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Goodbye Jane

Jon Zilkha Jon Zilkha | 15:25 UK time, Thursday, 27 September 2007

"The Italians change their prime ministers more often than some British men change their socks, what's been going on?" It's 05:04 AM on 28 March 1994 and Jane Garvey is asking the first questions on 5 Live. And so she set the tone for the BBC's new news and sport network, irreverent and to the point, and one, as the critics would say, having a continuous conversation with its audience.

Jane Garvey, pictured in 1994 and 2007

Thirteen years on, she's off. There've been countless awards for her and co-presenter Peter Allen, they've built an audience that is almost offended when one of them is away, and formed a double act which redefined how a news programme can sound - not that they would say anything so pretentious.

They've covered all the big stories, breathed life into any number of non-stories, interviewed everyone from the PM to the woman with the world's fattest cat and, no matter how dark the day's agenda, never failed to raise a smile.

For 10 days the texts and e-mails pleading with us to keep her have kept coming. "Glue her to that chair. Offer her more money," said one. "Forget Northern Rock, what about Ms Garvey leaving, that is the big news," said another. "How will we all cope? The two of you bring sanity and humour into our lives as we wind down from a day at work..."

Well we’d like to offer a permanent audio memento, the essential Garvey collection. Tell us about your favourite Jane moments - on the form on this page, or by leaving a comment below - and we’ll try to dust off the tapes and put together a compilation which you’ll be able to get online (there's a couple of clips available here already).

It's not been an easy decision for Jane, as she says - "I'm very sad to be leaving 5 Live, where Peter Allen tells me I've been fortunate to spend the best years of my life. When we started in 1994 I thought of myself as hip and happening, and of Peter as a cantankerous old git. 13 years on and I'm a weary wife and mother and he's still a cantankerous old git."

There you go.

Comments

  • 1.
  • At 05:51 PM on 27 Sep 2007,
  • Mary Crowley wrote:

Dear Jane

What a sad day. You've provided so many wonderful moments, perhaps not all of them intentional, my only regret is that I can't remember many of them ('the menopause years', Jane, you'll find they're a staple item on Woman's Hour.)

You and Peter have made many a miserable journey home almost enjoyable and your joint wit and wisdom has been a tonic to the tired soul.

One interview I've never forgotten was one you did, by phone, I think, with the Scottish Nationalist Margo MacDonald, who acted as though determined to show why she'd earned her 'firebrand' soubriquet. She was extremely bristly, not to say aggressive, and I'm sure I heard a sharp intake of breath or two from you at some of her responses. But throughout, Jane, in the face of considerable provocation, you were a model professional and I was quietly cheering you whilst sitting in a Cambridge traffic jam. Don't know what it is about the Scots - Peter had one or two memorable encounters with the late Donald Dewar too.

Good luck, Jane, don't let Woman's Hour curb your wit, and please tell the powers that be that if they're careless enough to let Peter leave any time soon, I'm switching off for good!

Mary

  • 2.
  • At 06:26 PM on 27 Sep 2007,
  • mike Flaherty wrote:

Hello Jane and Peter,
I'm based in Lausanne, Switzerland and am a regular listener.
A bit cheesy I know, however I wanted to add my precise thanks and best wishes for the future to Jane.
It may be a wee bit bizzare listening to something called "Drive" when based overseas but it's melt in the mouth humour has helped me keep Fondue, Chocolate and Time in perspective!
Kindest regards,
Swiss Mike

  • 3.
  • At 08:01 PM on 27 Sep 2007,
  • Glenn Smith wrote:

Jane (and Peter!)

Driving home will never be quite the same again. I've enjoyed your wit and banter over the years. I'm sure Peter will "soldier on" without you, but you'll be sorely missed.

With best wishes for your future.

Glenn

  • 4.
  • At 09:31 PM on 27 Sep 2007,
  • Derek wrote:

Thanks Jane. A truly brilliant broadcaster who manages to convey sincerity with simplicity. Her intelligence and humour never allow her to overestimate her own importance but allow her listeners to engage with her and believe in her.

  • 5.
  • At 10:25 PM on 27 Sep 2007,
  • jazzone wrote:


Genuinely sad to hear this. The Peter and Jane double act is one of the real pleasures of British radio.

Weekday afternoons won't be the same again. Great broadcaster, terrific voice.

  • 7.
  • At 11:58 PM on 27 Sep 2007,
  • Cath wrote:

I'm one of those who hated it when one of Peter and Jane was away and am quite distraught at not hearing them on my drive home and while I cook the tea. They helped me get up on time for years (can I add here I hate Nicky Campbell in the mornings!! Far too aggressive) and the switch to the Drive program continued the great work. Guess I'll have to try out Woman's Hour now. Still, I do remember being very sad when John Inverdale left, and I got over that!

