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A chance to influence a new radio show

Victoria Derbyshire | 19:07 PM, Saturday, 8 November 2008

In January you'll hear the biggest changes to Five Live's morning schedule since the day the station was launched back in the early 90s.

Our programme moves to 10am and ends at 1pm. There'll be no more Midday News and Breakfast will last until 10am - with a 'phone-in between 9 and 10, which Nicky will host.

As you'd expect our remit remains news and sport - but it's an opportunity for the two million of you who listen to our show to help shape the new 10 - 1 programme. For what it's worth, I'd like to concentrate on original journalism - stories brought to the programme by our reporters and from listeners across the UK. Some on our team would like to do more outside broadcasts - like the ones I presented from the Conservative and Labour Party conferences with a live audience made up of listeners and others. I loved presenting those, and meeting you.. .

So what would you put in a new show and what would you leave out? Constructive ideas/criticism v. welcome. It means too we'll be doing Prime Minister's Questions each Wednesday as well.
Thanks a lot

PS For those who like these sort of things, the recenlty published RAJAR figures for Quarter 3 show our programme has 200,000 new thankyou.

PPS Apologies for my recent absence and not updating the blog...I had a family bereavement which was very sudden and very very sad.


  • 1. At 00:40am on 09 Nov 2008, USArmyVet1935 wrote:

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

  • 2. At 02:47am on 09 Nov 2008, Wot Kuyt 'e did wrote:

    Not sure what post 1 has to do with the article.

    With regard to outside broadcasts, how about a "view from abroad" spot where foreign media commenting on UK news is given an airing.

    Some of our criticism of other countries is their ego-centrism, but that applies to all of us. Understanding how others view the UK and how they interpret UK news may also help us in understanding THEM.

    When I play BBC news reports or documentaries on French news to some of my French-speaking students here in France, the reaction is overwhelmingly of the order: "They have absolutely no idea what we're about!" and however well the programmes are made and presented, they often come across as comprehensively naive.

    Understanding the perspective of foreign reports on our own news & culture can be arduous, but it is nevertheless eye-opening.

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  • 3. At 10:37am on 09 Nov 2008, francoisejeanne wrote:

    I agree with the previous comment. We have been in the EEC for over 30 years and yet there is rarely any information on our near neighbours. French news has a trawl around Europe to pick up the important issues but we hear next to nothing in the UK.

    We could have a 'From our foreign correspondant' slot. After all, the BBC has people in all these countries. We could also have far more news from our MEP's. What are they doing? For instance, a hot issue at the moment is the safety issues around foreign lorry drivers. We would have a much better understanding of this issue if we could get our MEP's to explain what they are doing about it. After all, many of our issues are Europe wide.

    I enjoy the phone-ins but, when dealing with important and complex issues, I sometimes I find they go round and round in circles and become quite pointless. This is particularly the case if you do not have an expert panel to answer the comments as you just get a trail of opinions going nowhere because they are not based on knowledge. Those phone-ins can become quite pointless.

    I think you are at your best when you are holding senior people in all walks of life to account for what they are doing and the decisions they are making. However, I do not think you deal with local government. They are the people who make the decisions about how we live our local lives. We need some way of holding them to account and comparing them. For instance, my town seems to have a much better recycling service that others I know. Why? How are they making their decisions. My town, Watford, is a unitary authority with a mayor we can hold to account. Has that made a difference? I don't think we understand how our local politics works - you could help us with that.

    We also need some light relief occasionally and some positive stories about the good things people are doing and their community projects. Perhaps you could do more outside broadcasts from these.
    I think we often have such a negative emphasis on news that we forget there are some really excellent things going on. If we only knew about them, we could emulate them and start spreading some positive ideas around.

    However, I am a bit worried that if you are going to lose the midday news, you are going to water down your news information service. I hope we are still going to have a serious news service at some point in the middle of the day.

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  • 4. At 08:41am on 10 Nov 2008, tone1947 wrote:

    I agree generally with #3. I currently work in Germany(over 3 years) and whilst there is obviously a bias towards local news, there is also comment about other parts of Europe and the world, more so than in the UK, lets not forget we are a European country, and try not to be so insular, without losing identity.

