Archives for October 2007

The glass box for wednesday

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Sequin | 17:09 UK time, Wednesday, 31 October 2007


what did you think?

Broken promises

Sequin | 13:35 UK time, Wednesday, 31 October 2007


Andrew Bomford's produced an excellent report for us this evening about the difficulties experienced by some families in getting the help they need with their children. Ella and Paul Barrow from Aylesbury have a 13 year old daughter Saskia who is deaf and blind. Six years ago the government made it a legal responsibility for local authorities to provide one to one help for families like the Barrows. But Andrew has learned that most families are not getting the help to which they're entitled.

here's a picture of Ella, Saskia and Paul.


Chocolate ban

Sequin | 10:19 UK time, Wednesday, 31 October 2007


I am giving up chocolate for the whole of November. I do it every year. It's just one of my things. An exercise in self discipline. I reckoned that if I told you it would be more difficult for me to cheat. ( which proves, I suppose, that my self-discipline isn't that strong!)

We will have chocolate biscuits with our tea this aftertoon before the new month begins.

Anyone want to join me in a chocolate fast?

best wishes,


Glass Box for Tuesday

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Sequin | 17:24 UK time, Tuesday, 30 October 2007


A mixed bag this evening. What did you think?

What are your memories of Dr Anthony Clare?

Here's a longer version of the piece which ran on today's PM, looking back at the best exchanges with guests while they were "In the Psychiatrist's Chair"

The Beach

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Sequin | 10:15 UK time, Tuesday, 30 October 2007


It's about time for a new one.

The Glass Box for Monday

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Sequin | 16:48 UK time, Monday, 29 October 2007


Let us know what you thought of tonight's PM....


Sequin | 12:44 UK time, Monday, 29 October 2007


You know how much I love doing PM and filling in for Eddie. We've drunk the cocktail cabinet dry, eaten all his chocolates and taken the keys to the blog and crashed it. I haven't touched his bottle of Japanese Diet Coke yet - but heck. I've still got a week to go....

Today, however, we are having to look like we're doing some serious work because we have a film crew following us around. BlogPrince says he'll try to snap them in action and post it later.

They're doing a film for the BBC's College of Journalism about "Being a stand-in presenter". Yours truly has to explain how to fit into EM's unique way of doing things without upsetting the apple cart.

I've written this blog while the crew have gone off to lunch.


*blog prince sneaks in*

The crew have returned from lunch, and in this photo you can see the cameraman filming the PM team in action. CQ is to the right in the fetching green cardi. Opposite her, by the window is the PM number 2, Amanda. She's at the beck and call of the man to her right, Roger, who is editing this evening's programme. He's famed in the office for his half-hearted impressions of Rodin's "Thinker".

*blog prince sneaks out*

Those photos .....

Sequin | 09:36 UK time, Monday, 29 October 2007


Hello - remember I told you that we were having some photographs taken to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Today programme. Here's one of them. There are more. But I think you may feel this is enough!


The Glass Box for Friday

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Sequin | 16:53 UK time, Friday, 26 October 2007


What did you think of the programme?


Sequin | 15:42 UK time, Friday, 26 October 2007


I shall be interviewing an award winning joystick holder soon.

50 years old....

Sequin | 09:48 UK time, Friday, 26 October 2007


Not me. Yet. But the Today programme - the 50th anniversary is on Sunday. As you may know I am - in current BBC parlance a 'cross platform presenter' - which frankly sounds a bit painful - but means that when the photographer came round just now to take a picture of The Today Presenters I had to get into the shot. As far as I know the pix are destined for the Sunday papers - but if I can get hold of one earlier I'll publish it .

There's a birthday cake around here somewhere which we'll try to dig into later.

The Blog Prince is looking a little cheerier this morning ... hope you're feeling the same.

The Glass Box for Thursday

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Sequin | 16:59 UK time, Thursday, 25 October 2007


Please telll us what you thought of this evening's programme...

Frustration satisfied

Sequin | 12:56 UK time, Thursday, 25 October 2007


Finally....drumroll...... it really was worth waiting for you'll see. Bournemouth Froggers hit the nail on the head - if you can do that in the sand!

502 beach

And the promised photos of architect Lord Rodgers receiving his Minerva award:

Lord Rogers

The very latest news....

Sequin | 12:35 UK time, Thursday, 25 October 2007


A little bit of explanation....

ongoing saga...

The good news, as you can see here, is that I can now add entries to the blog. As long as they don't contain photos, or the like. That's still being worked on.
The bad news is that comments aren't getting on to the blog. We're receiving them, but because the knee-bone still isn't quite connected to the thigh-bone properly (or somesuch explanation), we can't publish them as normal. I'm going to have another attempt at sending photos in a moment.

In the meantime, here's a selection of comments that have been posted by you but haven't yet made it onto the blog.

