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Private Passions - Joanna van Kampen (Fallon)

Keri Davies Keri Davies | 09:52 AM, Friday, 11 February 2011

Joanna van Kampen (Fallon Rogers)

Joanna van Kampen (Fallon Rogers) selects some of her favourite music on BBC Radio 3's Private Passions this Sunday.

The daughter of cellist Christopher van Kampen and violinist Marcia Crayford, Jo studied violin and piano as a child before deciding to make acting her career.

Jo found talking to Michael Berkeley about her choices less daunting than she expected: 'I was scared at the thought but it turned out to be really informal and fun', she said. 'It was such a privilege to be asked to appear. I tried to choose pieces that had relevance to my life, so there'd be more to talk about.'

Jo's eclectic selection includes film soundtracks, classical vocal music - and Stevie Wonder.

Private Passions is at 12pm on Sunday 13 February.

Keri Davies is an Archers scriptwriter and web producer.


  • Comment number 1.

    Dear Mr Davies,

    I am sorry to ask more questions.

    But... what is the purpose of these blogs?

    The actor/actress biogs. Are they meant to be part of the promo puffery for the forthcoming Archers behind the scenes programme we have been told about?

    A very good morning to you.

  • Comment number 2.

    To Brian-of-Britain, Maybe they're just trying to be too quick for us, throwing up one new post after another - hoping we'll get left behind!

  • Comment number 3.

    I think your are right Waltersdaughter.

    Is it me? This is supposed to be a blog but casting orphans adrift is more like it..

    And why are we being given these biogs? What are they for? No offence to the actors/actresses but I have NO INTEREST IN THEM AT ALL. This just contibutes more damage to a once great and unique programme.Overlaying Celeb cult on top of sensationalist issue driven scripts..... Gercha!

    A blog Jim but not as we know it. Just another MB in reality

  • Comment number 4.

    Brian, for the last 10 years or so there used to be a section of the website called "Backstage Stories" which Keri added to each week. The pieces were similar to the ones that appear here, now, but without all the complaints about Jan 2nd attached to the bottom. I have no desire to stop people posting whatever views they want to on TA, but perhaps the place to do so is on the Message Board rather than to random stories about TA actors?

    (And Keri, it would help people to find the MB if a link were placed in the top strapline alongside Blog/ Discuss. There is room! It would make navigating the whole site much easier. The MB has been going for 10 years now, but it almost seems the BBC want to hide it!)

  • Comment number 5.

    You are indeed right mike. The MBs are for posting. However this "blog" page is only another message board... The initiator rarely if ever contributes anything. So what is the point?

    Regarding the biog stuff I have no idea about "Backstage Stories"... But good luck to anyone who wants/wanted to go there.

    My question to Mr Davies is pertinant however.

    "The actor/actress biogs. Are they meant to be part of the promo puffery for the forthcoming Archers behind the scenes programme we have been told about?"

  • Comment number 6.

    I'm not sure what kind of comments we are expected to make about this or the previous subject (Charlotte Martin). Some TA listeners may find it interesting to read about the actors others may prefer not to. Why not make better use of the 'Who's who' section for this kind of information?

  • Comment number 7.

    Why not revert to the "Backstage Stories" with No Comment?

  • Comment number 8.

    As mike said, these blogs are more or less what the 'backstage stories' were on the old website. Some are interesting, some aren't, and different people will find different ones of interest. Some won't be interested at all.

    Not sure the comments add anything to them, especially as they seem to have been overtaken by the SATTC answer-demanders and have no relevance to the blog item in question.

  • Comment number 9.

    At least with Ms van Kampen, the BBC has employed an actor, unlike a moonlighting NHS doctor like "(Dr) Susan Carter"!!

  • Comment number 10.

    You got that the wrong way round, Collator.
    She was an actor first, and is now moonlighting as a psychologist

    As for putting stories of the actors, rather than the characters, on the blog, I think that is just another facet of the drive to make TA into another soap. Sesationalist storylines, and 'soap-stars' make for publicity, which is the most important thing a radio programme can achieve.

    Watch out, Archers cast - the publicity department will soon be making sensational stories from your private lives and feeding them to the press. You won't be able to move without falling over the papperazzi.

    No wonder no one is interested in the complaints of those who want to suspend disbelief and think of Ambridge as a real place. They are the wrong kind of listener.

  • Comment number 11.

