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On being a presenter

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Messages: 1 - 50 of 60
  • Message 1. 

    Posted by Buttey (U14563284) on Saturday, 13th July 2013

    Something from the Grauniad by the excellent Mary Beard. A few thoughts on being a presenter of academic or historical programmes. It probably conflicts with some of the less informed opinions often spouted on these boards. And I mean 'less informed' to be those who haven't been there and done it themselves but have particular point of view.

    www.guardian.co.uk/b...

    Report message1

  • Message 2

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Pancho Wilkins (U1158194) on Saturday, 13th July 2013

    Something from the Grauniad by the excellent Mary Beard. A few thoughts on being a presenter of academic or historical programmes. It probably conflicts with some of the less informed opinions often spouted on these boards. And I mean 'less informed' to be those who haven't been there and done it themselves but have particular point of view.

    www.guardian.co.uk/b... 

    What suppressed anger your post reveals. Better out than in, eh?

    Report message2

  • Message 3

    , in reply to message 2.

    Posted by Buttey (U14563284) on Saturday, 13th July 2013

    Something from the Grauniad by the excellent Mary Beard. A few thoughts on being a presenter of academic or historical programmes. It probably conflicts with some of the less informed opinions often spouted on these boards. And I mean 'less informed' to be those who haven't been there and done it themselves but have particular point of view.

    www.guardian.co.uk/b... 

    What suppressed anger your post reveals. Better out than in, eh? 
    You can read what you like into a post. No suppressed anger, just an appreciation of Mary Beard's point of view as opposed to those often expressed on these boards. Do you actually have anything useful or informed to add? Thought not.

    Report message3

  • Message 4

    , in reply to message 3.

    Posted by Going_twice (U15765744) on Saturday, 13th July 2013

    You gotta love Mary Beard! Great article, lovely woman.

    Report message4

  • Message 5

    , in reply to message 3.

    This posting has been hidden during moderation because it broke the House Rules in some way.

  • Message 6

    , in reply to message 5.

    Posted by Buttey (U14563284) on Saturday, 13th July 2013

    In what way is Mary Beard's inion less informed than yours? It's not intended to incite a reaction, but is an honest position comparing her opinion (as a presenter) to those often presented here but by people with (often) less or no knowledge. Of presenting a programme. Why is that a problem for you? A formal complaint would be laughable.

    Report message6

  • Message 7

    , in reply to message 6.

    This posting has been hidden during moderation because it broke the House Rules in some way.

  • Message 8

    , in reply to message 6.

    This posting has been hidden during moderation because it broke the House Rules in some way.

  • Message 9

    , in reply to message 7.

    This posting has been hidden during moderation because it broke the House Rules in some way.

  • Message 10

    , in reply to message 9.

    This posting has been hidden during moderation because it broke the House Rules in some way.

  • Message 11

    , in reply to message 10.

    This posting has been hidden during moderation because it broke the House Rules in some way.

  • Message 12

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Peta (U24) on Sunday, 14th July 2013

    This is a great article and it's well worth reading.

    Thanks for posting a link to it Buttey.

    The post was originally alerted by a member of the public, and as I don't work every single day of the week it was referred but not passed again by me. I've picked it up and sent it live again now - on a Sunday - but back out to enjoy the weekend with my family now.

    Most of the other posts hidden here seem to be about moderation, which is off topic for the board. I'll sort it out on Monday.

    In the meantime please feel free to read the article and add your comments about it here.

    (And if the person who alerted this first post does it again action may be taken against their account - you know who you are, stay away from the alert button you are not helping at all !)

    Report message12

  • Message 13

    , in reply to message 12.

    Posted by mirandashell (U1946590) on Sunday, 14th July 2013

    Anyway...... I quite liked her article and it's nice to have someone tell us about the difficulties of filming documentaries. But.... the real test is the finished product. And if the majority of viewers didn't like it and won't watch another one by the same presenter, it failed in it's job.

    Report message13

  • Message 14

    , in reply to message 13.

    Posted by Prophet Tenebrae (U5995226) on Sunday, 14th July 2013

    Anyway...... I quite liked her article and it's nice to have someone tell us about the difficulties of filming documentaries. But.... the real test is the finished product. And if the majority of viewers didn't like it and won't watch another one by the same presenter, it failed in it's job.  As I all know the message board craves to hear my opine at length, I shall do so...

