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Read this: 29/11/2019 Radio 4 Feedback

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29/11/2019 Radio 4 Feedback…

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There's nothing about the election campaign in this week.

I do we do have warnings of cataclysm and catastrophe when you hear that warning of hellfire and brimstone of the business Extinction rebellion quotes and framing was very misleading giving listeners the strong impression that XR was full of end of the world crazy people wasn't fair of Radio 4 The Long View to make comparisons between environmental activist and the 15th century Dominican priest who made a Bonfire of the Vanities the series Executive editor will try and convince a sceptical listeners that it was an alarm for you to a mistaken 11 of our out of your comfort zone listeners has had a revelation totally I think I have quite a narrow view of.

That would be carried on about service and I'm really pleased that I have now discovered.

I was wrong and I'll be talking to the producer of Radio 4 only artists one of those series which divides the audience right down the middle an artist speaks best with their work and listening to them talk about it.

Really adds anything of Interest any more than only plumbers would add to my appreciation and central heating and as rewinder started second series on Radio 4.

We've been digging into the BBC archives to discover that not much has changed in the corporations complaints inbox maldivian safe later and feedback Radio 4 The Long View which describes itself as the series in which stories from the past that compared with current events.

This week for example it took allegations that the Chinese company, wahway which provides 5G equipment might comprise a threat to national security and compared them with the behaviour of working in the UK for the German company's Siemens before the two world wars spies were redundant Siemens executives open they gave the Germans everything they needed to know that episode was relatively uncontroversial which is not something you can say about the previous episode in it Extinction rebellion supporters were compared with religious protesters in 15g Florence Savannah a Dominican Friar burn books and ended up being burnt alive himself.

This is what some of you had to say Jenny robins of course analysis can be found in all movements.

Where people are strongly motivated and seek images that will capture the human psyche in order to focus attention on a cause just because you can find.

Does not meet your point relevant the Longview is a program that is usually interesting and balanced however to me this one Felt More Like an exercise and intellectual self-delusion and did not seem to me to have anything useful or helpful to say as a format and William skeaping in away there.

You were Extinction rebellion same people are going to have to change their lifestyle not the long haul flights.

Stop eating meat.

You weren't putting out a bonfire that you were metaphorically people should car facing the side and put them to the asking anyone to go vegan and ask him one stop flying in all our actions directed at government Caroline Aitken from Dartmoor William skeaping representing The Medallion the most outrageous comparisons between their peaceful science-based to awareness-raising movement and a crazed religious apocalyptic cult based only on the

Convictions of a religious zealot this was not a discussion it was a trial and I joined by Philip Sellars who's the executive editor of BBC Radio documentaries and response for the Long View so the claim is the comparison was a spurious and outrageous one evening tell me it wasn't why I think it's worth saying what the Long View isn't before we start off.

It's not an attempt to overlay two exact periods of history as a cover palimpsest of one on the other what we try to do is put together two things that have something in common and try and listen to the rest might be why did you think that person so annarella was a suitable person to compare with Extinction rebellion what we had here were two societies were facing by their own terms in their own time what they regarded as an existential threat and the question we were trying to address here is what do you do as a society when you're faced with vested interests.

Faced with the idea that you're going to have to persuade a population for its own good to stop doing one thing and start doing another how do you do that? What we didn't do quite rightly is trying to understand the philosophy behind the one because they're the comparison doesn't work.

This is about the response to a thread and the protests were threatened how you popularised that but some people would say it was one is invented threat to the one and the other one is a real threat which is the extension of the planet due to climate change for which man is making a significant contribution and how do you make that comparison? I forget I think what what you have is one Society that in its own frame of reference is facing an existential threat now, we're not it's not my job to go back 500 years to France I wouldn't you wouldn't last 5-minutes their world felt to them under threat response to it now.

Obviously we have a whole series of other threats scientifically proven and none of that was disputed in the program for what we were looking forward just those that I say they residences.

Clues to how these protest movements can literally catch fire that might be nice in theory but in fact those who feel strongly about climate change presumably on the stop listening because they resented the comparison and they would say look there a protest group motivated by scientific fact you compared with it with a group based on religious belief so that really was the wrong comparison therefore if you started from that point you got to lose a lot of listeners that you would want to keep listening.

What about you? What you doing listen to keep listening over 20-years the long do they have regularly listen listen to The Very top of the programme the very first thing that will said and wanted to say is that this comparison doesn't work because it's one is saying someone is religious Williams keeping the Extinction rebellion was death throughout the program and that's right.

That's why he defended his decision and explain that the approach to protest that is group taking he then closed by making exactly that point as well soon away.