    The second point I want make or discuss is the report on drink re happy hours etc. It is not the drink that is the problem, it is the attitude to it in the UK, ie lets go and drink it down our necks as quickly as possible. I can go out at weekends with friends here in Hamburg reasonably late and enjoy a few drinks till the early hours. I accept that nowhere is perfect, but it just appears to be worse in the UK. in fact, also, the most drunks you see here are Brits here for the weekend, who have started drinking as soon as they have got off the plane

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  • 5. At 09:16am on 10 Nov 2008, Harry Webb wrote:

    I agree wholeheartedly with posts 2, 3 & 4. I have lived and worked within the European Region which would be called "Transmanche" and, I have far more in common with my French and Belgian neighbours than I do with those in Tewkebury and Glasgow. I am also heartily sick of the parochialism shown not only by BBC productions, but by the population as a whole. With only half of both U.K. and U.S. citizens not owning passports, the anglosphere is a very insular and self-absorbed place to reside.
    Luckily, with the benefits of satellite broadcasting, I can get news from all around Europe, without the need of a mannequin, or a fop in a suit, from Euronews. I also have access to Asian viewpoints - from CCTV, NDTV and Al Jazeera. I also see how ridiculously parochial we could be, if we continued down the same anglo-centric road that we currently travel, by swintching to Fox News.
    In the 21st century, we need a BBC which will serve the people. Not pander to their insecurities and introspection, but one that will serve them. Help to make them better human beings, etc. To do this, the BBC will itself need to remove the blinkers from its current affairs programming.

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  • 6. At 11:19am on 10 Nov 2008, alsopeterg wrote:

    Paul Dacre and the editor of the Sun feel that they or at least the media, are being inhibited in their choice of subjects by the recent decision of Mr Justice Eady.

    I would have more sympathy for the media if they extended their bile in terms of the activities of the rich and powerful, to the goings on of the rich and powerful within the media.

    The only time one of the big guns was tackled was Robert Maxwell [after his death].

    If I didn't know better I would suspect that their was an unwritten rule in the media that they will leave each other alone.

    I think that my point is reasonable yet I have never heard it aired on the media. Heaven knows whether this contribution will be passed for public consumption.



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  • 7. At 12:40pm on 10 Nov 2008, mrpaulbh wrote:

    How about something on the upcoming move of 5 live et al to Manchester?Why is it happening when a lot of the TV/radio support structure and skilled atff live and work in London and will continue to do so.What and who will be involved ,what do BBC staff think,do the presenters like it or many of them keen to remain in and around London,if so will they leave the sation (and go to radio2,lets interview Simon Mayo about it and ask Peter Allen if he is moving).How much will it all cost,will it be money well spent or is being done as a stunt because of ctriticsm re London centric media?How will you handle interviewing people in person,especially overseas visitors who often are only here for a very short while and can't or won't go up to Manchester or will it be done by links between studios (never as effective if you cannot look a politician in the face)?Navel gazing...maybe ,but surely its a topic that should be high on your agenda??

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  • 8. At 6:57pm on 10 Nov 2008, victoria5live wrote:

    Hi all

    Thanks for your comments...I think the broader your suggestions can be at this stage, the better. Ideas for specific items will come later - at the moment the team's working on what the new programme is FOR.

    I take the point about the foreign perspective and about us being at our best when we're holding someone to account.

    Plse keep your thoughts coming...they are much appreciated.


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  • 9. At 7:43pm on 10 Nov 2008, arab87 wrote:

    Dumbing down 5live even more by axing the midday news (which over-paid out of touch BBC idiot of a manager had that idea?) is the last thing you want to do, as is giving us an extra hour of chat with Nicky. This is just another example of the BBC dumbing down by replacing real news with gossip and opinion....Do you honestly think this is the direction 5live listeners want the station to take?

    Do the people that run 5live actaully care anymore about quality output (they managed to provide it for years before the dumbing down set in) or are they just bothered about ratings and bonuses? Your recently adopted obsession about ratings Victoria would indicate the latter.

