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Read this: 26/03/2021 Radio 4 Feedback

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26/03/2021 Radio 4 Feedback…

BBC sounds music Radio podcasts hello over 126000 deaths and still counting 4 million people infected many suffering with long covid.

How did this happen? How many of these tragedies could have been avoided Laura kuenssberg has been trying to find out if you think this is draught one-and-a-half history day today Charlie's name is the first drop maybe this is draught one-and-a-half work maybe to a covered confidential which looks back at how government decisions were made over the last 12-months also this week as a break from the rather grim present a trip to a good old-fashioned barbers.

That nice Sweeney Todd alternators Martin Jarvis just William I'll ask Martin how he persuaded the stars to come out for him when they were in lockdown and fiction of fact in this week's out of York Kidzone by the end of the episode.

That's 4 hours of my life and if you let me down Danny and really don't sell them.

I'm going to come round to your place and haunt you.

More of the Battersea poltergeist litre in feedback, this week marks the first anniversary of the first covid lockdown it also marks the time when weird feet began what we call duvet broadcasting abandoning the office and studio retreating to quiet rooms at home hanging up duvets to deaden the noise and communicating by zoom Laura kuenssberg BBC political editor.

However was soon back on herbie's in Westminster trying to find out what was going on and in a recent two-part podcast covered confidential she back at the past 12-months of the coded prices in the UK and how decisions were made at the heart of government to leading politicians Matt Hancock and Keir starmer talk to her on the off-the-record Laura talk 220 CDI politicians officials and former officials drawing together the story what happened.

What are leaders were thinking and how little

New unofficial recalls a bizarre moments they told me I remember Googling did they shut the schools during the war it just felt to me so huge.

They said but admitted we were more blind than we told the public suggesting even a year on that still the case Stuart Turner Laura kuenssberg's absolutely brilliant Tupac podcast covid confidential a retrospective on what happened behind 10 Downing Street stores A-Class piece of journalism and a must listen.

There's no question that mistakes were made in the first phase of the pandemic went so much of the virus was a mystery but some of those involved in the decisions are already lot less forgiving of what they see as their own mistakes second time round.

We are currently listening to a special BBC News podcast by Laura kuenssberg.

Confidential human included in it some sadness and some shopping use I do recommend but I'm delighted to be joined by Laura kuenssberg BBC political editor and Laura wishes journey of Discovery for you as well, as it were the the disgorging of all inside information you collect it over the period was two things one.

It was Jenny we were trying to reveal some of the agonizing dilemmas of the decisions that were made from the people who made them, but I think secondly for me it was also our attempt to try to think listen to some kind of order the real apparently of enormous events that have happened one after the other after the other over such an extraordinary periods and you know we knew we wanted to do a big piece of work in the run-up to the anniversary of the first.

We had a query so you know where to start but the way we went about this project was to try to place in some kind of framework some kind of order.

How people who are making decisions on our behalf actually went about it, and what were the Moments and the mistakes.

Yes, but also the really crucial times for them and we were very open and the going about this project as well.

He then presented it to the public that rather than you know me sit in a room thing.

What are the 5 most important things that I think from Argos 12-months of analysis but actually if we managed to speak to the people who were involved intimately involved in making the decisions.

What are the four of us things that they see as the absolutely crucial junctions and were you surprised by anything in a we think when we see you.

You know everything that's going out inside number 10.

We were surprised by anything he discovered.

Yes, I'm surprised by the fact that on that famous press conference when the Prime Minister said I was shaking hands with everybody on the day that we knew is scientific advisors and started advising the public against doing that.

I was surprised to discover that in a briefing meeting for that press conference.

He had been discussing with his team what he should say if he was asked the question about whether or not to shake hands and it was advised that he should make it quite clear the public that we should not be shaking hands and it was a discussion of that answer and yet out.

He went to the lectern and said the opposite of what his team had recommended he didn't say that you know definitely surprise me without question.

I think what else has struck me if I may use a slightly different quotes is again and again just how

Things changed in those first weeks and months and just actually the word panic because I don't think it was panic for most people involved, but that sense of blindness that you quote from one official said you know we were more blind that we told the public and we even still are and the fact that it was also new and alien for the decision-makers as well as for the what came across to mean indeed is in your conclusion is how much anger there is quite sure from the sources you talk to a lot of it seem to be angry with themselves.

Be there was clearly angle with the subtension there between the Medics insiders and the politicians as they always would be if you like but that's the spirit angry with themselves.


