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Read this: 10/12/2021 Radio 4 Feedback

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10/12/2021 Radio 4 Feedback…

BBC sounds music Radio podcasts hello what the BBC is facing increased competition and falling audiences among some networks abroad its booming we nearly at unbelievably heading towards half a billion people around the world on feedback this week.

I'll be talking to The Departed controller BBC World Service English about growing audiences and growing concerns over impartiality disinformation and the increasing dangers facing journalists and life has changed for Jane Garvey I think there's something wonderful in just giving time to one person and one story and letting it just play the second series of life-changing with the former Woman's Hour presenter has just come to an end.

How does she drive upset intimate details from her interviewees and

We are start to have your comfort zone listeners to discuss a podcast about love and arranged marriages.

It actually is not something I've ever really and you too often here in the news in the Press all the negative sides and you don't often hear the positive positively enjoy it and would she go back from more of teaching me a lesson with Greg James and his wife Bella Mackie find out later in feedback.

The 1st next year the BBC will celebrate its centenary and it has set an ambitious target of reaching half a billion people the world service which includes language services and World English has a key role in waiting that target and recent figures reveal it currently has a weekly audience which of 364 million is being the controller BBC World Service English since 2014 she started out of The Corporation as a world service production trainee in 1986 became Prague correspondent and later head of the BBC newsroom before returning the world service from which you just retired after a BBC career lasting 35 years here are some of the comments that we've received from you about her output Sandra Diana and listen by BBC sounds.

I've been a fan since the days of lilli Bolero in London Calling please thank the outgoing control their first blended well balanced.

O'Dwyer Roscommon could you please thank miss hockaday for the wonderful world service news coverage is excellent and truly global I enjoy the diverse programming from bbcos to premiership football on a Sunday please fight to retain funding of all languages for the Worlds radio station, but I'm delighted overjoyed by Mary Hopkin are the former controller of BBC World Service English a lot of Praise there, so why you know Roger well? It's really kind of listen to be supportive of what we've been doing but the time comes it's the time for other people to have a go.

I had a long and wonderful career at the BBC and I'm looking forward to new adventures Abroad the BBC means to most people the world service hear it really features in the ointment usual BBC television whatever in parliament and elsewhere.

I mean, what's the scale of listenership now in the world service.

If you're thinking about the combination of more than 40 language services and English for world service you're pushing no more than 350 million uses of the BBC World Service 350 million yes and if you add him or global television services and the other ways that the BBC reaches audience is overseas on digital services as well, and I'm not just BBC News you know we nearly at unbelievably heading towards half a billion people around the world and has the pandemic had any effect on the numbers and the nature of its interesting this Roger I mean in one way again people have really turned to us because we provided accurate reporting with also done a great deal science and really worked hard to make complex science clear and again trustworthy at a very very confusing time.

We also work very hard to.

But we all know exist which is strands of Miss information even disinformation around the pandemic and around vaccines and that's been a real thread of BBC World Service coverage in the last you come to different aspects who's actually people's habits people were commuting less.

We did see a deep actually in some of our listening at certain times of the day although that coming back and we see now podcast listening on the other hand go up a list of Carolyn has this question about your breasts of coverage which country features most regularly on the world.

This is there any country that has never had a slot the last point first what a great question.

I'm tempted to say somewhere like Lichtenstein you know if small peaceful prosperous.

I'm afraid you'll probably get less attention from us.

There is no doubt that the news agenda.

Is Phil's and driven by big powers by conflict by political drama or by I'm afraid you know countries undergoing suffering.

Is there anywhere any countries that you have cylinder covered on reflection the one part of the world.

Are you sometimes feel we don't get quite enough under the skin off would be some of Latin and central.

We've got some great reporters.

They're my colleagues at BBC mundo of course covering in real debt but when I think about the English services perhaps a little less although again most recently Brazil very much a country that we reported as indeed was Venezuela your funded in part by the Foreign Office directly by the foreign office of posted through the licence fee when they give you thicken anyway distal monies to promote a particular view of the world now.

It's one that we share most of a shower, but don't you have to your anama foreign policy although its soft power.

You're talking about here.

I wouldn't put it.

Roger we are funded to provide particular services in particular languages to reach audiences in parts of the world with a service that is committed to accurate information and freedom of thought and breadth of agenda, and that is it.

There is no influence or Direct intervention by the Foreign Office in our editorial content whatsoever listener Stephen Purnell's has a question on impartiality.

