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I am unable to confirm or deny that I could be the next controller of BBC Radio 4.

Eddie Mair | 07:59 UK time, Thursday, 17 June 2010

robert.jpg mark.jpg But if I do get the job, my first acts will be to fire Robert Peston and Mark Lawson.

I know they'd only try to undermine me the whole time.


  • 1. At 08:57am on 17 Jun 2010, annasee wrote:

    Well you could confirm or deny whether you've been interviewed. That would be a clue ;-)

    On the plus side, if R Peston got the job, we wouldn't have to listen to his voice any more. For "charismatic" in that article, read "annoyingly-mannered-style-no-one-else-could-have-got-away-with-for-this-long" though I'm sure he's hugely talented and a wonderfully nice person.

    If Mark Lawson got it, Nigel Wrench could present Front Row where I'm sure he'd be very happy...

    You don't want the job, Eddie. Trust me. Your wit would be wasted on those management types. Great lines like "If you want to hear more of that singing, you can't." I mean, they just wouldn't get it. You stick around here with us. (In a virtual sense, obviously.) You know you want to really!

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  • 2. At 08:59am on 17 Jun 2010, DiY wrote:


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  • 3. At 09:04am on 17 Jun 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    Go, Eddie, Go!!!!!!

    (Though I did hear that Paddy O'Connell might contest you for the privilege ;o))

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  • 4. At 09:26am on 17 Jun 2010, Mack O Damia wrote:

    Do your bounds know no ambition?

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  • 5. At 09:28am on 17 Jun 2010, Mack O Damia wrote:

    Dae yer bounds no know ambition?

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  • 6. At 09:36am on 17 Jun 2010, Froggersfroat wrote:

    Would that be 'The Fat Controller'?... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fat_Controller

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  • 7. At 09:39am on 17 Jun 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    5 - How very dare you!

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  • 8. At 09:42am on 17 Jun 2010, davmcn wrote:

    How about comptroller?

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  • 9. At 09:50am on 17 Jun 2010, Mindclearly wrote:

    Will this job be based in London or Manchester??!! Cost saving may force the issue!!

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  • 10. At 10:19am on 17 Jun 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    My number 7 - I was referring to post 6, of course (Sorry Mack, not you!)

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  • 11. At 10:39am on 17 Jun 2010, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    You've a problem with Mark Lawson? Is that why some of the stuff on PM feels like it should be on Front Row?

    Haven't you been undermining him and his slot?

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  • 12. At 10:43am on 17 Jun 2010, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    Will it be your first or second job to get the former government to apologise profusely for decapitating the BBC for telling the truth about the Dodgy Dossier?

    Alastair Campbell was asked to call into R5 on Saturday after the England game after he texted in. So he's not yet in Iraq with the Time Team crew looking for the WMDs!

    Perhaps the Labour leader hopefuls will realise that some of us can't believe they decapitated the BBC for telling the truth, while their government constantly went on about Human Rights and the Free Press in foreign lands?

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  • 13. At 10:46am on 17 Jun 2010, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    Perhaps you should go for the Labour leader opening Eddie?

    How many PM listeners could you convert to Labour party members?

    I'm trying to picture you in a Star Trek outfit.

    Perhaps Shatner can get you one?

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  • 14. At 11:26am on 17 Jun 2010, Lady_Sue wrote:

    'Front Row' wouldn't be the same without Lawson. It would be like an Eddie-less PM so I'm with annasee.

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  • 15. At 11:40am on 17 Jun 2010, Looternite wrote:

    Radio 4 is too "arty farty" as it is, it will get worser with Mark Lawson.
    So why not someone who has science or engineering as a background. Or Melvyn Bragg.

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  • 16. At 11:54am on 17 Jun 2010, mittfh wrote:

    In Post 1, annasee wrote:

    • On the plus side, if R Peston got the job, we wouldn't have to listen to his voice any more.

    Exactly what I thought when I read the article! :)

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  • 17. At 12:01pm on 17 Jun 2010, beardedian wrote:

    Eddie would be ma favourite comptroller

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  • 18. At 12:13pm on 17 Jun 2010, Sid wrote:

    "I am unable to confirm or deny that I could be the next controller of BBC Radio 4." Fortunately I can confirm that you could be.

