Archives for June 2009

Your News

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Jennifer Tracey | 11:52 UK time, Tuesday, 30 June 2009


Voice of Wimbledon - Barry Davies

So, you're driving home, or cooking the tea or whatever and you're listening to PM on Radio 4 and Eddie Mair says "send us a sentence of your news about your week".

And you think, what IS he on about? (I find smiling and nodding politely in meetings usually works but this is tricky for you because you've no eye contact).

Well here's how it works - you send in a single sentence, can be funny, silly or serious, we compile them into a bulletin and invite some lovely BBC star to read it out.

Three ways you can do it - leave a comment below, email us or tweet.

This is the bulletin from last week read by Wimbledon commentator Barry Davies (above).

After spending 3 years designing a wooden toy soldier, I made one and sent it to the Museum of the Royal Danish Lifeguards in Copenhagen.

I got made redundant last November and this week I published my first book - it's a diary about caravaning.

On Thursday I applied for a spouse visa so I can move to Japan.

Been fighting the UK Banks for 6 months to save our company and its 200 employees. We finally won this week but I've no sense of pride, just an understanding of how lost our Banks have become.

Yesterday, I was discharged by the consultant seven weeks after a successful hip replacement; fully mobile, no pain, and no infections. Thank you NHS!

First week back at work after a year's maternity leave. I miss my little girl, but I think a noisy building site is still quieter than a screeching baby.

Had my 50th birthday, quit my job the next day, now self employed and already got a first piece of work.

Bouncing out of bed fully awake is my default again after giving up alcohol six weeks ago and getting off the slippery-slope supermarket booze aisle after four years of trying.

I fell in love With Sue from Bath.

So come on...what did you think about while the iPM kettle boiled?

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Eddie Mair | 05:50 UK time, Saturday, 27 June 2009


We really want to know. Maybe it was what Hillary Benn said on Any Questions last night about cuts? Or you thought about Michael Jackson's doctor?

More likely it was something about you and your life.

Please let us know. Leave a comment here or just drop an email to

Jen and I are off to make good use of that boiling water.

No, two cups of tea.

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Jennifer Tracey | 05:45 UK time, Saturday, 27 June 2009


Wilfred Pickles 1942 - the first national newsreader with a regional accent

Drop us a line if you've heard or seen something in the news you'd like us to look at or that you think needs explaining.

You can send us a single sentence of news about your week.

Or, tell us what on earth you were thinking about while listening to the iPM kettle boil. What were your first thoughts? Profound or ridiculous, you're welcome to tell us whatever was on your mind - can't be worse than what was on Eddie's...

Can you 'spin' in a Dorset accent?

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Jennifer Tracey | 15:08 UK time, Tuesday, 23 June 2009


Ernest Bevin - most famous politician with West Country accent?

iPM listener Leon Yates, self-described Dorset lad, doesn't think so. He writes

"It would be really nice if Our New Prime Minister was from Piddletrenthide and greeted the morning press conference with 'all right my luvvies'. I don't think you can really 'spin' in a Dorset accent."

Accent has always been important in British public life. Over the last week, outgoing speaker Michael Martin suggested comments made about his strong Glaswegian accent amounted to snobbery.

And incoming speaker John Bercow's accent is altogether different - listen to him speak about his role on the BBC news website.

But do we continue to make judgements about someone's character and intelligence by the way they speak? Is it more difficult to take a role in public life with a 'strong' accent? Has your accent held you back? Leave a comment below, email us or tweet it.

Your News

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Jennifer Tracey | 10:22 UK time, Tuesday, 23 June 2009


BBC Defence Correspondent Caroline Wyatt

What's going on with you? Got some news you'd like to share? Big or small, serious or seemingly insignificant - drop us a line, send us a single sentence about an event in your week.

Leave a comment below, email us or create a perfectly formed Tweet.

Thanks for your news last week, we asked the BBC's Defence Correspondent, Caroline Wyatt (above) to read your bulletin.

"Today I did the UK economy untold harm by taking our washing machine to bits and repairing it, instead of buying a new one.

Realised my dad is the reason why I am capable of drinking large quantities of alcohol...and also why I choose not to.

Handing out free breakfasts to cycle commuters in Lancaster for 'Bike to Work Day' in the pouring rain. A homeless man quietly asked for one, so I gave him a couple and now I'm wondering if he's ok.

Just been accepted for University at age 46. So excited I keep telling perfect strangers my news!

My MP received two hundred and fifty thousand pounds last year - I received five thousand.

After three weeks on the market, I got an offer for my parent's former home and, quite unexpectedly, found myself crying as I thought of all that had gone on within it's walls.

