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Lynda Snell has seen off many rivals to her position as the most irritating person in Ambridge. Marjorie Antrobus started as a formidable character but went on to become a bit of a national treasure. Brian Aldridge can be a pain, and has caused much unhappiness, but his love for Ruairi is unquestionable. But they all face much more serious competition from that layabout, sponger and occasional drug taker, Jazzer.

In this week's Feedback programme I asked Jazzer, otherwise known as Ryan Kelly, whether he has any redeeming features at all, and he made some frankly incredible claims. I also ask whether, as a Scot, he agrees, with some of our listeners, that he is "a shocking case of an untruthful (Scottish) stereotype", after all there have been references to deep frying substance abuse.

I also talked to one of the scriptwriters Keri Davies about the role of 'the irritant' in The Archers and about the blueprint the series' creator, Godfrey Basely laid down well over half a century ago. Plus we hear about the latest updates on The Archers' website.

The Archers is gearing up for its 60th Anniversary celebrations - how do you think they should celebrate?

Roger Bolton (Born and brought up 8 miles south of Scotland. He has never seen, let alone eaten, a deep fried Mars Bar) is presenter of Feedback.

  • Listen again to this week's Feedback, produced by Karen Pirie, get in touch with Feedback, find out how to join the listener panel or subscribe to the podcast on the Feedback web page.
  • The new Archers web site has many interesting new features, including a brand new blog, edited by Keri Davies.
  • Feedback is now on Twitter. Follow @BBCFeedback.
  • The picture shows Ryan Kelly as Jazzer McCreary rehearsing with, on the right, Joanna Van Kampen as Fallon Rogers and, on the left, Director Rosemary Watts. It's by Steve Bowbrick.

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  • Comment number 10. Posted by Steve Bowbrick

    on 26 Nov 2010 11:09

    Lawrence_Jones I appreciate the thoughtful points you've made. On the matter of whether we should publish Roger's posts here on the blog, this is something we've thought carefully about. You're right that Feedback's special status at BBC Radio (not just Radio 4) means we have to be careful - the programme speaks for listeners and not for the radio networks.

    My conclusion, though, is that running Feedback items here on the blog is broadly analogous to running the programme itself on Radio 4. I think that listeners are sophisticated enough to know that Roger's not an 'official' voice and that his posts are different in purpose and in tone from the others we publish.

    And, on messageboards, I know that the producers at Whistledown (the new production company) are very experienced in the use of the boards and will be using them in making Feedback - even without a dedicated board. They're also using Twitter, Audioboo, Facebook and other social networks to find out what people think of BBC Radio's output.

    Steve Bowbrick, editor, Radio 4 blog

  • Comment number 9. Posted by Lawrence Jones

    on 22 Nov 2010 22:01

    Replying to Typewright (message 6)

    'Well, I never knew that. Maybe Women's Hour should do a piece on it? If Feedback doesn't, of course.'


    Yes it’s true, males will start talking about radio from a very young age – school playground, university, job centre, taxi rank….. It’s quite rare to find a schoolgirl or female university student who wants to talk about radio. Over a 10 year period on the R4 MB’s, I only met two women who were genuine radio enthusiasts. I’ve had one close female friend who loved talking about radio – but she lost interest in R4 quite a few years ago.

    Woman’s Hour doesn’t have a great deal to do with a profound love or knowledge of radio: it’s about journalism and the lives of, in the main, upper-middle-class southern female arts graduates who wouldn’t be caught dead changing their own cambelts. I suspect that Kate Murphy is quite knowledgeable about radio (her work on the WH Time Line is very impressive), but to my knowledge hasn’t produced WH for some time. Most of WH would probably perform quite badly if exposed to a relatively simple history of radio exam.

    Here’s some simple questions and I bet the males score higher than the females. NO CHEATING

    1. Who presented the R4 series entitled: ‘A Walk Across the Rooftop of Wales’?
    2. Which of the following producers never produced ‘Feedback’

    a) Viv Black
    b) Penelope Vine
    c) Kathleen Griffin

    3) During the recent BBC one day strike, a relatively senior BBC person surprised listeners by reading the 10 O’Clock news on R4. Who was it?

