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Eddie Mair | 16:28 UK time, Wednesday, 21 February 2007

The number of marriages in England and Wales has fallen to the lowest level since records began in 1862. The most recent provisional figures for 2005 put the marriage rate for men at 24.2 per 1000 unmarried men. The figures for woman were 21.6 per 1000.

If you look at the number of marriages, there were 244,000 - the figure is the lowest since 1896 (when the population was about half what it is now).

Why is the number so low?


  1. At 04:33 PM on 21 Feb 2007, stewart M wrote:

    Erm do these figures mean MEN are more likley to have a second go at marriage and women are not.

    Cos surely you need equal numbers of men and women to marry. (forgetting sane sex erm do I not mean same sex) partnerships.

    Now listen ing to the prog on contraception before eddie.

  2. At 04:37 PM on 21 Feb 2007, jonnie wrote:

    An interesting question Eddie.
    The expense is often a factor I'd imagine, coupled with the fact that many co-habiting couples are often scared to commit.

    Having spoken with my (SO) , he also thinks that some people treat marriage as a religious commitment - and look at church attendance figures

  3. At 04:37 PM on 21 Feb 2007, witchiwoman wrote:

    I really don't know - cost? outmoded tradition? less social pressure to 'tie the knot'? Personally if and when I make the decision to formalise my relationship (see, theres a reason - how stale and unloving does that sound....??) I'll be going for a pagan handfasting...

    Have a good show and watch out for the bongs....a little close last night?? :) x

  4. At 04:38 PM on 21 Feb 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    I thought the number of marriages was supposed to be on the increase .....

    But I had thought to myself recently that there's a real disincentive nowadays to marriage within the middle classes in the form of Capital Gains Tax. Many people who might have married may be holding back because they can own two properties in their own right and not be penalised for selling one of their properties. There are some very peverse tax disincentives around for married couples, so I guess if the political parties want to reverse the trend, they may have to address that issue.

    Of course, too, it doesn't make for a marriage-friendly culture when we see a number of high profile acrimonious divorces, either. And there will always be the hard core of young people - a majority of whom are, I believe, men - who just don't want to make any commitment.

  5. At 04:39 PM on 21 Feb 2007, SweetYoungThing wrote:

    Is that a proposal, Eric?

  6. At 04:51 PM on 21 Feb 2007, gossipmistress wrote:

    Stewart M - would you like to re-phrase that last sentence.....?!

  7. At 04:57 PM on 21 Feb 2007, Deepthought (John W) wrote:

    Stewart M,

    You forget the ratio of male:female is not 1:1, but slightly more women than men. But I don't think it's enough to explain the figures Eddie has quoted.

    You are right to suggest that one way to explain the figures is that men are more likely to marry twice (or more) than women.
    A truely interesting figure would be the ratio of men and women who marry for the first time per 1000 of unmarried population.

    Counting marriages where one or both partners have married before, and counting those per 1000 of unmarried population is not a good statistic to work on.

  8. At 05:01 PM on 21 Feb 2007, Fearless Fred wrote:

    Stewart (1) you may want to re-phrase the last sentence. I have a feeling that some of the female froggers may get naughty thoughts and have to go to the naughty step!

  9. At 05:01 PM on 21 Feb 2007, jumper wrote:

    Because you used to have to get married to have children, even sex. People believed in sin and hell.

    Now you don't have these inhibitions and we are all so much happier aren't we?

  10. At 05:03 PM on 21 Feb 2007, Fiona wrote:

    Well Eddie you haven't asked me yet!!!........so that's potentially one more* to add to the stats for this year :)

    * assuming SO doesn't mind!!!

  11. At 05:06 PM on 21 Feb 2007, Paul Gledhill wrote:

    (1) stewart M - Men getting married to women from abroad?

  12. At 05:26 PM on 21 Feb 2007, stewart M wrote:

    Paul (2) And women are not? I see lots of men who marry and come to UK from overseas.

  13. At 05:29 PM on 21 Feb 2007, Bedd Gelert wrote:

    So is Eddie married ? He seems to be too free spirited and independent of mind to be 'hitched'..

  14. At 05:33 PM on 21 Feb 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Perhaps the following provides some explanation?

    From Official Statistics, (Page 13)

    One of the most dramatic changes over the last twenty years has been the proportion of births outside marriage, refl ecting the prevalence of new forms of partnership, in particular consensual unions, and changing social attitudes and norms. One out of every twenty live births in the European Union in 1960 was outside marriage. In 1980 this proportion had risen to one out of 11, but in 2003 it was nearly one out of three. In general the proportion is lower in Southern European countries, as illustrated by Figure 11, which compares the proportion of births outside marriage in 1980 and 2002, the last year for which all country figures are available.


  15. At 05:38 PM on 21 Feb 2007, Fifi wrote:

    Call me a dried-up old childless prune if you like ... but ...

    Perhaps the rapidity with which people nowadays meet, sleep together, move in, have a child, and split up again -- just doesn't leave time for a wedding.


  16. At 05:40 PM on 21 Feb 2007, Lewis wrote:

    The difference could be accounted for by age of marriage as well.

    Overall there are slightly more women than men. If you look at the numbers by age group actually more boys are born than girls (108:100), but by somewhere in the teens the women outnumber the boys (the age varies a bit, but it's around 17 I think). Men continue to die faster throughout their lives (it's part of the lower average age of death for men) so if we're getting married later (and remarriages will probably help contribute here) then the number of women at that age is probably appreciably higher than the number of men, hence the numbers.

    It might reflect my middle-class friends, but the last three weddings I've been to, all the people tying to knot were in their 30's, the one before that was a couple in their late 40's.

  17. At 05:52 PM on 21 Feb 2007, Jane wrote:

    It's too easy to get married these days. Some body or other should make people take a test before they are even allowed to think about setting up home together never mind before they can have kids. Getting married and having children seems to be something that so many people do so that they've an excuse for engagement/wedding/christening parties without a thought that the thing they are about to do will have consequences for generations to come.
    Old fashioned parental consent for instance, will have stopped an awful lot of 'unsuitable' couples from marrying once upon a time and if the parents really did have their childs' welfare at heart then they would also have not forced their child into a marriage simply for gain/kudos.

  18. At 05:55 PM on 21 Feb 2007, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    As the guvnor used to sing:

    Love and marriage,
    Love and marriage,
    They go together like a horse and cabbage...

  19. At 06:05 PM on 21 Feb 2007, Frances O wrote:

    Er, well, I didn't want to get divorced, so I reckoned not getting married to some (perfectly likeable but just not 'the one') men who asked me was the best idea.

    Not that there were many, but even so...

  20. At 06:15 PM on 21 Feb 2007, gossipmistress wrote:

    Jumper (9) & Fifi (15) I agree.

    It's flippin' expensive as well to do it the 'traditional' way. Call a party a wedding and the bill often doubles!