Sort of discussion was off the table what we were looking at with the mechanisms of protest and how you attack vested interests how you attack the status Quo and try and the face of Joy believing that this is an existential threat.

What do you do? And how do you do that and that's where you get you know the comparison between consumerism and their vanity these things that are good for the body but not good for the Soul that had a resonance with trying to persuade people to stop doing things that they actually rather light and the edge Carolina can also goes on to say that the way in which you treated William skeaping was not it wasn't an interview.

It was the discussion she said it was a trial what people who come on to Radio 4 programmes be practicing sat in the chair opposite you Roger know that we are here to answer difficult questions and have a thorough examination of what it is that we're asking people to do we don't do advertorials.

I thought we need to do an excellent job in defending his position.

He took to social media as a thousands of followers as you'd imagine.

Spoke about his experience on the program and he said great to have a platform to discuss these issues and talk about history at all when people so obsessed with the president of the words.

I think he's been traumatized by the experience and also if you're in the business as xrr of raising awareness getting 28 minutes rather than a few sound Bites or a few clips on the news is about getting the message across.

It's a very entertaining program to say hey look at this is happened before what do you want to do? You think you have a more serious or an additional purpose to that a more serious but that actually the study of history is Central I think the study of history is Central we need to be careful that in each different historical periods of its own problems where I think the Longview perhaps more so than at any point in its 20 year history is an important program.

Is I think there's a feeling that we are alone with our problems now that we are surrounded and beset by problems that we really haven't encountered before that everything seems to be shifting can.

What Longview provide if it provides anything at all is a little bit of reassurance to say no what Generations ago people were sort of wrestling with these issues were getting themselves in a terrible state about it and still 500 years on we're still here.

Thanks to Philip Sellars the executive editor of BBC Radio documentaries and now for something a little less than being burnt in public like seven a roller over the last 2-weeks we experimented with exposing too young university students to BBC for the first time this week.

We are once again asking relatively young BBC Radio listeners to step out of their comfort zone's and listen to a program that they wouldn't normally tune into this week.

We have Thompson from Oxford and let's Gainsborough from Exeter any first to give us an idea of your listening habits.

What would normally be your top 3 programmes if you were stranded on a desert island.

Woman's Hour loosens the magazine programme and Saturday Live with Richard Coles your through like more or less and the more maize listen to the enquiry broadcast on the world service on Monday the 25th of November on BBC sound it was about mental health any how would you describe the program explain why it's about cakes and issue and Delve into it with a number of experts on the subject to be short single issue Focus and public health.

Don't you? What do you think of it? I really liked how balanced and measured it was and I really liked the table perspective that it took I'm sorry I was so surprised listening to it about the universal problems if you like that we weren't especially in this country or as we thought we were in relation to mental health.

Provided such a strong counterargument to that sort of like all first world snowflake problems that snowflake generation all of those things and it it made I felt a really clear point actually there's need across the whole globe and surprised you about the program.

So you weren't expecting I really loved it.

I think I wasn't expecting it to be highly produced.

I really enjoyed the way that it was woven together with her with an under playing score and it really took for interviews and made them into sort of separate automatic parts in the same program which such a program.

I felt like it did an awful lot of the problem and the potential Solutions what are the things? I really enjoyed was I didn't have the sense that the presenter had a really strong agenda or axe to grind which I sometimes do feel with pro.

Panorama I feel like they can be proving a point at the risk of actually providing a balanced for you and I didn't get that impression this was Julia had a good job honey.

I definitely think she did and yeah.

I think it's really unusual to hear a programme about mental health that doesn't focus on how bad social media is in the modern digital actually across the globe that isn't the main problem.

What about the things you didn't like I think about the program and the music was one of them.

I hated the score.


I think he quite inappropriate for the program topic.

It's sort of added this slightly on edge looking at your shoulder expecting some kind of Hitchcock moment and it just I didn't see how it was adding to the program at all.

I'm afraid and what about things that you have felt can be more fully explored I mean to be honest.

I was absolutely fascinated by the granny measures.

About that and essentially they trained community grandmothers to sit on a bench outside of primary health care facilities and if somebody comes to Premier care and is not feeling so they can go to speak to one of these community grandmothers and I'll give that they call problem solving therapy.

I've just 6-months researchers discovered that almost all the people who were able to sit down for a destructive chat with a grandmother felt better only 14% of them were still feeling depressed.

I think that was a solution that they come up with in Zimbabwe due to the relative lack of mental health care and I agree.