Comment sent to "Tempting Providence"

from Annasee: "Well frankly, persev.... whatever looks right to me Carolyn. Doesn't NBP know it's not tactful to point out mistakes to your superiors? (You are his superior, aren't you???) You carry on spelling any way you like. Shakespeare wasn't too hot on spelling, not even his own name, I believe. And Eddie can't spell "weird", so you're in good company."

Comment sent to "Standby for...The Blog Prince"

from Gossipmistress: Marc - the major problem with that is that we cannot tell whether or not a message has got through, hence the repeated messages. Sometimes you can send the same message 5 times, get 502'd, and none get through. Other times, 2 or 3 get through. And we're often not repeating them immediately, but with gaps of 30 mins or so. Thanks for trying, we do appreciate the efforts!

Comment sent to "The Beach"

From DI Wyman: I wonder...
From Sid Cumberland: Oooh, pancakes ... fingers crossed. Sid @ 10:43 a.m.
From Wonko: Wibble? ;o( []
From Gossipmistress: Witchi - can I have maple syrup please??? Yum!

Standby for..The Blog Prince.

Sequin | 10:26 UK time, Thursday, 25 October 2007


He's already pointed out my glaring typo in the one entry I have been able to post this morning. I am going to sit in the corner and spell out PERSEVERANCE a hundred times.

In the meantime here's a message from The Prince:

I'm sorry for the huge problems on the Blog over the last couple of days. Although it's no consolation, we weren't alone: blogs across the BBC were hit, and one technical expert in another part of the Beeb called what was happening "unprecedented".

Over the last 24 hours, servers have been rebooted, files rebuilt, hard-drives hit with hammers (mostly by us here at PM) - and things are slowly returning to normal.

In the meantime, a word about 502s - which I know have been the bane of our lives recently.

If you get a 502, it means the system can't currently cope with the volume of comments coming in.

What needs to be borne in mind is that the the system we use, called Movable Type, was not designed to allow instantaneous, real-time commenting, and so users shouldn't expect it to work that way.

The posts are moderated intermittently (generally within 30 mins of posting) but they aren't constantly monitored. So there is no way a post will appear as soon as it was posted. Even if it was, it would still take 5 or 10 minutes to propogate around the web. And even then a local cache of the page - what you see on your screen - might not show up the changes for a while.

What this means is that repeatedly posting the same message will not make it appear any faster, but in fact it is simply clogging up the system, absorbing the time of the moderators thus ensuring that other posts are slowed down.

One of the major reasons the blog keeps collapsing is because of the amount of spam we're getting. Most of it gets stopped, but often it arrives in such huge volumes that it slows the system down. And spam can affect innocent froggers: anyone repeatedly posting the same message to the same board will be classified as a spammer, automatically. Just becasue he or she is an individual, with no malicious intent, doesn't mean the system won't class him or her as a spammer - it's not that clever.

I know how frustrating 502s are - believe me, I get enough of them - but I hope the above goes some way to explaining why we get them.

The bigger question I know you'll want answering is how to avoid getting them, and I wish I had the definitive answer. We're trying to get the system working efficiently again, and please could Froggers have a little more patience until we achieve it.

Blog Prince.

Tempting providence?

Sequin | 10:10 UK time, Thursday, 25 October 2007


I don't dare to ..... but it does appear that you were able to post comments on the Glass Box last night. Praise the Lord. Thanks for your patience and perseverence.

I've been wanting to publish a great s photo that Jonnie sent in for days. Frustrated froggers in Bournemouth:

Just tried. Not allowed.

The Glass Box for Wednesday

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Sequin | 17:02 UK time, Wednesday, 24 October 2007


Hope you can post your thoughts on tonight's programme......

One more time

Sequin | 11:38 UK time, Wednesday, 24 October 2007


It may well be fruitless but I'm having another go at posting something on this blog. Am waiting to see if I can publish some great photos sent to me yesterday.

Can you see this?

The Beach

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Sequin | 10:45 UK time, Tuesday, 23 October 2007


Never mind the weather
Get it together
Sun is shining
the rain can fall
come on
p-l-a-y playaway-away-way playaway play-play-away way
play away playaway

Jonnie - get those shoes and socks off now!


Sequin | 09:30 UK time, Tuesday, 23 October 2007


Yates of the Yard is back.

Remember back in July when the CPS decided to bring no charges against any of those questioned in the "cash for honours" affair - including Tony Blair, the Labour fundraiser Lord Levy and the Downing Street aide Ruth Turner. Mr Yates - who incidentally is said to be a passionate Liverpool FC supporter and keen long-distance cyclist - will be appearing before MPs on the Public Administration committee at 3pm. We will, of course, be watching. According to reports, the committee will want to know why he took so seriously the complaint that was originally levelled by the Scottish National party which many politicians have denounced as a stunt.

In June, it was revealed that the probe had cost #773,177 between its launch on March 27 2006 and April 30 this year.