    Are these blogs being put up here to test the water over the idea of doing that 'behind the scenes' thing they were mooting for Radio 7? I can't think of a worse way of wasting a precious Radio Drama slot and I will be very cross if I have to switch off on R7 (or Radio 4 Extra?) as well as R4. (Still not listening or reading the synopses by the way. Overall Radio 4 listening is now about a tenth of what it used to be in our house.)

  • Comment number 12.

    This may be off-topic to the rest of the thread, but hasn't anyone else notice what a fabulous photograph that is!

    10/10 both for the "location" shot - and a face I'd love to see next time I order pint!


  • Comment number 13.

    I'm pleased to see these pieces appearing. It is just what used to happen on the old site, in a different form. When the old site was swept away I was concerned that, with the BBC withdrawing from the Internet in the face of commercial providers who think they own it, we might no longer get such background material.

    As to the comments - I seem to remember that every time one of these pieces appeared in the old "backstage" slot, a number of comment threads would spring up in DTA (and they still do), so little change there either. In some ways I suppose it's easier having them here under the piece in question.


  • Comment number 14.

    Good morning. The only reason I am here is because I have heard much about what is being said in these blogs about recent events which I will admit has also turned me into an ex listener.
    So I go to the relevant blog which was sitting at 1001 comments and added my own. Nothing appears. I added a further comment.....nothing. It appears stuck at 1001! Although sometimes it shows 1009 but then I go to it and its still stuck at 1001.
    All very odd and makes me wonder if what I have been hearing is true that the BBC doesn't like the truth.
    So sorry but I simply have to have a moan.

  • Comment number 15.

    JimLad - your comment is coming up on my computer. I have just read it. Welcome and I agree with all you say.

  • Comment number 16.

    Hello Sarah Rundle. Yes its there, it wasn't first thing this morning and I and started to wonder why. Thanks.
    How very sad this all is and how very unnecessary. (Yes moderators I know this isn't the right blog but who cares?). As a newcomer it seems to me as if the subjects of these blogs are purposely trying to divert opinion and to steer listeners away from this event. And as for the comment that we should continue to listen to see how this pans out I agree with another contributor who says that its like having a bad meal at a restuarant but to keep going back in the hope that one day you get a good one.
    Its very frustrating that devoted listeners have been given no consideration in the rush to have a sensational 60th which has back fired on the scriptwriters who then instead of holding their hands up and taking the blame are instead telling us that its all ok and anyway like it or lump it.
    Well dear scriptwriters we are still complaining but we're not listening to your programme, because you've made it clear to us that its your programme to do with as you like and we have no say.
    I give the Archers 10 years at most.

  • Comment number 17.

    @16 JimLad - as much as that?

  • Comment number 18.

    "As a newcomer it seems to me as if the subjects of these blogs are purposely trying to divert opinion and to steer listeners away from this event. "

    I'm sure they're not. It's a question of perspective. From their POV it doesn't need attention drawing away from it, and the blogs are just a continuation of what has always happened on the website, albeit we now have a direct facility to comment.

    I think that the comparison with the bad meal is apt. There was a bad meal on 2nd, but since then the programme has been mostly OK (well, as OK as normal), making allowances for that fact that it has had to address the - er - aftereffects of that bad meal. (One way to put it might be, there are rather a lot of leftovers to get through). The acting and scripts since the Event have been, in my view superb, and all those who have switched off are really missing a treat. The main problem, for me, is that it is somewhat hard to engage with SLs arising from the Event - but as time passes they will, hopefully, fade away.

    It would be a shame to dismiss the programme because of that one big mistake. They've got over other mistakes in the past - for example, Sam and Ruth.


  • Comment number 19.

    Vicarshusband, those who have switched off are one group and I am one of those.
    However, I read DtA and what strikes me is that those who have been around for years and years, and are still listening, do not sound as if they are hearing a 'treat'.

    Very, very far from it.

    The team seem to have learnt nothing from the debacle of Ruth and Sam.

    I don't think this mistake will be forgotten.

  • Comment number 20.

    How are we supposed to believe it will fade away? We were told it would SATTC for the next ten years...

  • Comment number 21.

    Vicarshusband @ post 18

    Some people switched off on January 2nd, and have not switched back on again. Some of us have been back several times, just for a taste.
    I am one of those, but I cannot confirm your assertion that the ex-listeners are missing a treat, because the few minutes of the several episodes I have switched on left a nasty, bitter taste in my mouth.