  21. At 07:16 PM on 21 Feb 2007, whisht wrote:

    Jane (17) - if its so easy, why are fewer people doing it? Is the ease lessening its value?

  22. At 07:21 PM on 21 Feb 2007, Ramona wrote:

    I blame Money Box. There was a future mother-in-law on asking how her engaged son could safeguard his investment as he was putting more cash into the house purchase! She wanted to be sure her boy would get his money back if/when there was a divorce.

    Even worse, the "expert" gave her some advice, as if that was a reasonable question.

  23. At 07:24 PM on 21 Feb 2007, whisht wrote:

    I think the reason there are fewer marriages is that I haven't met the right women.

    Honestly, with a bit of effort I'm sure I could've tried harder.... you know, do my bit for the cause an' all....

    but alas.... I'm lazy.

  24. At 08:19 PM on 21 Feb 2007, Mrs Anne Maria Rnnie wrote:

    Women are the cause for the reduction in marrage. What is in it for men in todays society? They are no longer respected, their point of veiw on raising any off spring is ridaculed. They work all day and are expected to make the dinner for the whole family if they get home first. Change nappies and get up for babies night feed that they probabley never had any say in haveing. Women have taken to going out to work avoiding their responsibilities at home resulting in neglected children and husbands. Homemaking has become the part time work. Women used to give suport to their families now its all about the family suporting them.

  25. At 08:33 PM on 21 Feb 2007, gossipmistress wrote:

    Frances - do water voles pair for life?

  26. At 08:36 PM on 21 Feb 2007, Anne P. wrote:

    The tax disincentive is certainly there. As a result of working in two different parts of the country for 12 years husband and I owned two properties and I could reasonably claim that the one I lived in 5 days a week was my principle residence.

    But come redundancy and the sale of that flat it counted as a second home simply because we were married. Had we been single it would have saved a lot of tax, but it didn't really seem worth getting divorced for!

  27. At 08:53 PM on 21 Feb 2007, stewart m wrote:

    22.9 marriages per 1000 people surely makes more sense for the stats in this situation. The absolute number of men tends to equal the absolute number of women that marry. As for my faux pas about contraception there are those that would say the best contaception is .. Marriage...., having the mother in law to stay... etc etc. :-)

  28. At 11:13 PM on 21 Feb 2007, Annasee wrote:

    I didn't know what happiness was until I married...
    then it was too late!
    (Sorry , it's not original, but I still laugh)

    Seriously though, please stop spreading the idea around that it's not the done thing to get married. Have a bit of sensitivity, can't you? Some of us ( I'm thinking of Simon W & myself here) make quite a chunk of our income out of the touching romantic linking of two hearts beating as one, two people but only one life together etc routine. Don't knock it!

    Though I could switch to playing at funerals, they're not as cheerful, so if you don't mind, less of the "No-one's getting married" scaremongering thank you.

    PS Whisht - maybe your problem was the use of the plural "women" in the context of looking to marry? Call me old- fashioned, but it does seem to be generally a one-at-a- time routine, from what I've seen. Apart from certain American religions, of course.

  29. At 11:53 PM on 21 Feb 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Because, Eddie dear, we have yet to be formally introduced.

    A, x.

  30. At 12:20 AM on 22 Feb 2007, Valery P wrote:

    Whissht - may I introduce you to Frances O? I think you'd get on like a house on fire. Si can take the photos and Annasee can play, and we can have the party at Jonnie's! How about it?

  31. At 12:21 AM on 22 Feb 2007, Valery P wrote:

    Btw - DeepJohnT, I've thunk and thunk about your You are right to suggest that one way to explain the figures is that men are more likely to marry twice (or more) than women
    and I just don't get it. If men are more likely to marry twice than women, then who are they marrying the second time around, if not women?

    I know I can miss the point some times, but I need that one unravelled please.

  32. At 12:48 AM on 22 Feb 2007, jonnie wrote:

    Re; Valery, It sounds a fabulous idea, Annasee's harp is always serenading our guests, but to have her in person would be marvellous.

    Valery ? perhaps you could help out with doing a video for whishts future matrimonial commitment, as Si will be doing the stills ?

    So that's the music, venue and photographic angles sorted.

    As for me, well (SO), although in agreement with a civil partnership has admitted tonight that it has to be very low key :-(

  33. At 12:51 AM on 22 Feb 2007, jonnie wrote:

    Re: Appy, who said :-

    Because, Eddie dear, we have yet to be formally introduced.
    A, x

    Re: Eddie who siad on a previous thread:-

    The joy of radio is that I can turn up looking like a tramp (and often do. And as for the smell...) and it won't matter.

    Are you sure you don't need to re think Appy ?

  34. At 09:34 AM on 22 Feb 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    ValP: re -I've thunk and thunk about your "You are right to suggest that one way to explain the figures is that men are more likely to marry twice (or more) than women".......

    It isn't as daft as it may have sounded. (1) for divorcing men, there are single women around, and (as in my own case) that happens a lot, while the divorced woman is less likely to remarry. While not my own case, think of the many older men to remarry to a younger woman, and this is in many case their preference (trading to a newer model, as the saying goes ....); (2) for widowers. While, statistically, women tend to outlive their spouses, for those men who are bereaved, there is a very high instance of remarriage and, while many of those marriages are to widows, it is not always the case. Statistically, widows are less likely to remarry.

  35. At 09:55 AM on 22 Feb 2007, Deepthought (John W) wrote:

    Val P (31),

    I was putting forward the idea that a divorced man may marry a (previoiusly) unmarried woman, and that if that happened more than vice versa (which I think likely), that would be a contributary factor in explaining the difference in the male and female no of marrages per thousand unmarried..

    I put forward the example of men who divorce their first wife, and marry their secretary/PA.

  36. At 10:06 AM on 22 Feb 2007, Belinda wrote:

    Marriage is on the decline simply because people are wising-up...just kidding.

    As for the cost of marriage, it is possible to have a good wedding cheaply. Our wedding was performed by a friend, the reception was in our garden (mud is our element), music was provided by our fiddle-playing friend, my husband wore his kilt, I wore a nice dress that was already in my wardrobe, all the food was home-made (each guest bought one dish instead of wedding presents), and MrBelinda's uncle provided an indescribable potent home-brew alcohol which everyone drank before the ceremony. I actually ended up marrying four blurry MrBelinda's in the end. Our honeymoon was a hiking/camping thing around Labrador. The entire thing cost about £300 (C$650). About £250 of that was spent on hangover cures.
    Our kind of wedding doesn't appeal to everyone (or indeed, anyone) but it is just sad if people wanting to get married choose not to, solely because of finances.

