Monday PM broadcasts the winning lottery ticket number for next weeks draw. [ does weeks have an apostrophe? ]

    Old Gifford to be appointed as co-ordinator at £2M per year, and double the value of Mr. J Wross

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  • 8. At 2:37pm on 17 Feb 2009, whisky-joe wrote:

    Eddie - will we have to wear make-up?

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  • 9. At 2:41pm on 17 Feb 2009, Mrs Effingham wrote:

    Are the camels involved...?

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  • 10. At 2:43pm on 17 Feb 2009, CuriousMinds wrote:

    Been there, done that!

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  • 11. At 2:48pm on 17 Feb 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    Hey, Eddie, if they change the rules about product placement (as discussed on Radio 4 yesterday), does that mean that Jack and Vera will be allowed to listen to your dulcet tones over on Corrie?

    Mind you, didn't I also read that ITV are considering 'selling' Corrie? Perhaps the Beeb should buy it up and broadcast it at 5 p.m., with PM in the background. The ratings should soar! (on Corrie, at least)

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  • 12. At 3:07pm on 17 Feb 2009, lordBeddGelert wrote:

    Tessa Jowell's 'husband' is 'gonna do some time' !! Yay !!

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  • 13. At 3:11pm on 17 Feb 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    I hope Tessa Jowell has been keeping up with her Italian ;o)

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  • 14. At 3:17pm on 17 Feb 2009, Fifi wrote:


    Knowing (some) froggers as I do, I'd say it would not be hard to set up and film a focus-group style gathering, where froggers could discuss currenty furs in the style of Eddie Mair.

    After all, it's one of the things we do when 2 or 3 froggers shall gather together anyway, because it's an interest we all have in common.

    Just edit to leave all the best snippets in, so we all look a) witty b) well-informed c) relatively normal.

    Message being ... if you identify with this lot, you deserve to be made to listen to PM! Emotional triggers are far more persuasive than facts, after all.

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  • 15. At 3:19pm on 17 Feb 2009, Fifi wrote:


    Followup PM trail.

    Froggers are filmed recording The Froggers Song ... perhaps to sell to listeners in aid of Comic Relief?

    (This might have the added advantage of getting radio presenters themselves out of making prats of themselves for jaridee....)

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  • 16. At 3:21pm on 17 Feb 2009, Mrs Effingham wrote:

    ... or if you don't listen to PM the kitten gets it!

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  • 17. At 3:25pm on 17 Feb 2009, lordBeddGelert wrote:

    Why bother with an original idea ?

    Why not just 'Nick' Mr Campbell's '5 Live Breakfast' idea by setting up a freelance facebook flashmob at Broadcasting House.

    We wouldn't even need to ask permission or organise expensive cameras - just leave the 'webcams' running in the way Evan Davis uses to get radio programmes turned into cheap television..

    Ooopss..Sorry.. Produce 'multi-media' 360-degree multiplayer multiplatform content in a joined-up online world..

    Or something like that...

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  • 18. At 3:28pm on 17 Feb 2009, Fifi wrote:

    On second thoughts I like Mrs Effingham's idea at (16) best.


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  • 19. At 3:28pm on 17 Feb 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    See, Eddie? I did warn you .....

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  • 20. At 3:31pm on 17 Feb 2009, Richard_SM wrote:

    REF: Increasing Listeners

    I don't think BBC Radio cross-promotes across channels enough. They understand the importance on TV, but BBC radio fails in this area.

    In particular, progammes which are 'topic specific' should be highlighted on other BBC channels. For example, if the Moral Maze (R4) or World Have Your Say (WS) are discussing topics which would engage young people such as drugs, why not have Scott Mills (R1) or Chris Evans (R2) mention this.

    I'd like to know what topics are being covered on Material World, Victoria Derbyshire or Jeremy Vine which ordinarily I wouldn't catch.

    After an hour of PM, I don't want another half hour of news at 6.00pm - but I might be tempted to listen to World Have Your Say if the topic interests me. So perhaps you could start a trend Eddie before signing off at 5.55pm and tell us the WHYS discussion point of the day. They might reciprocate in the afternoon, and tell us what you'll be covering on PM at five o'clock.

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  • 21. At 3:51pm on 17 Feb 2009, littleFluffyFi wrote:

    Big Sis (11), I don't think Vera will be listening to much of anything these days, she passed away some time ago (well in Corrie-land anyway). RIP, Vera love

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  • 22. At 3:59pm on 17 Feb 2009, DI_Wyman wrote:

    I'm up for it.....if I can wear my bright red Speedos with the matching green silk tassles?