    The dreary misery is one thing, but the complete transformation of Helen into sainted motherhood is mind-boggling - and I presume she has not yet apologised for her abominable treatment of her anxious father?

    And lovely Clarrie - why have the SWs turned her into a misery now, after all she has put up with from her family in the past, and retained her cheerfulness?

    No, can't swallow it any more.

  • Comment number 22.

    In reply to the person who said listeners are missing a treat, well I did not turn off completely immediately after the event so have heard a few episodes. How anyone can possibly think that the scripts have been superb when Helen has had a conversion on the road to Damacus as another contributor has said is beyond me. But each to their own I suppose.
    I now read that Clarrie too has had a change of character and this must be a joke.
    I keep hoping that an actor will speak out but so far nothing.

  • Comment number 23.

    I can only speak as I find. Since The Event (or Events, if you include Helen's delivery) I think that the scripts and acting have been very good - yes, you have to very consciously suspend disbelief, but even so.

    As to the longer term - I really, really hope that the production team have accepted the reaction and will change their course a bit away from the SATTC idea. That means, over time, backgrounding Lower Loxley, grieving Elizabeth and guilty David and slowly rebuilding. But it is too soon for them to have done that yet: everything we have heard this year so far must have been recorded before Christmas.

  • Comment number 24.

    So, some of you have commented on this blog-post that you don't think it is worth commenting on this blog-post? And it didn't cross your mind not to comment if you didn't think it was worth commenting?

    I think some of you are quite, quite strange.

    Anyway, I really enjoy Private Passions, and really enjoyed this episode and her choices.

  • Comment number 25.

    JoLean - I think many of us are so frustrated by the wall of silence being received elsewhere that coming on the blogs is born out of desperation.

    I think *most* people would find any of us 'strange' to be posting on the MBs or blogs - but here you and I are!

  • Comment number 26.

    Well, fondantfancee, I expect I am strange but to question the right of the author to post something because *I* am not interested in it takes solipsism to ridiculous degree. A harmless story on the show's website about an actor in the show is probably not part of The Great Radio Four Conspiracy which will see us all forced to listen to 'people like them' not 'people like us'.

    Oh, and some of you (NOT you, ff) should read Private Eye's From the Messageboards spoof and see what you recognise.

  • Comment number 27.

    I think the point is not that some harmless story about an actor was posted - as has been pointed out, Backstage News as it was, has been around a long time.
    It's just that the impotent fury many are feeling can lead some to seek any channel of communication (surely what a blog is) to register their dismay: and I don't blame them.

    I am a PE subscriber so know what you are referring to JoLean but must say I think it's unkind to compare the real feelings on here, many from first time board users, with a spoof.

  • Comment number 28.

    Can I just ask, were there such a proliferation of Keri's blogs before Nigel fell off the roof, or is it just a new move to try and placate the listeners ?

  • Comment number 29.

    Well, if you look at the full listing, there have been 5 blog posts so far in February, there were 17 in January, 18 in December, 12 in November and 4 in October - but that's when the new website appeared, I think, so probably not typical. Some of the January ones were directly associated with Nigel's death - either clearly long planned background info or or, possibly, extra ones addressing the listener reaction. I think Keri was off for a bit in January. It's far from clear that this is a "move to try and placate" listeners. In any case that seems very unlikely. Why would anyone think it would placate?

  • Comment number 30.

    I don't think it is anything but some (interesting or not) information about a show on the website of said show.

    I honestly think anyone seeing some sort of conspiracy against them and other listeners personally needs to take a deep breath or seek medical help.

  • Comment number 31.

    JoLean, I noticed on the MB that you said you had not been around for a while.
    Therefore, you may have missed the uproar that was caused after Jan 2nd?
    As I said before, these snippets of information about the cast have been around for ages.
    Difference is - they are now in 'blog' form which means they can be commented on because the powers that be love Twitts and blogs.
    A move that the time and money they have spent on may soon be regretted. It also seems to have had the effect of silencing one formerly approachable and engaged host and SW.

    BTW, I am a healthcare professional and I assure you, I don't feel anyone on here needs medical help - apart from some anti-depressants possibly!

  • Comment number 32.

    No, I was around (mainly lurking but posting too) on January 2nd (after not posting much since the new MB which I find difficult to browse) which explains why I've not been around much since because the message board has become full of, frankly, paranoid postings and hysterical bores.

