Listen
On Now : Soul Music
Series 17 - Strange Fruit
BBC Radio 4
The Radio 4 Blog

Doorstepping Hardeep Singh Kohli - the Alternative Census on Feedback

Tagged with:

Nine a.m. on a cold March day in North London. I knock on the door of a flat in a new tower block. When the door opens I'm straight in with my questions before the occupant can shut it in my face.

How long have you lived here? Are you on your own? Who else lives here? Emboldened by the fact that the door is still open, I press on.

How many times have you been in love? Do you remember your first kiss?

Hardeep Singh Kholi smiles at me with a weary tolerance.

I have of course come to talk to him about his Radio 4 series, Alternative Census, and have put to him the rather personal, not to say intimate, questions he has been asking of people in Liverpool and Mallaig, Merthyr Tydfil and Great Yarmouth among other places.

"Why do people reveal their private feelings and experiences in such a public manner" , I think in my stiff upper lip way. "Or am I just emotionally constipated?" (No comment required).

The series has received great praise from Feedback listeners who feel they are hearing fresh voices which are often absent from network radio.

They are also very complimentary about Hardeep's gentle probing which elicits such fascinating revelations. The series was, of course, commissioned before the latest BBC Trust review of Radio 4 which encouraged the network to redouble its efforts to attract audiences from outside the M25 and from minorities. Hardeep's Alternative Census must be right up their street.

Once I had got past HSK's front door into his kitchen we sat down for a proper conversation. Here is an extract.

By the way, in a couple of weeks I'll be talking to Andy Parfitt the Head of Radio 1, and shortly afterwards to the outgoing Chairman of the BBC Trust, Sir Michael Lyons.

If you have any questions you'd like me to ask them, please send them to feedback@bbc.co.uk.

We read, learn, and inwardly digest, all your emails.

Roger Bolton is presenter of Feedback

Tagged with:

Comments

This entry is now closed for comments.

  • Comment number 11. Posted by YaffleWaffle

    on 17 Mar 2011 18:46

    I would like to echo the positive comments above. I made sure I listened to the whole series and would love to hear more. Superb, sensitive, intelligent broadcasting - and such a simple idea.

    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 11: 0
    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 11: 0
    Loading…
  • Comment number 10. Posted by Henley

    on 15 Mar 2011 09:33

    What a brilliant programme. I really really enjoyed listening to this. Hardeep was excellent throughout - keep up the great work. Many thanks

    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 10: 0
    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 10: 0
    Loading…
  • Comment number 9. Posted by Tracy

    on 14 Mar 2011 16:29

    Dear Hardeep,
    I really enjoyed that. I loved that you showed such warmth and respect. I am often amazed at how interesting real peoples stories are.

    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 9: 0
    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 9: 0
    Loading…
  • Comment number 8. Posted by w45ty

    on 13 Mar 2011 00:34

    Thank You Hardeep so much, i am a steel worker off large statue and consider my self to be off strong stuff but your last program totally reduced me to tears. i dont know how you managed to keep going when you where talking to the lady with the disabled son.....when you asked her when was the last time some one ever pampered her i went to pieces....im a big strong lad and you destroyed me.....you are a very good person and an inspiration to me....thanx for a humbling experience you are a good man

    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 8: 0
    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 8: 0
    Loading…
  • Comment number 7. Posted by Maureen Fraser-Duffield

    on 11 Mar 2011 13:31

    I have never done this before so apologies if I get it wrong. The fact that I am, shows how moved I have been by this quirky, glorious programme!I love Hardeep Singh Kohli he is a really funny and intelligent guy. But this programme surpassed all expectations- it was compelling! Such empathy, sensitivity and an amazing consideration for all those he interviewed. Thankyou Hardeep. Thankyou Radio 4. More of this please!

    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 7: 0
    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 7: 0
    Loading…
  • Comment number 6. Posted by Till10

    on 11 Mar 2011 13:11

    What a beautiful programme i caught by chance this morning, funny, moving and fascinating!

    Thank-you

    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 6: 0
    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 6: 0
    Loading…
  • Comment number 5. Posted by Stillyreed

    on 11 Mar 2011 11:46

    Just been moved to tears by Alternative Census (11/03)and cannot praise Hardeep's sensitive and considered questioning highly enough.

    I was taken aback by this skill and just wanted Hardeep to know that, in my humble opinion, it was the finest piece of work he has ever done.

    Thank you for this wonderful and totally unexpected gem of a programme.

    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 5: 0
    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 5: 0
    Loading…
  • Comment number 4. Posted by Gordon Roger

    on 11 Mar 2011 11:39

    Just finished listening to the last of Hardeep Singh Kohli's Alternative Census with almost a tear in my eyes. The last thing he said was, "Can we do it all again now?" I wish he would. Such snapshots of other people's lives are so valuable, especially when done with such emormous skill and empathy. Lovely programmes from a lovely man.

    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 4: 0
    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 4: 0
    Loading…
  • Comment number 3. Posted by GlasgowListener

    on 11 Mar 2011 11:38

    This is radio at its very best. Insightful, compassionate and utterly absorbing. It made me stop what I was doing and just listen. Hardeep Singh Kohli's non-judgemental approach allows people to reveal themselves as they truly are. It was very touching.

    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 3: 0
    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 3: 0
    Loading…
  • Comment number 2. Posted by Gordon Roger

    on 11 Mar 2011 11:32

    This comment was removed because it broke the house rules. Explain

More comments

More Posts

Previous

Next