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Say What You Want to Hear

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Jeremy Mortimer 10:20, Thursday, 11 February 2010


Editor's note: SWYWTH's Facebook page has pics, news from the project and, of course, SWYWTHs - SB.

What is a SWYWTH? What is your SWYWTH? Is it that secret something you say to yourself every day when you look in the mirror? Something that constantly echoes in your mind? Something that, finally, really ought to be said out loud? SWYWTHs are all these secret things, the things that never really get said. They've been locked up in your head for years, haven't they? But now we've got a system for letting them out.

Mike and Erik may not be the brightest of internet entrepreneurs. Or the most successful. In fact it is pretty clear that they don't have much of a track record when it comes to success. Unlike their former college mate Steve, who made it out of Liverpool in the 1980s and has spent the last twenty years surfing the dot.com boom in the United States.

But I'm getting ahead of myself here. Mike and Erik are two characters in a Radio 4 Afternoon Play (played by Stephen Tompkinson and Ewan Bailey). They can't be real - can they ? And their site 'Say What You Want to Hear' - the one that asks about those voices in your head - that can't be real, can it ?

Well it is. Check out the Say What You Want to Hear web site.

Those clever people at the Radio 4 web site were so taken with Mike and Erik's idea that they decided to steal it and put it on their web site. And to invite all of you to send in those requests to voice the secret things you've been saying. And we've roped in some of those well known Radio 4 voices too - to say them.

So if you send in something like 'How could I get through another day without the help of Charlotte Green or Chris Aldridge' (for example) then you might be lucky enough to hear it voiced by Charlotte Green - or Chris Aldridge.

And then Tim Wright (writer) may select your Swywth ('Say What You Want to Hear' geddit ?) and weave it into the second Say What You Want to Hear play which is being recorded at the end of February for broadcast on the 9th March. And your Swywth may be the one that propels Erik or Mike to success !

Or it could help Erik to find Scarlett, the mysterious woman who just may be the love of his life.

To recap: How do we do it? It's simple. You write them down. You send them to us. And we record them, publish them on the web for everyone to hear. And some of them get to be included in the Afternoon Play.

You can also join in the 'swywth'-making process on Twitter, on Facebook, on YouTube, on Flickr.

Jeremy Mortimer is producer of Say What You Want to Hear


  • Comment number 1.

    Wow, the BBC really excelled themselves on this blog, managed to give advertising to just about all the commercial social networking/media sites in one blog!

  • Comment number 2.

    And meanwhile, @Boilerplated, Radio drama fans on Twitter and Facebook are busy advertising a Radio 4 drama that went out in the Afternoon Play slot! That's not something you see every day is it?

    Steve Bowbrick, editor, Radio 4 blog

  • Comment number 3.

    That's good is it then?

  • Comment number 4.

    I can write it again, if you are going to delete my comment.

    I repeat -
    So that's good is it?

    It is a question, perhaps you can enlighten us.
    BTW I copy all my posts.

  • Comment number 5.

    cassandra Yes! Unequivocally. The more people listening to and talking about brilliant drama like this the better. Especially if they're people who might not have heard it otherwise. We honestly can't sit back and wait for listeners to come to us any more. Radio drama mustn't remain our 'best-kept secret.'

    Steve Bowbrick, editor, Radio 4 blog

  • Comment number 6.

    Steve Bowbrick - i agree with you............... however, the issue is really one of advertising and the bbcs current source of revenue.

    if the time has come to talk about what the bbc shouldn't do 'any more'.... i would imagine 'remain subsidised by the general public - regardless of income or interest in the specific product' should be at the top of list.

    licence fee be gone, advertising is annoying: but we are subjected to sneaky advertising as above and the constant internal advertising anyway...

  • Comment number 7.

    "Radio drama mustn't remain our 'best-kept secret'."

    Quite so, Steve. But of the 145 Radio 4 blogs, in the region of 25 have related to the drama area, and many of these have been for readings, and include the special series for the Archers. There's actually very little on specific dramas. Why you should cite a linkage between SWYWTH and some entries on Facebook or Twitter is not clear though. Do not people also twitter and facebook on other radio dramas as well?

    Numbers? Looks to me like there was about 65 tweets, of which 25 were from the BBC itself. Is this level of activity regarded as significant in relation to the average real-time listen of nearly a million for a typical afternoon play?

    'course, if you honestly can't sit back and wait for listeners to "come to us" anymore, you could always mention or even direct them to D & R, where we are not confined to a silly character number limit...

    Radio drama is surely worth more than 140 letters, isn't it, Steve?



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