I think it would have been really nice addition to the program to have interviewed somebody who had benefited from one of these Adventures or another of the Solutions that they were talking about for early Intervention it's very easy to be too complacent or we live in a developed country, so we obviously have the best ideas about everything.

Is quite clearly not the case in some other thought that was rather too simplistic one of the key messages which seems to come out of the program which was talk to people share your experiences you say what is not obvious, but it seems to be effective and I guess for me.

This is where I was slightly frustrated with the programs.

There are some key messages for me and they're around you know the impact of the time in some people's held the importance of early intervention importance of prevention it helps the point in if you're lacking in Treatment infrastructure these are really good ideas.

What actually a really good idea.

Wherever you are.

You don't prevention is generally always going to be better than treatment and cure later on.

I really agree with that.

I think that the point that they could expanded on was where they made the analogy of I think it was catching at the bottom of the staircase that they made an analogy of the staircase being that of different levels of intervention and treatment and I think that could have been expanded.

Bit more paths across the programme listen to this program and would you listen again to but in this case the seriously enquiry and you know I mean I do have quite a strong interest in mental health generally on the mental health first aider at work and got lots of friends and family experience of mental health services, so it was definitely something that I would tune into again and recommend.


I definitely recommend it and would you recommend it? Yeah absolutely I really enjoyed this program and it wasn't outside my comfort zone at all.

It was it was sort of place to my bread and butter really but I was pleased to discover the world service listen to much lately.

I think I have quite a narrow view about the kind of things that will be covered on the world service tonight.

I'm really pleased that I had not discovered.

I was wrong.

Thank you very much.

Please do let us know your thoughts on that item.

Anything else to do with BBC Radio 2 get in touch you can send an email to feedback at or write a letter the address is feedback your box 67234 London se1p 4ax you can follow activity on Twitter by using at BBC R4 back or you can call us and leave a phone message on 03345 for standard landline charges apply, but it could be more and some mobile networks of those details are on our website the Radio 4 Series only artists which has just ended its latest run is broadcasting Marmite the same to be indifferent to it it occupies the slot once held it seemed indefinitely by Libby Purves is midweek itself very much.

I loved it or hated program for the Radio 4 audience.

Some of your conflicting thoughts on only artists Karen Johnson from Worcestershire I thought the idea of having two artists work in very different mediums talking together was a really good one not natural parents.

I got the impression that several of them had never met before the programs.

Obviously I enjoyed some parents more than others and having some prior experience of the work of the people involved certainly helped David Cox from Surbiton I know philistine, but I haven't heard of many of these people I have her ever heard of Roddy Doyle and Antony Gormley who appeared together on a recent episode.

It's interesting you should choose to have the same program.

What do they choose from a hierarchy of Talent and agreed to appear only with someone at similar status in the art world Ruth Hunt

I find myself frequently Furious as I listen to what is more than often the self-indulgent model that is imposed on me every week as opposed to the lively interesting amusing and thought-provoking chat with mid week, which I always look forward to Merryn Glover so many profound reflections on the creative process like the attention of being both creator and killer lightning and I joined by producer cloudwalker and before we pick up those points clear.

What's the purpose of this program what you trying to do on WhatsApp ideal a really good program for you and Nigel program is to people that are passionate about their subjects getting together to sort of swap notes to exchange ideas about the ways that they work about the processes about their biography.

Have I got there for the choice of this is absolutely crucial.

How did you come up with Roddy Doyle and Antony Gormley did they know each other before and did you know they wanted to talk to each other or did you say that?

Competition let's find out if they are interested in each other know the premise of the show is always been that one artist uses another so it was a kind of Chain Reaction thing with one person to another who then choose another but as there is a very difficult to organise with leading artists we found it is better for us to choose one person and then he had the serendipity of them choosing the next bus into already asked to speak to me well.

You know directions to that program has been very good, but people react in different ways for your program.

Something is wonderful something it's terrible and self-indulgent and it's from a guy who said this morning.

I felt saving towards this program.

I hated it and then I went home and I had a run and I had a hot bath and listen to it was really interesting and I think that there's also an element that is about activity and is about the audience and how they're feeling you know if they want to listen to something then maybe it is for them, but I've contacted us to say they don't relate to many of the heart.

Because I've never heard of them and then it's a real problem.

Let me pick a range of artists.

I mean want them to have a range of different backgrounds and obviously Roddy Doyle and Anthony going extremely but you know we've had all sorts of people on that Pascoe the comedian or Tom Hiddleston I don't think it's fair to say that we haven't had leaving artist.

