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Read this: 05/04/2020 Radio 4 Feedback

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05/04/2020 Radio 4 Feedback…



BBC sounds music Radio podcasts hello who needs an audience any questions is perforce having to do with that one just that I'd compare the lack of an audience to sitting down for a gourmet meal and finding the delicious steak you've ordered has no seasoning perhaps half-cooked Chris Mason the pushchair have any questions doesn't think his job has changed all that much the key thing to do for me during the program is to listen listen and listen so more over listening to Chris as he tells me it's like doing the programme with no one else in the room and how he tries to do political reporting without meeting anyone face-to-face let alone in a pub over a pint and when is the news going to Cambridge or perhaps? It doesn't matter you turn on the Arches and it will be business as usual, where is it was the only topic of conversation for many people in the real world and I think you're just have.

The great Archers debate continues this week in are out of your comfort zone feature we asked to non-sporting list the sample a sports program, which tries to be different he did take them sometime to get relaxed and kind of get into her but they did warm up then and it felt intimate it felt personal find out what I listen to sort of at home with Colin Murray which isn't a bad Colin Murray's home at all.

The last time we met Chris Mason was when he was announced as the new chair of any questions at that point no other stories seems boring Portland and breaks it well times have certainly changed that Chris has now been sharing the program for 6-months but I like any of the previous host in recent weeks has found himself without an audience in front of him which for some listeners has been rather.

This is what some of you have had to say talk to Kevin Malone Northampton the new format for any questions is actually strengthened the program without an audience to play the guests A moderating their behaviour and thinking more carefully about their responses such actual debate has replaced posturing and this makes for a much better more use program personally.

I hope that the live audience not reintroduced the program once all is back to normal Sue Wilson I much prefer.

Recent debate from a studio with video links that can appeal to a wider national audience away from the Metropolitan elite or those who have the physical ability to turn up for a BBC social event Christopher Stiles from York Central the whole without an audience thing find deeply depressing and it only adds to the sense of isolation that were being pummeled with whenever we turn on the radio Hilary Hanbury for Norfolk there's something about the audience which holds the individual to account the collective memory of Disapproval or the instantaneous applause when a contributor says something profound or in response to a member of the panel is the salt and pepper that brings the program to live well, I'm delighted to be joined by Chris Mason the presenter of any questions as well as close to the political correspondent.

Thanks for fitting a sin, but actually, where are you? Are you still at home? I am back at Westminster Roger so I've been in self isolation for a fortnight after my 1 year old son got the symptoms.

Stop at doing that quarantine thing for two weeks when you go into the BBC broadcasting house where I think you're going to do any questions for all from Westminster is it a bit like Harry Celeste it? Is it is a lot quieter than obviously like in so many workplaces were trying to work from home where it is feasible that there are so few people here.

You can still maintain social distance with the building there are many other people kicking around but yeah, we've kind of adjusting to this as we all are this new situation and it's had big big implications for any questions as you were saying no soliciting comments the program feels very different the whole essence of any questions about going to all sorts of places all over the UK and presenting the program in front.

Live audience to look into the whites of the eyes of the politicians or the panelist and Amanda answer to the question and of course we can't do that at the moment and it sounds as if you really regret that you had actually prefer it without an audience you clearly don't it's definitely different so I tell you how it's different and I've noticed I think I'm perhaps as you know it's acceptable to this as a harmless when you are doing a program in front of a live audience in the room to an extent you are performing to that room the person who really matters is that the listener at home the listener in the car when having a discussion between me as the presenter and four panelists it is more of a conversation.

Is it an old conversation because none of them are in the same room so last week.

I was in a studio for all four panelists at were in their own front rooms at home.

So it's a different experience and it's a different conversation as a result there isn't the applause that perhaps creates a bit more time.

Hillary was saying talking about the the audience being the salt and pepper.

I think that's right the audience in the room being the salt and pepper because the panellist is forced to react to how it goes down the hall.

You can see if people like I don't like what you're saying you can see or hear what they're bored by what you're saying and I think that's really quite powerful and also it's the essence of what any questions is all done for 70 years and so personally I'll be itching to get back out there as soon as we can but no doubt it'll be some way off yet, Wilson doesn't want you to go back into shape uniflex concern of a lot of people that when you go around the country sometimes the audiences seem very bad very partial and she says of course without that audience that bias doesn't exist sometimes you have to places where the audience has been put on very much on one side of the argument haven't they and therefore in the way they responded is not reflective of the country as a whole the way it works on any questions is that the audience?

