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Harriet Cass and Charlotte Green

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Denis Nowlan Denis Nowlan 11:59, Wednesday, 5 September 2012

It has been reported that Radio 4 is to close two posts in its presentation team and that Harriet Cass and Charlotte Green are to leave us next year. Here's the background.

Charlotte Green

Charlotte Green

By the end of 2012, the whole of the BBC news operation will have moved from Television centre to New Broadcasting House. This means Today, The World at One and all the rest of Radio 4's news will come from a studio in New Broadcasting House, the building where eventually the whole of BBC news will be located. Additionally, Radio 4 news programmes will be based just a minute's walk from the Radio 4 Controller's office, the continuity studios and teams making other journalistic programmes like Woman's Hour, You & Yours, Front Row and The Bottom Line.

It also allows us to make some efficiencies. At present we have to maintain Presentation teams in two different buildings: continuity announcers in Broadcasting House and newsreaders in Television Centre. Once News is safely established in New Broadcasting House, newsreaders will be able to provide support for the continuity team, so we will not need so many shifts each day to staff both sides of the operation.

Harriet Cass

Harriet Cass

As we will be able to manage with two fewer posts we invited staff to express their preferences. Harriet and Charlotte applied for voluntary redundancy and have been accepted. We expect the posts to close early in 2013. The savings will contribute to our target under the Delivering Quality First plan, allowing more money to go into programme making.

Needless to say we will miss them both, as I'm sure will our listeners. They will go with our warmest thanks and very best wishes for the future.

Denis Nowlan is the Network Manager of Radio 4.


  • Comment number 1.

    You have got to be joking !! the best voices on Radio 4 leaving, this is terrible news. Why is it always older experienced woman who leave in these situtations ?

  • Comment number 2.

    No, please no. These are two of the most lovely voices on radio and I actually feel like crying at the thought that I will not longer hear them. Please ask them to reconsider - I won't suggest alternative candidates but there must be some way we can keep them
    And maybe could continue to do the News Quiz on a specific contract?
    It's like knowing that you're about to lose a friend.

  • Comment number 3.

    That is sad. They are by far the best talents. I just hope they didn't feel as if they were being squeezed. Radio 4 will be a less enlightening place without them. You will be missed.

  • Comment number 4.

    I am going to miss these friendly voices so much, but, if they asked for redundancy then we should respect their decision. Good luck Harriet and Charlotte.

  • Comment number 5.

    These two national treasures simply cannot be allowed to leave Radio 4. Please ask them to reconsider.

  • Comment number 6.

    The diversity and variety of regular voices is one of the elements making Radio 4 unique. Change - especially when it's cuts - is always hard to accept but I wish Harriet and Seagreen a brilliant future in whatever way they elect to spend it.

  • Comment number 7.

    No more News Quiz with Charlotte Green? Surely not... I'll miss both her and Harriet.

  • Comment number 8.

    Of course they are brilliant, and it is a shame to see them go. As very long serving members of staff they will of course qualify for the highest redundancy pay. They are also likely to be entitled to draw their pensions if over 55. They are also likely to be in high demand for freelance work, quite possibly on Radio 4. The amount of "saved money" for programme making will be negligible or non-existent. This is the bureaucrats' approach to cost saving (private and public sector).

  • Comment number 9.

    Charlotte's voice will certainly be missed; it's unique and full of warm character and fabulously husky.

    I do hope that all points of view are taken into consideration on this site and not just herograms but alas, I never did warm to Harriet's voice; a bit cold and mechanical methinks.

  • Comment number 10.

    How sad...these two lovely voices are a sort of comforting soundtrack to our often chaotic and difficult lives. They'll be sadly missed. I hope they get lots of voice over jobs outside the beeb so we can hear their warm, clear tones...even if advertising something naff such as McDonalds' latest gunge.

  • Comment number 11.

    Very sorry to hear about this, they will be much missed! I wonder if they'll have dinner parties with Brian Perkins

  • Comment number 12.

    Very sad to see them go. I always enjoy having the news read to me by people with such lovely voices.

    Anyway, best wishes to both of them for whatever the future holds.

  • Comment number 13.

    Really sad news. Two of the best voices on radio. Such a shame that big redundancy offers deprive us of them, but no doubt they are happy!

  • Comment number 14.

    Please please please don't let this happen! They are the best voices on Radio 4...

  • Comment number 15.

    I'm inclined to agree with Post Meridiem (9). I wonder how much the people making the cuts are paid.

  • Comment number 16.

    Be happy. We still have Alice Arnold and Corrie Corfield. The world is not bleak with them still in our ears.

  • Comment number 17.

    Radio 4 listeners are a demanding lot, and we require newsreaders with good pace, excellent diction, and pleasant timbre. Harriet and Charlotte are perfect and well-loved examples. For us, their voices are just not interchangeable with any old announcer. I doubt that there will be significant savings, and I am very disappointed in the BBC's decision.

