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Read this: 18/03/2022 Radio 4 Feedback

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18/03/2022 Radio 4 Feedback…

BBC sounds music Radio podcasts hello are there some things so dreadful that Saturday is redundancy indeed offence Ukraine for example the use this trade for situation which is slaughtering innocent people and threatening world peace as part of the comedy sketch that sketch was on the Now Show and I'll be putting this concerns to Julia McKenzie the creative director of BBC Studios who makes both the news quiz and then I'll show you also in this week's feedback.

What is the BBC moving to get Friday night including topical shows like the News Quiz a period of 28 days exclusivity on BBC sounds it seems somewhat odd that as a public service broadcaster that BBC is limiting its distribution.

Yes the BBC has indeed restricted access to some of these podcasts for a month's why would try to find out whether there is method in what some listeners.

Think is madness.

Interactive your comfort zone feature listeners discuss the Radio 4 documentary drama white debt it had the best of intentions, but was it basically the same old story most times that we are represented especially black people it's to do with slavery and never things that I've been powering and shining light on amazing things that black people have done for the listeners like anything about the program in feedback.

Are some things beyond a joke should Radio 4 topical comedy programmes the Now Show the News Quiz have left the tragedy of Ukraine alone as some of our listeners.

Think can human be found in everything he's had a nice.

You're dealt with the Russian invasion in its first episode of captured Fighters without food or adequate clothing Nicky Smith great the Now Show is back Sharp and witty and a real boost in these troubled times Paul Barnes from Plymouth broadcast before the radio for opening of the Now Show on the 12th of March has to be the most inappropriate.

Piece of radio of ever heard the programme makers writers and everybody involved this show thinking alone this to be broadcast.

Have you no respect or sensitivity towards go in Ukraine at the moment and this is how Andy zaltzman handle the innovation in the penultimate episode of the News Quiz feel like a laugh out loud newsweek best comedy of awkwardness involving a Franklin barrison leader and now I'm not blaming Ricky Gervais for the Ukraine situation that abundantly clear but enjoy your own conclusions our panelists this week and Ian Smith Amanda on Twitter brilliant show last night on a very sad day Steve on Twitter sensitively handled again as was last week's episode.

Shirley Ward this program is great as a rule but Ukraine has been flattened women children fleeing or trying to therefore.

How can BBC Radio 4 use it to make jokes yes, we need two more but not at the expense of a devastating appalling war going on do please.

Please think of your next show content we have relatives in Ukraine has too many others Rachel Halliwell I'm very supportive of the BBC and I've never been driven to complain about a BBC programme before but I found last week's news quiz unbearable that reason I didn't listen beyond the first few minutes to address these and other questions is Julia McKenzie creative director BBC Studios audio, which suppliers Friday Night Comedy to radio that includes of course news quiz and then asha-leigh Mackenzie did you ever think of saying to your producers of both of those programs? Don't do the Ukraine it's not a suitable subject.

No, I didn't get expectation is of these topless shows that we should do the most important stories and invasion of Ukraine is one of those subjects.

So there isn't a red line on a subject area, but there's red lines within a subject so there's no subject in your view.

There's no subject that's off limits.

What is a question here is the way you deal with this not where you deal with it in comedy get into the detail of this.

It would be great to just took a bit about the historical context Roger because there is a long tradition of satire that deals with these difficult subjects including war you know when you think back to the second world war Charlie Chaplin's and scrape dictator on that was released in 1940 and of course on radio that was it was known as it it's that man again which the type of referred to Hitler and that was broadcast throughout the war.

And taking the mickey out of all time regulations and government departments play popular essential for morale and of course before that first world war wipers times written by people on the Frontline obviously, we're not on the Frontline but I suppose that's why is a point there is that people involved unlocking to find humour as way of coping with those Dark Times so how do you judge judge? Whether this found humour which is acceptable wanting to say we should have a go because you're aware have sensitive and upset some of your audience is so how do you make the judgement about what works or not to rely on the audience recording in front of I mean if they are silent.

Do you say that didn't work drop that would definitely be one thing that we would take into account of course but with

What's funny about Ukraine war with looking for satirical targets because that is the purpose of the show and that means looking at the powerful really so you're satirical targets in a powerful.

So that could be Putin is leadership and his regime it could be the response of the Western governments to Putin sanctions oligarch.

