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Read this: 19/10/2018

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BBC sounds music Radio podcasts has any idea what is really going on if anyone does it should be the BBC's Brussels reporter in feedback this week.

He tells us about the difficulties of establishing a solid facts in a sea of rumors speculation and spin you don't want to give the audience just parcel information.

You want to give them the truth so you constantly balancing between this is what we think is going on for races.

This is what we definitely know is going on also this week, and this is not an oblique reference to the prime minister's increasingly isolated position loneliness.

I just wanted to say well done in the mass of study and loneliness with the BBC Radio 4 loneliness experiment.

It's such an important yet often overlooked issue due Hammond the presenter of Radio Forth 2.

Anatomy of loneliness will be arguing for the series self-selecting server is truly revelatory, what is have have is unique sample with lots and lots of people who feel lonely so we want to know about Solutions and what works are people usually you can't get hold of this many people around could you do this we r sports commentary has five live launches his search for the young commentator of the Year BBC football correspondent John Murray swaps tips with last year's winner, but first Friday March the end of a government consultation on reform of the 2004 gender recognition act set out the legal process by which a person can change agenda the government insists it is an open consultation.

We are not putting forward any specific proposals for how we want the system to change only after we have gathered all.

Evidence will be set out what we think the new gender recognition process should look like so no conclusions for some time, but that hasn't stopped the consultation itself proving hugely controversial the online debate has been particularly febrile and has pitted transgender campaigners against some women's groups who feel their voices have been overlooked just the sort of issue that you would expect to find on Woman's Hour and on Tuesday the entire program was given over to discussion of the issue.

What are going to explore on the program today or try to explore because I can't promise will cover everything over the next half hour or so honest particular subject is what they are Stuart Hall thought there's structure of the Debate was quite poor fitted people against each other when there's already a conflict in further polarised the arguments because people were fighting for airtime an individual quick word from Nicola don't know you like the sound of that people can live in their identity what we talking about here if they want to be.

Able to change their legal sex position, so it would be better if Woman's Hour lead the Debate and lead from the centre ground and really try to focus on the issues in Hand by talking to the people that it generally affects and that way we can avoid generalizations and stereotypes.

My name is Dr Adrian harrop and I'm a trainee GP in lgbtq campaigner an activist based in Sunderland it was refreshing to hear such a well balanced discussion regarding the proposed reforms the gender recognition act Woman's Hour welcome the participation of numerous highly qualified stakeholders with each of their viewpoints being given the time and space a proper consideration spokeswoman for the campaign group fair play to women this group part is trying to defend women's rights and freedoms example of how we ought to engage and level-headed and evidence Oaks discussion on issues of such significant social legal and political importance and all the same time I hear what Nicolas saying I understand that but I also hear a lot of Fear

I'm in that discourse with 3rd from Bristol I'm extremely concerned about the lack of balance in Woman's Hour program.

Does the constant narrative of women being afraid well, I'm a woman and I'm not afraid.

I'm angry that women's voices are not being listened to and this was a perfect example of that well as you would expect we wanted to discuss these issues with the programs editor and to talk in detail about the editorial processes behind tackling such an emotive and polarizing issue alas no one was available and so I cannot put your concerns directly to those responsible for the program instead.

They sent us this statement women's Alice topical discussion looked at the issues raised by the government's consultation on the gender recognition Act 2004 in the week that the consultation closed the complexity of this debate was reflected in the Broad range of views and experiences of guests and

Listeners included in the program Rob it's not going away and our invitation to woman's that remains open elsewhere on Radio 4 this week the Anatomy of loneliness series came to an end it took an in-depth.

Look into what the prime minister describes as one of the greatest public health challenges of our time the series used experts and personal testimonies to explore the results of the BBC loneliness experiment an online survey conducted in collaboration with Wellcome Collection in all 55000 people completed the questionnaire which gave rise to some startling headlines including the finding that the Loneliest age group with 16 to 24 year olds most listeners felt that it was an important issue sensitively handled things always gonna change my name is Steve Thomas and I live in Lancashire listening to the very.