I think some more or less well-known, but less well-known and there is a problem that people don't know anything about them then what do you do for that all as to how do you explain what the artist do? How do you prepare the old is to listen so we have a small introduction where the person who's picking that person always says why they want to speak to him what they're burning question is and then we have a voice-over where we try and give people the sort of leading moments of that person's career.

So that the latch on this thing.

I also think we're trying to lead people through the whole program so we also like to include biography and real story of how those artist got there are some people have said that.

Play been exposed to us as they not heard of another is that I've gone back and then found out more about them.

I don't think that we should just be a showcase for really well-known people.

I think it's important that there's a range of different backgrounds and different views expressed, but there is a particular problem when you're dealing with the program which talks about the visual arts is because it can be a little frustrating.

You haven't heard of the artist.

You don't know what the work that talking about new that is a particular problem.

I don't think it is a problem.

Can we do you explain it for example? We had explained that piece of art that says you have to see it and if you want against it, but the name of the person you can look it up, but I think if you want to understand why somebody made it how they made it sometimes we going to the Norman Ackroyd spoke to Robert Macfarlane about making an acting and Robert saying how do you catch a light? How do you capture weather? How do you put it on the paper like this? I just don't understand how it's done.


He explained the actual process but the process isn't necessarily enough.

It's actually something to do with feelings or him being strapped up.

Can doing initial drawings I mean there's many reasons it seems to me that one of the things your best and best in the world at is catching the quickest thing in the universe which is light.

How do you do that than whether you do better than anyone? I know life is what it's all about me and I mean it's too late and still I get speckled on the Galaxy and so it's almost like notes of music not so important to so many people it lift them it gives them.

You know they released from play the Today programme but a lot of people I mean that people live in the people who say self-indulgent toddler and and they say two very patchy series OK Google artist interviewers, but they're coming together and are genuinely interested in each are there and I think saying something is self-indulgent is quite an interesting a description of artists isn't it's self-indulgent pretentious.

It's often used as a stick to beat artist with like geek issues about scientists and I think they're often talking about how they got to this position and self belief is one of the things that artists to talk about and that it may sounds like they can see something Maxine Peake talked about talking and a hairbrush and pretending to be interviewed by Wogan when she was a small child and said you know I know this sounds very good, but I knew I was going to make it and I think because I need that so funny but sometimes.

It's just aren't you wonderful I mean I said that's where people have just a bit and you think that we want a bit more than that sometimes a meeting at a really genuine they want to find things out.

That's what make the majority the program is about I would hope that we only put the small amount of that.

I think sometimes.

It's important that you know for example if somebody like Tom Hiddleston

Nicholas britell and you know has so much Enthusiasm loves his work and why you know and the program will explore that is it scary to produce because if you've got a presenter that your prep before handing gone to the structure.

You know what they're going to say and you know if somebody doesn't get the right answer you go back with this once you've lost these two people often the conversation and you can intervene but essentially it's in there is a bit scary, but it's also wonderfully as a privilege to make and we don't interrupt them.

I never interrupt them and let them speak for as long as they're going to speak and then at the end of those things.

I think I'm confusing then I'll do retakes but it's their conversation and it's a record of that conversation and we're not intervening in the way that we do offer with so many programs, but thanks to Claire Walker producer of only artists before we go a reminder that some things never change as Greg James inbox on the second series of his program rewinder which digs into the BBC archives we've decided to do.

We've gone back as far as we can using the BBC written archives Caversham to find early letters of complaints at the following address to the director-general of the BBC himself and are about the Narnia News Bulletin broadcast on the 9th of February 1948.

It was at the height of the tassels between the doctors and the health minister.

Nye Bevan over the establishment NHS Pizza Express that hope there's an opportunity given to a further broadcast giving this time the point of view of the doctor's report on the

BBC should give a correct presentation of news on the wireless, it was one of the proud boast to the BBC that it dispatched truth through the air occupied countries during the war unfortunately the same privilege does not seem to be our lot on occasions today.

We don't get correspondence quite like that now.

We have at present to put out this misrepresentation from political reporters without expecting listen to BBC unless in fact you do consider yourself a left wing political body on CBBC left-wing thought back then MI5 was still getting every BBC appointment and conversations were still being scripted so back in 1948 was there a Roger Bolton to find out what was going on Fred not I was still in nappies 20th of February to reply to your letter 10th of February address to the director-general.

For me then a written response from a digi himself within 10 days by itself the impression this what you permitted you were wrong as a whole and in today in Parliament at yours faithfully secretariat, so had been restored an example of tennis or fence sitting you decide please join us next week when there will probably be more allegations of political bias at the BBC as the election campaign crawls to a close goodbye.

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