What does the world service use when covering or not covering international political campaigns that involved the UK well we report on this country.

Just as we were other countries Without Fear or favour Saturday have a principle campaigns that criticized the government for buying a vaccine stops the boosters organs covered when many millions of the world still haven't had.

Nobody is Evelyn Donny from the Foreign Office Tralee hinted that the paps future money is may not be coming your way you can broadcast effectively by funding specific languages.

You know as with the BBC licence fee.

There's going to be a conversation about the future.

There is now the licence key and son politicians always try and are you telling me that you always resist that influence yes, well.

I'm telling you to things that they don't try to influence the agenda.

You're right that we BBC as a institution in this country with British values and the British government and institutional this country with British values interests in the provision of accurate and impartial news services to people around the world and it brings benefit back to this country.

That's right but

Is it well you are a god does the Enemy of course buy some totalitarian regimes and you also have to deal now with the disinformation that certain of those regimes are pushing up all conspiracy theories flourishing around the world social media as they haven't done before has it got much more difficult now to find out the truth.

You're telling it but is it more difficult to find it out? It's a really important question is Roger and there's no doubt that.

You know during my career.

I would say that I've seen an increase in the difficulties and real challenges and threats facing journalists around the world and not just BBC journalists, but if you're take the BBC in the last few years, we've had terrible pressure on our staff working for the Persian service from Iran on them and their families often we've seen what in affect our expulsions from Russia

China we've had a correspondent detained in me and Mark and you know these are examples just from really the last couple of years or so when you look globally figures for the numbers of journalists killed in action and I don't mean by just covering warzones is appallingly.

Hi every year you also mention misinformation disinformation again.

You see now really concerted efforts by some governments and other actors to control to repress accurate and fair journalism around the world and then you'll see them also intervening to try deliberately to create this information and of course propaganda has been with whatever it's not a new thing and it's not new for the BBC to operate in the world for The Propaganda and and to think how to manage that but the volume the speed the pain.

Is undoubtedly increased you know we for a long time have worked on this you know wonderful colleagues working on things like reality check BBC trending and of course colleagues in BBC monitoring is an area that we have invested in and will continue to invest in because it needs concerted effort to make sure that we can try to combat somebody at least help our lives doesn't view is really understand what's going on find me a listener and in Boddington has this person thanks to Mary for all she has achieved in crazy and modern broadcasting station that deals with a lot of difficult issues including terrorism female health war and so much more about the word for listening my question to marry would imagine instead of leaving the world service you're about to start your first day as a controller and had a free hand.

How would you know we invent the station?

Ensure that its Rise until the end of this decade and beyond what a great question well.

I think a couple of things really I think one thing which is the ways that we reach audiences and it has undoubtedly changed and continues to change radio is the best medium for helping people feel connected to parts of the world where we share stories and we share information, but the digital Universe has brought real change and so we began our shift towards On Demand list thing podcast listening listening where you want when you want how you want.

I know that journey will continue also this concerted effort to make sure that we do know what we going that we can tackle disinformation and misinformation and that we use the resources we have wisely and well to really probe to really investigate United

Further investment and commitment to making sure that we dig deep to find out what's going on the other thing.

I would say is that I would continue Direction Where We understand that there are many ways to understand what's going on in the world.

The news is one that is the absolute spine of world service.

It's been a privilege over the last few years the stretch the boundaries of how we look at the world and that is included the science programs the business programs the culture programs the art programs the human interest programs.

Can I think we've really found through the pandemic? It is brought home to us because I listeners have told us so that we have provided the information but we have also provided human connection are thanks to Mary Hopkin TV now for my controller of BBC World Service English and I wonder why she will pop up next and please do let us know your thoughts about.

Interview or anything else to do with BBC Radio and podcasts, this is how you get in touch you can send an email to feedback at the address is feedback PO Box 67234 London se1p 4ax you can follow activity on Twitter by using BBC R4 feedback or you can call us and leave a phone message on 03345 standard landline charges apply, but it could cost more and some mobile networks all those details are on our website to BBC Radio listeners to step out of their comfort zones and listen to a program that wouldn't normally be on their radar this week.

We have Lisa Gilbert from sale Greater Manchester and Tony Kinsella from Salford

In Greater Manchester now, Lisa just to get a sense of your normal listening, what would be your chop suey programs if you were stranded on that mythical desert Island books so it would have to be a good read with Harriett Gilbert or book club.