    This article made me realise that not only is the presenter-holiday-jollyathon disliked by a not insubstantial number, it apparently greatly increases the time (and therefore cost) of shooting documentaries.

    Almost everything said by the good lady Beard made me think "all the more reason to not have a presenter or to keep their onscreen presence to an absolute minimum".

    So, all-in-all - everything that I've thought and said for the past few years about BBC documentaries... totally borne out by this.

    Report message14

  • Message 15

    , in reply to message 4.

    Posted by Limehouse (U7580688) on Sunday, 14th July 2013

    Looking forward to Caligula.

    Report message15

  • Message 16

    , in reply to message 15.

    Posted by caissier (U14073060) on Sunday, 14th July 2013

    I don't think MB disagrees which much of the familiar criticisms expressed here. They are not usually attacks on the presenter, more of the over-thought, over-produced programmes. mary Beard does seem a vey pleasant, agreeable person but she doesn't call the shots.When Brian Sewell was moaning about factuals he referred to "dear Mary beard" apparently affectionately. Unfortunately programmes get combined with presenters who then become defensive.

    Report message16

  • Message 17

    , in reply to message 16.

    Posted by megamain (U12800305) on Sunday, 14th July 2013

    The recent Piper Alpha documentary was pretty much perfect. No presenter, no narrator, minimal (but adequate) background music.

    Will they learn?

    Of course not.

    Report message17

  • Message 18

    , in reply to message 17.

    Posted by Johnbee (U542312) on Sunday, 14th July 2013

    OP I must say that about thirty years ago The Guardian was infamous for printing typing errors, and so the newspaper was christened the Guarniad by Private Eye magazine as a joke.
    About twenty nine years ago, The Guardian. like most other newspapers, was computerised, in particular it used computer typesetting, and of course spellchecking, and so the typos were more or less eliminated.

    There are still a small reservoir of people whose idea of humour is so damn pathetically dim that they still persevere with the pretence that The Guardian continues with it's typos.

    It doesn't.

    I enjoyed Ms Beard's article yesterday, I suppose that is the one to which you refer, though I am fairly sure I have not watched a programme with her in it.

    As far as the debate goes, the best documentary by a million miles this year is The Murder Trial, which has no 'presenter' at all. That takes film making skill of course.

    Report message18

  • Message 19

    , in reply to message 18.

    Posted by mirandashell (U1946590) on Sunday, 14th July 2013

    I'm guessing from your tone, you're a journalist at the Gaurniad?

    Report message19

  • Message 20

    , in reply to message 19.

    Posted by Testcard (U1164920) on Sunday, 14th July 2013

    Private Eye christened the newspaper "The Grauniad".

    Report message20

  • Message 21

    , in reply to message 20.

    Posted by mirandashell (U1946590) on Sunday, 14th July 2013

    Pedantic about a typo! Love it!

    Report message21

  • Message 22

    , in reply to message 17.

    Posted by Peta (U24) on Sunday, 14th July 2013

    Hi megamain

    The recent Piper Alpha documentary was pretty much perfect. No presenter, no narrator, minimal (but adequate) background music.

    Will they learn?

    Of course not. 


    Of course not. Because not at documentaries are - or shoud be - the same.

    Last para of the Mary Beard article :-



    But I don't imagine that even the most opinionated of us really want there to be only one style of documentary. To put it another way, like us or not, it's surely a good thing that British television has room for Grayson Perry and Margaret Mountford, for Brian Sewell and Joanna Lumley – and, I hope, for me.

    www.guardian.co.uk/b... 

    Report message22

  • Message 23

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Annie-Lou est Charlie (U4502268) on Sunday, 14th July 2013

    Something from the Grauniad by the excellent Mary Beard. A few thoughts on being a presenter of academic or historical programmes. It probably conflicts with some of the less informed opinions often spouted on these boards. And I mean 'less informed' to be those who haven't been there and done it themselves but have particular point of view.

    www.guardian.co.uk/b... 
    Much as I like and admire Mary Beard, I cannot agree with the OP's position that anyone who has not themselves presented a programme is "uninformed" and has no right to an opinion about it.
    I might just as well say that people buying clothes have no right to a view about them if they don't sew and have never made garments themselves!
    Surely, we, as the ultimate consumers of documentaries, the 'customers' if you will, have the most important opinion of all?? If its not being done for us, who is it for? It would just be a lot of academics like Mary talking to themselves!