Interesting anatomy of loneliness race some important questions for me as a police officer the overwhelming number of incidents I deal with have a social media involvement.

I wonder if social media is stripping a children's ability to effectively communicate with each other.

Have you felt lonely yourself at times? I think I missed you and secondary school it can be quite lonely.

I suppose I suppose it's that pressure and friendship groups and things I found a recent series on Radio 4 the Anatomy of loneliness very interesting and well presented.

It's Made reflect buy some own life and the lives of Others I know and in particular.

How long is can be seen as something that is as much about sense of disconnection from others and I think we understood as it is about being alone and not having people close to you.

She was no longer there.

And do you know the old saying about trouble shared is a trouble halved and happy to share this happiness doubled.

It's so true so true.

We all feel lonely at some point in our lives but for some that temporary name is Amy spirit and I live in sorry.

I just wanted to say well done on the mass of study and loneliness is such an important yet often overlooked issue.

I hope the outcomes from the survey will be used to tackle this issue as it's sure to negatively affect the mental health of people all over the world from the subject matter and the programs though some listeners have questions about the validity of the survey at the heart of it.

I've been speaking to the series presenter Claudia Hammond who also France all in the mind and Ilfracombe the editor of The BBC Radio science unit I Began by asking Claudia where the idea for a series on luminous came from will be followed up from the rest test which was a study a bit like this that we did a couple of years ago, which we had an amazing response to and so we wanted to choose another topic where you think you know what it is, but then when you think about a bit more you wonder if if you really do and

We know that it's something that seemed to be affecting a lot of people it was starting to get talk about a little bit more, but this was no more than a year ago.

So not nearly as much as it has been recently and we just thought this is something that affects a lot of people doing something affects people's well-being.

What is it and what do we really mean by it but is there a real definition of commonly accepted definition of loneliness, can I think that there are lots of different definitions of loneliness and it's something that the government even in their new strategies been debating for ages what the definition of loneliness is we got people to define it for us and people said that it was not having anyone to talk to it was feeling disconnected from the world.

It wasn't necessarily about being alone.

It was feeling that there.

Isn't someone who really understands the one who really gets you.

I just wanted to have a survey to find out what is people's attitudes to learning SR and it's another Deborah Cohen to say we've done a survey.

There are thousands of people have replied and these the results and they tell us something about loneliness.

Do they because as you?

Odesma assess the number of respondents was certainly large, but I question the surveys representativeness, what sort of person would been listening to the radio to hear about taking part someone sitting home alone.

Not necessarily lonely, but someone watching a football match with his mates at the time would have known nothing about it and would probably have something better to do this time then complete a survey on loneliness.

It wasn't really representative was it I mean this is a self selecting survey.

What is a self selecting save and we made it very clear and all our programmes and Claudia would a long way down in a lot of the programmes on BBC news for example when they reported it did so as if this was a properly representative sample the Nationwide survey found that 40% of 16 to 24 year olds feel lonely often all very often this is always a problem that you have when you trying to simplify.

What are very complex research methods and we are aware that.

These things to get lost in translation as you go through we'll never said anywhere but it was a representative sample wasn't and therefore the assumptions that people make assumptions people in BBC newspapers shouldn't but they did is its representatives do now regret that you didn't more clearly say this is not representative.

It's massive is perhaps the largest ever server is here for more people than ever before but we can't actually say it's representatives and we said that many times we did put that in the press release a lot of people you know after about it and then when they asked to see now.

We'll absolutely talk about how it is a self selecting sample so what you do.

Get is more people who are lonely than you get another service although that's a limitation in terms of it being representative in one where it's also a strength because what you have is unique sample with lots and lots of people who feel lonely so we want to know about Solutions and what were.

Two people usually you can't get hold of this many people but just in terms of what learning this means.


Are you surprised by both the volume of response and the nature of it? I was surprised for example about the there appear to be more younger people feel lonely than older people.

What are the appears to be the case can we be confident that is the case? What week are we can be confident as in this sample of people who took part in this but we had a higher number of people in the younger age group that we had in the older guys.