I do like listening to more or less even though I'm terrible with numbers and probably from our correspondent as I'm turning.

What would be your top 3 will like a lot of Radio 4.

This is a worship at the altar of Desert Island Discs but I'm a big fan of the comedy a particular Mark steels in town and I really enjoyed please call.

What's so funny about where we have the likes of John Cleese talking about Fawlty Towers and Ricky Gervais on The Office well, we asked you to listen to do none of those programs of course but instead to teach me a lesson on 5 Live which started life as a podcast by the husband and wife team Radio 1 DJ Greg James and Bella Mackie who's an author and journalist at least how would you describe the program?

It was a light-hearted programme looking at religion and Marriage with a teacher to very personable presenters.

There was some meat on the bones eventually, but it did take a while to get their maternity.

Do you think there was much information to take away from? Yeah? I don't know what Lisa said really that it's starting to take me for the first few minutes because the theme tune kept on banking back in and expect the first couple of minutes talking about his cricket podcast so it took a while to settle down, but I did like Mr Cundy and wants to teach you came in there did seem to be some substance.

I know I genuinely interesting the contact list of course had the benefit of having a husband and wife team Lisa did you enjoy that and did you detect it then it delicious tension between the two people I've never come across before it.

I did warm to them instantly.

I wouldn't necessarily listen to them, but I did find them the sort of people I might enjoy having a chat.

The pub I did particularly like Bella thought she was quite cutting sometimes of some of Greggs comments and I thought that dynamic between the pair of them works really well.

Good morning Mr Cundy can't I can't I love you back on good morning guys.

I'm very good.

Thank you.

We'll we'll try again with that.

You'll realise how joyful that no disrespect to you as well after the initial they introduce solicitor who nominated the teacher.

They should talk to it was a mistake.

It was going about marriage and in particular.

Love at first sight.

We should mention you are in fact of teacher yourself.

Do you think this work tomorrow because the young girl who?

Maybe some of her classmates because I thought that was potentially interesting but they kept it quite brief that you shouldn't take too long to drive and have to listen to this show wonder whether you shouldn't really going to start broadcasting is Richard and Judy and the Richardsons on TV and pulled it off but I thought they were genuine but there's a point exercise register company where they have to look into each other's eyes and that's what they can see and Greg said he can serious election of himself and with barbell said they'll classic Greg and I think does certain points where I agree that say Bella is the engaging other two I'm not listen to Radio 1 for 35 years and listening to Gregor thinking my little bit too self-absorbed.

You know he wanted to talk about the cricket.

You just seem to be very Mimi is Mr cundeez job Lisa to deliver with durman observation.

What is observations a bad marriage and particularly about the first arranged marriages, did he manage to CD

Very relaxed way, I think you did.

I think he had a hard job you know with all the chat that was going on between Greg and Bella I think he did really well to keep bringing it back in I would have quite Saturn on one of his lessons just from start to finish.

I think without the chat well at the end of these discussions.

We always asked you to questions whether you're right to become for sending whether you go back and listen to another edition of the so, let's start with being out of the comfort zone where you Lisa I was at my comfort zone is not something I would normally listens to at all.

You know you like the Cronton it's the presentation that you find resistible there was too much are going to say waffle then that sounds a little bit harsh.

There was too much chat for me personally other people may find that appealing but for me.

I would have liked to have took home more from it's in a of learning capacity than I did so I don't have to ask you whether you go back.

Clearly won't but I would listen to Bella have if I heard Bella on a program.

She would probably stop me in my tracks and I'll probably give her the time of day and see what she was all about and how about you turn around his comfort zone and will you listen to the podcast again on our way was very much in life because of course we just come off the back of 18 months of online teaching and in a way.

That's what a lesson was it was another lesson.

I would look better in my online classroom but less so Greg most of the time.

He was just take it seriously she was coming up with some quiet, thought-provoking ideas, which had missed the country.

I think it's just and drink in the classroom.

I think you would have been sent into the principal in no time very much for being so friend.

Thank you very much.

Thank you very much.

It was around this time last year that we last spoke to Jane Garvey who was about to leave woman's are after 13 years and then back on some new projects one of which is life-changing a series in which train talks to people with extraordinary stories to tell what edition in particular struck a chord with feedback lessness it concern Catherine Butler Burns who decided to become known at the edge of seventeen and live then remained one for 42 years and then H60 she reached a crossroads.

I think people will be interested in and if you don't mind in talking about the physical longing that you you felt that was real very very real it took me 4 years.