Ali self-selecting I always say to the audience when were doing the program in its conventional format in front of an audience.

I always say before we go on the road yet if you hear of you articulate on the stage which includes a minority view in this room.

Don't let that stop you showing your appreciation towards the speaker because I think inevitably in a you're more likely to applaud if you think everybody else's applauding and the opposite is true as well, but I think we make a virtue of being having a self-selecting audience.

It is only representative of itself but in that sent.

It's a it's a good old fashioned Town Hall meeting at let's talk about your style when we last interview you were about to start sharing any questions and this is what some listeners have made of you Chris Mason promissory assessment when he took over the past six months he seems to plant for the Dimbleby model and asses interruptions and expert questions increase the more the program mutates into a sort of Westminster our panel.

In which the audience might as well be sitting at home Christopher Stiles I think we often have an instant gratification requirement from our radio politics turn off from the perspective of the throwaway soundbite many panelists on any questions manage to blurt out in response to the actual question who it is interesting to hear how Christmas manages to tease out more actual answers from the particular windbag in question at the time and I wonder how he does that so, how do you do that the key thing? I see as my job is getting an answer to the listeners question so if I think that's being duct or avoided but it's my job to try and get an answer, but then also to ask sensible follow-ups that might tease at more information out and then where appropriate to find you know sources of humour or reflection and then crucially the one thing.

Messed about is not just discovering what somebody thinks but why they think it yeah that might not change the point of view of the listener, but it would better inform the listener as to why Pamela says come to the conclusion to which the comfort and if you can't do that, sort of thing on an extensive discussion programme like any questions, then I don't see kind of where you can do it or you got its extraordinary situation.

We have Parliament in Recess a government with greater powers in peacetime.

I think they never had it ever be talks about the only last time they had such powers was in the world war much more difficult to do your job as a political reporter.

It's hard because the incidental conversations that we so often rely on at Westminster when there's lots of people around the same postcode don't happen.

You know you'll have to ring people up and have those conversations as perfectly doable will having to adjust start with the things being sort of a typical and unconventional but you don't have that kind of organic.

Incidental range of conversations that you do when everybody had the same place and what about the time that you don't because there are a lot of people think this is a time when we want to pull together where we want to support the government want to support the NHS everybody really at the same time your job is to say where there are problems here there needs to be a proper form of scrutiny.

We have to do it we have to ask the awkward questions to find out more difficult in this environment.

No, I don't actually because I think that you know if she say the fundamental role of the journalist is to always ask questions, but you got to ask questions and knowingly and you have asked questions in contacts in the current context one by the government is wrestling with no we use this word for a living as journalists, but it is undeniably true at the moment in unprecedented circumstances every element of government is being stretching away that in our lifetime.

It is never happened before until our reporting and are scrutiny and are questioning has to be done with a acknowledgement of that reality but it absolutely shouldn't stop as asking.

Actually to go back to her earlier at the earlier observations from listeners about the tone of any questions at the moment.

I don't think the tone is purely as a result of has not been front of a live audience.

I think it's because politicians across the piece particularly those from the opposition parties recognise the scale of what the government is grappling with and of course they still asking questions whether it be about protective equipment for at Medics or whatever might be but they're doing it with an awareness of the gravity and the scale of what the government is grappling with and I think that's a journalistic clear in the in the same position always ask questions, but knowingly and in Context I will try my thanks to Chris Mason chair of any questions and now.

Which week we're asking to BBC Radio listeners to step out of their comfort zone's and listen to a program that wouldn't normally be on their radar this week.

We have your dog from Sevenoaks in Kent and Sam zabadi from York welcome to the program.

Just to give us an idea of your normal taste.

Joe what would be your top 3 programmes if you were stranded on a desert island stranded on a desert island the first place.

I would go to would be Desert Island Discs I also listen to woman's are very regularly and lost word they probably my top three and sound how about you are top of your list well.

It's up there.

I do listen but I think especially a good read.

I quite like a book at Bedtime and p.m.

Cos it's in the car on the way home.

It's especially good at the moment when there's so much to keep up with well.

We asked you to listen to at home with Colin Murray BBC Radio 5 Live podcast.

K series 3 episode 11 the Brownlee brothers available of course on BBC sounds, so how would you describe the program explain what it's all about well, it's essentially Murray interviewing sports people in their own homes.

I think that was what was the unusual thing about it goes around to their homes and talk to them about various things relating to the sport.

They do and their lives in general is everything thank you very much.

So got something and I got some cupcakes.