So you're always looking to look at contradictions or hiphoprisy in the powerful or you're picking the pomposity of a powerful but you're not taking the mickey out of victims of supply you make the programs and then when you deliver them because they have to go through and what a vetting process.

What actually happens.

You record therefore this edition of the and I'll show you have highlighted the fact that we are dealing with the Ukraine what then happens.


Lots of different parts of the process ready at the start of the week.

You're looking at the big news stories having a discussion with the hosts producer.

Executive producer will be part of that discussion you're thinking about the angles you want to take you know it's something like that now.

So it's heavily scripted so Steve punt and Dennis will be part of that discussion and because it's a changing situation a lot of these new stories.

You will tweak across the week.

So what might feel appropriate on a Tuesday might not on the Thursday when you're recording and I might get involved if they have Aquarius they're not sure about a certain area the commissioner Radio 4 might be consulted the head of editorial standards if you want to a sounding board, so there's a lot of careful thought and consideration goes into tweaking those lines making sure the target of the jokes are clear and as you say there's another process switches in front of the record for longer than is broadcast and the audience response will give you some indication as well of jokes a landing or not but


Memory slots actually listening to a really offended by jokes.

You can have been watching tragedy in front of them and see the most distressing scenes or hearing the most about the most distressing dreams and frankly just can't face the idea of making comedy about it and do you understand that I do understand and recognise that some people just don't want to come to a comedy show that talked about but it is the expectation for the vast majority of agents that these shows that a long-running will cover those subject areas.

I noted that switched off almost immediately because I just thought I can't bear it others stuck with us and we did receive compliments on the tone that we achieved but I understand if people just can't face it and it's harrowing.

It's profoundly upsetting a lot of the stories that we're in the reporting a missing on the TV and hearing all the radio but there is also a

Function for some people which is a communal processing if you like trying to find commonalities of United and sense of hopelessness or outrage whatever is the can be a very useful purpose of satire and for those people who just don't want to continue to listen then of course.

There's lots of other comedy on at the moment like just a little conversations marriage which is going to give them escapism if that's what they want well last week on feedback.

We talk to see young people who felt that the programs were probably felt that the programs your prayers and if you like me not a bit stale and they now have so many other options when they go to comedy.

How do you make progress from them and yet also satisfy the main stream Radio 4 audience podcast of the way forward a century of getting too young people listening to it.

I suppose well.

We know that comedy is subjective of course and what one person.

Funny someone else will find offensive but I think we've just got a lot of experience now in Bridgend those agencies.

So we're making content is attractive to people who youngest early 30s as well as the older established agents Radio 4 and it feels like we get it about right.

I've just a people just didn't feel connected to you have the other problems they might listen to BBC comedy on an app and not realise it to BBC comedy.

I met somebody actually listen to the news quiz quite liked it didn't realise it was a BBC programme.

I mean it's getting difficult environment.

We will end up on Netflix some people don't realise that started out on BBC either that happens a lot, but yes, you are shows that we make long-running shows whether it's Stu house sore on you guessed so we feel that we keep them refreshing original and ever evolving and we also an hour to make a lot of comedy with you.

Broadcast credit with us and emerging on the saying we do a lot of Talent scouting of emerging comedians that we work with them and give them opportunities.

So I'd say there is a staff available.

We make but it's getting the word out there really isn't it and then did she say podcast could be one routine Julie McKenzie thank you.

Very much is a director of BBC Studios audio, which makes the Now Show and the News Quiz from Radio 4 and your thoughts about that interview or anything else to do with BBC Radio and podcasts is how you can get in touch you can send an email to feedback at or write a letter the address is feedback PO Box 6234 London SE1 4yx you can follow activity on Twitter by using BBC R4 feedback.

Colours and lever phone message on 0330 333 4445 standard landline charges apply, but it could cost more on some mobile network all those details are on our website each week.

We have been asking to BBC Radio listeners to step out of that sounds and listen to a program that would normally be on their radar something a bit different this week tune on BBC listeners from different generations.

Yourcountdown is in her 20s lives in London and has lived around the world including in the United States and Africa physalis mi also lives in London and is in his early 40s last week.

We managed to both of them in the Archbishop interviews today.

I promise to listen to more episodes this time.

We've tried them with another Radio 4 programme a centre drama on Radio 4.

It was part 1 of 2 called white debt and I asked you to.