    I didn't like the 60th anniversary episode: I thought it was rubbish and I think the production team made a huge and ridiculous error in dedding Nigel. However, I don't believe that Vanessa Whitburn and her colleagues shot JFK, faked the moon landings or were responsible for any sort of deep conspiracy as some of the repitious posters who are commenting on EVERY blog (which is BBC house-style rather than some sort of KGB/Stasi tactic) seem to think.

    Anyway off to watch last night's Take Me Out, which will mark me out as just the sort of low-brow listener who is out to get all of you and steal your Radio 4 souls, I expect.

  • Comment number 33.

    I have dipped in and out of the blogs for the past few weeks and read most of the messages, but I missed those about the moon landings and the JFK assassination. Perhaps I missed my medication: I'll go back and see if I can find those that JoLean refers to.

  • Comment number 34.

    "I didn't like the 60th anniversary episode: I thought it was rubbish and I think the production team made a huge and ridiculous error in dedding Nigel. However, I don't believe that Vanessa Whitburn and her colleagues shot JFK, faked the moon landings or were responsible for any sort of deep conspiracy" - JoLean, above

    I share this view.

  • Comment number 35.

    For what it's worth, I don't blame VW or her collegues for those events either and frankly it is patronising to suggest anyone has said so.
    The simple message, repeated by literally hundreds of contributors, is that the sheer manipulation of characters to fit a stupid anniversary has caused many to see the strings pulling the puppets - and this has spoiled the programme for them.

    These people, myself included, cared very, very deeply about TA and it was a huge pleasure in our lives.
    Please don't insult those feelings by comparing them to some mad conspiracy theorists.

  • Comment number 36.

    @35 Agree with you fondantface. I have never called for anyone's resignation or anything similar but I do feel bereft as I have not listened (except briefly) to a programme which I loved for many years.

  • Comment number 37.

    @35 and @36. Agree with you both Fondant and Songsinger.
    As you say Fondant it was the manipulation of the characters that has spoilt TA for me. I've been a listener for many years now but haven't listened to an episode since January 2. With a radio programme you invest a lot of your imagination into how the characters look, where they live, how they behave etc. If three characters can be manipulated for an anniversary (Helen, David and Nigel) then what is to stop that happening to others in future? Once the consistency of character is broken then all that is left is actors reading scripts.

  • Comment number 38.

    I haven't read these messages for quite some time, but I did read many hundreds of them before and have caught up a little today, and on the whole I find them to be polite, articulate and non-hysterical and so I agree wholeheartedly with posts 35, 36 and 37 and to be honest I find the only slightly offensive messages to be those exaggerating the concerns of the majority into some kind of lunacy. Nobody mentioned JFK or moon landings (what nonsense!)- they simply expressed the views of the above three posts which I heartily agree with.

    I have now not listened for many weeks and my life is no poorer. It was an enjoyable part of life for many decades and at first I felt a keen sense of loss, but now that loss is assimilated into my life and other pleasures have replaced and become the norm. Sadly Radio 4 was the fall guy in all this because I simply turned off my radio for most of the day instead of having it constantly in the background.

    I will check in again in a couple more weeks, in the meantime my very good wishes to everyone here.

  • Comment number 39.

    I feel like an impostor. Erm,.....sorry to intrude on the gloomfest, but.....all I wanted to say was that I was at school with Joanna van Kampen's Dad!

    Wish I hadn't bothered now.

  • Comment number 40.

    I whole heartedly agree with posts 35 to 38. Although I do think that a change in the editorial team would have a positive effect on the programme. It seems to me that the current attempts at social realism within TA are failing miserably. The result has been a total lack of humour, horribly predictable (almost clichéd) plot lines and changes to characterisation that results in
    a) The entire illusion of Ambridge being destroyed in my mind and
    b) My not really caring what happens to any of the characters.

    There are some very good examples of how the social realism thing does work on TV in programmes like Shameless and Skins. I’m not suggesting that TA emulate them, just that there are techniques used in these dramas that make the viewer care very much about the characters because they seem so real and believable. If the current push for a younger audience for TA is to be perused there are a lot of lessons that could be learned there.

    I agree with you hopping that the really offensive posts that I have seen here and on the message board have been from the ‘Stop these postings’ brigade. The majority of criticism I have read here have been intelligent and articulate and I believe that the editorial team could learn a lot from them.

  • Comment number 41.


    You must be nearly as old as I am DracsM1 : -)


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