    If it aint broke don't fix wasn't tried to fix broke it looks like you are trying to destroy it.


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  • 10. At 8:45pm on 10 Nov 2008, justinashbee wrote:

    The worst thing about the current Victoria Derbyshire programme is........Victoria Derbyshire.
    She rarely has a grasp of the topic being discussed, shows little interest in it and is rude and condescending with many callers.
    Matthew Bannister would be preferable!

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  • 11. At 9:15pm on 10 Nov 2008, arab87 wrote:

    I can't agree with that justinashbee. Surely Victoria is the best thing about the Victoria Derbyshire programme and it's the recent (last three years or so) dumbed down and often very dull topics for discussion that are the problem.
    Don't get me wrong I am a massive Bannister fan and would like to hear more of him on 5live (instead of an extra hour of Nicky **** Campbell perhaps) but Victoria is in my opinion an excellent presenter and did an excellent job before the dumbing down phase started and her show became GMTV radio and then quickly went down hill . It is the dumbed down content as a reuslt of a ratings obsession that's the problem which is why I'm so astounded that the powers that be at 5live have decided to dumb down further by axeing the midday news and replacing it with a Nicky Campbell phone in.

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  • 12. At 01:16am on 11 Nov 2008, snufkin84 wrote:


    I enjoy your programme but would add to some of the other points. It seems many of the phone-ins repeat on 5live (with overlap with Richard Bacon). Often, I feel many of the phone-ins don't really provide an informed debate, and it seems many of the phone-ins on slow news days bring out typical controversial topics like abortion and gay rights just to provoke reaction (a criticism that seems true not just on your show but on others on 5live, too).

    As for broad ideas I really agree what other people have said re. news from abroad. Serious reporting on European and global issues seems relegated now to the World Service and Up All Night. I think it would be really refreshing if there was a serious attempt to find the less well-reported issues and give them some airtime.

    And as someone who detests football though enjoys other types of sports like swimming and cycling, why not bring this approach to your sport too e.g. covering more minority sports, including those from around the world. Surely this is something the BBC keeps promising but never actually delivers on.

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  • 13. At 11:53am on 12 Nov 2008, Curmy wrote:

    Victoria, please can we have less discussions on babies, football and celebrities , and more on serious news items.

    I think the station as a whole was much better before it started dumbing down.

    Think what Breakfast was like when you and Julian were running it, a 100 times better.

    If we lose Simon Mayo and Peter Allen when Radio 5 moves to Salford, it will be a catastrophe for the station.

    Losing the midday news is a big mistake .

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  • 14. At 7:42pm on 12 Nov 2008, jack-regan wrote:

    Here's an idea, it's a bit radical and leftfield, but hear me out. How about "the UK's home of live news and live sport" - it does say that at the top of the 5live homepage - providing us with less cheap/easy to produce phone-ins and a bit more, er, news and current affairs.

    You know the sort of thing, like the show you have on at midday. Yes, that's a great news progra.....

    Oh, right. Oh well.

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  • 15. At 08:37am on 13 Nov 2008, victoria5live wrote:

    Hi Jack

    Thanks for posting. Let's take yesterday's programme as an example because it's fresh in my memory - it was absolutely the Uk's home of live news and live sport. We were packed full: the report on rising jobless figures, the package from Parc Prison in Bridgend with guests off the back, the report from Leeds Crown Court on the beginning of the Karen Matthews trail, the latest from Jersey on the children's home, the reports from Derby on the shooting of the 15 yr old and reaction, the phone-in at 9 on child protection, and a story from a five live listener - a man who'd given up his baby for adoption because he was adamant he didn't want kids (see above posting). Okay there wasn't much live sport around between 9 and 12 (tennis in Shanghai which you cld have heard uninterrupted on Five Live Sports Extra).



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  • 16. At 5:23pm on 13 Nov 2008, ShropshireLadd wrote:

    I'm afraid that we can suggest what we like for Victoria's show, but we all know what is going to happen. The Midday news is being axed for reasons of economy, so I can't see any future money being spent on research, interviews, or guests on Victoria's programme. "Serious" subjects will be covered between 9 & 10am by Nicky Campbell who, for all his faults, will probably do an excellent job. The hours from 10 until 1 wil just slide furher into the morass of football phone-ins, baby chat, and reality TV analysis. That the only serious daytime news programme should be axed to make way for more GMTV/Loose Women-type dross is shameful.