    All that said, I'm not a big advocate of marriage really; I think that some people are not suited to marriage and shouldn't be forced into it because of social pressures (I feel the same way about parenting), so it isn't troubling to me that marriage figures have dropped dramatically in tha respect and I don't think it is particularly representative of an example of our current social ills, whatever Pat Robinson says. If marriage numbers have declined because working women can now afford to NOT get married in order to survive, and because the (likely) prospect of divorce puts people off...surely that's a good thing?

  37. At 10:11 AM on 22 Feb 2007, Annasee wrote:

    I've heard it said "women mourn, while men remarry ". I think that helps explain the figures. Also according to Raj Persaud's book which I'm currently reading ("Staying Sane") men need to be married for their optimum mental health, but women don't. Interesting?

    Jonnie - "low key" - I could do you something in C minor. Is that low enough?

  38. At 10:20 AM on 22 Feb 2007, Aunt Dahlia wrote:

    I can only advise that I'm doing my personal best to keep the statistics up.
    The Bolter

  39. At 10:24 AM on 22 Feb 2007, Simon Worrall wrote:

    Jonnie (32);
    I'm game for the phots of the happy day. Can I bring my SO down? We normally do all our photography together and she's a damned good photographer.

    Why does it "have to be a low-key affair"? I'm curious. Mostly we see wedding parties of between 50 - 80. But we recently did a wedding where there were only 20 people present, up near Preston, Lancs. Lovely afternoon out.

    Besides, how can you keep it low-key with BigSis, ValP, Fifi, Annasee, RJD, Deepthought et al all milling around?! You'd have more chance of keeping Motorhead quiet....


  40. At 10:25 AM on 22 Feb 2007, gossipmistress wrote:

    Jonnie & Val P - I'll do a cake if you like? One with frogs on.......

  41. At 10:30 AM on 22 Feb 2007, Fiona wrote:

    Mrs Anne Marie Rnnie (24) are you honestly for real?? Would you mind me asking what century you reside in? I work because financially with the extortionate price of property and cost ofiving etc etc we need my salary as well. I do a good job and I work extremely hard - both in my office job and in keeping house. I do all the "inside" chores ( i.e. housework) and my SO does all the "outside" work - all the DIY, gardening, car servicing etc. We both cook, when we can be bothered, we share the shopping and I do the majority of child-related chores, such as bathing etc and he does the majority of ironing. I go to work but I can assure I NEVER avoid my responsibilities at home - that is just not an option for me. And neither my children nor SO are neglected. If anyone is neglected in our house, its me. I do not ridicule SO's ideas of child rearing but he would be the first to admit I know more about the subject and will leave those matters to me - just as I will leave him to decide how best to fix the garage door etc. And finally I feel I deserve just as much respect as any man, I know I have earned it.

  42. At 10:48 AM on 22 Feb 2007, Valery P wrote:

    Big Sis and DeepJ - ah, right, yes in the cold light of day that does all make sense.
    So you posit, Deep, that more women than men remain single from the outset, and that men are more inclined to see the married state as the default relationship?

    Jonnie - I'm game, though I'd have to borrow a video camera and have some swift training :o)

  43. At 10:50 AM on 22 Feb 2007, Gillian wrote:

    Jonnie.....does that mean the froggers will not be invited? ;0(

  44. At 10:59 AM on 22 Feb 2007, Valery P wrote:

    Belinda - that sounds like an excellent Day to Remember.

    Which puts me in mind of our big day - we had our party in the Zoo, the most-cracked joke was, and should we have worn penguin suits??

    I wore an Edwardian tea-dress - secondhand (at least) and SO wore the 3 yr old suit he had bought for a work sojourn in China in 1979 (yes - he was that trailblazer, he even beat Thatcher to the Great Wall). Mum couldn't believe that he wouldn't buy a new suit, but as we had already been together for 9 years at that point, she was so delighted that we were making it legal, that she didn't make a fuss! A wonderful day was had by all.

  45. At 11:09 AM on 22 Feb 2007, witchiwoman wrote:

    Belinda - that sounds perfect!!

    I'm not anti or pro marriage, but I concur that it suits some people and not others. When a friend told me she was getting married I was overjoyed - if anyone could make a relationship/marriage last it was her and her SO.

    I had the completely reverse reaction to another friend....both marriages are living up to my expectations!!

  46. At 11:34 AM on 22 Feb 2007, jonnie wrote:

    Re: Gillian -- Yes of course you'd be invited, perhaps not to the ceromony but certainly to the reception -- which I'd ideally like on the beach.

    Lot's of champers, 27 degrees and recliners and sun brollies everywhere. I'd expect a lovely jumper from Anne, of course. Annasee's present would be to serenade us all. Helen Sparkles could just bring her smile, Ed I can bring some heather and a bottle of Scotch. Still many others to consider -- John W --I'd have to give that some Deep thought. BigSister the Walnut Whip -- and Eric could hire a minibus and fill it with the likes of Charlotte Green and Corrie Corfield. Oh and that nice Rory Morrison, not forgetting Neil Nunes who could make us cocktails.

  47. At 11:35 AM on 22 Feb 2007, jonnie wrote:

    Oh and gossipmistress would be on hand to supervise any problems with all the froggers dogs. I now that certain one called Sam are partial to chocolate raisisns. Is it okay to call them doggers? -- or perhaps droggers is a safer time.

  48. At 11:46 AM on 22 Feb 2007, witchiwoman wrote:

    Fiona (41)

    Glad you said something I couldn't quite get the words together (in fact for a moment I did think if a lurker was yanking our froggie chains).

    Jonnie - how about something online so we can all attend and throw cyber confetti? :)

  49. At 11:56 AM on 22 Feb 2007, Electric Dragon wrote:

    Some have enquired about the discrepancy in numbers between men and women - perhaps nationality could account for it? If e.g. the man lives in Eng or Wales but the woman lives in Scotland or non-UK, then maybe the man is counted in the statistics, but not the woman. So if men are more likely to marry 'foreign' women than women are 'foreign' men, the rate for men will be higher. I tried looking at the ONS page ( http://www.statistics.gov.uk/statbase/Product.asp?vlnk=14275&More=n ) but couldn't find any details on nationality.

  50. At 12:04 PM on 22 Feb 2007, Deepthought (John W) wrote:

    Val P (42),

    That may be a consequence of my proposition, but it also may be not from woman's choice to remain single. Some may; but similarly with men (not necessarily in equal numbers).

    But given the figures at the top, I cannot see how you can argue that men see marriage as the default relationship these days. More likely is that if a man has married once, and the relationship fails, he is more likely to marry again than the wife.

  51. At 12:10 PM on 22 Feb 2007, RJD wrote:

    Sorry, I want to go back to the maths thing. Forget about widowed, divorced, second marriage etc.

    Leaving aside same sex civil partnerships can we assume that every time there is a wedding, the participants are unmarried and the score will be male 1:female1.

