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Guest Editors - Gillian Reynolds


Gillian ReynoldsWednesday Editor, Gillian Reynolds

Over the Xmas period the Today Programme decided to carry out an experiment. Could new faces inject some new and refreshing insight?

Gillian Reynolds prog. 
Millenium Dome

The Millenium Dome: White Elephant?

Gillian Reynolds

The Telegraph

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Red Routemaster

The end of an era?

Gillian Reynolds used to present Today..
view of studio

Editor's view of the programme.
The call from Today came on a busy day. Deadlines in December are early and often. So, when asked to do a guest editor stint, I was flattered but flustered.

If it meant actually doing stories, I couldn’t. But it didn’t, said the man on the phone. I just had to think up four or five items I’d like to hear. Today would do the rest. “The whole resources of the BBC are at your disposal,” he said. Good, I said, let’s all go to Australia and do the show there. He laughed, faintly. I had a few days to think about it.

The more I thought, the odder it seemed. I wasn’t going to be at the editorial meetings. I didn’t know which day or who the presenters would be. Was this an ambush?

It seemed worth the risk. I submitted my list Who owns the Millennium Dome, how much has it cost, who’s paid? How will the new telecommunications regulatory body, OFCOM, deal with complaints from ordinary listeners and viewers? Why are London’s world famous red doubledecker buses being phased out, and with them the conductors who make public transport bearable? And I’d like a poem, please, by wise and witty U.A. Fanthorpe.

Now comes the tricky bit. I don’t know how any of them will turn out. It’s like sending down a menu and waiting for cook to triumph. If cook mucks up here, though, I’m the one who’ll get the blame. Today? Muck up? Surely not?

Listen to Review of the Millenium Dome:
It's three years since the Millennium Dome shut its doors... and it is still waiting for a new permanent occupant..While the space has been hired out from time to time, that makes little dent in the £800 million spent on the Dome: partly because the government agency English Partnerships is paying out over a quarter of a million pounds a month simply to maintain it. A final agreement with new ownersis scheduled to be signed next year. Sanchia Berg looks at why the Dome remains empty, and asks whether the lottery, and the government, will ever get their money back. Into interview with Lord Michael Heseltine.

Listen to How to Complain to the New Broadcasting Regulator - OFCOM: A Torin Douglas package on most-complained-about programmes. Ton include Today's Scottish gamekeepers complaint and interviews with Tim Souter, Ofcom and Stephen Whittle, BBC Controller of editorial policy. Into interview with Roger Bolton.

Listen to Poem by Ursula Fanthorpe:
Gillian Reynolds is a fan of Ms Fanthorpe's work and commissioned a poem to be broadcast just before nine.

Listen to End of Double Deckers?:
Gillian Reynolds is a fan of the old fashioned open-doored double deckers. However, Transport for London are planning to stop operating these buses in favour of the newer one man buses. Peter Hendy of Transport for London.

Listen to Gillian's Thoughts:
Gillian Reynolds talks about her experience of editing the Today Programme.

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