Was it all worth it do you think - for reasons of clarity? To get everything out in the open. Or was it fruitless from the start?

The Glass Box for Monday

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Sequin | 16:28 UK time, Monday, 22 October 2007


Please, tell us what you thought about tonight's programme. And how we treated the stories we chose to feature.

Monkey menace

Sequin | 15:06 UK time, Monday, 22 October 2007


If you see one of these in Delhi do not approach. Marilyn, one of our producers, says she was nearly attacked by this one in Delhi. And we're hearing on the programme tonight how a senior government official died after falling from a balcony after being pursued by a gang of Rhesus macaques.


The Furrowed Brow

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Sequin | 10:03 UK time, Monday, 22 October 2007


Just noticed the absence of Furrowed Brow for a while.

How about kicking off with this. After our roundup of correspondence on Friday, Eeore commented "Strange to hear an eastern european, possibly polish accent, during the reading of the letters. Strange because while it is not uncommon to hear Welsh, Irish or Scots accents, the only acceptable accent for people living in England is posh.
Can we assume that in future the programme will begin using actors with regional accents when reading the letters?"

Olga, who read the letter is actually Czech and has worked with us as a broadcasting assistant for several years.
Michelle, who was compiling the letters, used her to comment on a domestic matter - nothing to do with Eastern Europe. She wondered if anyone would comment. What do you think?

Glass Box for Friday.

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Sequin | 16:46 UK time, Friday, 19 October 2007


Go on. Tell us what you thought .

Dusty and Tooty where are you?

Sequin | 13:25 UK time, Friday, 19 October 2007


Two victims of the Southampton cat-napper:


Jean Simmons

Sequin | 09:47 UK time, Friday, 19 October 2007


She contacted us last night about Deborah Kerr - sadly too late for us to get her on air. It's got us talking this morning about all the great films that she - Jean Simmons - was in . Spartacus (that music - sob), The Robe, Great Expectations, Guys and Dolls.

I mistakenly for a moment thought she had played Charlton Heston's love interest in Ben Hur - you know, she and her mother end up in a leper colony and he has to come to rescue them etc etc. Ryan quickly corrected me. If you want to know anything - ask Ryan. ( He's the one pictured in Radio Times with Ed a few weeks ago).

The Glass Box for Thursday

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Sequin | 16:50 UK time, Thursday, 18 October 2007


This is the place for your comments on tonight's programme...

We know more now...

Sequin | 15:13 UK time, Thursday, 18 October 2007


Up to 500 jobs cut in news
600 in the division that makes documentaries and factual programmes
500 across the regions .
10 percent less commissioning of programmes.
More repeats

Thanks to you all for your kind words. Any round of job cuts like this is difficult to bear, and we recognise of course that colleagues outside the BBC have had it hard for some time. It seems the brunt of the news cuts will be in television news - and through merging the radio, TV and online newsrooms into one. Radio sequence programmes, like PM will share job cuts with sister programmes like Today and the World Tonight.

Anyway, all your comments much appreciated. I'm going to be speaking to Mark Byford, the BBC's Deputy director General live so I hope to be able to put some of your questions to him.

Watching and waiting ...

Sequin | 09:26 UK time, Thursday, 18 October 2007


We're all on tenterhooks today waiting to hear how many cuts will strike this department. Many colleagues are feeling very low this morning. We're hoping to talk to a representative from BBC management later so please let me know what your concerns are about BBC output. What questions would you like to ask? Hundreds of jobs to go in news? Does the prospect of job cuts and changes in output worry you? More repeats? Let me know.

Well done for trying to guess the names of the pix on yesterday's blog- you'll have plenty of time to get to know them before the new leader is declared on December. Vyle Hernia, maybe they'll settle for a Dick Emery lookalike!

Fearless Fred - you're right, we did take down two of the Lib Dem photos. Susan Kramer and Julia Goldsworthy both declared they weren't going to stand. So it looks like it could be an all -male lineup unless someone else comes forward.

Glass Box for Wednesday

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Sequin | 16:53 UK time, Wednesday, 17 October 2007


Here's the place to tell us what you think of tonight's programme.

Take your pick

Sequin | 12:07 UK time, Wednesday, 17 October 2007


On the programme, one of our political correspondents will be out testing how much the public recognise people like Nick Clegg, Chris Huhne, Steve Webb and the rest. They're Lib Dem leadership contenders - or at least expected to be. Could you pick them out in a crowd?

More seriously, and picking up on the themes about ageism we were discussing yesterday, Vince Cable (64) has ruled himself out of the race. He says " an older candidate is not electable because of the "irrational prejudice" shown towards Sir Menzies over his age. What is the cut-off age for a politician then?

So who is who?

Our political correspondent Jo Coburn has been out asking people if they recognise any of the potential leadership candidates. You can hear what she discovered on today's programme.

Here she is with PM's no-expense-spared "name that Lib Dem" poster...


