http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/features/london-season/

    If Dr Johnson was right in saying that "When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life", then a lot of Feedback listeners are pretty exhausted. The cause is the two week London Season which has just finished on Radio 4. Let me give you a flavour of the reaction of some out of London listeners.

    "This programme (The London Story) summed up the kind of smug self satisfied attitude that makes Londoners so unpopular throughout the rest of the UK. The entire programme amounted to a 45 minute pat on the back about how wonderful it is to live there."
    "I keep hearing adverts for a Radio 4 season where they will be focusing on London. Most of us thought that they had been doing this for the last 50 years."
    "The new London series is just another symptom of the fundamentally metropolitan outlook of Radio 4 and the BBC in general."

    One listener even wrote "Bring me the head of Radio 4, Roger." Well that won't be necessary because Mark Damazer has already announced he is stepping down and going off to run an Oxford College.

    His successor, Gwynneth Williams was announced on Thursday and she of course starts with a clean slate. New Controllers of Radio 4 are usually asked to try and increase the listenership outside the south east, the numbers decline the further north you go, and you may have noticed more on air regional accents in recent years. (Mine is basically Cumbrian, corrupted by years living in the Great Wen).

    It would appear from the reactions of Feedback listeners that there is a lot more to do.

    Roger Bolton presents Feedback on BBC Radio 4

    • Listen again to the whole programme, get in touch with Feedback, find out how to join the listener panel or subscribe to the podcast on the Feedback web page.
    • Visit the London: Another Country? homepage for details of all the programmes in the season and to listen to those that are still available.
    • Radio 4 hosted a live chat here on the blog and on Twitter for the Greatest City debate. You can read the conversation here and the tweets here.
    • Some listeners enjoyed London: Another Country? Scroll through tweets about the season for a fairly even mixture of pro and anti.
    • The picture is by Steve Bowbrick.

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    • Comment number 14. Posted by Bob Harvey

      on 25 Jul 2010 19:42

      I suspect everything I could say about this navel-gazing travesty of programming has been said.

      But consider the A-Z entry on "Zoo". The bizzare remark that at some unspecified time in the past hippos used to inhabit Trafalgar square. Not, you notice, the strand or shoreditch. presumably there was some sort of pleistocene fence?

      This entire segment was information-free, just random twitterings. It seemed representative of the rest of it all.

      And as for the suggestion that London has changed in recent decades! I'd have thought it was only appropriate for special programming if it was entirely unaltered.

      Drivel, bilge, and space-filling.

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    • Comment number 13. Posted by Steve Bowbrick

      on 21 Jul 2010 15:49

      Hello bryhers. The email address you heard was probably ipm@bbc.co.uk - the address for Eddie's IPM, which is currently on-air Saturdays at 1730.

      Steve Bowbrick, editor, Radio 4 blog

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    • Comment number 12. Posted by bryhers

      on 20 Jul 2010 19:59

      Mistake: I was then unable to post on the website,did I mishear?

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    • Comment number 11. Posted by bryhers

      on 20 Jul 2010 19:57

      An email address was given on Radio 4 4,1800 hours.I heard this as ipmbbc.co.uk.I was then to post on the website.Did I mishear?

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    • Comment number 10. Posted by dovesforlove

      on 18 Jul 2010 06:43

      The commisionig editor seemed totaly unwilling to answer the complaints put to him on air. Surely if you can come on the radio you should have answers at the ready. To someone from rural warwickshire, it really does seem, the BBC are either unaware, or probaly don't care that the rest of the country is even out there. Does he really think that only London has change over the last 30 years. Seemed total oblivious to the changes in the country as a whole.

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    • Comment number 9. Posted by newlach

      on 17 Jul 2010 14:58

      I have not listened to any of this season of programmes. The theme does not appeal to me, but perhaps there will be something that will grab my attention.

      I listened to the interview with Mohit Bakaya 3 times, each time looking for something positive. I'm afraid I was not persuaded by his arguments and in fact I found his tortuously circumlocutory attempt to justify a season of programmes on London woefully inadequate. He enthusiastically related how London "has transformed into a global city over the last 30 years" - but this could be said of many cities. In fact, an argument could be made that other cities have transformed themselves more than has London.

      He also said that London "is the capital of this country" which apart from revealing a complete ignorance of the UK's political geography is no justification in itself for making a radio programme. Mr Bakaya failed to provide listeners to Feedback with a "compelling journalistic reason" for the making of this season of programmes. Londonderry/Derry has been voted the UK's inaugural city of culture. This does not justify a season of programmes, but it might be worth one programme.

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    • Comment number 8. Posted by Lawrence Jones

      on 17 Jul 2010 13:50

      Message 7

      "I actually thought the London Season was a very good theme.
      Most of the programmes have been illuminating. I would have liked more about the history of London, however."

      I enjoyed the ones that I heard (I live in a large Northern city), but would have preferred a compare and contrast approach – and as you say – more history.

      I’m wondering if any other blog reader recalls the R4 series (possibly broadcast in the early 70’s?) that encompassed a huge number of British towns/cities and exposed them to a far more profound analysis? The series was broadcast on a Saturday night at 2215hrs. London, Manchester and Glasgow were definitely covered.

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    • Comment number 7. Posted by Looternite

      on 17 Jul 2010 12:10

      I actually thought the London Season was a very good theme.
      Most of the programmes have been illuminating. I would have liked more about the history of London, however.
      So please remember that London is a world city and we should celebrate that fact.

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    • Comment number 6. Posted by PMK

      on 17 Jul 2010 10:02

      ... still so well adjusted that censorship is needed ...

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    • Comment number 5. Posted by PMK

      on 16 Jul 2010 14:26

      Good to see that the Commissioning Editor takes constructive criticism so well, it needs censored!

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