Turned 65 two months ago and still no pension payment. They say they've been too busy but they've had 64 years to get ready for it.

Just when I thought the week was going to end on a high note, my wife informed me that the party on Saturday night is fancy dress."

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Jennifer Tracey | 05:45 UK time, Saturday, 20 June 2009


What's you first thought when you wake up?

Can you remember your very first thought when you wake up in the morning? An iPM listener who's also a psychologist, thinks it may be quite revealing. Send us your thoughts and we'll have her take a look.

And drop us a line if there's something you heard in the news that you think needs a closer look. Or pick up on an idea from last week. All suggestions welcome.

Leave a comment below, email us or tweet it.

Morning cuppa - what's your first thought when you wake up?

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Jennifer Tracey | 05:40 UK time, Saturday, 20 June 2009


Jane Anastasiades dawn in Cyprus
'Tea. Dawn and iPM. Now I'm ready to face the day'. Jane Anastasiades

We asked you to tell us about that first cup of the day. Thanks for dropping us a line - some your morning rituals below.

Your first thoughts
Professor of Psychology Angela Clow also wrote to us. She wants to know your very first thoughts as you wake up for a project she's working on. Listen to her tea pitch, we gave her the length of time it takes to boil a kettle (it was three-quarters full in case you're wondering..).

You can leave a comment below, email us or tweet your first thoughts.

Morning cuppa rituals
'Cannot operate without 4 cups of Assam - made in a tea pot with loose tea. Then an hour reading before a hard day at the legal coal face.' Sally Armitage

'Tea, for me, that first cuppa ....enables me to face the day...any day, it's crucial. I'm moribund without it. Bleak'. Michael Penning

'Something about the dawn light, the dew, and the quiet makes me ignore the breakfast tea and the earl gray, and head for the chai masala.' Michelle Walder

'A mug of hot milk with two teaspoons of 'camp' coffee and half a teaspoon of honey. The milk is fresh from the bulk tank in the dairy, the honey from a local beekeeper. ' Victoria Heywood

'First cup is usually 'engine oil' ( instant coffee). I'm disabled and on benefits and I don't believe in languishing in bed all day. ' Jo Hancock

'My first tipple today was drinking chocolate which actually was fairtrade cocoa. Why do first tipples have to be tea or coffee?' Graeme Stickings

'If I am not able to have my early cuppa, I feel quite lost and irritable for a long time.' David Matthews

'My morning starts with a bowl of coffee sitting looking at the mountains (I live in the Alps) - at this time of year still snowcapped - gathering my thoughts for the coming day.' Chris Trevallion

When there's no body to grieve over

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Jennifer Tracey | 11:02 UK time, Thursday, 18 June 2009


In the days since the Air France plane crashed on 1 June, the details of what may have happened have been slow to emerge. Of the 228 people on board, only 44 bodies have been recovered.

Last week, relatives of one of the victims joined a manslaughter investigation, in an effort to find out more information.

Arguably, it's the not knowing that's most difficult. Without a body to grieve over and the knowledge of what happened, it's even more difficult to come to terms with the death of a loved one.

It's something iPM listener Bill Kitchen wrote to tell us about. He sent this sentence of news to the programme

"It's a sunny Saturday yet I sit in tears trying to plan a celebration of my eldest son Joel's life - he disappeared in the Indian Himalayas 7 years ago."

Joel Kitchen

Joel was 26 and Bill says he was the adventurous type. He and his girlfriend Lucy Wallace wanted to travel but cared about the environment so they bought a tandem to cycle to India.

UPDATE Listen to the interview as it was broadcast on the programme. Bill begins by telling us what happened.. (8.20 mins)

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Jennifer Tracey | 05:45 UK time, Saturday, 13 June 2009


BBC Outside Broadcast Equipment, 1951

Eddie remembers carrying kit like this (above). Sometimes he takes the old BBC backpack out to record for old times sake, do say hello if you see him.

How's your week been? Wildly eventful or pretty routine, you're welcome to drop us a line, just a single sentence about what's going on for you - Your News.

Or perhaps there's something you've heard in the news that you think needs followed up or a story that's just not being covered? All ideas welcome. Leave a comment below, email us or tweet it. Thanks.

'My neighbour is an enthusiastic campaigner for the BNP...'

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Jennifer Tracey | 05:43 UK time, Saturday, 13 June 2009


BNP rossette

'...needless to say it makes for more lively disputes than the usual neighbourly feuds over leylandii!' writes iPM listener Tom Wyatt from Shrewsbury.

That neighbour is fellow listener Alan Coles, who IS an enthusiastic campaigner for the BNP.