    4) Can you name a) the Any Questions guest who would always joked about having all their aerials removed and b) the guest who would often preface their answers with: ‘as a socialist’?

    5) If you had to buy Bidisha a small pressie, which of the following would she appreciate most:

    a) John Updike novel
    b) A copy of Bob Dylan’s ‘Blood on the Tracks’
    c) A new hat manufactured in Manchester

    6) If during the 60’s, I discovered your radio tuned to 242m, what radio station would you have been listening to?
    7) A Merseyside Woman’s Hour presenter admitted a few months ago (whilst presenting Pick of the Week) that she’d never visited Erics (legendary Liverpool music club). Who is she?
    8) Who is the Woman’s Hour presenter who - during an off-guard moment on a Feedback interview – stated that she attempted the Guardian and Daily Mail crossword puzzle during the WH serial?
    9) Kathleen Griffin presented (as in: ‘we sent Kathleen Griffin……..’) a Feedback BBC messageboard feature in 2002 and interviewed: Anna M.C., Elizabeth Jackson and one other person who commented: ‘The more you nurture a messageboard, the better it will be’. Can you name this person?
    10) Who is the R4 presenter who always rambles on about Robyn Hitchtcock’s records?
    11) Can you name the R4 controller who cancelled their farewell Feedback interview after taking up a new position within the BBC? (a clue: this person was also blamed for the ‘bong’ incident – which was unfair because it wasn’t this person’s fault)
    12) Who was the presenter of ‘A Small Country Living’?
    13) A former R3 presenter (sadly no longer with us), used to pronounce Pete Townshend’s surname as ‘Townchend’. Who was he?
    14) Chris Dunkley is a legendary presenter of Feedback. He was also a TV critic for a newspaper. Can you name the newspaper?
    15) Which radio presenter christened Philip Swern: ‘The magnificent Mr. Philip Swern’ ?

    16) A Radio 1 presenter left recently to take up a post within a university. Can you name the boradcaster

    17) There was a strange incident earlier in the year on R4 when Gok was the guest on DID: Leanne Buckle didn’t produce the programme. Who was the producer?
    18) Who was the visitor to the radio archives who could never come to any serious conclusion and would always end with ’…….and if you have been, thanks for listening’
    19) Can you name the Archers’ character (sadly no longer with us) who, when serving a customer, would always punctuate their comment with: ‘just right’.

    Good luck and any men posing as women (or vice-versa) will be disqualified.

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  • Comment number 8. Posted by Lawrence Jones

    on 22 Nov 2010 21:42

    Replying to Steven Bowbrick (message 7)

    'Lawrence Jones, I should point out that there was no 'sudden disappearance.' Brian McCluskey worked for City Broadcasting, the company that made Feedback until the end of the last series.'

    Yes, I know Steven Bowbrick – and I commented about Whistledown taking over Feedback in one of Mr Bolton’s recent blogs [1]. I wondered why City Broadcasting’s contract was so short (after all the celebrations when the company secured the contract) when, for example, Testbed produced the programme for 12 years – until it hit financial problems.

    Feedback should have its own messageboard – and a Feedback presenter should most definitely not be posting a blog via an R4 conduit. It gives the impression that the programme is in bed with the R4 establishment. At least City Broadcasting had put an end to these endless features relating to the Archers – Whistledown brings the programme back to square one. Please bring back Chris Dunkley. He’d procure answers to all the messageboard complaints that are suppressed by R4.

    Reference

    [1] Jones, L.A. (posting 2) ‘BBC Monitoring at Caversham – hard of hearing?’ 5th November 2010
    see: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/radio4/2010/11/bbc_monitoring_at_caversham.html

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  • Comment number 7. Posted by Steve Bowbrick

    on 22 Nov 2010 18:35

    Lawrence Jones, I should point out that there was no 'sudden disappearance.' Brian McCluskey worked for City Broadcasting, the company that made Feedback until the end of the last series. It's now made by Whistledown, another well-established provider of Radio 4 programmes. So no alien abduction, just the usual turnover in production companies!