I think some of the people who are involved in making their decisions angry about what happened particularly around the pace of decision-making in September so I think specifically about what was going on at that moment which we you know talk about at length and the pro.

The cases had started to take up again, but they had gone to a very low level and we had was a strange summer but he certainly didn't feel like a country that was in the middle of a pandemic and when he started to take up by the middle of September there were people at senior levels in government that point was saying basically we have to do something here.

We learn the lessons the first time we didn't know the first time we learn from that we do something different and yet for care about other parts of the country concerned about the economy political reasons and Times of what the Tory Party might have accepted.

There was a very vigorous debate the government went for a long time and the prime minister multiple sources of Toby just didn't want to tighten things up and the suggestion is accosted ultimately the scientist in the leaked against the prime minister tried to force his hand to get him to take those decisions by publishing.

What would the Strictly official secrets even in the programme?

Senior Ministers who told me they were arguing at the time for tougher lockdown, you know one of them said to me we have should have locked down more severely earlier in the autumn one of those who was on the other hand said to me.

I was aggressively for the opening up at looking back now.

I realise it was better to go slow so politically there was a divide to you know this isn't just about scientists on one corner and politician.

This was a divide in terms of the politics and it was a divide in Downing Street and that's one of the periods.

I think that when you know he think this is maybe I maybe this is draught one-and-a-half history day today Charlie's name is the first maybe this is draught one-and-a-half work baby to a but I suspect has things go on and even actually have reported this there has been some more and more discussion over the dilemmas and the mistakes that hesitation in September and October now cause we should say other thing.

Nobody knew that was on the way, it was completely legitimate that some politicians were arguing a very concerned about what was happening to the economy.

What was happening to people's health in other regards, but I do think that that particular period when the all is said and done may look more troubling for the government and the initial period of time when it was so new well, can I ask you about the way decide to operate there only two people on the record in these podcasts opposition and Matt Hancock you decided that everybody else told your sources would be off.

Why did you decide that? I think sometimes it is hard for people to understand that lift the lid on political journalism a little bit ensure.

It's really simple the important things that we find out as journalists that people just wouldn't be willing to say publicly you know the question is really do we want as journalists to help.

Have a more full understanding of what's going on in the government of course we do and if a major way of doing that is using information for people who can't be identified then.

We do and we should and if we relied only on what the government was happy to protect their publicly in form of press releases with the simply the public would know unless about what's been done in their name when you're so heavily dependent on sources of the record.

Do you have to be a lot more cautious in their used if someone's on the record in challenge then you'll be her to chat, but when they're off the record.

How do you deal with that? You give them as much weight as you would given on the records of course when were talking to people off the record and using their information.

You have usually more careful in how you use that information of course you do and that is why somebody tells you something off the records.

We would always go then to other sources to.

Corroborate that and in this project that's one of the reasons because these issues are so important.

That's one of the reasons why I spoke to more than 20 people so that when you have information that's given to you.

You can try to corroborate it to the best of your ability and from time to time as any political journalist and this will tell you from time to time also there are plenty of stories that come across but if you can corroborate you, don't then use and I wish I could tell you they obviously had a lot of ground to cover in these podcast but listen a grant Fields there were gaps Grant on Twitter why is there so much left out insiders analysis by Laura kunz Berg no mention of missed cobra meetings Dominic Cummings only appears at Barnard Castle nothing on Sunak being influenced by outside voices.

All the disasters comms campaign and some others have mentioned for example the tragedy of care homes and also the mistakes over PPE and son did you feel very much for putting these together but you were going to exclude that she was going to concentrate as it were on the decision-making not necessary on the consequences of some of those decisions two things there is of which we were not trying to provide a completely exhaustive account of every single thing that happened and that's why we you know a very were asking people here in the room.

What were the things that they remember or that straight damn we were not trying to give a catalogue of every single thing that went wrong that said also in our longer actual online version of this story several things you just mention are in there, but did you feel any tension between on the one hand really been used by the government understandably it was almost like a wall.

I can situation to pass crucial information to the public and the need at the sea.

To have a sight distance so that you could critically cross-examine this at a time when people were extremely nervous and worried.

Did you find that getting that tone right difficult well, I would reject the suggestion that we were used by the government.

You are right to say that during a national emergency like this certainly the role of providing accurate public has mattered anyway that never did before you know those Downing Street press conference is for example.