Look so all you can do is compare around what you've actually got there, but of course there is other evidence elsewhere from other surveys.

We are not the first to do a survey on loneliness and there was a survey New Zealand that came up with a similar result there at least five or six now that are finding that young people are saying they feel more lonely than older people do know maybe that they happier to admit it but even representative samples more studies are saying this now.

So I think there is something going on with younger people and Cross Christmas weather not loneliness is a bad singer.

Was a bad thing because the game One intriguing things about the survey were those who thought they were positive benefits did that surprise you don't care.

I think if you just think if you just pause for a minute and have a think about your own life.

There is usually times when you actually want to be around a lot of people under other times when you actually want to have that I need to be beneficial in somewhere.

That's a pretty large plain as well.

I think it's about how you see loneliness when you see it is on the long-term which it could be a lot of people would be very worried if you can't see a solution to your problem of learning are whether you can see that loneliness for a short time is something that can be beneficial keep about something like hunger Hunger doesn't feel nice at that moment but it drives you to then go and get some food loneliness Templars Fields unpleasant.

It feels horrible we all know what that's like the other three very eminent professors who conducted our research will also to you loneliness when it's temporary can be very positive at drives us to do good things and connect with people.

What happens next you got all this data? What do they do with your mates radio series what happened to the data now, so what's going to happen? Now? Is that the three professors will analyse the data further? They will write up papers that will be published in scientific journals and then after that the data will be made available to other researchers say this will be a big data.

Set that can be researched for years to come by other people in the field of loneliness and anything to do with his BBC football correspondent and Proud Northumbrian John Murray to tell you how you can send us an email to feedback at or write a letter the address is feedback PO Box 67234 London se1p 4ax you can follow our activity on Twitter by using at BBC R4

Feedback or you can call us and leave a phone message on all three triple 3 triple for 544 standard line charges apply, but it could cost more on some mobile networks all those details are on our website.

Thanks, John and we'll hear more from Mr Murray on the art of sports Coventry shortly brexit brexit brexit brexit brexit brexit everyday seems to be a crunch day although nothing seems to get crunched this week's summit was another example.

It was billed as the moment when a deal would be finally done except.

It wasn't the latest build up started on Sunday when the brexit Secretary Dominic raab made an unscheduled Ash to Brussels that immediately launched a massive speculation was a deal finally about to be agreed is German newspapers have been predicting the BBC's Brussels reporter Adam Fleming was one of those who had to abandon plans for a leisurely Sunday to try to make sense of what was going on or we suspected.

Dominic Robert make an appearance just cos of the way the negotiations are structured that the officials and civil servants trying to make as much progress as they can and then their political Masters swooping to do the final stage so we suspected we'd see Mr Robert some point.

I thought it was going to be Monday then I on Sunday was just about to head out for some alfresco drinks because it was a lovely weekend here in Brussels and I'll text as a contact just before I left the house sing just about to pop out for some drinks.

Is that wise and this person text back saying I'd have a couple but not too many so that was the saying that something was up and then shortly after that an email came from dexeu the the brexit department to their press release list saying Dominic raab will be in Brussels within a very short statement.

We got from the brexit Department said Dominic raab is going to be in Brussels for face-to-face talks at Michel barnier this afternoon.

There was still serious outstanding issues and so that were.

Serious and the fact that it was issues plural can have gave the game away that this wasn't just some kind of formality or sign here on the dotted line and then you gradually start getting phone calls from people involved in the process with varying degrees of access to the processing varying degrees of accuracy of information.

So you can start to build up a picture of what might be happening and it wasn't a particularly Rosie Pixar actually where we all assume of course that there is an inside story and that you know what it is, and you just have to stand it up and whatever but is the truth of the moment, but there isn't ringing Inside Story what does information and then there's news and so I have built up a network of people who are involved in this process who I hope trust me and I trust them and you get information about where things are going or what might be happening or what might be about to happen, but you don't mess they report that straight away is news because you might not have it can burn from enough sources or it's just Giving

To use a bit of a sort of marginal wink about what to expect and then it becomes news and that's when you report it, but one of the frustrations of this process is that so much of it happens behind closed doors that constantly you're dealing with just partial information and you don't want to give the audience just partial information you want to give them the truth so you constantly balancing between this is what we think is going on vs.

