We've had nearly 200 complaints to our audience logs about our decision to switch away from live coverage of yesterday's speech by William Hague (watch it here) to the Conservative Party conference to instead interview Michael Howard. Here's a flavour of what's being said:
I'd like to tell you there was a good reason. But I haven't one. So here goes: it was a poor editorial decision, I accept the criticism and I apologise. We'll try to learn from this mistake which I believe was uncharacteristic of the coverage as a whole; and I hope that those of you who were upset can understand that - when under the pressure of doing extended live coverage in fixed time slots - we can all make the odd unintentional error.
But now that's off my chest, I don't want the error to overshadow what was some great conference coverage over the past three weeks, and I don't want the apology to suggest I'm not very pleased with the programmes overall. Why?.
Take Little Andrew and Little Jenny: Three weeks ago I wrote about our recruiting them and my hopes for their impact on the attitudes of the young toward politics. Some very distinguished commentators rather rubbished the idea. Since then, they've interviewed the three men seeking to be prime minister, reported for The Daily Politics, led Newsround, been interviewed on a dozen regional news programmes, appeared on News at Ten, and featured on Conservative Home. Their contribution has been refreshing and insightful. And I know they've reached millions of viewers and listeners young and old.
Or take The Perception Panel - an innovative way of allowing audiences to engage with key speeches by recording their reaction directly into their phones and downloading the information onto air. You can find out more about it on the programme website. It's the world's largest interactive focus group, and the technology deserves to be used more widely by programme makers in every genre.
And of course, we've covered and analysed quickly and well over a hundred stories and speeches from the conferences themselves. In this light, my opening 'sorry' hasn't been the hardest word.