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Feedback: Woman's Hour / Men's Hour

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Roger Bolton Roger Bolton 14:35, Thursday, 30 August 2012

Editor's note: This week Feedback looked at the Bank Holiday Edition of Woman's Hour which broadcast simultaneously with Five Live's Men's Hour. You can hear the programme again here. PMcD.

Roger Bolton

I was extremely nervous doing Feedback this week, not something I usually feel. The reason? I had to conduct a discussion with two of the brightest and toughest BBC radio editors in the business, and with one of its sharpest young journalists, Tim Samuels, and with Jane Garvey, she of the gentle but lethal put down, someone who is, for my money, just about the best in the business.

All at the same time.

Having been a programme editor I would have been quite happy talking to them through their headphones and telling them what to do, but chairing a discussion with them? Surely they would want to take over and tell me what I should be asking.? Strangely they were as good as gold, which is equally worrying.

Did I miss the tough question?

We were discussing a radio first. The programme teams from Radio 4"s Woman's Hour and 5Live's Men's Hour had collaborated to make a joint programme, transmitted on both networks simultaneously.

Why, what was the point, and are more collaborations planned?

You can hear the programme on Listen Again. It was about "Secrets" and had some fascinating revelations.

The presenters were encouraged to reveal one of their own.

Jane pretended once more that she leads a rather dull domestic life, and Tim told us about having the hair on his back removed.

In our Feedback discussion I resisted the temptation to ask Tim to remove his shirt, and to confess to a promiscuous and bi sexual lifestyle. I know revealing mine would make me more interesting.... but I don't have one, I'm afraid.

PS: Also this week we asked you to send us your views on what the new Director General's priorities should be. We plan to hand deliver a bound volume containing your suggestions to George Entwistle on his first day in the job, September 17th. I'm sure you would not want him to have an empty in-tray.

Happy Listening,

Roger Bolton

Roger Bolton presents Feedback


  • Comment number 1.

    WHY is FEEDBACK so DUMBED DOWN since you took over? You are capable of serious journalism, such as when you did SUNDAY but the last few series of FEEDBACK have got far too soft and whimsical.

    What is on now is some bore who is plugging himself with some rubbish time wasting about a new theme for the show....WHAT has that got to do with BBC RADIO output?

    You should be persisting with getting TRAIL MAKERS to STOP with their endless repeats of GO TO THE BBC WEBSITE/AVAILABLE ON IPLAYER after EVERY SINGLE SHOW!

    How stupid and forgetful do the controllers and trail producers think we are?

    PROOF that those PAID by licence fees do not listen to radio anywhere as much as the LICENCE PAYERS otherwise they too would be driven to switch off the BBC after every programme to AVOID these needless repetitive mantras.

    And yet you are wasting valuable time on some yoof who has no interest in the radio output being professional and NOT DUMBED DOWN but just wants to promote himself...and you are letting him.

    He is probably some relative or friend of the PAID STAFF.

    Act as our advocate, now all the messageboards have been closed, where at least DISSENT could be made public.

    If there are no complaints then you must be doing something right. Do not waste time PRAISING as they get paid enough to just do the job.

  • Comment number 2.

    jstone stated (message 1):

    "Act as our advocate, now all the messageboards have been closed, where at least DISSENT could be made public."

    And look what happened when I asked Feedback to investigate the BBC ban on discussing radio on the POV messageboard [1]? The board states that contributions relating to BBC policy are permissible. Many contributors asked questions relating to BBC radio policy – and all their postings were hidden. Why hasn’t Feedback investigated this ban on discussing radio?

    I also asked the R4 controller for an explanation as to why R4 had violated its service licence[2]. Needless to say, I received the radio equivalent of two fingers in my face - with no response. Violation of a service licence is a serious issue, so, again, why isn’t Feedback investigating?

    How about an edition of ‘The Reunion’ featuring Chris Dunkley and several ex-Feedback producers?

    ‘Ball and chain’ would be my choice for Feedback’s intro.:





  • Comment number 3.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 4.

    I haven't seen such an outpouring of bile for some time by commentators on this blog.

    The "yoof" was not seeking to seeking to promote himself. He is going off to study at university and good luck to him! I thought the jingle quite dramatic. I had the image of thousands of Orcs charging down a hillside. In fact, it reminded me of something I heard on the radio this morning. I dozed off and was rudely awoken by something to do with the Archers!

    Lawrence Jones

    I remember reading your thoughts on Dunkley some time ago. You linked to an article Dunkley had written on the byzantine circumstances surrounding his axing as the presenter of Feedback. In the article he also commented on the high calibre of his replacement, who hothoused the likes of Mark Thompson and Robert Harris.

    On the new Director General's priorities, something must be done about Thought For the Day. It is simply unfair that a media pulpit is made available to adherents of religion in this way. Why should licence-fee payers fund the promotion of religion? If religious organisations and individuals want valuable airtime they should be made to pay for it elsewhere.


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