    Steve Bowbrick, editor, Radio 4 blog

  • Comment number 6. Posted by typewright

    on 20 Nov 2010 19:17

    'men tend to be far more enthusiastic – and knowledgeable – about radio'

    Well, I never knew that. Maybe Women's Hour should do a piece on it? If Feedback doesn't, of course.

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  • Comment number 5. Posted by newlach

    on 20 Nov 2010 18:54

    I would not expect the wife of Roger Bolton to be acquainted with deep-fried chocolate bars. Every meal would be carefully assessed: comments, queries, criticisms and congratulations freely made and given. Poor standards would not be tolerated.

    One finds layabouts and spongers everywhere; it just happens that Jazzer is a Scot. Perhaps, the introduction of an English no-hoper would assuage those who object to Jazzer? Interestingly, someone recently told me about an inner city grocery shop with sales of fresh vegetables totalling only £100 a week, and alcohol sales totalling £8,000 over the same period.

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  • Comment number 4. Posted by Lawrence Jones

    on 20 Nov 2010 17:59

    I can’t believe that Archers’ listeners are complaining when they have SEVEN messageboards, yet 10m+ R4 listeners who want to discuss the rest of R4’s output are now left with just THREE boards (Mornington Crescent MB has noting to do with R4). All our complaints to Feedback are ignored and the BBC Trust has refused to investigate the complaints. Additionally, Keri Davies may have his failings – but at least he has always supported Archers’ messageboards. The R4 message boards have never received any support from controllers, producers (with the exception of Ed Morrish, Torquil MacLeod, Kate Murphy and Simon Clancy) or editors. Caroline Raphael gave up with her one-line postings (‘so glad you enjoyed it’) years ago.

    Given the sudden disappearance of Brian McCluskey, how about Karen Pirie introduces herself to listeners in case she suddenly vanishes? Why is she qualified to produce Feedback and what programmes has she produced in the past? Why doesn’t Feedback investigate the results of the Radio 4 Roadshow? Where are we up to with the Friday play issue? Has Ms. Williams seen the light and reinstated it? Is Ms. Raphael still lurking around R4? I quite miss her telling me (on Feedback) that I don’t anything about radio.

    Radio producers are extremely important, yet listeners never hear anything from them. Why not have a feature on this? Who, for example, is the producers’ producer? If radio producers had to nominate their favourite producer, who would win? Is the producer/editor relationship always harmonious? Why is R4 saturated with female producers when men tend to be far more enthusiastic – and knowledgeable – about radio? Is there a secret posh girls’ boarding school in the South of England set up to train girls to become radio producers?

    Another question: why has ‘The Bottom Line’ struggled so much? Producers have come and gone, yet the CEO’s and chairman on TBL are rarely interesting people. Contrast this with Mary Goldring’s CEO/Chairman interviews on Analysis.

    Finally, I would like to hear further editions of ‘Meeting Myself Coming back’. Great idea, fine radio production – and none of the guests got a cob on if John Wilson embarrassed them with some of their early broadcasts. Janet Street- Porter was particularly interesting – and clearly a very sensitive person.

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  • Comment number 3. Posted by mary

    on 20 Nov 2010 09:42

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

  • Comment number 2. Posted by Nemo399

    on 20 Nov 2010 08:28

    On a different note, I enjoyed the interview with Ryan Kelly (Jazzer is one of my favourite characters) and I was relieved to hear Keri Davies say that 'he wouldn't be surprised' if Ruari Donovan gradually lost his accent over the years!

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  • Comment number 1. Posted by DracoM1

    on 19 Nov 2010 15:21

    Dear Feedback

    Did ANY of your 'researchers' bother to see what the reaction on / about that very Archers new website actually was before you launched into today's fawning Archers slot?

    Many of us were astonished at both the uninformed nature of the presenter's comment and Keri Davies's own contribution.

    The reaction on the new website, from serious website design techies to baffled regulars, has been almost universally dismissive. Post after post contains detailed evaluations. For Keri Davies to have asserted that it was going down well was just plain untruth. Check out the responses for yourself. At least four major threads almost all of which are deeply disappointed and technically critical. This is NOT Archers demographic conservatism. It is a seriously, technically botched job.

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