This is what we definitely nose is going on and then you've got editors same down the line.

I look we got 5 minutes to film yes would like to talk to Adam now at the minute presenter asks you a large number of questions presume that you can't answer cos you can't stand them up yeah, and I think that is ok, and I think as long as you make it clear to the audience what you do know what you don't know what you're kind of speculating on an actually.

It's informed speculation rather than just pure gas work then sometimes.

I am prepared to go in there and make a total Gas about things but I make it very clear to the audience that it is a total Gas

Based on my experience and my judgement rather than a bit answer.

It's just making sure you're signposting what you telling people I wonder whether you always carry occur thesaurus with you.

So you could always say O'Connor gay.

I'm going to say the same thing.

Is there any way of saying it? What's the alternative to crunch for example? How often can I say crunch? I try and steer clear of that cliched language because every summer is a crunch summit every meeting is a crucial meeting every Talk is Deadlocked and I just think those kind of words which are also slightly value judgements on that looks like you're getting an opinion about where things have got to attend steer clear of them and just stick to the actual technical details and the actual facts and what the actual documents say and what has actually been said by the participants and it's that detail that's that's where my passion lies in our have two on top of the hell's participated in what is gold a brexitcast it's quite fun.

Obviously listening to it on there, but it was Monday I think wasn't I learnt of Angus Neeson's wife has had a baby if you have.

What apart from has what is it enable you to do this podcast That the Dover Strait bullet is our conversations on 5 Live don't enable you to do well.

There's the fun answer and there's the grown-up serious answer the fun answer is that you just get to have a laugh with your friends and let other people be involved in it and a lot of the feedback.

We get from the brexitcast community that listeners to the podcast is that they feel that they are part of the conversation happening in the news room or in the pub? We were just debriefing about what we think about what's happened in brexit, and I am so cheered up when people feel that way cos it's really nice as a broadcaster to get that feedback and then the grown-up answer is that it gives you a space of 35 and even 40 minutes where you can go into things in real detail real dap and be really really nerdy and you don't have to apologise for it.

You have to sugar coat it because the people who are listening to it have signed up for precisely that because when it comes the vegetable agents.

I'm in this is so fiendishly complicated.

This is the biggest challenge you have ever faced as a journalist making understandable the immensely complex.

I agree with you mean.

I don't think I've ever cover the story without being so many aspects so much jargon, so many events so much partial information contested phrases, but there nothing back to earlier in my career.

I mean I was on Newsround on children's BBC when the financial crisis happened so trying to explain the credit crunch to an audience of 6 to 12 year olds that mean that was a that was quite a big challenge to and what I just always want to say to audiences is please, please please say if there is something you do not understand because they're even days when I eat sleep and breathe brexit 24/7 have to write remind myself about what things mean or what was agreed on whether something is partially agree door with a Theresa May on Michel barnier said that before it is ok to not understand and we will do our best to make sure that you do.

My tax to Adam Fleming the BBC's Brussels reporter at one time during my somewhat Chequered career in BBC management, how was responsible for outside broadcast unit in Manchester which covered cricket football snooker darts and the Grand National among other sports I marveled at the calm omnicompetence of David Coleman and Frank Bough and was dazzled by the extraordinary verbal imagination of the late great Sid Waddell I feel the same Respect today for Clare Balding and Gabby Logan I knew I could never do what they did but maybe just maybe if I'd started earlier.

I might have been fit to tie their shoelaces too late for me now, but for those who are a little younger well between 11 and 15 BBC Radio 5 Live is offering the chance to take a significant step towards a career behind the Outside Broadcast mic entries are now open for the stations young commentator of the Year competition.