    It doesn’t matter what the circumstances are, second marriage for one, first for another, or any other arrangement, there will always be exactly the same number of males and females walking out of the church, registry office or wherever. So the total number of unmarried males marrying will always be the same as the total number of unmarried females.

    Any disparity in the number per 1000 can only be based on the difference between the total unmarried male and female populations.

    Conclusions therefore must be:
    A) Unmarried population ratio is 24.2 : 21.6 (which I doubt)
    B) The statistics are rubbish
    C) It hasn’t been reported properly

    or any combination of the three above.

  52. At 12:11 PM on 22 Feb 2007, Simon Worrall wrote:

    Q: Why is divorce so expensive?
    A: Because it's worth every penny!!

    You can now get the Barbie divorce set. She gets Ken's house, Ken's car, Ken's money.
    Other dolls are available (I suppose?).

    And a second marriage is the triumph of hope over cold, hard experience.

    Bitter & twisted of Stockport.

  53. At 12:22 PM on 22 Feb 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Wedding memories/economies:

    I married in a dress bought for £10 in a sale, SO in 'best' - but not new - suit. We held a party for our friends and family in a nearby village hall, with stunning views of the Downs. While not 'free', it was all very low budget, but great fun.

    We spent til midnight the previous night decorating the hall with homemade decorations and did all the clearing up ourselves. Invitations, flowers, etc., all done by ourselves, though a friend did the food for the party, for which we paid her. That, together with the expense of having our marriage blessed in the local church (and that wasn't cheap, due to the parish charges) were our only luxuries.

    It was very much 'our' wedding, and that contributed to the memory of the day.

  54. At 12:33 PM on 22 Feb 2007, Rachel wrote:

    Googling to discover if Anne Marie Rnnie (Rennie?) is for real, Fiona (41), there appears to be an eminent midwife of that name - but I've only ever met lovely midwives so that doesn't seem very likely. If I were she (the midwife, not the troll) I'd be most upset that someone was posting such stuff in my name.

  55. At 12:37 PM on 22 Feb 2007, Annasee wrote:

    Well if we're playing the "My wedding was cheaper than yours" game, can I just say ours (23 years ago) cost my parents $25 (abt £8) for the wine they contributed.

    We made our own wedding cake, my husband's boss iced it because she'd done a course in icing. Husband made his own suit & my dress, which I then wore for years afterwards for concerts as it was red. A pupil invited us to have our "reception" (afternoon tea) at their house which was big & sunny & by the sea. We all brought food. In the evening I went off to work at an opera season I was playing for, & didn't tell anyone what we'd done. Several days later someone noticed the ring & asked me!

  56. At 12:44 PM on 22 Feb 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Oh dear. Entering into a second marriage still bitter and having learned nothing from the demise of the first seems like recipe for disaster to me.

  57. At 01:14 PM on 22 Feb 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Si (51),
    "Hanging onto bitterness and resentment
    is like eating poison and
    expecting somebody else to die."
    Houb Salaam
    22/02/2007 at 13:14:12 GMT
    Malicious warning!

  58. At 01:16 PM on 22 Feb 2007, gossipmistress wrote:

    RJD re the statistics - I didn't hear the interview on the programme - do the statistics refer to the percentage of people married at any one time or the number of marriages they have had in total? That could affect the statistics?

  59. At 01:20 PM on 22 Feb 2007, Simon Worrall wrote:

    Sorry Appy (53);
    My sense of humour lets me down sometimes. I'm actually not bitter and twisted at all. My ex- is though, because she is a control-freak who has lost her control over me. And when we split up her gravy train left the station. Sorry if this seems nasty or spiteful, it's pretty much the honest truth. Such people exist.

    Personally I couldn't be much happier with my current situation. The only thing that could improve my outlook would be for her (the ex- ) to stop playing silly games over contact and let me see my kids on a regular basis. It's been over a year now.

    I never approved of Fathers for Justice, but I see their point quite clearly.


  60. At 01:27 PM on 22 Feb 2007, Ricardo Tendio, Rome, Italy. wrote:

    So simple, yet so complex
    So weak, yet so powerful
    So confusing, yet so desirable
    So damning, yet so wonderful......Ah WOMEN!

  61. At 01:37 PM on 22 Feb 2007, Sara wrote:

    Just a quick comment from me - I guess Eddie will shortly be posting something new for us to think about.

    Marriage is not the same as "wedding breakfast" which is after all just a party. But a marriage - whether civil or church - is more than two people deciding to live together. It's them telling everyone else including their families that that is what they are doing. The ideal situation is that the families can then work together in helping and supporting the couple when needed. As we have had to do!! (and I don't mean financially; my little daughter (27!) isn't happy in her job at the moment and so we have had to put some effort into supporting her poor husband who has had to bear many many tearful evenings!

    But not everyone's experience is the same, I do appreciate. At its best, marriage is quite superb, though.

    And so far as children are concerned, someone (can't remember who) once said: "The best thing a man can do for his children is to love their mother".

    Well, think about it!

  62. At 01:45 PM on 22 Feb 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    RJD: Re the stats thing, it would depend, I think, upon the way its counted up. I seem to recollect that when SO and I applied for our marriage licence, the marital status options included one for divorced and one for unmarried (I can't remember the exact wording now). SO was divorced, I was unmarried. So, if those numbers are totted up, it is entirely possible to have the outcome reported.

  63. At 01:52 PM on 22 Feb 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Whoops - for marriage licence, read: notice of marriage.

  64. At 02:04 PM on 22 Feb 2007, Dozy Parker wrote:

    "Ah, yes, divorce, from the Latin word meaning to rip out a man's genitals through his wallet."

    Robin Williams.

  65. At 02:16 PM on 22 Feb 2007, Deepthought (John W) wrote:

    RJD (51),

    I would suspect the stats as quoted are selective (by who-ever published the press release), and I would question whether they are properly compiled. For a start, what does "per thousand unmarried men/women" actually mean? Single, never married and living alone (no children)? Co-habiting or not? I assume this excludes those who have just had the civil ceremony.

    Speaking for myself, there would be no reason to doubt my inclusion as one of the "per thousand unmarried men".

    Aperitif (56),

    It would, of course, matter why the first marriage finished. A stormy* marriage followed by an acrimonious divorce is clearly not a good start for a second, no matter which party was responsible for the ill feeling.

    * of the unhappy kind.

  66. At 02:21 PM on 22 Feb 2007, RJD wrote:

    Big Sis - If it was compiled that way and we accept the assumption that everyone seems to go with, that men are more likely to remarry than women, then the ratio would be biased the other way surely.

    Gossipmistress - Like you I didn't hear the piece so I can't comment. I'm just going on what Eddie wrote above. It refers to "marriage rate" and quotes a year, so I expect it is the marriages per 1000 unmarried population in that year. I suspect that the figures are pobably OK but just haven't been defined properly.

    I can't see that it is of any consequence anyway - the male/female ratio I mean.