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  • 23. At 4:02pm on 17 Feb 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    Yes, Fi, I know that already (there was a whole thread dedicated to her on this very Blog!) but here, in Blogland, she is still very much alive, as Eddie's photos occasionally testify. ;o)

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  • 24. At 4:02pm on 17 Feb 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    PS to my 23: Perhaps I can refer to it as post modern irony, whatever that may be, Fi.

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  • 25. At 4:04pm on 17 Feb 2009, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    PMTV? Great name for a Video.

    How about this:

    "If watching TV hasn't quite dissolved *all* of your brain-cells yet, why not switch the goggle-box off, switch on your radio, and listen to PM?

    PM: It's not Anne Robinson."

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  • 26. At 4:09pm on 17 Feb 2009, U12196018 wrote:

    If we come up with a winning idea, do we get a Banker's Bonus?

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  • 27. At 4:12pm on 17 Feb 2009, Sid wrote:

    I've got an idea ... we get everybody who listens to PM to give us £5. Then we get them to recruit a friend, giving them £3 for each friend they recruit. Then their friends can recruit friends and so on ...

    Sid Chuzzlewitt

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  • 28. At 4:16pm on 17 Feb 2009, SeriousSoundBiter wrote:

    PM, Five Live Drive for posh people.

    PM, Radio 4's Happy Hour

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  • 29. At 4:16pm on 17 Feb 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    Sid, wouldn't it be easier for the current listeners to send Eddie £10 per head, which can then be used as a bribe fund to create a new market in listeners? For example, there would be hidden words within the evening's programme, which the newbies would have to listen out for, and together the words would make a memorable phrase like:

    Eddie Mair is no square

    Alternatively, they could go for the cheaper option of awarding a honeyspoon ..... drat, somebody's already doing that, aren't they?

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  • 30. At 4:17pm on 17 Feb 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    Horse, if you've got any spare bonuses .....

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  • 31. At 4:29pm on 17 Feb 2009, littleFluffyFi wrote:

    Big Sis (23 and 24), now I feel foolish, I do recall the thread, albeit vaguely. Sadly my blog visits are less frequent than I would like.

    Am having one of those days!

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  • 32. At 4:34pm on 17 Feb 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    Fi: I have one of those days well, at least seven times weekly ;o)

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  • 33. At 4:34pm on 17 Feb 2009, thenicecatlady wrote:

    Can we have a brainstorming session? Oh please PLEASE. I'll bring my brain, if I can just remember where I put it!

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  • 34. At 4:40pm on 17 Feb 2009, Lady_Sue wrote:

    I haven't been an R4 listener for that long, maybe only a couple of years but certain programmes really hooked me in, PM being one of them.

    Could a TV trailer splice together different "flavours" of Eddie and the team's approach? Eg. Eddie gunning for a seedy, slippery politician and nailing him against the wall (so many metaphors!), followed by a snippet from him interviewing, ever so delicately, Hilda Gibson? Tacked onto Eddie being terribly wry and amusing, for which I am sure there are many examples.

    Interspersed with the above, comments submitted by fellow-bloggers being read out to illustrate two things: the wonderful opportunity it gives the PM team to say some very astute/scathing/witty things they perhaps would not otherwise get away with saying (as quotes from their audience) and showing that the PM team really do listen to their audience and give them (Joe Public) the chance to be heard.

    Not only do we listen to PM, PM listens to us.

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  • 35. At 4:47pm on 17 Feb 2009, Mrs Effingham wrote:

    (33) thenicecatlady. I think it should be done in the style of that nice Bob Danvers-Walker dude or perhaps E.V.H Emmett. Peter Donaldson could...

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  • 36. At 4:48pm on 17 Feb 2009, Mrs Effingham wrote:

    do it.

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  • 37. At 4:52pm on 17 Feb 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    I think a patchwork.

    I mean, I think, a patchwork trailer. A bit 'Windows on your World'-like.

    Eddie this, and Eddie that, and a Hugh here, and a Nils there, and a Dot there, lots of Sequins (of course!), and perhaps some little bits of Nigel threaded through. And the backing for this quilt? Well, Rupert, and Roger, and Amanda, and Joanna, and... and....

    Very colourful!

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  • 38. At 4:58pm on 17 Feb 2009, alovelyperson wrote:

    Hi Eddie, this is great. The Corrie idea in particular is genius. But we could never run with the kitten concept - advertising guidelines forbid us from causing undue harm to animals, or Jonathan Ross actually, we've been told that we're not allowed to mention him. At all.

    Very interested in exactly why you all tune in every day at 5 though people. Don't be afraid to gush - Eddie called you all smart but sceptical. We'd love to hear what else you think makes you such a distinctive audience.

    And if we can just sort out that lottery ticket concept, everyone can have a bonus.