What flavour the lemon drizzle coffee and pecan meringue perfect anyone called al-ali many other things in this case.

I think he went up to go near Leeds

Alistair Brown is Hermes brother who is always late was late as well.

I did you and how about the structure of the interview at primary arrived with pieces of cake as gifts to think the worst wanted to do.

I thought it was really nice.

I I really like the sort of feel if it you almost felt like you were kind of just paying a visit yourself with which I quite like the informality of the whole setup and I just really like being able to hear about this kind of amazing house it it sounds like they live in the middle of nowhere kinda new to the the noisiness in the I guess I wanted to see one of the greatest bands apparently in the north of England what do you think about being part of an informal chat, but it was a program that I wouldn't normally have listened to I've never listen to 5 live before I like the Brownlee brothers.

I was pleased to hear.

She heard of the Brownlee brothers because looking at the back catalogue.

I haven't heard of most of the people.

I'm not a sports follower at all and I've never heard of Colin Murray but I found Colin Murray a little bit too late for my lighting recently has personality to spare as somebody said on the danger.

I mean when you leave with something like the Brownlee brothers or not very outgoing or quite proud people you've got to work overtime as a presenter at the beginning to relax them, but you shouldn't be on overtime all the time.

What was I just felt he was very keen on his own 40s and wear a good interviewer would bring out the best in his interviewees.

I felt he was quite keen on talking about himself and bring him back to football which one of them said that they were Leeds supporter and I thought that was pretty irrelevant, but the Brownlee brothers to me were there to talk about how they become so.

Triathletes and the fact that they were Leeds fans was fairly irrelevant and what about you some I suppose the argument is that when you do such interviews and certainly that length because they're about an hour.

You're trying to find size of the personality which no not normally in a public or evidence.

Did you think that was the case you you found that? Yeah? I definitely I it was really kind of interesting the sort of detail.

He did go into on other aspects of their lives because I think soon as I know it's not something.

I would have ever chosen to listen to I'm not a fan at all.

Yeah, I was going to be ok with the joking around a bit and perhaps because so much stuff that I listen to tends to be kind of the opposite end of the spectrum is very reverential about academic and it was actually kind of refreshing to be in a place where they took the mick out of that a bit and I'm speaking as someone who was a nerd at school.

I thought they were a couple of minutes to do a new phone.

I definitely did yeah, and I like that.

It wasn't all taken too seriously you're not allowed does this mean that the ladders humour is beyond me or you just counted by this anyway.

It just didn't appeal to me very much but I did feel I learnt a lot about the Brownlee brothers and that they are warm to them greatly would you listen to another episode of no? I think probably not looking at the list of the other interviewees.

Hope I haven't heard of most of them and no it didn't really appeal and sound won't be another word for a while at least I think there's a plenty of a big back catalogue there.

Will you seek some of those out possibly? I wouldn't rule it out.

I think if I found a someone I'd heard of them was interested in the form us actually even know nothing about the Brownlee brothers.

So it's possible.

I would have another look again at some of the others well.

My thanks to Sam's a party from York and Jojo

Sevenoaks in Kent this is how you can see the feedback at bbc.co.uk or write a letter to the address is feedback PO Box 672 34 London SE14 as you can follow activity on Twitter by using at BBC R4 feedback or you can call us and leave a phone message on 03345 standard landline charges apply, but it could cost more on some mobile networks all these details are on our website the fictional village of and has today been totally coronavirus free people don't even talk about it the everyday story of country folk.

That is the Archers normally incorporate current affairs.

It's characters, but not this time will not so far anyway, but the Producers have announced that covid-19 will make an appearance in future episodes of the soap we've been in an email about this and I'm now joined by feedback producer Alan beach.

What people have been saying Alan well most people who contacted us emailed us have been you know where is it? Why isn't coronavirus featuring in The Archers because they used to the Arches and being up-to-date on on current affairs on news events some of the letters have welcomed a coronavirus free AVG they say it's an escape from the grim reality of shutdown Britain obviously being feedback somebody will have an opposite point indeed now Martin Parry contacted us and he said now surely the Archers could be used to get some public service messages across.

Obviously, that is how the program originated back in the 1950s giving farming information to the post-war farm in community.

He did his email it hasn't fast audience and of course simple instructions like how to wash your hands could have been put across and during the drama.

Well.

Obviously, it's difficult for the Bruce's record stores in advance quite a bit of Advanced is complicated plots and where as they could incorporate a small new story at the last minute.

I think one on this scale which everybody is much more difficult to do with isn't it and obviously tried a number of the cast are quite old.