  67. At 02:27 PM on 22 Feb 2007, whisht wrote:

    ah Annasee (28) - I typed correctly... but yes.

    One at a time.
    Do you take me for a miss-typing mormon?

    as for all this wedding malarky, its a sweet idea but... I'm not comfortable being at the centre of attention (although of course Frances O would be the centre).

    Remember, Eddie's the star. Focus on Eddie.... focus on Eddie... focus on eddie....

  68. At 02:35 PM on 22 Feb 2007, God's Gift to Women wrote:

    Not simple, but so complex
    Not weak, but so powerful
    Not confusing, but so desirable
    Not damning, but so wonderful......Ah ME!

    (Misquoting Ricardo Tendio, Rome, Italy)

  69. At 02:54 PM on 22 Feb 2007, whisht wrote:

    The merits of dating (if you can read circuit diagrams)

    Actually I can't read circuit diagrams but I know a few of you can, and the outcome he discovers is somewhat intriguing...

    Serial dating is bad in that it decreases your chances of finding the right partner (no shocks there - pun intended)

    However.... parallel dating is another matter....

    [one for the geeks (which is not a pejorative term)]

  70. At 03:02 PM on 22 Feb 2007, Fifi wrote:

    In the car on the way to the Reception after the wedding of yet another of SO's many cousins, SO's uncle the father of the bride asked airily why we two had never got married.

    'Nobody's ever asked us!' we said in unison.

    One Sunday afternoon, after 5 years of happy unmarriage together, we were basking in late spring sunshine on the dunes, looking inland at Blyth power station.

    I turned to him, adorably backlit by the sun, a playful breeze messing with his hair, and said: "Let's make wills in each other's favour. There's a charity promotion called WillAid which means we'll only pay £20 each!"

    It's precious romantic moments like these that render mere weddings dull by comparison...

    Jonnie, I can contribute a party piece while you're signing the Register if you like...


  71. At 03:38 PM on 22 Feb 2007, God's Gift to Women wrote:

    Ah, yes, marriage, from the Latin word meaning to access a man's wallet through his genitals."

    Misquoting Robin Williams & Dozy Parker

  72. At 03:41 PM on 22 Feb 2007, admin annie wrote:

    I'm sorry Jonnie for whatever it is that I have said or done that means I'm not invited to your civil ceremony celebration.

    I'm off now to the breach to feel sorry for myself...how does that old song go 'nobody loves me everybosy hates me, I'm going down the garden to eat worms'

    shuffles away stiflig sobs.

  73. At 03:54 PM on 22 Feb 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Didn't mean to pick on you Si (59)! -- I just thought "oh dear" and had to say so. Should've known it was you being, well, you ;-)

    DeepJohn (65), Actually I think I disagree -- no matter how the first marriage ended, who did what to whom and who was more "in the wrong" I think both parties need to learn from it before they can move forwards: even if that only involves learning why one shouldn't let oneself get involved with a con-artist again, for example.

  74. At 04:19 PM on 22 Feb 2007, Roberto Alvarez-Galloso wrote:

    I cannot speak for England and Wales. But I can say that the USA is having problems with marriage. There is a society in the USA that has people compete for wives, when there are no wives, the male or female is shunted aside as a "crazed single person" and taxed to death.

    When a person marries in America, both sides of the family fight over who gets what and tries to influence the couple. The Wife states that the Husband is not fulfilling his duties [while at the same time balancing motherhood and work]. The Husband tries to balance family, and work and the salary is not enough.

    No wonder America has a high rate of divorces, adultery, and people who do not want to marry. It is also a reason why rich singles leave the countryside of America for the city and if unable to find opportunities, they leave America.

  75. At 04:22 PM on 22 Feb 2007, Belinda wrote:

    Truth be told, I don't think any conclusions can be drawn from the above statistics without some historical perspective. 2005 may have had the least number of marriages since 1867, but how does this compare across the years? Are we talking about a huge drop of millions or a few thousand? What was the highest number of marriages, and were there any big occasions (such as the end of WWI or II) which would have been a contributing factor? Ah, just found my answer here:


    which also has the figures for re-marriage. It is also worth noting that these figures do not include marriages of UK people abroad - and of the people who I know became married this last year, at least half of the ceremonies were in a foreign country. I'm beginning to think it is mostly a tempest in a tea-pot.

    And would it be wrong of me to suggest that the peak in marriages seen in the period of 1969-1972 was probably due to the vast amount of hallucinogens around at that point?

  76. At 04:30 PM on 22 Feb 2007, jonnie wrote:

    I think we have covered marriage now Eddie ?

    So what can we talk about now then ? Your chatty Newsletter! I must say it was very amusing today Sir Eric !

  77. At 04:40 PM on 22 Feb 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    RJD - I posted before (but it didn't come through)

    I see what you mean.

    The discrepancy arises, of course, because of the differences in the size of population by gender, as the figures given are per thousand. Males, England & Wales, is approx. 26m, females around 25 and half million. And that across all age ranges, so the difference may be even greater in the age range at which marriage becomes possible.

    I was never brilliant at the number games, but have always been fascinated by statistics (and studied said discipline, though laboriously!). The figures can be found around the following link:



    It's worth persevering, if you're truly interested.

  78. At 04:44 PM on 22 Feb 2007, Aperitif wrote:


    Oh this is so like the old days :-/

  79. At 05:18 PM on 22 Feb 2007, Gillian wrote:

    We didn't want to get married but Dad said he'd wrap Mr. Gillian round a lamp-post if we didn't. He wouldn't harm a fly, but he made his point and I didn't want him to suffer,
    We made hasty arrangements, got married at the Register Office, close family only. We both wore green....well we didn't know it was supposed to be unlucky!
    Simple buffet at the local pub, before it opened for business at 6pm. Wider family. Nothing to do with us, just putting on a show for other people...etc...etc. Still regret going along with it.
    Waited for 10 years to have first child. We would have chosen to get married then.
    Ended up with 3 children, married for 31 years and still no end in sight!

  80. At 05:27 PM on 22 Feb 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    I did post a pretty comprehensive reply, involving links to the National Statistics website, explaining why the figures look odd are, in fact, quite logical. But it hasn't appeared. But, ah well, this is the PM Blog after all.

  81. At 06:06 PM on 22 Feb 2007, Deepthought (John W) wrote:

    Aperitif (71),

    I did not mean to suggest that an "injured party" would be able to get married a second time as if nothing happened. Of course both sides would have to take stock. Stories of women who get involved with con-man after con-man, or men who get involved with secretary after secretary do suggest that many don't, though.

    I was suggesting that those who felt that they very much were the "injured party" may well feel far more cautious before leaping in for a second time.

    RJD (somewhere), another posting of mine disappeared. Big Sis seems to have covered much of the ground.