    (And this board would be an entirely different animal if it were restricted to only programme makers!)

    Report message23

  • Message 24

    , in reply to message 22.

    Posted by Testcard (U1164920) on Sunday, 14th July 2013

    So that's OK then. Room for all styles of documentary. As long as they're presenter-led.

    Report message24

  • Message 25

    , in reply to message 23.

    Posted by Prophet Tenebrae (U5995226) on Sunday, 14th July 2013

    Much as I like and admire Mary Beard, I cannot agree with the OP's position that anyone who has not themselves presented a programme is "uninformed" and has no right to an opinion about it. 
    Also, you can't criticise a smartphone if you haven't designed and made one - nor can you speak ill of a film unless you wrote, directed and starred in one.

    I'm also unsure of how Mary Beard has proven the need for diversity, when she has done such a very good job of highlighting how much time and money could be saved by eliminating arm flailing presenters and focusing on (gasp!) the subject, rather than the holiday jollies.

    Goodness, it's almost as if the cash strapped (what a joke) BBC could save money by NOT sending people to every point of the globe for the most poorly explained of reasons!

    I'll be sending the BBC my consultation fee of £250,000 tomorrow but I think the savings will more than pay for it.

    Report message25

  • Message 26

    , in reply to message 23.

    Posted by Buttey (U14563284) on Sunday, 14th July 2013

    Something from the Grauniad by the excellent Mary Beard. A few thoughts on being a presenter of academic or historical programmes. It probably conflicts with some of the less informed opinions often spouted on these boards. And I mean 'less informed' to be those who haven't been there and done it themselves but have particular point of view.

    www.guardian.co.uk/b... 
    Much as I like and admire Mary Beard, I cannot agree with the OP's position that anyone who has not themselves presented a programme is "uninformed" and has no right to an opinion about it.
    I might just as well say that people buying clothes have no right to a view about them if they don't sew and have never made garments themselves!
    Surely, we, as the ultimate consumers of documentaries, the 'customers' if you will, have the most important opinion of all?? If its not being done for us, who is it for? It would just be a lot of academics like Mary talking to themselves!

    (And this board would be an entirely different animal if it were restricted to only programme makers!) 
    I didn't say you didn't have a right to an opinion. i merely suggested that if you haven't been involved in the making of a TV programme then an opinion you express about it is quite possibly uninformed. To conflate the two positions, and to set up straw-men arguments as you do, is to misunderstand the difference between having an opinion and having an informed opinion. I found Mary Beard's article to be informative and interesting.

    If we as viewers have the most important opinion of all, and that's a fair and reasonable position to adopt, then actually learning about the process of putting together a show is essential. Mary Beard has provided a contribution to that, from an informed point of view.

    Report message26

  • Message 27

    , in reply to message 25.

    Posted by Peta (U24) on Monday, 15th July 2013

    Much as I like and admire Mary Beard, I cannot agree with the OP's position that anyone who has not themselves presented a programme is "uninformed" and has no right to an opinion about it. 
    Also, you can't criticise a smartphone if you haven't designed and made one - nor can you speak ill of a film unless you wrote, directed and starred in one.

    I'm also unsure of how Mary Beard has proven the need for diversity, when she has done such a very good job of highlighting how much time and money could be saved by eliminating arm flailing presenters and focusing on (gasp!) the subject, rather than the holiday jollies.

    Goodness, it's almost as if the cash strapped (what a joke) BBC could save money by NOT sending people to every point of the globe for the most poorly explained of reasons!

    I'll be sending the BBC my consultation fee of £250,000 tomorrow but I think the savings will more than pay for it. 
    So prophet Tenebrae,

    Anyone working in another country, no matter what they're doing or how many roles they are fulfilling, or how many hours they're working, are on a "holiday jolly"?

    Isn't that just a bit of a silly thing to say? They're abroad so they must be on holiday? I think I grew out of thinking that way when I was about twelve.

    Report message27

  • Message 28

    , in reply to message 26.