The answer is.....

Sequin | 09:34 UK time, Wednesday, 17 October 2007


Great guesses on the fire picture yesterday. Just in case you didn't see the papers, here's the story in the Guardian:

"The pose may be familiar though the setting is unusual. But that has not deterred some Roman Catholics from hailing a bonfire photograph as a miraculous apparition of the late John Paul II.

Polish workman Gregorz Lukasik was taking pictures at a prayer meeting near Beskid Zywiecki to mark the second anniversary of the Pope's death, when he shot the dancing flames at the precise moment of John Paul's passing. The picture found its way to Father Jarek Cielecki, editor of the Vatican News Service, who said that a Polish newspaper had found no trace of doctoring. "I have not said this is a miracle," he said, "but there is a sign, you cannot say that you cannot see anything."


The Glass Box for Tuesday

Sequin | 17:03 UK time, Tuesday, 16 October 2007


Tell us what you think about tonight's programme.

Love is Not in the Air

Sequin | 14:00 UK time, Tuesday, 16 October 2007


Newly-married Darren and Caroline Beck were about to jet off to Sri Lanka on their honeymoon. Unfortunately their plane was one of those that collided at Heathrow airport. They're still waiting to properly start their married life. They'll be telling me their story on the programme this evening.

Here's the plane wing:


Here's the view through the plane window:


Here's the happy couple on their big day:


Seen this picture?

Sequin | 12:07 UK time, Tuesday, 16 October 2007


It's in lots of the newspapers ...... remind you of anyone?


what is old?

Sequin | 09:29 UK time, Tuesday, 16 October 2007


Is 66 too old to run a political party? Or is it ok to be 66 but not look it? It's the debate that's continuing today as the repercussions of Sir Menzies Campbell's resignation as Lib Dem leader sink in. Age wasn't the only issue of course - but do you think he should have gone? Just as our programme was ending last night the news started to come through from Westminster that there was to be an announcement about Sir Ming - but we didn't know what it was until an hour or so later. Of course it would have been great to have been able to announce the news in our time, but there you are. That's the way news works.

Fantastic response from you yesterday to the Richard Brunstrom interview . The overwhelming view appeared to be in favour of his call for legalisation of drugs.

see you later,


The Glass Box for Monday

Sequin | 16:52 UK time, Monday, 15 October 2007


is the place to comment on the content of tonight's programme.

Praise pod

Sequin | 13:45 UK time, Monday, 15 October 2007


Here's a picture of a pod - it's a "praise pod".


If you want to know more, listen to the programme between 5 and 6. If you miss it, I'll forgive you and explain, now, that the praise pod is an idea being tried out in primary schools in Rotherham. Pupils who behave well or get good marks in homework are being sent into it. Teachers say it's creating a culture of praise within the school, that's helping to reduce stress. They also predict that the praise pod will eventually help to reduce anti social behaviour....

Have a nice day..

Sequin | 09:29 UK time, Monday, 15 October 2007


Sequin sitting in for Ed for a short while so hello again.
I'm just back from a brief trip to Washington and Niagara. As I left Britain, Gordon Brown was still being coy about the general election. How things have changed in a week Lots to catch up on.

Weather in Niagara was unseasonably warm - 86 degrees on one day. And I failed to talk my way into the White House. Just to let you know, if you want to get a tour you have to book at least 3 months in advance through your embassy.

Looking forward to hearing your views throughout the week.....


How to send us your iPM photo.

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Eddie Mair | 14:23 UK time, Friday, 12 October 2007


The photo that best says "i" to the rest of the world.

If you're emailing the photo, send it to this special address - it's different from the usual one. Send it to In the subject line, please put the ipm gallery. Please include your name on the email.

If you want to send your photo in the post, again please include your name and send it to iPM, Room G601, BBC News Centre, London W12 7RJ.

Now - if you'd like to SEE the photos, they're here on the blog for our BRAND NEW PROGRAMME! Just look for iPM gallery on the right hand side. If you want to note down the address it's:


Eddie Mair | 10:26 UK time, Friday, 12 October 2007


We're aware that yet again the Blog is screwed. We're working on it. Sorry.

PM meets the Nobel Winners.

Eddie Mair | 10:13 UK time, Friday, 12 October 2007


OK there is not a snap of any of us with Al Gore, but here is our technical guru Adrian Wheeler yesterday, outside the home of Doris Lessing. He made the interview happen. She is clearly treating him with disdain and who can blame her?


"i"n a little while,

Post categories:

Eddie Mair | 07:46 UK time, Friday, 12 October 2007


right here, we will post first details of how you can send us your photo of "i".

Also: we'll tell you more about a brand new blog to go with our brand new programme.

But rest assured, the PM Blog will continue. Ramshackle, clumsy but oddly loved.

On the topic of "i" you may have seen this comment on the Warhol "i" thread..