    Belinda (73), peak in marriages: Well, I would agree that hallucinogens were a contributary factor, but what about the fact that while "free love" was in the air, there was still a great deal of prejudice about unmarried parents at that time?

  82. At 07:07 PM on 22 Feb 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Jonnie, I've just noticed your 33 -- maybe you're right. But how will I know until the aforementioned introduction?

    Actually I think I'd better slink off with Admin Annie, as I've just noticed that I'm not invited either! And I've got you such a lovely present (sniff, sob etc.)

    AA, shall we just stay on the beach and play with Johnny Depp, Sean Bean and friends while they're all away?...

  83. At 08:00 PM on 22 Feb 2007, jonnie wrote:

    O admin annie, Appy. I presumed it went without saying!

    Of course you will be invited, this is the result of making a quick list in 10 seconds without even thinking!

    Johnny Depp, Sean Bean! I'll have a nosey on the beach then :-)

  84. At 08:07 PM on 22 Feb 2007, jonnie wrote:

    Re: Whisht,

    Nice little diagrams, especially liked some of the comments as regards to altering the scenarios.

  85. At 08:12 PM on 22 Feb 2007, mahmoud nafousi wrote:

    It is time to wake up to the imprtance of family unit in the society. The more we abandon this fact as individuals the more we need to rely on the governement to play the role of nany state.

    It is upto the politicians and church leaders and opinion formers to use media, chuches, education and tax incentive to instal family values. The role of grand parents have been minimised leading to a loss of cultures passing from generation to the next.

  86. At 10:34 PM on 22 Feb 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Oh thank you Jonnie. Just as well I didn't return this lovely- You'll have to wait: it's a surprise!

    Mr Depp was lying on the sand dressed as Jack Sparrow and drinking rum a little while ago, but I'm not sure where he went...

  87. At 11:09 PM on 22 Feb 2007, Darren wrote:

    Is this a the actual story that was being discussed - My recollection of the headline is 'fewer people are choosing to get married' which left me wondering what was / how more people were being forced into marriage

    I take it from the blog that it meant the number of people getting married had fallen more were being forced into ratehr than choosing it

  88. At 11:56 PM on 22 Feb 2007, Valery P wrote:

    RJD - 51 - I think that was the point that struck me last night, now I'm so confused I don't care any more...

    No newsletter and no blog today, or is it something to do with my pc? Outlook Express is going awry, getting messages in, but only sending them out when it fancies it and coming up with a ridiculous error message the rest of the time :o(

  89. At 01:21 AM on 23 Feb 2007, jonnie wrote:

    Re: Darren (87)

    I think the story as covered yesterday was referring to the decline in marriages.

    I see the dichotomy though - however, I'd imagine the two are interlinked to a certain extent.

    After reading all the comments above and hearing the various views discussed on the media outlets, I've actually changed my opinion on the whole concept of marriage.

    I'm beginning to think that it's something we are preconditioned and expected to do by society, by what our parents have done. Or is that just too obvious.

    I have seen examples, as we all have, where two people who have co-habited, very happily for a number of years, and been pressurised into marriage, ending a few Months later.

    We have to do it for the childrens sake! It's a way of showing our commitment to our partner!

    But is it? Or is it something we just see as being the norm, the expected?


    Now more importantly:-

    Is Mark Damazer scared to touch anything where Radio 4 is involved.

    He lost that Theme tune that nobody listened to, and look at the flack he had to take. Questions in the house I recall.

    I think Radio 4 is starting to sound very stayed, boring might be too harsher word.

    The programmes are on the whole, the best any broadcaster to wish for, but isn't the 'sound of the station' just getting a wee bit repetitive and drab. Similar to looking at the same bit of wallpaper day after day. -- bong-- The six o'clock news I'm Charlotte Green etc .. etc.. ,though I have no problems with either Big Ben or Charlotte on that particular junction.

    Apart from Radio 3 I can't think of any Network that doesn't have a nice bit of bouncy music to take us up to the hour! Who doesn't like the News 24 idents!

    It's now 2007, the pips only serve any purpose on FM and LW as on any other transmitted medium they are two seconds out! So what about a nice little jingle now and again to take us up to the hour?

    Certain junctions as with 6PM could be left as they are.

    After all, had the Archers 'never' had a theme, there'd have been an outcry if one had 'now' been introduced.

    I still miss the PM theme.


    Come on Mark, a change is needed!, a bit of spicing it up a bit - just a bit?

  90. At 02:05 AM on 23 Feb 2007, HelenSparkles wrote:

    The Daily Snail suggests it could be because women find the amount of housework they do doubles!http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/femail/article.html?in_article_id=437937&in_page_id=1879
    I can vouch for that; a rare moment of agreement with said rag.

  91. At 06:04 AM on 23 Feb 2007, eddie mair wrote:

    Well of course Jonnie (76) the damned newsletter thing is still broken! As for postings - I try not to post for the sake of it. Hence the silence yesterday. Maybe I'll say something today.

  92. At 08:48 AM on 23 Feb 2007, Belinda wrote:

    Peak in marriages: Well, I would agree that hallucinogens were a contributary factor, but what about the fact that while "free love" was in the air, there was still a great deal of prejudice about unmarried parents at that time?,/i>

    Wasn't everyone too stoned to care? I know I was. Actually, I was thinking that the late 60s peak in marriages came around the same time as the legalisation of the pill. I wonder if there is a connection between that (early misuse leading to gunshot weddings), or whether it is coincidental, rather like the moon landing taking place then?

    I need more caffeine before coherence sets in.

  93. At 08:50 AM on 23 Feb 2007, Annasee wrote:

    Eddie - and we thought you weren't posting yesterday because you were too busy chatting to the lovely Martha, and fussing over your outfit for the Oscars. Have you managed to find that rugby-striped dinner jacket yet ?

  94. At 09:45 AM on 23 Feb 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Jonnie: You're right - people shouldn't marry just because it is what is expected of them, or under any kind of pressure. However, entered into thoughtfully and with a true will to succeed, there is something to be said for making a public commitment and statement of intention to stay together, which can have strong psychological benefits for the two parties. I believe I am correct in saying that the stats show that the rate of break up between cohabiting couples is much higher than that for couples who marry, i.e. 'commit'.

    Thinking of my own case, I do think that marrying SO has made me treat the relationship more seriously, and certainly has made me sit and think at moments of stress, whereas I may, in earlier relationships, have broken away, and vice versa. This from somebody who married after many years of singledom has shown me that there is a difference, and I think it may be, overall, beneficial.

    What is a problem, I think, is that some people rush into marriage without looking at their relationship from all aspects. One does have to accept compromises within any relationship, but it's also worth remembering that the things that irritate you about an individual don't go away, and you must be realistic about whether you can, or can't, put up with them, or whether you can find ways of coping with them. At the end of the day, I'm glad I married.