Where are especially in the early days where exercises in Uno giving the information that they needed to try to help people stay safe but also at no time.

Did we see door give up our role of trying to provide scrutiny or hold accountable to what they were doing.

I think everybody who covered the pandemic and myself included felt more responsibility on their shoulders.

Even from my email inbox.

I've never known really anything like it when people were in at all times of day or night coming to us asking questions, what does this mean? What am I allowed to do? How can I find a test? What do I have to worry about and you know when I got a private basis? We did our best also to help people find the information that they need it as an answer for those kind of queries, but at no time did we render our roles in terms of a plant screening and that anybody who watch many of the press conferences or are interviews also our news reports.

Would think that we had given that roll up in anyway.

My thanks to Laura kuenssberg the BBC's political editor and please do let us know your thoughts on that interview or anything else to do with BBC Radio this is how you get in touch.

You can send an email to or write a letter the address is feedback PO Box 672 34 London se1p.

4ax you can follow our activity on Twitter by using at BBC R4 feedbag, or you can call us and leave a phone message on 0343 444 5440 standard landline charges apply, but it could cost more on some mobile networks all those details for on our website for asking to BBC Radio listeners to step out of their comfort zone and listen to a program that wouldn't normally be on their radar this week.

We have twin Brothers Andrew and Roger cork Andrews in Wimborne in Dorset and Roger in the village of Hornton between Banbury and Stratford-on-Avon in Oxfordshire Andrew is a tyre priestwell tried Vickery still remains the police to close and Roger is going to Venice documentary maker and your twin Brothers does that mean roger that you are you have identical?

Brother in which case this conversation might be redundant, but we did a lot but we are both firm Radio 4 listening, so what programs are radio you like particularly the Today programme dinner time and Morales they will be my top 3 and how about your twin Andrew Today programme and I'm sorry having well.

We asked you to listen to a Radio 4 podcast the first of eight episodes of the Battersea poltergeist written and presented by Danny robins and which from next week will be broadcast on Radio 4 every day at 11:30 at night.

So how would you describe the program explain words but it's a detective story really weird any Robbers who comes very personable guy and leads the list the by the Hand and investigating the case from 1956 worth poltergeist supposedly took over and possessed a house in South London

You believe obviously given your profession in the spirit world gets do leaving poltergeist and is it necessary to believe in Poltergeist to enjoy this podcast for the guy? I've got no personal experience of this although.

I have been asked to pray around houses in the past, but do you need to believe in Poltergeist to enjoy it the answer's no because was very cleverly do is have two experts on one of whom is a sceptic and one of them is a true Believer at this point early in the investigation.

I just want to check how you feel about all these nice to know I'm gonna say yes good.

We got already on that note let's head back now Roger I'm just thought you was with current fares documentary maker would be more likely to be sceptical about things like poltergeist stands on but actually I'm not.

I think poltergeist and ghosts for the fall into the same category as UFOs there was a time when there were lots and lots of stories about UFOs but it cost for the last 20-years.

We've all been a phone all the time if these things actually existed there would be fistfuls of examples on YouTube of ghosts and poltergeist in UFOs been actually, I haven't seen that many discount with a basis, but I just don't think they can be that many of them to stick with the one episode let alone age.

Did you stole it this kind of program is not normally my thing he said right at the start.

He was going to solve the mystery and the other good thing.

I thought apart from that brother extraordinary claim was that he put himself in the mind of the listener right from the start I bet you're in one of two camps.

You're either pretty certain ghosts don't exist or you're pretty certainly do and that's exactly what everybody thinks about now.

What about things people?

Circumstances temptation producer anyway to add lots of sound effect doors slamming in the wind and had some dialogue as well and didn't over the top and no I don't think so with a dialogue first came up.

I wasn't sure about it because I was wondering where this came from as the program went on it became apparent that this dialogue was based on Diaries and notes of this investigator Harold civet and they would just try to make it interesting and I did make it interesting I still was and then these claims of a particular sounds and they reconstructed but the Roger there's a bit of a difficult to you with an 8 episode podcast apart from promising to deliver at the end.

You have to deliver in the first episode you have to give people enough to be satisfied if the only listen to one episode and encourage them to listen to ol8 so was there enough in the first episode 2 Saturday

You both as a program handles not to make you want to listen again for me.

I didn't expect to enjoy this program as much as I did I thought that firstly I thought you had to cut workflow between the contemporary investigation that Danny Robins is doing and going back to the diaries in 1956.