Mariella Cook wrote: I am sure you have received e-mails form the learned Colin Blundell relating to his development of Multiple-I's based on Gurdjieff's idea that 'I' (single Unified-I) is a lie.
As a follower and advocate of this philosophy I highly recommend folk to explore the concept of Multiple -I's and the practical applications that Colin Blundell has developed that enables individuals to gain more understanding of themselves and others through developing higher levels of self-awareness and incredible insights. Having personally experienced these principles and practice with other like minded folk, I can thoroughly recommend the experience - for more information visit here.

The Beach

Post categories:

Eddie Mair | 07:25 UK time, Friday, 12 October 2007




Boozing during pregnancy..

Eddie Mair | 17:30 UK time, Thursday, 11 October 2007


what do you think?

The Glass Box for Thursday

Post categories:

Eddie Mair | 16:05 UK time, Thursday, 11 October 2007


is the place to comment on the content of tonight's programme.

What does "i" mean?

Eddie Mair | 13:39 UK time, Thursday, 11 October 2007


Tomorrow we'll tell you how to send us your photo showing us who you are.

All week we've heard from people who've been giving "i" a bit of thought on our behalf.

Here is the philosopher AC Grayling.

This is the impressionist Jan Ravens.

Here is Maitreyabandhu from the London Buddhist Centre.

And tonight's piece is about Andy Warhol's work, which features in a show which opened today.

Here's the show's curator, Paul Moorhouse, introducing, with some help from Nigel Wrench, Andy Warhol's notion of "I" as illustrated by this work, a Warhol self-portrait.

"Self-portrait 1964" by Andy Warhol, featured in the new show at the National Portrait Gallery, Pop Art Portraits, which runs until 20 January if you happen to find yourself in London with an hour or so to spare.
Paul Moorhouse, tells us: "This the mysterious 'I'. This is the 'I' hiding behind the face. This is the vision of the artist not as a tortured genius but as a kind of automaton."

Suddenly it's almost World at One time.

Eddie Mair | 12:57 UK time, Thursday, 11 October 2007


It's been a vaguely busy morning. Wrote a piece for online about the new iPM programme. Have had the usual PM things to worry about, and we're gearing up for tomorrow when lots of things will happen. We'll start receiving photos from listeners portraying their "i" and we'll also point you for the very first time towards the brand new iPM blog. The design has changed a bit from the sneak peak we posted here a while back.

In a while we'll post here some of the thoughts on "i" we heard on PM this week, from AC Grayling and others. We will also give you a preview of the one we're running tonight.

Between 1330 and 1400 I'll be recording an interview for tonight's programme with Diane Dernie, the mother of the badly wounded paratrooper Ben Parkinson.

Summer and Christmas in one post.

Eddie Mair | 10:16 UK time, Thursday, 11 October 2007


We thank Roberto for our first Christmas card of the year (apart from the late ones that arrived in early January)..


And Vyle sent this postcard of The Sanctuary, Highgrove House, Gloucestershire - "the building is where HRH goes to get away.."


On a foggy London morning

Eddie Mair | 07:11 UK time, Thursday, 11 October 2007


I took this snap, just before 7am, of the progress being made across the road from us here at TV Centre, on the BBC Truth Commission. It's being constructed in the wake of all our terrible lies, and will be Europe's first all-digital Truth Commission, coming in at a cost of only 500 million pounds.


The Glass Box for Wednesday

Post categories:

Eddie Mair | 16:29 UK time, Wednesday, 10 October 2007


is here. Comment on the content of the programme by clicking on the comment link.

If you have something to say about therapy or our Ben Needham interview - cursor down and find the comment links for those threads.

And if you want to start a serious discussion about something else - look for The Furrowed Brow on the right of the blog.

In a while

Eddie Mair | 13:27 UK time, Wednesday, 10 October 2007


I'll be interviewing the mother of Ben Needham. You'll be able to hear her tonight.


When Ben was 21 months old he went on holiday with his family to the Greek island of Kos. But he never came home with them. He vanished from outside a farmhouse and 16 years later mystery still surrounds what happened to him.

Later this month, he will be 18, and today police released an updated image of how he might look now.


Talking things over on the NHS

Eddie Mair | 13:21 UK time, Wednesday, 10 October 2007


is the big idea here. We'll talk about it on the programme tonight. I wonder what you think.

Some tabloid sensationalism for you.

Eddie Mair | 10:32 UK time, Wednesday, 10 October 2007


Hello again...

Eddie Mair | 06:46 UK time, Wednesday, 10 October 2007


as they say in Commercial Radio.

Here's some good news: Angus Crawford has won an award. Angus used to work solely in our department, and still appears regularly on PM. He is very very good - and I'm glad to tell you he has won first prize at the Bayeux-Calvados Awards for War Reporting. The awards attract entries from around the world, and Angus came out on top for a piece he did for Broadcasting House on the plight of members of the Mandean religion in Iraq. I'm hoping to post it here for you later.