    It puts me in mind of a couple I knew who lived together for about six years, swearing they would never marry. On holiday with friends in Austria, and in a moment of weakness, they were persuaded to marry. They had a makeshift, but very romantic, wedding in the woods near Vienna, came back to England and had a Registry Office wedding, then a Buddhist blessing (they are both committed Buddhists). They said they were so glad that circumstance finally prompted them to overcome their reluctance and, thirty years later, remain happily married to each other.

  95. At 10:48 AM on 23 Feb 2007, Deepthought (JohnW) wrote:

    Jonnie (89),

    We certainly disagree here! I *don't* like jingles, station idents to backing beats &c. I stopped listening to Classic FM in the car years ago, even if speech radio is not the best to listen to....because all the jingles got on my wick.

    I only like the PM theme as a way of winding up Eddie on a point ;-). I was glad when Learning Curve lost it's theme tune a shortish time ago. I'd certainly be writing in to complain if idents, jingles were introduced!

    Traillers are getting worse as well, I'm sure the missing pips are due to the trailler over-running and that was "more important" than a time check!

    Oh, my other pet hate is where the trailler is replayed, yet again, at the start of a programme, and, surprise surprise, that bit then turns up yet again, finally in context, part way through the programme.

    But I'm sure you have spotted small alterations to the R4 schedule going on.

  96. At 11:00 AM on 23 Feb 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Mahmoud (85),

    I hear you, particularly about the loss of the grandparent or other elder-to-youngest connection, which has been one of the mainstays of cultural continuity ever since the beginning of language/history.

    I disagree that the government, religious, or other institutions should carry the load. Surely it's an abrogation of family duties to leave such matters to institutions. The hallmark of our society is that we 'contract out' most of the things we used to do for ourselves - childcare, moral education, care of the aged, and eventually the preparation and burial of the dead.

    The cultures which excel and achieve disproportionately are those who still value family values: Scots, Jews, Sikhs, Certain Hindus and Muslims, Chinese and Japanese. (in no particular order) It has nothing to do with government, and, where it has to do with faith, that also begins with family values and practice.


  97. At 11:15 AM on 23 Feb 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Deepthought: re trailers. It's starting to get even more complex, as I'm sure you'll agree.

    Yesterday, there was a trailer for an appearance by Clint Eastwood on today's Today Programme, with the time of said appearance being given as an added incentive. This morning, listening to the programme at 7.50, Clint Eastwood interview was played, fairly short, and, at the end, we were told that 'if we wanted to hear more of the interview, we could tune into the film programme later today'. So, yesterday a plug for today's plug for this afternoon's programme.

    I may well listen just to see if this afternoon's programme is in fact a plug for a further programme - probably Front Row!

  98. At 11:47 AM on 23 Feb 2007, jonnie wrote:

    Re: Depthought,

    Ahh finally some feedback -- I thought that no one cared!

    Some don't like any music. I just think the output is lacking a bit of colour, a bit of identification.

    IMO (in my opinion) the PM drop-ins from Valerie and others certainly need something behind them. A 'bed' is an industry term for music that is played under the voice. They just seem to appear and sound very stark.

    Five live have a good mixture which I think works well.

    I actually have no problem with Classic FM - although they could possibly do with a revamp, as they must have tried every conceivable combination of mixes with their little theme over the years.
    Our local BBC Station (the ageist one) has a very good little jingle - pinched from (LBC) that takes them up to the hour. The voice-over is very BBC and says -- "From the needles to to Win Green, across the South -- BBC Radio Solent -- It's Your station"

    Now I wonder what we could think up for the National BBC Radio 4!

    From Lands End to John O'Groats - from Northumberland to the Brecon Becons. BBC Radio 4 -- It's your station! Too obvious perhaps?

  99. At 12:11 PM on 23 Feb 2007, Valery P wrote:

    Big Sis - ah, so it may have had the desired effect then? You may not like them (I detest them) but your last para looks like you've been sucked in? Irritating aren't they? My feeling is that they pander to the current notion that listeners/viewers, have short attention spans, and need sudden injections of "something else" to waken us up or catch our ear.

    Yes, I am cranky today, since you ask. A s*ddingly stressful week, so you'll find me nowehere else but on the Beach for the rest of the day (even if I do have to bring my ironing with me!).

  100. At 12:15 PM on 23 Feb 2007, Valery P wrote:

    Jonnie - you need to work on Radio Two's jingles, that's for sure! I've recently discovered that they are actually playing the soundtrack to my growing up, along with a fair selection of half-decent current stuff (don't get too carried away with the praise), but the jingles just make me want to rip out the car radio and fling it out of the window....

    Sorry - off to the Beach for sure. Camomile tea anyone?

  101. At 12:16 PM on 23 Feb 2007, nikki noodle wrote:

    oh jonnie you have hit on a point that will get me going , and i've already got on a high horse once this week!

    not to change is to die, we agree, but to do away with what makes a radio station unique (a speech medium) by adding catchy jingles or themes which do not contibute to the message is not progress.

    it is fashion.

    BBC Radio 4 is all about communication - mainly of ideas, with entertainment, news, politics too.

    Ideas go in and out of fashion, but the discussion of ideas has been the flame of civilisation since the Ancient Greeks.

    PLEASE post back and disagree with me ... that's the whole point!!!!


  102. At 12:38 PM on 23 Feb 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    ValP: No, I just happened to be listening, but I remembered the earlier link. I'm not a Clint Eastwood fan, so hadn't been drawn there. But I was fascinated at the manipulation involved by the Beeb publicity!

  103. At 02:46 PM on 23 Feb 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    I hated the PM theme tune. PLEASE DON'T BRING IT BACK.

    That's it.

  104. At 03:40 PM on 23 Feb 2007, jonnie wrote:

    Re: nikki noodle-

    Well, of course I disagree with you, esp about the fashion bit!

    Since when has a 10" - 15" identification bit of music been fashion?

    If it's a question of fashion - the BBC World service took decades to befor they questioned the Lily Bolero theme.

    The 'Theme' I had in mind does not have to be catchy. I envisaged something specifically orchestrated and played by the BC Philharmonic.

    Perhaps something on the lines of the original Channel 4 theme, 'Four Score' written by David Dundas.

    Duuuum Duuuuum Dum Dum!

    THIS IS BBC RADIO 4, across the United Kingdom on FM, DAB, and Freeview, and satellite, and the internet. Here is Charlotte Green with the 9'o'clock news.

    Without wanting to harp back to the early days of LBC where Martha made her mark. The station was very similar to Radio 4 'News and entertainment' - the breakfast show presented by Bob Holness and Douglas Cameron had more listeners (in London) than the 'Today programme' did. Whe a programme controller decided to fiddle with the excellent jingle package there was an uproar from the listeners.

    I think with Radio 4 -- it's a case of what it doesn't have, isn't going to be missed.

