Roger Bolton on the London Season
If Dr Johnson was right in saying that "When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life", then a lot of Feedback listeners are pretty exhausted. The cause is the two week London Season which has just finished on Radio 4. Let me give you a flavour of the reaction of some out of London listeners.
"This programme (The London Story) summed up the kind of smug self satisfied attitude that makes Londoners so unpopular throughout the rest of the UK. The entire programme amounted to a 45 minute pat on the back about how wonderful it is to live there."
"I keep hearing adverts for a Radio 4 season where they will be focusing on London. Most of us thought that they had been doing this for the last 50 years."
"The new London series is just another symptom of the fundamentally metropolitan outlook of Radio 4 and the BBC in general."
One listener even wrote "Bring me the head of Radio 4, Roger." Well that won't be necessary because Mark Damazer has already announced he is stepping down and going off to run an Oxford College.
His successor, Gwynneth Williams was announced on Thursday and she of course starts with a clean slate. New Controllers of Radio 4 are usually asked to try and increase the listenership outside the south east, the numbers decline the further north you go, and you may have noticed more on air regional accents in recent years. (Mine is basically Cumbrian, corrupted by years living in the Great Wen).
It would appear from the reactions of Feedback listeners that there is a lot more to do.
Roger Bolton presents Feedback on BBC Radio 4
- Listen again to the whole programme, get in touch with Feedback, find out how to join the listener panel or subscribe to the podcast on the Feedback web page.
- Visit the London: Another Country? homepage for details of all the programmes in the season and to listen to those that are still available.
- Radio 4 hosted a live chat here on the blog and on Twitter for the Greatest City debate. You can read the conversation here and the tweets here.
- Some listeners enjoyed London: Another Country? Scroll through tweets about the season for a fairly even mixture of pro and anti.
- The picture is by Steve Bowbrick.