He kindly brought in a cake to the office yesterday to celebrate. I'm not sure whether he bought the cake as a treat or whether the Bayeux-Calvados people give cakes as awards. But who cares?

Here you see yesterday's PM editor Jasper about to scoff some, and then there's the hand of George (he who kindly appeared in a previous Blog posting shaking my hand) cutting another slice.



There was only a tiny bit left at the end of the day so I surprised Robin Lustig by smearing it into his beard. He'll be picking out bits of chocolate for weeks.


Post categories:

Eddie Mair | 15:08 UK time, Monday, 8 October 2007


PM's got a bit of history interacting with listeners - PM letters has been on the programme for years and we enjoy it.

It's always been one way traffic though. We broadcast something - the listeners respond.

This Blog we started last year gives the listeners more access to us, but predominantly it's still them reacting to something we've done.

So we're starting an experiment. A brand new more interactive PM - on the radio once a week - but on the web all the time. The content of the Saturday programme shaped during the week by listeners through the internet.

It might not work but if it doesn't we can at least blame the listeners. It's their programme.

The programme is called iPM. I suppose it's for interactive.

Maybe the I stands for internet - throughout the week, listeners will use the iPM website to share with us.

The I could stand for individual, I guess. A single listener's idea could make it onto the air.

It could also stand for idiotic.. immersion...or igloo.

It's an experiment. We want listeners to use the internet to shape a weekly news and current affairs programme. iPM, on Saturdays at 5.30 after PM.

On reflection it probably is idiotic.

(By the way for regular froggers...we are not re-opening the Blog just yet. As you may have noticed our tests suggest it's still b******* but we are working on it....)

2125 TUESDAY UPDATE: We hope to be back with a full service tomorrow. With some good news.

Suspending service

Eddie Mair | 22:01 UK time, Friday, 5 October 2007



After two weeks of trying the patience of you, me and a whole lot of other people, and having tried for 45 minutes to post this message welcoming a drink on the Beach:

"Much appreciated. And I come with this from our techy colleagues:

"We are working as fast as we can towards a resolution but it's likelythat a small percentage of those who try to comment at the moment will continue to get error messages of various types. We realise this is frustrating and it shouldn't happen to even one person. We hope to have a resolution soon and will let you know when things are back as they should be."

I know that spam has been a huge problem. They are working on a fix for that. I share your frustration about all this. It sucks all the fun out of the Blog. I know THIS will be 502'd several times. One day...soon I will be over.

And I was...once...twice...three times"

I think it's best to put the blog out of its misery till it works. Everyone who uses it has been very patient. Everyone who works behind the scenes on it has worked very hard. But for now, it doesn't work. I will post again when it does. The froggers' refuge may be everyone's best bet for now. Thank you. Check back often but don't try to comment. Why risk the blood pressure?

To cheer us up, and to mark the season when things will probably be working again...try this.


The Glass Box for Friday

Post categories:

Eddie Mair | 15:59 UK time, Friday, 5 October 2007


is the place for you to comment on the content of tonight's programme.

Read the report on the BBC Queen documentary

Eddie Mair | 14:08 UK time, Friday, 5 October 2007



We may do this story on the programme tonight -

Eddie Mair | 14:03 UK time, Friday, 5 October 2007


about a Chinese girl who is training to swim the English channel -


by having her arms and ankles tied. More here.

From Pakistan, Michael Buchanan sends these...

Eddie Mair | 12:21 UK time, Friday, 5 October 2007

Comments advance of his report tonight. He writes:

"I've just come back from the Red Mosque in Islamabad which was open for Friday prayer today for the first time since the military attacked it this summer. Every I spoke to was happy to be able to pray there again and full of condemnation for President Musharraf's decision to send the army in. It was the most obvious evidence of his willingness to use Pakistani troops to attack Pakistani people, but its by no means the only time he's done it and his decisons have diminshed the military's standing here, and there are many questions about their morale. We'll be looking at that on the programme tonight. The final picture has nothing to do with any story - but its not every day you see coffins for sale at the side of the road. This one was available on the outskirts of Peshawar. Happily there were no takers."




Do you think some people need to keep a better sense of perspective?

Eddie Mair | 10:34 UK time, Friday, 5 October 2007


This call to the listener log:


"I want the BBC to finish with Laurie Taylor. He has the most patronising, ghastly and irritating voice. I was devastated to find out that you have given him a Twelve O'Clock spot on a Sunday night. It totally ruined my summer."

The Beach

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Eddie Mair | 05:06 UK time, Friday, 5 October 2007



The Glass Box for Thursday

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Eddie Mair | 16:39 UK time, Thursday, 4 October 2007


comment on the programme here.

More trains

Eddie Mair | 12:32 UK time, Thursday, 4 October 2007


from DI Wyman..