    Posted by Annie-Lou est Charlie (U4502268) on Monday, 15th July 2013

    I'm sure it is informative and interesting, and people might enjoy it, but they should not HAVE to know that stuff in order to watch telly and understand it. It should stand alone, or its not doing its job. It shouldn't be essential to know how its done, any more that its essential to know how a fancy restaurant meal was cooked in order to say whether it tasted good!

    I'm not saying that TV can please all of the people all of the time, but unless it can entertain and inform a reasonable proportion of the audience (without the need of a crib-sheet) then the programme is in the wrong, not the viewers.

    Report message28

  • Message 29

    , in reply to message 27.

    Posted by caissier (U14073060) on Monday, 15th July 2013

    Petra .... I don't think PT is saying the presenter is on holiday, rather that much of many factual documentaries is devoted to travelogue-style film of agreeable sunny foreign travel destinations. There is, though, also, bizarrely, then extensive footage of central London and the pres. walking over Westminster Bridge saying, "I wanted to find out about (they probably knew anyway, being subject experts) XXXXXXX so I went to the British Library ..... " (film of BL inserted) and then we are walking down in the basement laboriously shifting sliding archive storage units, whit gloves, unreadable shots of documents from funny angles ...... etc etc etc ..........

    Report message29

  • Message 30

    , in reply to message 26.

    Posted by SometimesInvisiblePoster (U9636067) on Monday, 15th July 2013

    money could be saved by eliminating arm flailing presenters and focusing on (gasp!) the subject, rather than the holiday  

    Did you read the article Prophet? Hardly a holiday, lots of hard work and I for one look forward to seeing it.

    (Adds in stage whisper, but I would love to get my hands on Mary's hair smiley - devil) (sorry!)

    Report message30

  • Message 31

    , in reply to message 28.

    Posted by Peta (U24) on Monday, 15th July 2013

    I agree Annie-Lou that people don't have to know this stuff in order to watch TV but I do agree with Buttey that it "It probably conflicts with some of the less informed opinions often spouted on these boards".

    People often 'spout' that presenters are on a jolly or that thousands of researchers are involved in productions or that everything is 'dumbed-down', so the article does highlight that things are not always as they seem from the other side of the screen.

    While not knowing how a fancy restaurant meal is cooked may not distract from the overall taste of the meal, it may well help some people to appreciate it more if they understand that t it's actually rather hard to cook and that a high degree of skill, experience, dedication and knowledge has gone into it's preparation.

    Report message31

  • Message 32

    , in reply to message 30.

    Posted by caissier (U14073060) on Monday, 15th July 2013

    Actually there is currently a documentary about the Nelsonian navy and the West Indies ....... www.bbc.co.uk/iplaye... ....... which is astonishingly, jaw-droppingly, eye-wateringly free of the godawful presentational clichés which blight current factual programmes. Sam Willis, unassuming, natural, authentic in manner, unaffected, yet clearly deeply into the subject, even at one point ..... get this ..... talks to us with his hands IN HIS POCKETS !! ...... I know - incredible!

    Otherwise he just, like, talks naturally to experts and archaeologists in normal-person manner. I couldn't quite believe my eyes. The camera just looked at what was going on in an entirely sober style ...... V. little BGM if any any subtle useful cgi - to evoke C18th ships at anchor. In-house BBC Wales programme, I think smiley - ok. More of that kind of thing please BBC! (Awards all round!)

    Report message32

  • Message 33

    , in reply to message 31.

    Posted by caissier (U14073060) on Monday, 15th July 2013

    Well, ok, Peta, but it's not the worst job in the world ..... smiley - winkeye

    Report message33

  • Message 34

    , in reply to message 33.

    Posted by caissier (U14073060) on Monday, 15th July 2013

    In fact ..... a documentary about making documentaries wouldn't be a bad idea ??

    smiley - smiley smiley - ok

    (Book Brian Sewell, for a start .... smiley - biggrin)

    Report message34

  • Message 35

    , in reply to message 23.