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  • 19. At 12:14pm on 17 Jun 2010, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    looternite (15):

    Is there *anyone* in the BBC with science or engineering backgrounds, apart from the techies who actually make things work, of course?

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  • 20. At 12:22pm on 17 Jun 2010, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    That Harwood chap from More or Less is quite good, but did I detect a bit of populist dumbing down on there recently?

    Don't worry Eddie, I will never stop worhipping you in your wonderful, wholesome false idolness, and should by some terrible error they don't select you I will wage an unholy war on the doubters.

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  • 21. At 12:27pm on 17 Jun 2010, GiulioNapolitani wrote:

    Yike! Robert Peston!?

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  • 22. At 12:28pm on 17 Jun 2010, patmartin wrote:

    If you do get the job, and I'm not sure I want you to as I like you where you are, please do something about what passes for Radio 4 comedy. Other than ISIHAC and the News Quiz what's funny? Oh and John Shuttleworth and One. Perhaps I was wrong.

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  • 23. At 12:41pm on 17 Jun 2010, Sid wrote:

    A host of reasons for Eddie to take over:


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  • 24. At 12:44pm on 17 Jun 2010, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    Radio 4 needs a bit more rigour.

    Those that feel that R4 has got dumbed down are supposed to go where?

    That Music Group thing where some celebs discuss their favourite album, that's absolute rubbish.

    What was that stuff about 80s cars on Saturday morning? It was like listening to R4 copy of a Clarkson production.

    There seems to be the odd jewel on the World Service that I didn't hear on R4, like Blunketts defence of the ID Card. Isn't there the odd bit that come from the World Service to R4?

    Is Martha going for the job? I like Martha.

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  • 25. At 1:09pm on 17 Jun 2010, Lady_Sue wrote:

    Sid@23: thanks for that link - made me chuckle. He is a witty little walrus, isn't he?

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  • 26. At 1:11pm on 17 Jun 2010, Ellis P Otter wrote:

    There was a play writing competition for amateur playwrights in Africa on World Service in 2008 (I think) and one of the winning plays was "Meeting Frank Lampard". It was brilliant and deserves an outing during the World Cup on Radio Four.

    So, whoever wins the poison chalice, please could you dig that one out for the British audience?

    I should have thought of that ages ago before the schedules were agreed.

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  • 27. At 1:13pm on 17 Jun 2010, Ellis P Otter wrote:

    Hmm, yes hear we go Dear Mr Lampard! I was almost right.


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  • 28. At 1:18pm on 17 Jun 2010, Paul Freeman wrote:

    Eddie, I'm afraid you've blown it. It's a well-known fact that those of us who favour spelling 'week' with an 's' are frequently passed over for high office.

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  • 29. At 1:26pm on 17 Jun 2010, gossipmistress wrote:

    How very arty those shots are - Mr Peston trying to look moody and Mr Lawson looking pensive. Is this a prerequisite for applying? If so, your mugshot looks far too jolly....

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  • 30. At 1:34pm on 17 Jun 2010, GiulioNapolitani wrote:


    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

    It sounds better if you consider it through headphones. A lot of the bass gets lost on tinny PC speakers.

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  • 31. At 1:44pm on 17 Jun 2010, GiulioNapolitani wrote:

    Mark Lawson? Mark Lawrenson is the more natural choice, surely?

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  • 32. At 1:58pm on 17 Jun 2010, Looternite wrote:

    25. Lady Sue

    "He is a witty little walrus, isn't he?"
    Don't know why the walrus reference. Aren't walruses known to be fat, ugly and smell of fish. :-)

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  • 33. At 2:09pm on 17 Jun 2010, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    Or oil if they're Gulf of Mexico Walruses?

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  • 34. At 2:13pm on 17 Jun 2010, Sid wrote:

    Looternite - if you had followed my link you'd have found this:

    '[After presenting an edition of PM in an unusually husky voice (November 6 2009)] "I'm sorry for croaking at you this evening. This is PM, I'm Eddie Mair: the walrus of news."'

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  • 35. At 3:44pm on 17 Jun 2010, mittfh wrote:

    In Post 33, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    • Or oil if they're Gulf of Mexico Walruses?