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  • 17. At 6:05pm on 13 Nov 2008, Curmy wrote:

    Replying to your last message Victoria, Nov 12th's show was better, but what was the main phone-in at 9am today ?

    ****** Football again, what about all the other subjects that were in the news this morning ?

    I'm afraid I agree with Shropshire Lad on this one.

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  • 18. At 02:54am on 14 Nov 2008, Nick Vinehill wrote:

    It's irrelevent what time the programme is on or what the quality of a particular presenter is. However 9 - 12am isn't the most favourable of times to have a specific phone-in programme because many people are at work and not in the mood at that time for talking about political and economic issues albeit very interested anyway!

    If a programme is going to be devoted to phone in's then it would be far preferable to have it on the Drive programme from 4-7pm where people are going home, less stressed and where at least the days events might have had a positive influence on what needs discussing.

    It's obvious there's little to distinguish between Tory, New Labour or Lib Dem politicians who masquerade under those different party names as being in opposition to each other. This bipartisan relationship affects what news editors regard as leading news items and who the guests, experts and politcians who make up the panel for a particular news discussion are!

    Consequently the only way to put politicians under pressure is for the listeners to have proper access to them by the 'phone in' which should be enabled sporadically throughout all 5 Live programmes except specific sport programmes where calls are obviously confined to sport!

    More one to one on air phone contact between listeners with distinctive conflicting views is more effective than a single listener engaging with single politicians who clearly know what they're going to be asked anyway so they can prepare a pre-emptive propitious answer.

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  • 19. At 12:39pm on 14 Nov 2008, swimming_up_the_rain wrote:

    Hi Victoria,
    perhaps this is not the forum for i but I'll ask the question anyway: what value are these changes supposed to add to 5live and its listeners?
    From what you have described, it sounds like a talk sport-ification of the station - something which makes my heart sink. sure if, as you say, listernership is increasing that suggests that

    Does that mean no more Aasmah? Madness! And I am in full agreement with those who have pinpointed Simon Mayo and Peter Allen as must-keep presenters when the move to Manchester is made.

    I'm a big fan of the formula the show follows. The only think that is missing is the live debate element (among interviewees, not listeners). for example, when you interview politicians or other people who need to be held to account. Often they come on, dodge a bunch of questions , or spin a web of half-truths, and then ring off. It's only minutes later when you have someone on to present the opposing side of the argument that we get a full picture. Why not have, on a weekly or monthly basis, the policymakers and their opposition in at the same time, moderated by you Victoria, and have them answer questions either generated by the listeners or your team?

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  • 20. At 12:44pm on 14 Nov 2008, swimming_up_the_rain wrote:

    oops, the board ate my post. What i was saying was : "surely if, as you say, listenership is increasing that suggests that nothing needs changing"

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  • 21. At 9:57pm on 15 Nov 2008, Nick Vinehill wrote:

    Your researchers/telephonists etc receive comments from listeners which are, I am informed then passed to the producer who'll decide whether they are heard or read out on air.

    Why not publish all the opinions and texts that weren't heard or read out on air on this website!

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  • 22. At 11:44am on 17 Nov 2008, The Great Gildersleeve wrote:

    I find myself agreeing with best part of what the "Few" that have put comments on the blog about the changes to and subjects covered by this programme especially as the phone in and the format it takes.

    As for the response of those asking for ideas etc...there isn't much at all is there?

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  • 23. At 11:52am on 18 Nov 2008, laughingmarmalade wrote:

    oh no - not Nicky doing the phone in - I may have to find another channel :(

    Now, if we were to have the lovely Worricker ........

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  • 24. At 4:29pm on 19 Nov 2008, archicrooks wrote:

    In all honesty Victoria i would like a new host please-someone who doesnt sound bored stiff unless the subject is celebs or football like your goodself

    as perfectly demonstrated on the last hour of your show on 18-11-07

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