"I am just back from working in Yarm and Darlington and I know Eddie loves trains!

Saw this, 50m long, 6M high, 185,000 bricks and no where to go. Sculpture by David Mach from 1997, very impressive, real in your face art!"


A lot of people are asking what the new iPM programme will be like...

Eddie Mair | 12:09 UK time, Thursday, 4 October 2007


...and we think this sums it up.

In the light of all the millions we've been promised on this Blog

Eddie Mair | 10:40 UK time, Thursday, 4 October 2007


from scammers - I wonder if you've seen this?

Also: the BBC has just announced this:

"Nick Clarke, the highly popular former presenter of Radio 4's The World at One who died in November last year, is to have a new award launched in his honour.

The Nick Clarke Award will be awarded to the single best broadcast interview conducted each year. The winner will receive five bottles of good claret - a prize which reportedly Clarke himself would have approved of.
The award will be launched at this year's Cheltenham Literature Festival by Radio 4 controller Mark Damazer at The Nick Clarke Debate on Saturday 6 October 2007.

The first Nick Clarke Award will cover interviews conducted between 31 July 2007 and 31 July 2008 with the winner will announced at next year's Cheltenham Literature Festival in October 2008."

I have been trying to get onto the Beach for a coffee at the NC bar but what do you know it's gone 502 crazy.

1450 UPDATE: The Controller of Radio 4 - Mark something - will record an interview with us this afternoon and you can hear it at 1754.

Here's a prize-winning British Germany

Eddie Mair | 07:56 UK time, Thursday, 4 October 2007



(Photos taken by Christian Richters)

The building will be on the programme tonight. It's designed by David Chipperfield, a superstar in Germany but not quite here in Britain. Chipperfield has TWO buildings on the shortlist for the Stirling Prize, to be announced on Saturday. And both are abroad -- the other is in Valencia, Spain.

Nigel Wrench is, as you read this, on his way to the building you see here, the Museum of Modern Literature, just north of Stuttgart. Given he gets there in time, and that the satphone works, Nigel will be asking if we appreciate our homegrown adventurous architects enough. David Chipperfield will have something to say too. Pictures of all six nominated buildings, if you fancy making your own mind up, are here.

Diana inquest website

Eddie Mair | 16:52 UK time, Wednesday, 3 October 2007


is here.

The Glass Box for Wednesday

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Eddie Mair | 15:47 UK time, Wednesday, 3 October 2007


What do you think of tonight's programme?

Five a Day

Eddie Mair | 15:44 UK time, Wednesday, 3 October 2007


Here is the official advice. Do you take it...and is it any good anyway? We'll talk about it tonight. Sadly no-one from the department of health is available.

Just spent 70 minutes or so watching

Eddie Mair | 15:27 UK time, Wednesday, 3 October 2007


the David Cameron speech. Carolyn will have the main bits for you on the programme.

Meanwhile...after the soup tins photo of the other week my colleague Manveen sends this from the other side of the building in Edinburgh:


And in other news: this is Rupert, back in the office today. I know.


Meet Mr Blog!

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Eddie Mair | 11:52 UK time, Wednesday, 3 October 2007


"Hi, I'm Chris - Eddie's christened me Mr Blog - probably because he caught me looking at Your Daily Awesome when I should have been getting the tea-round in. I'm told I narrowly escaped the Bond-villain-esque title of Dr Blog - but the BBC's only spare white cat is currently on loan to Blue Peter - and I'm not a Doctor.

I'm going to be part of the new iPM programme team, hoping that the scars and bruises I've collected in the 2 years I've been producing and co-presenting the radio experiment that is "Pods and Blogs" on 5 Live, will help the new programme find it's blogging feet quickly. If there's one thing I've learned from trying to turn the conversations taking place on to the web into radio, it's never to underestimate the profound depths of your own ignorance. Setting yourself up as an expert on the blogs is as futile as claiming to be an expert on “books”, the scope is just too great. Bluntly, I'll need your help to keep an eye on the best of what's being discussed in the "blogosphere"..

Aside from that I'm 5'10", cursed with Harry Potter hair, and my favourite food is kedgeree..

If you would like an's a picture me reporting from the virtual world Second Life, back in the days when reporting from Second Life was something new."


Conference Caption Competition!*

Eddie Mair | 10:11 UK time, Wednesday, 3 October 2007



* There is no prize. And if there was it would go to a member of the production team. Or Alan Yentob.

They call him.....Mr Blog.

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Eddie Mair | 07:30 UK time, Wednesday, 3 October 2007


And very soon you'll meet him.

He is the King of Blogs.

The numero uno.

He is...Mr Blog.

(He is, for contractual reasons, not Mr Bloggy)

The Glass Box for Tuesday

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Eddie Mair | 15:32 UK time, Tuesday, 2 October 2007


is the place to comment on tonight's programme.

Need a new mobile phone ringtone?