I thought that work through all that propelled the program through I also getting that you were talking about the sound.

I thought actually won the real stars of this program was the sound mixer you know I thought it they did a great job of sound effects item to work well and Roger it's quite clear.

You will not have your comfort zone, but you will be if they don't deliver at the answer at the end of 8 episode.

Where is a poltergeist all they don't is that it's absolutely got to be one of those two and I'm going to be listening to the other setting episodes because I want to know the answer to that so by the end of the eight episodes.

Hours of my life and if you let me down Danny and really don't sell them to come round to your place and hold you and it's going to be one of two things either they prove.

It's a fraud or you've got to be used the real poltergeist.

Yes, they kind of promise that and I've also said clearly that this story might change your mind about paranormal phenomena, so I have six minds about this your poltergeist starts, but I'm I really wanted to have my mind stretched and I'm going to be disappointed that it come up with something startling and convincing when were the other Roger and Andrew thank you very much indeed for joining us and for coming in this instance nowhere near out of your comfort zone.

Thanks very much.

Thank you and do let us know if you like to be put out of your comfort zone.

No last week.

We spoke to Martin Jarvis about his directing and producing of radio drama together with his wife Rosalind Ayres this week were exploring his acting as the demon barber in Sweeney Todd and the string of pearls the second and final episode was broadcast last Sunday on Radio 4.

It's included stars such as Joanne Whalley and Rufus Sewell what is it requires did anyone with the appearance of an officer of the navy come here to your shop yesterday with a good-looking man with a bright blue eye and cold old to be sure I shaved him and polish rock 10:30 Sharples thank you too.

Good old Martin Jarvis for putting together his latest play Sweeney Todd at last a traditional well-presented oral drama that one can enjoy as radio drama should be enjoyed.

We know the story but that doesn't matter at all.

We know it isn't a pleasant Dale but it's fun indeed.

It is I Began by asking not in what it was like being directed by the wife and whether she dared to tell him that he was over-the-top.

It's a very easy, but we need to be over the door will certainly say to me the try that don't try too hard on that one and I've got such a wonderful one strap me about the play apart from your performance was the Stella cars now.

You read the Blurb and there's a stellar cast Newburgh oh, yes well.

Wow this one was I mean, how did you get all these fabulous actors to take part in a radio play well basically you ring up the Joanne Whalley we just thought would be a wonderful Mrs love it and I've worked with Joe and acting with her and directing her over the last 15 years.

Number of times and she always says if you have something you think I could do please ask me because going radio drama.

She says is my rap and the minute.

This is what I mean by the repertory company that doesn't exist in the same way as it did something when I was starting she never felt she had the experience of doing lots of different players great party.

We're virtually integrate.

Yes totally and absolutely so I ring her out first then Rufus or we work together over the years and he said my god.

I hope I can do it because I'm lockdown roofer seem to be making a film on the other side of America from Los Angeles but somehow he worked it out and sit and So It Goes On attention to this question I suppose of Anita questions the BBC start to slim down and make it some whatever how important radio drama still is I mean in your

It matters not just because it work but because it what allows access to extend themselves anyway, they can't otherwise it certainly does we've been very fortunate the bottom now really is what's the part? If you've got a good part that you know an acctim.

I like to enjoy to prime self out sometimes apart that wouldn't be quite the part.

They might play on the venue going to ask them the money is not important.

What the BBC allow us to pay them.

They don't get limousines studio in non.

Govt like that, but they don't mind because it's the joy and the and finally Martin I speak for a whole generation of people to ask are there any more Willie anymore Williams in Prospect or will we will have to go to the archive well first of all the commissioner for such things is Sinead William so she's nearly a Williams

And she commission some last year did do very well.

I'm glad to say just five escapist William stories that I hadn't in fact ever performed a red and before and we do intend to ask her and the next couple of weeks after her the idea that we could do maybe five more stories that might be less familiar to listen more comedy more escapist comedy we hope very much that we can do another little handful of are 11-year old hero well.

I couldn't possibly comment but of course I could do thank you very much.

You're talking to us.

Thank you Roger and you can still find sweety Todd and the string of pearls on BBC sounds and that's it for this week next week will be took Alan Davie the controller Radio 3 Who's just made some controversial schedule changes, it's also just been announced that a large part of his network is moving to Salford so plenty.

Film about you let us know your questions and observations until next week.

Please keep safe and help keep other people safe to Dubai

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