    Reminds me of a joke that goes something like:

    Scientists have invented an engine that can run on water...

    ...Gulf of Mexico water

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  • 36. At 4:25pm on 17 Jun 2010, Jonathan Morse wrote:

    Does anyone else get the impression that those managing the R4 PM show rarely take notice of these blogs so do we want someone as R4 controller who does not seem to listen to his service users.

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  • 37. At 4:34pm on 17 Jun 2010, Jonathan Morse wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 38. At 10:21pm on 17 Jun 2010, Mack O Damia wrote:

    19. The Stainless Steel Cat

    • "the techies who actually make things work, of course?"

    after a fashion...

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  • 39. At 00:36am on 18 Jun 2010, annasee wrote:

    jonathanmorse @36 - they read & take notice of this blog all right. Sometime ago there was an interview with (or perhaps article by) Eddie where he bemoaned the influence of "unqualified loons" (that's us, the public) on the comfortable world of broadcast journalism, and to whom he now had to pander. Someone on here will be able to find the link again I'm sure. I mean, how would he know that about us unless he'd been reading these blog comments and taking notice? ;-)

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  • 40. At 06:51am on 18 Jun 2010, lucien desgai wrote:

    39 annasee
    Luckily ... many of us are fully qualified loons.

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  • 41. At 08:44am on 18 Jun 2010, annasee wrote:

    Well exactly - that was the only bit Eddie got wrong!

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  • 42. At 09:02am on 18 Jun 2010, GiulioNapolitani wrote:

    Heh. From the desk of the new Controller: Stop the 'i' madness:

    If we wanted to know what a bunch of unqualified loons thought we'd have put a vox pop in the show...

    Don't misunderstand me, opinion is important. Even ill-informed opinion has its place. It's in the pub. Or the taxi. But on the radio? What makes listeners or viewers or, heaven forbid, bloggers think they have the faintest idea about broadcasting? If they had any good ideas they'd be employed in broadcasting.

    The day will come when people will pay the licence fee but the broadcasters will say: "Hey, you're so great, what do you think should be in the show, if you're so smart?" And then the listeners will in effect make the programmes and the broadcasters will try to get a word in edgeways.

    I may be a lone voice in this but isn't it time to stop the madness? To say that the interactive frenzy is bad for broadcasting. It numbs the skills of the broadcasters, it makes dreadful radio and it gives listeners ideas above their station.

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  • 43. At 11:45pm on 18 Jun 2010, annasee wrote:

    Hahahaha and shortly after that he went on to front "iPM" positively begging those unqualified loons to write in with their little bits of news or a "story" the professionals could cover. Oh yes, the loons are well & truly in charge of the asylum these days... :-)

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  • 44. At 06:04am on 19 Jun 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    Well, I'm with Eddie on this, you know.

    People you would move house to avoid were suddenly on your radio, burbling and dribbling. "The trouble with this country" or "the thing about jam is" or "my brother-in-law knew someone who" is the backbone of radio with no backbone.

    Of course, we only contribute to the Blog for one reason - in the hope that our musings will be "badly read out by presenters who would never have cut it in the "Golden Age"". Except, of coure, that Eddie doesn't fit into that category - and gets others to read out our "garbled scribblings".

    As to the "pathetic attempt by broadcasters to "appear" engaged with their audience", I believe, as I write this, that Eddie is doing just that as I type this. Though, of course, I don't have my radio on at the moment.

    Never mind, Eddie - we still love you! ;o)

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  • 45. At 12:53pm on 19 Jun 2010, stuart hart wrote:

    Having listened to Eddie for many years, if he declines the job offer, I'm up for it - top stuff!
    My CV ranges from working down the pit in Yorkshire, grappling with sheep in Cumbria, painting schools in Yorkshire, working in the North Sea oil industry, the British Library and a major British hire company, as well as bagging animal feed in Scotland, rehabilitating drug addicts in Southern Spain, repairing buses and HGVs, and playing in the crappest rock band in Norfolk. I don't have a degree in Media Studies

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  • 46. At 1:24pm on 19 Jun 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    Stuart: You're made of the right stuff, no doubt about it!

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