It was 2002 when I find make the decision leave.

I really want you that I was very much in love with him and just wanted him.

You know but that.

In the books because he was the priest Malcolm mailbox What a Wonderful World paste conversation touching so technically on sensitive deeply personal issues that one petals would all fall before the end so tangerine touch but to describe in words is almost impossible David McMahon I was driving when the program came on here came completely absorbed by Catherine's life story such that I had to pull over and park, so I do not miss a single new ones of the vocal interaction both of presenter and Katherine got on so well.

Get more motion to a lovely story that flowed with decency and love well done Radio 4 and thank you Catherine for being a lovely human being his generosity and morality I can buy but fair will struggle to emulate well.

I'm delighted to be joined by the presenter of life-changing and Jane Garvey Jenny you surprised by some of those compliments.

I mean when you were doing the interview where you are.

How profoundly would affect no I don't think I was but I did really enjoy hearing Catherine describe what happened and she actually IMAX many other attributes.

She's a natural broadcaster cast of don't think she done any before she only think about doing more.

She just told her really involving story and beautiful way and I think you'd have to have had a heart of Stone not to have been drawn.

How do you achieve a rapport with your guests? I mean particularly in the age of Kermit because presumably you words in the same room as Catherine know I've been fortunate to meet some of the people in this series and in the previous series of life-changing but not Catherine but actually it's interesting Roger zoom does make it easier so like a lot of broadcasters.

I've interviewed people that I can't see they just been voices in my head phones now of course with zoom and other similar methods you can actually see their face.

We were chatting and I think possibly we both forgotten that it was being recorded was actually for a radio programme of the podcast so I actually find being able to read people's facial expressions a real help and it's a very useful guide to how their reacting to the way you're questioning them, but she wants us to be frank I mean to talk about in the most moving way of learning about your partner at the age of 60 with great dignity questions straight out a minute you intend to ask that question it down.

I know I didn't but I don't actually write whole questions down by the right subject areas down.

Just front of me.

Would I actually have asked it.

That's a good question.

I definitely wanted the answer for this is something you deliberately do you brought in a watch you want to ask but you respond to the moment in the way you ask it so I think I probably.

An interviewer who has with just for the experiences with Franklin years of doing it learn to listen because the most important thing about an interview should be not your questions but answers but you've got to have the experience to listen.

I know when I first started into being people I often didn't listen because I was so worried about what I was going to say next and in doing that you just missed the obvious hints about what people really want to talk about it.

It's think about your own life most people think you are the most opening engaging Frank person, but you've managed to keep a section of your life private when you come to be an interview are there boundaries? I'm not going to ask that because that's an invasion of privacy or do you think of people come on and know what they're going to talk about you can ask the moment anything is presenting woman one of my big big hates was the The Weeping interviewee.

I've never enjoyed that as a listen.

I've never enjoyed and I'm a massive list.

Radio and podcast I'm a real fan of the whole audio medium if you like so I do know about the stuff.

I think I want to hear people telling their own experience reliving an experience, but I don't want them to be more troubled at the end, then they were at start and I think sometimes although sometimes some people think it's good radio in speech marks to hear somebody relapsing emotionally I don't enjoy it and I certainly don't enjoy having that impact on people as an interviewer, so I would I think I know I have shied away from going to intruding to deeply even if people have agreed to do the interview.

They still have their own vulnerabilities and I think you've got you've got to respect them people do very deeply into themselves talk to them and it has to be an issue of trust trust which was obviously built up over a long period do you have a moment before the interview when you try and reassure people that they're only going to expose them.

As far as they wish yes, I think I would always have been whatever the circumstances unless it was on her a rolling use programmer.

You just don't get the opportunity whenever I've interviewed somebody I would always try to establish some kind of trust and actually let's face it.

I'm 57.

I've been around radio and podcast for quite a while now a lot of people likely to want to be on the Radio 4 programme.

Have you do stuff before so there is that element of trust already there and is James nervous life-changing want to get back into live radio once you've done live radio.

The only form is the jeopardy.

It's the fact that stuff can go wrong and in my case often did but it was still a great through.

I'm just a fantastic connection and a way to make a connection with yeah.

I do miss our thanks to Jane Garvey presenter of life-changing and that's it for this week on feedback next week will be talking to Daniel Clarke one of Radio 4 factual commissioning editor.

About some of the recent darts programmes has commissioned so please do let us have your comments and questions until next week keep on keeping safe goodbye.

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