So on one side of the road you have Tom who is 18 and fervently anti BNP. On the other side, Alan, who's 69 and a keen BNP supporter.

They're neighbours who haven't spoken to each other in many years. Until iPM asked them in to our studio in Shrewsbury this week.

Listen to the interview as it was played on the programme, Eddie hosts the discussion (9.07 mins).

Morning cuppa - how do you take yours?

Jennifer Tracey | 05:40 UK time, Saturday, 13 June 2009


One sugar or two?

Vital things on our minds here at iPM. Namely tea. There's something very special about the first cuppa in the morning. The bit between sleep and starting your day. A small ritual. For some it's tea and for others it has to be coffee. Some people drink coffee all day, but always have tea first thing and vice versa.

How about you? We'd like to hear from you about what you drink for that FIRST cup of the day, AND tell us what that first cup means to you. Is it your chance for peace and quiet, a bit of day dreaming or are you busy planning your day?

Leave a comment below, email us or tweet.

Your News

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Jennifer Tracey | 10:00 UK time, Thursday, 11 June 2009



Prince or pauper. Happy or sad. Serious or a bit silly. We all have news to share. Compose a sentence summing up an event in your week, email it to us or leave it as a comment below. We will do the rest (ie. add the old Nine O'Clock News music and invite a top BBC voice to read it out).

Here's the script read out regally last week by the BBC's Royal Correspondent Peter Hunt....

"I discovered that none of the staff at my local Job Centre Plus listen to Radio 4, they'd never heard of iPM.

I booked a holiday in Florida during which my 19-year-old son will meet my new woman for the first time... should be interesting.

Spent most of the last few days preparing for elderly relative to be discharged from hospital but this morning she fell in the ward bathroom and broke her arm.

It took me thirty years, but I've finally finished Middlemarch.

Hard at work, trying to do right, but thinking those that do wrong are better off.

Found out that my job was 'at risk' of redundancy and that I would be informed on the 16th June if my services were still required. Have not slept since.

I'm camping on Shell Island with hundreds of single parents and their offspring.

The dog's bed got stuck in the x-ray machine at Terminal 5.

Fixed the website via my blackberry and had my roots done.

I have to lose two stone before we can start IVF and I'm desperately trying to shift the last few pounds before our appointment on Monday.

The pheasant's foot appears to be a bit better.

On the way home from the theatre someone in a passing car threw an egg at me. I wondered if it was gay bashing or just a waste of an egg.

I've been marking A/S exams and I wish candidates would learnt to write neatly and with concision.

My parents pulled a fast one on me and hired a mobility scooter for my stay.

I entered a poetry competition for the first time and am now officially sad."

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Jennifer Tracey | 05:45 UK time, Saturday, 6 June 2009


BBC War Correspondent Robin Duff reporting from the front line with a BBC special issue 'midget' recorder

Got a story or an idea you think needs discussion?

Saturday's programme started with an email from Karen, who works as a pharmacist. Is making an error in your job as big a risk?

Or perhaps just drop us a small, anonymous sentence about your week.

Comment below, email us or tweet, tweet.

The biggest mistake of your life?

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Jennifer Tracey | 14:58 UK time, Monday, 1 June 2009


Getting the dose right?

"This is the first job I've held where an 'off' day and a relatively minor mistake could potentially result in a prosecution."

The words of an iPM listener about her job as a pharmacist.

She emailed us, horrifed to hear that a fellow pharmacist in Windsor was prosecuted following an error in dispensing drugs. Our listener writes:

"Since this hit the news I've spoken with pharmacy colleagues and thought 'there but for the grace of God...'. At a pharmacy education night a few years ago we were asked to share errors we'd made to learn from each other - we were honest and supportive but most of us could have been prosecuted for what was essentially an uncharacteristic error.

Outside the pharmacy world I'm not sure that many people realise that an error in our profession could result in a criminal record."

In fact, she hadn't realised that she could be prosecuted, until this case arose and it's changed the way she sees her work.

Are you a pharmacist with similar concerns? Have you been dispensed the wrong drugs by a pharmacist? Or perhaps you work in a job where an 'off' day could have serious repercussions? Comment below or email us.

UPDATE 8 Jun: Thanks to everyone who contacted us, much appreciated and we're continuing to follow up on your comments.

We brought together the pharmacist who contacted us (above) and another iPM listener, Rose-Mary Gower. Rose-Mary's husband received double his usual dose of an epilepsy drug, but she was surprised by the response of her pharmacist when she pointed it out.

Listen to the discussion as it was broadcast on Saturdays programme (9. 54 mins)

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