Carol Ann Duffy has been gracing Radio 4 for many years with her distinctive gifts so although (as in all things) we are impartial - and there were other considerable candidates - it is very fine that she is the new Poet Laureate.

    Even better that she chose to give her first interview to Woman's Hour this morning - immediately after the announcement in Manchester at 10.00.

    As it happens today's Woman's Hour comes from Manchester (we normally do one edition a week from the BBC's Manchester studios) and Carol Ann Duffy has an academic post there - but that is less the point than the capacity of Woman's Hour to attract a huge range of interviewees - with a fair amount every year choosing the programme as a place to talk when there is a wave of public interest in their story (cf Sharon Shoesmith).

    The question is asked many times - why have a programme called Woman's Hour? And as its editor, Jill Burridge, pointed out recently on Feedback if we started Radio 4 today we might not provide a programme with that title. But there is a great deal to be said for stability and longevity when the quality is there. It is a hugely recognisable title and that helps its pulling power - though it would not work without a skilled team and presenters of the quality of Jenni Murray and Jane Garvey.

    Listen to the interview:

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    • Comment number 1. Posted by coolpolitealex

      on 1 May 2009 13:37

      I would just like to congratulate Carol in to her new post and wish her all the best and not to worry to much about comparison's about the difference between men and women's poetry word's and poetry are above such nonsense good luck Carol

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