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  • 39. At 5:14pm on 17 Feb 2009, Fifi wrote:

    Going back to the brief: '..persuade people to listen to PM if they don't listen to Radio 4, or listen to Radio 4 but not to PM...'...

    That's very broad, and as an ex-PR bod I would suggest
    * Eddie and Val being interviewed on the sofa of the (spit!) One Show ...
    * Eddie doing some interviews on The Politics Show ...
    * involve Eddie in The (truly awful) Daily Politics ...
    * plus of course Newsnight Review (if it still happens - it's some time since I have had the patience for currenty furs that late at night).

    There seems no reason why Radio shouldn't pinch a TV idea, and use news bulletin items as a way to plug PM items for that evening: "...and there's an interview with this weaselly politician at 5.15 today on BBC Radio Four's PM programme..." (other weaselly interviewees are available)

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  • 40. At 5:15pm on 17 Feb 2009, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    I really like the Co-op advert at the moment with 'Blowin' in the wind' by Dylan.

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  • 41. At 5:43pm on 17 Feb 2009, Fifi wrote:

    alovelyperson (38): a few of us skipped right past 'sceptical' and plunged through the 'cynical' barrier, long before Eddie got here!

    What I think makes PM so enjoyable is (cover your ears, Eddie) Eddie's unique style of presenting and interviewing.

    Anybody, it seems, can be hectoring, interrupting, repetitive, aggressive, etc.

    Eddie manages to be polite, understanding, humorous and fair - yet he gently and kindly leads, even those who have been trained to dodge the Paxo and Humpherz technique, to say exactly the thing they didn't want to give up in the interview.

    I for one can imagine agents and coaches tearing their hair out, screaming: "NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!" at their radios, as Eddie and his latest hapless victim skip hand-and-hand up the garden path....

    Does that explain it? ;o)

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  • 42. At 6:03pm on 17 Feb 2009, RxKaren wrote:

    Big Sis (37) - Quite like that patchwork idea as long as the Upshares Downshares music isn't aired as part of it. There must be something from the Window on your World thing they can use?

    And they need to include Hilda the Land Girl in the patchwork...

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  • 43. At 6:10pm on 17 Feb 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    Thank you, Karen. I'm with you on the music, btw.

    Tony Bennett. He could provide the music (it would meet with Mr. Mair's approval, I know!)

    Suggestions could include:

    Come Fly with Me
    Because of You
    The Best is Yet to Come
    Just in Time
    I've got the World on a String
    The Way You look Tonight

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  • 44. At 9:09pm on 17 Feb 2009, needsanewnickname wrote:

    Would Bill Shatner be involved? I can imagine an increase in listening figures in one demographic, but a drop-off in others...

    PS to Yr Arglwydd Bedd Gelert - three straplines in about a week? You must have some clever marketing strategies...

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  • 45. At 9:47pm on 17 Feb 2009, GiulioNapolitani wrote:

    EITHER - big budget: camel train emerging from the desert haze, cut to close up of Eddie Mair as Lawrence of Arabia gazing out over the sands as the music swells to a crescendo. Then work in some kind of tag line about an 'oasis of common sense' or some such.

    OR - just have Eddie Mair and Carolyn Quinn doing the Cadbury's 'eyebrows' advert. But instead of a music track, a montage of news/politics soundbites plays as they do appropriate raised eybrow type expressions (quizzical, thoughtful, sceptical etc) in response.

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  • 46. At 10:06pm on 17 Feb 2009, Aperitif wrote:

    Pre Menstrual Tension Video?

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  • 47. At 10:12pm on 17 Feb 2009, Stewart_M wrote:

    I'm sure Eddie used to do BBC 3 News. Perhaps the yoof market is not the demographic you want.

    Got to have something to do with folk looking at the blog on their PC's PDS etc wherever they look. be it at the office, home between patients etc. Whether its done by webcams or high tech real camera crews up to beeb.

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  • 48. At 10:19pm on 17 Feb 2009, GiulioNapolitani wrote:

    home between patients

    The nursing home? Radio ga-ga?

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  • 49. At 11:39pm on 17 Feb 2009, gossipmistress wrote:

    Just play them the Parma Ham episode

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  • 50. At 00:53am on 18 Feb 2009, Fifi wrote:

    * snigger *

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  • 51. At 09:06am on 18 Feb 2009, Mrs Effingham wrote:

    Eddie - in order to create a "playground buzz" PM needs to be a bit like Top Gear. You need to think about a few quality stunts. Don't forget you're up against Ms Robinson. ;0)

    *...stand well clear vehicle reversing, stand well clear vehicle reversing, stand well clear vehicle reversing, stand well clear vehicle reversing, stand well clear vehicle reversing...*

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  • 52. At 09:30am on 18 Feb 2009, Mrs Effingham wrote:

    {ANNOUNCER - Brian Perkins} This is Radio Four, 'It's That Man Again!'