I've been getting tips on the art of Coventry from last year's winner 14-year-old Isaac Barrington

I'm from the BBC's football correspondent John Murray who is also the lead judge of the competition what I always say is that almost everyone has commentated because anyone who's interested in sport and probably people who are who are not interested in sport who have been involved in a kickabout in the garden in the backyard.

It is just a natural thing to commentate on yourself and your friends when your youngster.

So this is a chance just to take it on a little steps.

Oh, yeah whatever sport you're interested in and they're there are a number of different options and different sports that people can commentate on well joined.

Also by Isaac Barrington who won last year with your Coventry Isaac on footage of the goals scored by Manchester United Marcus rashford against Chelsea and 2016 Premier League clash and it is the teenager Marcus rashford on his role in The 7 minutes.

They don't look for United why did you want to enter are you determined to be a commentator with a few?

Yeah, it's definitely the profession that I want to type but one thing that I would say is when I first enter the competition simply thought they look like great fun and let's give it a go and what happened from our kind of expected and what did you learn a bad commentating in the process of vena preparing for and then eventually winning this competition since winning the competition.

I've had some great experiences and picked up some great tips along the way from the likes of John who I met at Wembley which was an absolute ornament.

Just seeing how it's done all first-hand in the proper professional situation is just amazing no, I haven't been told that but I can understand why that some people would be on television.

Obviously you don't see as much but John when you're coming taking on radio.

Can you say too much kiss people need to know you know where the boys what's happening in Saunders are moments when you think no, I should just let the sense of the occasion of the noise of the Crowd come through.

Do you know what that that is the case and I

Find that it's a really useful tool to use if you've got a a moment of great tension and in actual fact not saying anything can add to the tension and a great example of that is when I commented on golf which as you be aware when the action comes to the crunch very often everything is Silent and if you use the silence then I think it adds to the atmosphere and Isaac when did when you later had a one of the prizes was a behind-the-scenes tour of 5 Live radio.

Did you wear anything surprise you there? Did you pick up anything? It's just amazing to see how it all happened first-hand how it's so professional the preparation that goes into it as well, but they're all a bit obsessive out there and then bonkers about sport.

I like it recommend the life or do you look back then? Oh gosh? I wish I'd works in accountants office.

What are the things? I would say actually produce when when we heard Isaac because the finalists were were all very.

I'm contenders and all good commentated but one thing they did help Isaac stand out is the fact that he does have a little bit of an accent there and I am biased because I I feel that me personally having an accent in the northeast of England certainly helped me along the way and it did make Isaac stand out and yes, I've got no regrets at all about not moving into accountancy Abergavenny do a little bit of work experience in an accountant office now you mention it my family are all farmers.

That is an extremely hard line of work.

I've got the easy option here and there are no nice when you think this is such a boring match and actually if I'm being honest I better tell the public this is really really boring what you have to tell it like it is nothing particularly on the radio.

You can do that because if you watching the match on the television and it's a it's not a very good game then you know you might go elsewhere but with radio you've got a captive audience either.

They probably listening because they're in the car are there in the kitchen and if it's a bad game.

I don't think I necessarily put them off because you can make a bad game and interesting listen find a cash book about some advice for people going to put in your mate, but in this competition.

Is it what advice? Would you give them for so that you have to be clear and in this particular competition and of course the young commentator competition is for radio so as John mentioned.

You really do have to paint the picture for the listener as it's not TV and I can't see what you are seeing and John what sort of your advice done.

Don't put on a posh accent they certainly that but as a listener as much as a commentator myself and I know these days.

There is an absolute mountains of statistical information and you need to use that in the right places and that is interesting but what I enjoy about a commentary is when there is a nice turn of phrase some beautiful description or something that makes me laugh and also a little window into the personality of the person who's commentating.

I think that's what sets it apart.

Thanks to 5 Live commentator John Murray and to Isaac Barrington last year's winner of 5 lives young commentator of the year and you can find details of how to enter on the five Live website that's all for this week next week.

I'm going behind the scenes at world at one to find out how radio Falls venerable lunchtime program is put together and how different it's newish presenter Sarah Montague find it to present in today any questions.

You'd like me to put to her and the team do let me know goodbye.

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