    Posted by Essential Rabbit (U3613943) on Monday, 15th July 2013

    Something from the Grauniad by the excellent Mary Beard. A few thoughts on being a presenter of academic or historical programmes. It probably conflicts with some of the less informed opinions often spouted on these boards. And I mean 'less informed' to be those who haven't been there and done it themselves but have particular point of view.

    www.guardian.co.uk/b... 
    Much as I like and admire Mary Beard, I cannot agree with the OP's position that anyone who has not themselves presented a programme is "uninformed" and has no right to an opinion about it.
    I might just as well say that people buying clothes have no right to a view about them if they don't sew and have never made garments themselves!
    Surely, we, as the ultimate consumers of documentaries, the 'customers' if you will, have the most important opinion of all?? If its not being done for us, who is it for? It would just be a lot of academics like Mary talking to themselves!

    (And this board would be an entirely different animal if it were restricted to only programme makers!) 
    My thoughts exactly.

    Should only teachers be permitted to discuss education, or MPs politics?

    I have expertise in a couple of sciences and frequently read quite erroneous opinons about those disciplines, but that doesn't mean people shouldn't have the right to express them..

    Report message35

  • Message 36

    , in reply to message 35.

    Posted by Peta (U24) on Monday, 15th July 2013

    Something from the Grauniad by the excellent Mary Beard. A few thoughts on being a presenter of academic or historical programmes. It probably conflicts with some of the less informed opinions often spouted on these boards. And I mean 'less informed' to be those who haven't been there and done it themselves but have particular point of view.

    www.guardian.co.uk/b... 
    Much as I like and admire Mary Beard, I cannot agree with the OP's position that anyone who has not themselves presented a programme is "uninformed" and has no right to an opinion about it.
    I might just as well say that people buying clothes have no right to a view about them if they don't sew and have never made garments themselves!
    Surely, we, as the ultimate consumers of documentaries, the 'customers' if you will, have the most important opinion of all?? If its not being done for us, who is it for? It would just be a lot of academics like Mary talking to themselves!

    (And this board would be an entirely different animal if it were restricted to only programme makers!) 
    My thoughts exactly.

    Should only teachers be permitted to discuss education, or MPs politics?

    I have expertise in a couple of sciences and frequently read quite erroneous opinons about those disciplines, but that doesn't mean people shouldn't have the right to express them.. 





    You must have missed the response by the original poster, where he said

    I didn't say you didn't have a right to an opinion.

    I merely suggested that if you haven't been involved in the making of a TV programme then an opinion you express about it is quite possibly uninformed.

    To conflate the two positions, and to set up straw-men arguments as you do, is to misunderstand the difference between having an opinion and having an informed opinion.


    I found Mary Beard's article to be informative and interesting.

    If we as viewers have the most important opinion of all, and that's a fair and reasonable position to adopt, then actually learning about the process of putting together a show is essential. Mary Beard has provided a contribution to that, from an informed point of view.  

    Report message36

  • Message 37

    , in reply to message 36.

    Posted by Essential Rabbit (U3613943) on Monday, 15th July 2013

    You must have missed the response by the original poster 
    No, I didn't.

    I rejected it, because it still gives the impression to me that we "uninformed" should take care when criticising the making of a documentary.
    As a consumer of the programmes I disagree.

    Report message37

  • Message 38

    , in reply to message 37.

    Posted by Peta (U24) on Monday, 15th July 2013

    Ah okay. Presumably you don't do the same when you're talking to someone in real life, that'd make conversations a bit weird wouldn't it?

    Report message38

  • Message 39

    , in reply to message 31.

    Posted by Pancho Wilkins (U1158194) on Monday, 15th July 2013

    People often 'spout'  
    What do you mean by 'spout', Peta?

    Report message39

  • Message 40

    , in reply to message 39.

    Posted by Peta (U24) on Monday, 15th July 2013

    I was quoting Buttey Pancho - but spout used in this way generally means to to "speak or utter readily, volubly, and at length".

    Report message40

  • Message 41

    , in reply to message 38.

    Posted by Essential Rabbit (U3613943) on Monday, 15th July 2013

    Ah okay. Presumably you don't do the same when you're talking to someone in real life, that'd make conversations a bit weird wouldn't it?  The same as what?
    I have no answer to this question because I don't know what it means.

    Report message41

  • Message 42

    , in reply to message 40.

    Posted by Pancho Wilkins (U1158194) on Monday, 15th July 2013

    I was quoting Buttey Pancho - but spout used in this way generally means to to "speak or utter readily, volubly, and at length".  Spout is generally used in a derogatory and negative way, isn't it?