  • Comment number 18.

    I wish I didn't have to read these comments. I have had lots of nasty things in my life and this is one more. I shall miss both Charlotte and Harriet greatly.

  • Comment number 19.

    So sorry to see you both go -- particularly as BBC World Service Radio has recently revamped its breakfast news programme, dumbing it down and featuring BBC's very own Mma Malaprop at the time I listen. No gain -- just as we have to wish you well despite our loss. Wish you two could do Newsday!

  • Comment number 20.

    This is terribly sad news. The contribution that these two individuals have made to R4 is incalculable. I do hope that this is a true voluntary redundancy and not the typical freezing out that one sometimes encounters.

  • Comment number 21.

    Please tell me this is just a sick joke! They make two of our national treasures redundant, and keep the dreadful Neil Nunes whose unintelligent delivery is an instant turn-off. Please keep Charlotte and Harriet, and issue health warnings when Neil is about to come on air

  • Comment number 22.

    I;m gonna miss you both. Your voices are like dew on an autumn morning. Whatever the topics, you make me feel wanting to hear more. I;ve been an ardent listener to the BBC Radio 4 Midnight News for years. Best wishes for the future for both of you. PS: Got to download some of the programs and keep them as examples of the GOOD OLD TIMES.

  • Comment number 23.

    This is a very dark day. I can think of many others who I'd miss much less. I can only hope that the BBC and both presenters can and will reconsider. Depressing to think of R4 without either. I PROTEST!

  • Comment number 24.

    who could replace Charlottte Green and Harriet Cass? Clear, beautiful voices without the misplaced emphais or intonation we all dread to hear. Perfect Shipping Forecast - very difficult to do - and the everlasting youth of the voices - till I heard when they had joined, I thought they were in their thirties.

    Please do not drop below their excellent standard when replacing them

  • Comment number 25.

    I am sad Charlotte and Harriet are leaving. The contribution they have made has been remarkable. Both have good clear diction and warm voices and truly the best but Charlotte`s voice has to be pure velvet listening: the shipping forecast will never be the same again. I`m certainly going to miss them very much as I have always been a regular listener to radio 4. All the best for the future whatever your plans

  • Comment number 26.

    2 National Treasures who will be sorely missed. They feel like part of the family. Good luck, Harriet and Charlotte, for whatever you do in the future

  • Comment number 27.

    They will be sorely missed. Good luck to them both

  • Comment number 28.

    Can they be put on retainers to cover for sickness absence and unexpected emergencies, so we can still hear them from time to time?

  • Comment number 29.

    Yes indeed, Harriet and Charlotte both have voices and way of delivering whatever they're reading that keeps you listening intently. After they leave, I'll be name-searching the BBC website for any programmes they might be guesting, whether it's the shipping forecast or Just a Minute.

  • Comment number 30.

    Surely, the BBC will be dedicating an area of online content featuring their unique voices and memorable moments?

    I wonder if there'll be such a reaction when John Humphrys or Eddie Mair leave R4.....heh heh

  • Comment number 31.

    I was deeply saddened to hear the news that Charlotte Green and Harriet Cass are to put down their microphones. Their voices have been friends of mine for many years. Yes, we still have the wonderful Kathy Clugston, but I believe that my love of and respect for Radio 4 is about to come to an end.

  • Comment number 32.

    Shan't miss Harriet Cass. She's totally oblivious of the listeners. Who can take in 50 words a second at 6.30 AM? OTOH, Charlotte Green will be missed. She has the MOST pleasing voice on radio. My guess is both will be back as freelancers!

  • Comment number 33.

    I will miss them both, very much. They make life a lot more tolerable - in these hard depressing times - with the warmth, sweetness and enchantment their voices exude on R4. Any chance to have them on for just a bit longer?

  • Comment number 34.

    I wonder how listeners line-up about the Shipping Forecast.

    I am a North Utsire, South Utsire, Forties man through-and-through though I know there are some, misguided Soles, who are Dogger, Fisher, German Bight fans.

    Though, when the arguments rage, as they often do amongst us aficianados, people are often surprised that my preference is not Shannon, Rockall.

    Shannon O'Hara

  • Comment number 35.

    Another sacrifice of BBC quality on the altar of cost cutting. (Of course it really the Government's licence fee freeze—not to mention the transfer of the World Service— that is to blame, not the BBC.)

    Just a thought—if we offered the Forces of Darkness, say, Jeremy Paxman and John Humphreys, might they let us keep Harriet and Charlotte?

  • Comment number 36.

    As there is no blog for News Briefing (which goes out at 5:30 am) could I express my appreciation for it here? Always gets the day off to a good start: everything you need to know in 15 minutes. If its Harriet or Charlotte on duty, it is, of course, especially welcome.


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