What have you been told by the Producers about the future of and whether it will and when it will reflect the covid-19 crisis well Rodger as you say in the past when you stories Have Become

Widespread that they are just felt they couldn't ignore it.

So they would bring into characters typically a day or maybe even the night before broadcast of The Archers they would say for example David and Ruth it would fit around the kitchen table and just discuss whatever current affairs story it was good.

How do you say this is just so fast it affect the entire village of defect the whole of both feature for the Producers have actually told us now that they've got enough and programs.

I think most people realise that it's recorded.

So they got enough programs to last them up until the end of April but when may begins coronavirus will appear in The Archers ambridge like the rest of us have to go into self isolation and they've also said that they have to look after their their actors.

Have you say many of them quite elderly and their 4th?

Self isolating they will be recorded down the line as we call it so that the recording from their homes as much as other radio programs including ours is made well.

I know Jo has to discuss the coronavirus coverage.

They are Maggi crystals in Teddington in West London and Fiona Morgan who's in the small village of Corton Denham in Dorset to the program is ignoring coronavirus so far and you think they should introduce it next month.

I think it's a good to go now when there's no coverage about it because there's so much coverage everywhere else.

It's wall-to-wall.

So do you think they should continue to ignore the coronavirus and yes, I do because if they bring it in in May it will be too far down the line will all be fed up with it now.

Glebe way if that's ok, too.

2-weeks in the lockdown and there's nowhere else to go how about you Maggie? Do you think they have any option but to focus on coronavirus and do you think they should have done.

So yes, I think they should have done so as soon as it became clear that it was going to be an event in the real world in the way that they normally do things to operate in parallel, but contemporaneously so that you know obviously it is it's a drama.

It's an invented set of characters, but from time to time they look into the real world, but this is rather different this is coronavirus which affect everybody so you couldn't just drop it in could you know you couldn't put them in the wind from the end of December and it was quite clear that something was coming I found it was very disconcerting that you turn on the Arches and it will be business as usual, where is it?

Only topic of conversation for many people in the real world and I think you're just have missed a trick because now I think there between a rock and a hard place.

Well.

I certainly don't know but there have been other storylines of course that's talk about the major one the explosion of Grey Gables that put Linda smell in hospital some people she's to sort of Marmite and cheese evening.

I would like to blend many years ago, but this really did she is the life and soul of ambridge.

What do you make of this make it happened? I thought it was just another catastrophe that the Archers inserts.

X x just too kind of them stir the pot.

You know I didn't think that it was going to develop in the way, did you think the actress who played Lynda Snell and said I'd really like to retire.

Play something interesting really you know I just think the amount of overacting that's going on and it doesn't seem to me that a lot of it is in the character expect some very moving scenes Shirley at the bedside weren't there or did you think that was over acting? It's nice to see a different side of Linda for a change in a bit more human than we thought she was before so that's good and what did you make of the revelation that Philip Morris the Builder who has Fallen broadcaster such a rough time is in this year's anyway.

That is actually using slave labour as credible for you.

Yes, I think it's a very good line to it's an issue.

That's really heard about and I think if the Archers could do for slave labour.

What they did for domestic abuse that would be a service.

Nations that no matter how about you? Do you think it fitted the character of Philip in the same way as other things have been very well wearing but I thought to suddenly turn the person who everybody has thought was a nice person into a real villain the character has to maintain credibility and in the character which they've given an I think in that they have done a complete reversal on Philip there were no signs at all at that he was anything but extremely nice genuine man well Fiona we all knew that his son Gavin was a nasty people think about that as it were the revelation of the true character of Philip has Maggie was in I was but then I thought this is a really good twist something that's needed We Almost missed it actually there was just wondering.

Times and you don't hang on.

What was that all about you thought this would be really good and it needed a bit of a kick frankly and what about poor old Kirsty Fiona she thought this was that they were going to get married and now what well it looks like she's going to be left at the altar again and you can see it coming.

It's all fantastic stuff and it's really good look for something grouping together season 2.

It's just need something like this a bit of fantasyland is exactly what we need and Maggie do you have any sympathy for Kirsty just picked the wrong person? I think this is going to be the new victim is awful terrible to do it.

She's so nice, but there we are well.

They certainly have a challenge for the future.

I wish you good luck with it and thank you very much for you and Maggie for joining us.

Thank you very much.

Thank thank you and that's it for this week next week.

We'll be talking to the boss of BBC local radio to see how it is coping with the crisis until then keep safe keep separate goodbye.


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