    Report message42

  • Message 43

    , in reply to message 41.

    Posted by Peta (U24) on Monday, 15th July 2013

    Ah okay. Presumably you don't do the same when you're talking to someone in real life, that'd make conversations a bit weird wouldn't it?  The same as what?
    I have no answer to this question because I don't know what it means. 
    Reply to what someone said initially, completing ignoring their later response.

    Report message43

  • Message 44

    , in reply to message 39.

    Posted by germinator hebdo (U13411914) on Monday, 15th July 2013

    'Spout' is a form of yet another highly irregular verb:
    I argue logically
    You sound off
    She/he/it spouts

    Report message44

  • Message 45

    , in reply to message 43.

    Posted by Essential Rabbit (U3613943) on Monday, 15th July 2013

    Ah okay. Presumably you don't do the same when you're talking to someone in real life, that'd make conversations a bit weird wouldn't it?  The same as what?
    I have no answer to this question because I don't know what it means. 
    Reply to what someone said initially, completing ignoring their later response. 
    I didn't reply to anything the OP posted.
    I replied to a comment Annie-Lou posted about the OP.

    Report message45

  • Message 46

    , in reply to message 42.

    Posted by Peta (U24) on Monday, 15th July 2013

    I was quoting Buttey Pancho - but spout used in this way generally means to to "speak or utter readily, volubly, and at length".  Spout is generally used in a derogatory and negative way, isn't it?  The sentence was

    "It probably conflicts with some of the less informed opinions often spouted on these boards"

    Do people present ill-informed statements as fact on this board? Yes, they probably do. Is it derogatory to point this out? That's up to you how you take it.

    Report message46

  • Message 47

    , in reply to message 45.

    Posted by Peta (U24) on Monday, 15th July 2013

    Ah okay. Presumably you don't do the same when you're talking to someone in real life, that'd make conversations a bit weird wouldn't it?  The same as what?
    I have no answer to this question because I don't know what it means. 
    Reply to what someone said initially, completing ignoring their later response. 
    I didn't reply to anything the OP posted.
    I replied to a comment Annie-Lou posted about the OP. 
    Ah okay, just me that thinks this is odd then. Never mind.

    Report message47

  • Message 48

    , in reply to message 44.

    Posted by Pancho Wilkins (U1158194) on Monday, 15th July 2013

    'Spout' is a form of yet another highly irregular verb:
    I argue logically
    You sound off
    She/he/it spouts 
    How true

    Report message48

  • Message 49

    , in reply to message 47.

    Posted by Essential Rabbit (U3613943) on Monday, 15th July 2013

    Ah okay. Presumably you don't do the same when you're talking to someone in real life, that'd make conversations a bit weird wouldn't it?  The same as what?
    I have no answer to this question because I don't know what it means. 
    Reply to what someone said initially, completing ignoring their later response. 
    I didn't reply to anything the OP posted.
    I replied to a comment Annie-Lou posted about the OP. 
    Ah okay, just me that thinks this is odd then. Never mind. 
    What is odd about my replying to a post by Annie-Lou?
    You accused me of replyng to the OP, which is demonstrably untrue.

    And why are you being so confrontational?

    Report message49

  • Message 50

    , in reply to message 49.

    Posted by Peta (U24) on Monday, 15th July 2013

    Ah okay. Presumably you don't do the same when you're talking to someone in real life, that'd make conversations a bit weird wouldn't it?  The same as what?
    I have no answer to this question because I don't know what it means. 
    Reply to what someone said initially, completing ignoring their later response. 
    I didn't reply to anything the OP posted.
    I replied to a comment Annie-Lou posted about the OP. 
    Ah okay, just me that thinks this is odd then. Never mind. 
    What is odd about my replying to a post by Annie-Lou?
    You accused me of replyng to the OP, which is demonstrably untrue.

    And why are you being so confrontational? 
    The poster had already replied to Annie Lou to say that that he didn't mean that posters here shouldn't share their views. Your response didn't seem to take his reply into account at all, you just ignored what he said when he explained this - I thought you just might have missed his response to Annie-Lou completely - but apparently not.

    To me this seems a bit strange, normally in a conversation with several people participating people take into account what other people have said too, particularly the views of the person who started the conversation.

    I hope that explains it more clearly.

    Report message50

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