Jane, you've been great. Lets hope Radio 4 look after you well.

  • 8.
  • At 01:01 AM on 28 Sep 2007,
  • David Gray wrote:

Dear Jane,

Thank you very much for broadcasting
a great deal of intelligence, empathy, spontanaeity, humour, journalistic discipline and integrity over the years at Radio 5 live. To be sincere without boring us all to tears, funny without trashing the tone of the show, challenging without denegrating or bullying your subject, and sympathetic without falling into the all too common journalistic trap of cringe-making solicitations for the interviewee's expressed misery - makes for very good radio.

Good luck at Radio 4, and once again, many thanks.


  • 9.
  • At 09:22 AM on 28 Sep 2007,
  • stating the obvious wrote:

I thought it was "Italians change sides more often"?

  • 10.
  • At 05:20 PM on 28 Sep 2007,
  • Luke wrote:

I'm also one of those who hated it whenever Peter or Jane was away. Having listened to them for many years both on Breakfast and on Drive, I'm seriously going to miss Jane - driving home will never be the same again. No other couple on radio work so well together, the chemistry is just perfect.

Please, please, please come back occasionally as a stand in or something so we still get to hear you now and again!

All the best, and thanks for 13 highly enjoyable years.

  • 11.
  • At 10:21 AM on 29 Sep 2007,
  • Fletch wrote:

I am one of the listeners that used to put a CD on if it was Jane's day off! What am I going to do now??

Jane's calm voice and challenging but still pleasant interview style made great listening. The banter between Jane and Peter made many a long traffic jam more sufferable.

Best of luck Jane with your new venture at Radio 4. Note to editor: if Peter Allen leaves it'll be CD's for good!

  • 12.
  • At 08:43 AM on 01 Oct 2007,
  • Luke wrote:

I'm also one of those who hated it whenever Peter or Jane was away. Having listened to them for many years both on Breakfast and on Drive, I'm seriously going to miss Jane - driving home will never be the same again. No other couple on radio work so well together, the chemistry is just perfect.

Please, please, please come back occasionally as a stand in or something so we still get to hear you now and again!

All the best, and thanks for 13 highly enjoyable years.

  • 13.
  • At 12:43 PM on 06 Oct 2007,
  • Malcolm Loucks wrote:

Thanks to Peter for compiling the great tape of Jane. Like many listeners I will miss the great double act

What a tragedy. The Felicity Kendall to Peter's Richard Briers is gone and the best double act (for those of us who despise Mark and Lard, anyway) on radio broken.

Whether a scripted show like Woman Sour is the place for Ms Garvey's wonderful spontaneity I know not. But good luck and thanks.

  • 15.
  • At 04:12 PM on 06 Oct 2007,
  • Allan Friswell wrote:

I shall miss you, Jane. Your professionalism, your interviewing skills and your sharp wit have entertained me since the first day of R5. Peter Allen will never be the same again - the relationship between the two of you was feisty and affectionate, like an older uncle and his niece. It always made for splendid listening. The Breakfast Programme and Drive owe all that they are to you and him.

I wish you all the best for the future in...ahem, Woman's Hour. Please, DON'T let the programme squash that spiky humour.

Allan x x

  • 16.
  • At 04:12 PM on 06 Oct 2007,
  • Allan Friswell wrote:

I shall miss you, Jane. Your professionalism, your interviewing skills and your sharp wit have entertained me since the first day of R5. Peter Allen will never be the same again - the relationship between the two of you was feisty and affectionate, like an older uncle and his niece. It always made for splendid listening. The Breakfast Programme and Drive owe all that they are to you and him.

I wish you all the best for the future in...ahem, Woman's Hour. Please, DON'T let the programme squash that spiky humour.

Allan x x

  • 17.
  • At 09:03 PM on 19 Oct 2007,
  • Exiled_Englishman wrote:

It's now 19th October and I STILL miss Jane on 'Drive'. No offence to Anita Anand, who I think is coping well with Peter's idiosyncrasies and is better suited in my view to 'Drive' than the late-night slot. However, the chemistry Jane had with Peter was fantastic, and the programme often made me laugh out loud, yet was able to take in its stride the serious stories that sometimes broke.

I wish Jane all the best on Woman's Hour (and why the apparent coyness on Radio 5 in telling us where Jane was going?)I hope in common with many other writers that she will grace R5 as a guest presenter occasionally, or even return full-time at some point.

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