  105. At 03:52 PM on 23 Feb 2007, jonnie wrote:

    Re: nikki noodle-

    Well, of course I disagree with you, esp about the fashion bit!

    Since when has a 10" - 15" identification bit of music been fashion?

    If it's a question of fashion - the BBC World service took decades to befor they questioned the Lily Bolero theme.

    The 'Theme' I had in mind does not have to be catchy. I envisaged something specifically orchestrated and played by the BC Philharmonic.

    Perhaps something on the lines of the original Channel 4 theme, 'Four Score' written by David Dundas.

    Duuuum Duuuuum Dum Dum!

    THIS IS BBC RADIO 4, across the United Kingdom on FM, DAB, and Freeview, and satellite, and the internet. Here is Charlotte Green with the 9'o'clock news.

    Without wanting to harp back to the early days of LBC where Martha made her mark. The station was very similar to Radio 4 'News and entertainment' - the breakfast show presented by Bob Holness and Douglas Cameron had more listeners (in London) than the 'Today programme' did. Whe a programme controller decided to fiddle with the excellent jingle package there was an uproar from the listeners.

    I think with Radio 4 -- it's a case of what it doesn't have, isn't going to be missed.

  106. At 04:45 PM on 23 Feb 2007, nikki noodle wrote:


    You asked "Who doesn't like the News 24 idents" and said you'd favour something like "the original Channel 4 theme" both TV channels.

    A radio is (obviously) an ONLY aural medium, whereas both the above, like all tv, needs to capture the 'sight' of its audience at key junctions, which they do with idents.

    The two mediums could be run the same way, with idents, trailers, 'teasers' and the like. And , telly, in this age, probably HAS to be so, I havent got one, and I really dont know how to capture a visual audience.

    Radio does not need to be run like that.

    Eddie Mair has something, timing, silent pauses, unrushedness, grace, and, yes humour.

    Capturing the ear of a listener is a great skill, and will not be improved by station idents.

    I love the fact that you disagree! Please do post if you get a moment to yourself.


  107. At 01:21 AM on 24 Feb 2007, jonnie wrote:

    Nikki, I'll catch up with you in the morning -- or soon!

    You are talking out of places I don't wish to venture!

    You said :- A radio is (obviously) an ONLY aural medium, whereas both the above, like all tv, needs to capture the 'sight' of its audience at key junctions, which they do with idents

    I say:- Where does 'sight' - come into our little disagreement! ?

    I'm happy no one else has disagreed with my suggestion.

    It means two things actually :-)

    They either have no opinion ore are NOT in disagreement to my wonderful idea! ;-)

  108. At 01:32 AM on 24 Feb 2007, jonnie wrote:

    How nice, to hear at the end of tonights PM Programme a little burst of music during the 'live trail'

    Did anyone notice ?

    I'm sure Paddy and Eddy know what is needed on the Network Nikki :-)

  109. At 12:11 PM on 24 Feb 2007, nikki noodle wrote:

    jonnie -

    thankyou for posting again - it is you who said that BBC Radio 4 needs to change:

    "I think Radio 4 is starting to sound very stayed, boring might be too harsher word.
    The programmes are on the whole, the best any broadcaster to wish for, but isn't the 'sound of the station' just getting a wee bit repetitive and drab. Similar to looking at the same bit of wallpaper day after day." (89)

    ...and not us 'middle class' listeners who wont allow it to change!

    Of course I will put up the other side of the arguement to yours, partly to see if it stands up, to probe and to test, but partly because i think its true.

    [I could equally well argue the other side, on occasions]

    I thought you were saying that you wanted to improve the listenership, more numbers, better appreciation, and you think an ident will help. I dont, for the reasons above.

    but, jonnie, please dont fall back on a defensive tone and say "I am having a go at you" !!! You know i am not!


    PS i thought I heard Eddie say that that music was just to fill a bit of time....

  110. At 03:26 PM on 24 Feb 2007, jonnie wrote:


    Sorry I've been a bit busy this morning so just put a few words up before.

    Now I'd never get on the defensive. I actually DO believe that the station needs someone to look at it's image a little bit. Certain junctions do sound messy throughout the day and as said earlier.

    Re; PM, It's true to say that Eddie is a true pro and can add enough colour (as I or someone phrased it earlier) however - I'm not the greatest fan of 'Eddies voices'. Not because of the message they are putting across but because of the way they are placed and presented to 'The listener.

    I tend to listen to various media outlets across most days - some BBC, some commercial, and a mixture of music and talk. It's from this basis that I'm drawing my conclusions -- largely from comparisons, and that I personally do find the predictability of Radio 4 a little boring. Does that make any sense?

  111. At 05:16 PM on 24 Feb 2007, nikki noodle wrote:


    thanks - yes, it does make sense, and i understand about the 'image' and the 'predictability' - it's just that i think differently.

    I am sure I havent expressed myself as best I can, so may I make a comparisson? BBC Radio 4
    could be described as a conversation with the listeners: its tag line is "intelligent speech".

    Some people prefer conversations without idents. How does that sound? (I hope that that comparisson is not too simplistic, because a radio station also has to watch out for its future interests, commercial or otherwise.)


    PS the point about the sight was, that the sound of the ident draws the vision of the audience back to the screen at junctions, when they may have been directing their gaze elsewhere temporarily.
    Of course this is not necessary for radio.

  112. At 01:28 AM on 25 Feb 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    I don't want "idents" on the radio. And the only programmes that need theme tunes are The Archers, ISIHAC and Just A Minute, but all comedy can continue to have them I suppose -- I don't mind.

    I'll say again -- because I feel strongly -- PLEASE DON'T BRING BACK THE PM THEME TUNE -- IT WAS DEPRESSING AND I HATED IT!!

    I thank you.

  113. At 12:55 PM on 25 Feb 2007, Bryan Rylands wrote:

    I suppose because nobody nowadays truly understand the gravity of the words and their meaning in life

    For better for worse
    For richer and for poorer
    In sickness and in health.
    An till death do us part.

    Somewhere along the line, one or both give up on one or more of these lines.

    How sad.

  114. At 02:59 PM on 25 Feb 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Bryan (113), "Nobody" is a gross exaggeration. Some people give up on their marriage vows but not everyone. I would venture not even a majority. Have you been reading The Daily Mail?

  115. At 06:17 PM on 25 Feb 2007, Gillian wrote:

    Bryan (113) Then how come there are people who renew their vows, even those who are still happily married? We've been married for 31 years and have survived the first three vows you quoted.......so far, anyway!

  116. At 01:24 PM on 26 Feb 2007, Catherine D wrote:

    Is it something about marriages not having to last so long a hundred years ago because of the early demise of one of the parties? Nowadays, 'till death us do part' might seem a very long time indeed and rather off-putting.


  117. At 02:48 PM on 26 Feb 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Ah, but one never, ever knows when death will come.

    Cheerful thought for the day #1.

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