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Runners and riders.......

Wendy Austin | 11:47 UK time, Thursday, 31 March 2011

We're up and running - weeks to go still but the election is under way. Already news organisations are drawing up their grids, making sure there's a balance between the parties in their columns and on their programmes......


And here on Talkback we're getting ready for the Party Leaders....they'll be on air over the coming weeks answering your questions - and a few of our own. Have they got their feet on the ground? Do they know the answers to everyday questions? Price of a pint? Bag of coal?


Will it be the usual carve up - or will Northern Ireland's voters really be thinking  about the economy, education, health, roads etc when they pick up that well sharpened pencil-on-the-end-of-a-piece-of-hopefully-long-enough-string?? We'll see.


And if you've questions to ask - here's next week's timetable:

April 4th Mon  -   Greens  -   Steven Agnew  -  April 5th  Tues  -  TUV Jim Allister  -  April 6th  Wed  - Alliance David Ford . More to come of course - I'll keep you in touch. You can email questions - talk.back@bbc.co.uk; tweet: @wendytalksback; facebook - wendy austin.

Look forward to hearing from you!!


  • Comment number 1.

    " ... And here on Talkback we're getting ready for the Party Leaders....they'll be on air over the coming weeks answering your questions - and a few of our own. Have they got their feet on the ground? Do they know the answers to everyday questions? Price of a pint? Bag of coal? .. "

    or, another everyday question .. "Why was the Talkback Messageboard closed down and replaced by this ineffective Blog?"

  • Comment number 2.

    Scybalous I am in no way suggesting you are not entitled to express your opinion, but has this not been said a million times already? I don't mind you posting it, I just wonder at why you have - considering poor Wendy always seems to get it in the neck even when she is just doing her job!??

  • Comment number 3.

    Hi Martin. A few things for you to mull over :

    1. As you rightly point out, I'm entitled to express my opinion.
    2. The bulk of my comments on this Blog have been deemed fit for display by the Moderators.
    3. I'm not the only former TBMB contributor who was sufficiently annoyed by the TBMB closure to comment about it here.
    4. This Blog has been such a poor replacement for the TBMB that on quite a few occasions the only comments posted are from myself and some of my "fellow moaners" .. It isn't as if we're clogging up cyberspace with our whingeing and thereby making things difficult for others : usually there aren't any others.
    5. I assume that, since you seem to realise that my main gripe has " .. been said a million times already .. ", you are reasonably familiar with the Blog. If this is indeed the case, you'll have noticed how little traffic the Blog has generated.
    6. On the subject of poor Wendy getting it in the neck, I refer you to a comment I posted to the very first Blog. I'll try to copy/paste it into a new post.

    Thanks for your opinion. My opinion remains that this Blog is a poor and ineffective replacement for the TBMB.

  • Comment number 4.

    36. At 8:27pm on 18 Nov 2010, you wrote:
    “Hello and welcome to the first Talkback Blog”

    .. And here we are, at after 8 PM, almost at the end of the first day of “The Talkback Blog”.
    How was it received, this first “.. step out of the studio and into cyberspace ..” ?
    Well, I reckon the general tone of the first 30 + comments says it all.
    All of the contributors - apart from a couple - are familiar to me as TBMB participants, and I think I can speak for them all when I say that none of us are so bereft of common sense that we don’t realise that ..

    1. Wendy is not personally responsible for the removal of the Talkback MB ;

    2. Wendy has no influence - nor, I suspect, has anyone else - in any consideration of a reprieve/reinstatement for the MB.

    Given those two points though, and given that we can all accept the wisdom of the old plea .. “Don’t shoot the messenger” .. Wendy is in the unfortunate position of being “The Messenger” in all of this, and that is why the verbal onslaught here today has perhaps seemed to be directed at her .. Sometimes "The Messenger" is the only person in plain view.

    No doubt the coming days will see the complainers like myself drift away and leave the field clear for those “Talkback” listeners with comments more directly linked to the programme.

  • Comment number 5.

    Hi Martin. For some reason Comment 3, which was a reply to your Comment 2, has been “referred for further consideration”. It didn’t break any rules that I can think of, so I’ll rack my brains and write it again on my word processor and post it : that way I can re-post it if need be.

  • Comment number 6.

    Why has Comment 3 been removed Moderators ? The Blog sees little enough activity as it is, and my comment was not in breach of any rules that I can think of.

  • Comment number 7.

    Hello Mods .. I appreciate that at times your job isn't easy. I also appreciate your decision to restore my Comment 3. One thing still puzzles me .. why on earth was it removed in the first place ?

  • Comment number 8.

    Martin Montgomery i dont remember you from the talkback messageboards,were you on them?......sycabalous is absolutely right in all he says regarding the old talkback message boards,and has my 100% support,and ive no doubt he would the majority of all different types of posters from the TBMBs support for their return,...they were removed in the most disrespectful way to listeners and regular posters to Talkback MBs,..this excuse of a replacement is an embarrassment to anyone that has to do with talkback,..and dont kid yourself that Mrs W Austin hasnt anything to do with it,... the sooner they replace her and bring the boards back the better

  • Comment number 9.

    Thanks for that SL ... Your eternal pal "The Monkey With the Big Banana" :)

  • Comment number 10.

    I was never on the Talkback message boards, and I am not an avid follower of this blog either, but I do read it from time to time. I do agree that it is hardly award winning material, but then again I wonder what Wendy see's this blogs purpose as?

    This latest blog seems to be to generate interest in her midweek show. Not terribly interesting or informative for those seeking more, but perhaps it performs some function for those seeking less...

    Anyway, I appreciate your reply, I don't think your clogging up cyberspace or anything - and just in case you are wondering I had nothing to do with any removal of your posts... This is the first time I have been back since my original post.

  • Comment number 11.

    " .. and just in case you are wondering I had nothing to do with any removal of your posts .. "

    No problem Martin ... I only ever suspected that the Moderators had made a strange decision on their own.


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