    {TRIO and Band}
    It's that man again,
    Yes, that man again,
    Yes sir, Eddie Mair is here,
    You know the guy,
    He plays 'I spy'
    With Furtive Fun -
    Here's mud in his eye,

    Mother's pride and joy
    Mrs Mair's boy,
    Oh, it's useless to complain -
    When trouble's brewing, it's his doing,
    That man, YES! That man again...

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  • 53. At 12:00pm on 18 Feb 2009, Lady_Sue wrote:

    (37) I think Big Sis has got something there with the patchwork idea - my idea was too 'It's the Eddie Mair Show'. There are lots of others involved and it would be good to show them too.

    Perhaps I'm taking the request for suggestions too seriously but I had a couple of ideas this morning, while dog walking.

    Remember that snippet a few months ago about the chap who pulled his car over and fiddled and fiddled with the radio dial when PM went fuzzy? (There was some problem with R4 broadcasting.) I didn't see the original message he left but remember the comment made on the blog by another listener/blogger, which was read out at the time. It was along the lines of "Did you notice how the driver pulled the car over and fiddled and fiddled with the dial until he was tuned back into PM? At no point did he consider changing channels."

    Showing that level of customer loyalty would at least make potential listeners curious. It could also be made quite amusing, illustrating the lengths some of us go to ensuring the radio is tuned to the right station (my son changes it and catches me by surprise sometimes - I'd like to cement it to R4).

    Don't know about other listeners but I know I am geared up to tuning in at 5pm and certainly give anyone who calls by in the preceding 30 mins the 'bums rush'. Anyone who stays does so at their own (silent) peril. Listening to PM has become part of my daily routine - it's my cooking the dogs dinner time, not terribly romantic but true. I think even the dogs know when PM is starting.

    Rather that showing snippets of the show, perhaps a segment showing a cross section of listeners (you could even use really ones) preparing for the witching hour. It would illustrate the variety of listeners and bloggers. You could film them/us dashing up to computers to see what fellow bloggers are saying about an item (as I did last night for comments on Jade Goody - there weren't any). This would show the whole "community" that surrounds PM and illustrate the cross-section of types of people who tune in. You could also show the interaction between bloggers and how each one has their own on-line persona.

    Think it's terribly important that any TV trailer shows that PM is not just another series of news bulletins, the radio equivalent of Po-faced news readers in the studio and journalists standing in front of Westminster clutching microphones making inane comments, rehashing press-releases or regurgitating what you've already heard earlier. It's a different type of news programme: sometimes serious, sometimes lighthearted and sometimes even downright funny - would you describe it as more of a news commentary than a news broadcast?

    I hope this is helpful!

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  • 54. At 5:48pm on 18 Feb 2009, PerfectlyPerky wrote:

    I just tell everyone what a pleasure it is to listen to you, Eddie. In fact, I was in the process of converting my brother and his fiance at the weekend when I discovered they're off to a recording of Any Questions in Manchester in the near future.

    It was when I asked if it was JD or EM in the chair that my SO said, "Tell her it's Dimbleby; she'll be less jealous that way" that I found myself explaining why PM was my favourite R4 programme.

    So I'd just be suggesting that you get listeners of all varieties to explain why Eddie makes them go weak at the knees ;)

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  • 55. At 09:32am on 19 Feb 2009, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    I think Chris Ghoti @ 9 over on the comic relief thread sums up adequately what distinguishes Radio 4/PM listeners from the rest of the world. Were all numpties!

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  • 56. At 12:23pm on 19 Feb 2009, vainly_here wrote:

    During the WOYW event, a picture was posted of a gnome holding up a plate of goodies in a shop in Nailsworth. Soon after seeing the picture, during one of my regular visits to the shop I made the observation that the gnome was "As seen on PM."
    "What's PM?" asked the young assistant. Obviously some truly basic education is needed.

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  • 57. At 6:31pm on 19 Feb 2009, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    fJd @ 55, or, of course, visually impaired or for whatever reason not in possession of a television set.

    One wouldn't want to be *too* swift to leap to conclusions.

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  • 58. At 06:51am on 20 Feb 2009, annasee wrote:

    Well I've evangelised about PM and the blogs at the weddings of complete strangers. But only to people I deemed "suitable". Amazing how many people never seemed to have heard of PM. I mean, where have they been, and what have they been listening to, all these years? My suggestion is cut off all TV tranmissions. That'd soon bring them running to their radio sets.

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