Feedback: The New Elizabethans
This week, to mark the return of Feedback, I am going to discuss one of the programme's most closely guarded and expensive secrets. Who writes the script? Is it the overpaid presenter, ie me, or the underpaid and overworked producer (who is standing over my shoulder as I write this)?
The reason for raising this controversial, not to say embarrassing, issue is because this week some of our listeners have asked whether Jim Naughtie has written all the scripts of his series the New Elizabethans, and if so, whether he is responsible for the factual errors in some episodes. (To be fair, lots of people wrote in to say they loved the series as well).
Well of course, we at Feedback never make mishtakes and so need never apologise so that is not an issue, but what about the question of authorship? The New Elizabethans is a series of essays and we are assured that all have been written by the Bard of Aberdeen himself.
Feedback is rather different. It is a multi item programme driven by listeners and the producer sees everything you send in. She and I then discuss what we should feature but the final decision lies with the production team.
After I have done the interviews or discussions the producer decides on the running order and then does a draft script, containing the essential information.
I then turn it into, (well I was going to say " a vastly improved and finely polished masterpiece" -but she is still standing behind me) , er Bolton speak.
However, I would never agree to say anything I fundamentally disagreed with, and as I get decently paid for working less hard than the producer, its right that she should get the credit and I should take the blame.
Anyway back to that master wordsmith Alexander James Naughtie and his New Elizabethans.
In Feedback this week I talked to his producer and to one of his subjects, Professor Stuart Hall.
Next week on Feedback, well, I don't know yet, that is up to you.
Roger Bolton presents Feedback