Eddie Mair | 14:52 UK time, Tuesday, 2 October 2007


You could do worse than right click on this (and select "save target as") to download Mrs Clinton....

Philip Howells

Eddie Mair | 14:11 UK time, Tuesday, 2 October 2007


emails to say "Mark Mardell is wearing pink...and a shower cap"

Clinton cackling

Eddie Mair | 13:00 UK time, Tuesday, 2 October 2007


got a good response last night. If you missed it or care to enjoy it again...

or there's this:

Just spotted in our office...

Eddie Mair | 12:39 UK time, Tuesday, 2 October 2007


...a narrow box on its end next to the fridge.


News reaches me from Blackpool that

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Eddie Mair | 11:59 UK time, Tuesday, 2 October 2007


most of our conference production team are ill. They are carrying on, of course, in the Reithian spirit.

We're getting increasingly excited about iPM. In the coming days on the programme we're going to talk more about our new photo thing - in which we want people to take a picture that represents themselves. Specifically, we'll talk about our sense of selves. Philosophy. Oh yes.

I hope you're having a think about what photo would represent YOU. I was thinking about what snap I would take. Of a microphone? Of my gob? Dunno. Once you get thinking about it, it can get rather deep. Who am I? Who are YOU? Think about your photo.

And talking of iPM, I hope to introduce you later to the man they call Mr Blog.

Tonight, Andrew Bomford

Eddie Mair | 10:47 UK time, Tuesday, 2 October 2007


is doing a story on the "new" high speed trains running on Britain's railways. He writes: "they are actually 30 years old, but such is the scramble to find extra seats on overcrowded trains, the railway operators are pulling them off old sidings wherever they can find them and sending them off to be stripped down, refurbished, and pressed back into service with about 30 extra seats per train. Most of the passengers I spoke too were fooled by the new look and thought they were brand new trains. The photos are all taken at the Bombardier Rail Works in Derby, where the HST was originally built in the mid 1970's (then British Rail)..

Old carriages awaiting re-fit

Re-fit underway

Carriages awaiting re-spray

After the paint job

The finished article, two trains waiting to leave Paddington station for South Wales and Cornwall

An interior first class HST carriage (supplied by Bombardier)

An interior shot of a new Standard Class HST carriage (supplied by Bombardier)"


Eddie Mair | 10:46 UK time, Tuesday, 2 October 2007


sends another view of Stourhead:


The Severn, and Mr Porritt...

Eddie Mair | 17:18 UK time, Monday, 1 October 2007


details of his report are here.

The Glass Box for Monday

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Eddie Mair | 16:24 UK time, Monday, 1 October 2007


is here. Comment here on the content of the programme. Our editor tonight will read and respond.

If there are other things on your mind - click on FAQ for details of how to contribute...whether it's serious or silly there's a place for us. SOOOOMEwhere a place for us.

1708 UPDATE: By the way - Iain Dale, famous blogger is on the show right now. Here is his blog.

I was meaning to post a lot of stuff

Eddie Mair | 15:59 UK time, Monday, 1 October 2007


today, and things rather ran away with me.

Already spoken to Mr Bongs - he was great as always. And my chat with Jonathon Porritt about the Severn Barrage was interesting. He had just come in out of torrential rain in central London - got soaked riding between venues on his bike, apparently. I suggested getting a car but....

The bit I'm most looking forward to at the moment features Hillary Clinton - cackling.

In the absence of anything else, here's another email we've been sent. In the subject line: "Be honest to me"

"Dear Friend,
My name is Cox Peter Jnr, a resident of Spain and an attorney to Late Mr. Nelson Lawrence, he was an oil dealer in Saudi Arabia, he died in German hospital along side with his two kids by a car crash.

He left behind legacies and estates in Espanol since 2002, I have been trying to reach the relatives of my late client but all effort proved abortive, if you can assist me as a foreigner to apply to the bank as his next of kin beholding the sum of $60.2MUSD. According to records only his relatives can make withdrawal of the fund of my late client's account in the Spanish Bank. Please if you are interested to assist with this deal, feel free to contact me as soon as possible.

Please email me at your earliest ocnveinence for more details. I will like to know if you can help me with this, since I could not locate the heir to my client's asset and estate. I am waiting for your prompt response to enable us proceed in this opportunity. i have mapped out our sharing strategy, 40% will be for your kind help."

We've sent him something about why we deserve the money, in fewer than 200 words.

It's Monday. It's October. So

Eddie Mair | 10:04 UK time, Monday, 1 October 2007


to cheer us up I was going to post a few pics of a beautiful location I was at yesterday. Then I thought - no. Make it an illegal quiz!

So - where is THIS?


(I could have made it harder by just using some tree shots but how much of a challenge are people up for?)

The Furrowed Brow

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Eddie Mair | 06:13 UK time, Monday, 1 October 2007


The place for serious talk about what's on your mind.

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