BBC Radio 4

    Feedback: Salford, Radio 5 live and Radio1 Breakfast

    Editor's note: This week Feedback visits programme makers in the BBC's new buildings in Salford. You can hear Feedback on Radio 4 on Fridays at 4.30pm. PMcD.

    "In Xanadu did Kubla Khan a stately pleasure dome decree".

    And in Salford the BBC leadership did a similar thing.

    On the banks of the Manchester ship canal has arisen another pleasure dome, the headquarters of BBC North, now home to the BBC Philharmonic, BBC Sport, Radio 5 live, the Religion and Ethics department and much more, and soon to be the base for Radio 4's You and Yours programme.

    Just across the canal ITV is building its northern headquarters and independent producers are clustered around, hoping to catch commissioners over coffee.

    The architectural merits of the buildings are for others to judge, but of the success of the rejuvenation of this once derelict area there can be no doubt. It rivals the Olympic site in Stratford, East London, in terms of transformation.

    And for licence fee payers worried about the cost of the BBC's contribution to all this, land of course is rather cheaper there than in the middle of central London. Most listeners and viewers, I suspect, could hardly care less where programmes are broadcast from.

    What they care about is quality and cost.

    I hope to explore the true costs of the BBC building projects in Salford and Portland Place at a later date, but what of the quality of programmes coming out of 5 live? If the programmes sound no different, is that a compliment, or evidence of a missed opportunity?

    Should the sound and content of the network be different now it is some 200 miles away from its former home?

    With these questions in mind I went to Salford and, with some difficulty, because security is tight, gained entrance to the building on the first of whose five floors, 5 live is ensconced.

    Once inside the building we were allowed to go anywhere and ask anyone anything.

    You can listen to the show in full on the webpage where you can hear also BBC Radio 1's Director of Programmes tell me what the new Radio 1 breakfast show will sound like now that Chris Moyles is leaving to play King Herod in Jesus Christ Superstar.


    Happy Listening,

    Roger B.

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