What it was all about it so hyper between like a drama and a documentary about a specific storage about slave trade in Guyana which was formerly known as demerara Thomas Harding who has written all the books but his background about his parents in central Europe which are very well received them and this is based on his Discovery that another part of his family was involved in slaves in the owner of a personal journey drama is what's a documentary and it was also meant to raising the issue of reparations that light up a big task to do all of those things fight so did you find it worked all those elements were integrated with something.

I've never really listen to the password as you mentioned the color and docudrama where you listen to a story of something that happened in history and then at the same time does intersections where Thomas Harding is.

and try to research how the slave trade has affected I answered stay I'm not sure I did actually it was the colonists didn't appreciate the missionary encouraging his flock to imagine life without bondage and he was forced out by the governor of demerara for 8-years the doors of Bethel Chapel remain closed but now 27-year old John Smith had arrived from London with his wife Jane to take up the post looking going to be a hallelujah and in fact grammar school boy from the last century and son very little was talk to me about slavery other than the glorious road that we all played the Brits played in the ending in Slough

Not the reality of the exploitation and so on so for me some of this was really fresh was it fresh for you? No no no it wasn't fresh for me because I am a person I do tend to read a lot about when I was younger.

I read a lot about saving my dad used to try and get me to understand I passed it.

What happened.

So this information is not that new to me know sometimes people of colour feel the only way they have a representative something that is in Context of slavery personally, that's how I feel that most times that we are represented as black people it's to do with slavery and never things that are empowering and can a shining light on amazing things that black people have done I can see why they would want to contrite ooka play the experience of the slaves through drama, but it has to be very well written and high-quality.

Do you think it was I don't think it was very well written high quality as an African

Myself to me that accent went very well selected.

They went down very well.

Enjoy the documentary side, but I feel like their drama said was a necessary that part.

I didn't enjoy documentary side.

I enjoyed at an early age.

Jack was told by his grandmother.

How she ended up in demerara.

That is a young woman she been kidnapped from her village in West Africa and transported to the Colony by ship and a hogshead of sugar from success plantacja on time stop myself, nobody CENTRIA Thomas Harry Potter wand around talk to people go to ruins local what remains then raise the question preparation song but they decided by deliberately to have dramatised extracts now.

That work fine interesting.

I mean it will be difficult to actually captain the moment.

Obviously it's a story.

It's not reality in the sense that in a we don't have the evidence slavery happened, but he's created his characters and he's trying to tell a story so in some ways.

Yes, it did work it made it more interesting to to hear somebody who's actually going through that process of slavery and what they were going through in the rebellion and so on so yeah, I think that did work and did you get the crucial thing was with the presented Thomas Hardy was that it was percent of a second that you genuinely felt he was engaged in that story indeed troubled by it and wanting to think through what his responsibilities were now.

Yeah, I did you think that he was that yeah.

I do think you did and then I'm also the fact that he actually travelled today and we followed him through that and having conversations with people from Guyana

It was quite good to have in their rather than just him talking to as I'm not actually taking us anyway and having conversations with people affected by this problem.

We did Thomas Harding did a good job.

You did obviously his family and profited from slavery, so I guess he had done and he did apologise during one of the interviews in the probe.

Yeah, I think you did well.

I don't know what the answer this question is sometimes.

I do when I get to this point.

You know are you going to be comforted? Are you not as the big test is whether you'll go back.

There are two so yeah, we're waiting be confident.

Will you listen to the S H I wouldn't necessarily sells out of my comfort zone, but I don't think I would listen to the second now.

I know and how about you? I just found it a bit too long being an hour.

Yeah the format.

I thought was not suitable for myself.

Sorry interesting to be too long so you know.

Probably not well.

I think probably I can see you're out of your comfort zone and thank you very much for joining us.

Thank you.

Do let us know if you would like to be put out of your comfort zone.

BBC faces increased competition from other providers from former presenters away for higher salaries as well as the opportunity to express their own opinions the BBC is fighting back in recent weeks.

We've been hearing rather jaunty announcements promising that will be able to hear some of our favourite podcasts before anyone else what that actually means is that you can hear programme broadcast live on the podcast on the day if you listen to it on the BBC Sounds app, but if you use any other platform you're going to have to be forced to wait for it for 28.

Please this decision has caused some Russians among timelessness and this has been a typical response from Wiltshire I listen to Money podcast from a variety of sources in the BBC listen to The Mall in one place.

I'm not going to be flirting about between my podcast provider and your app the BBC try this one before.

Once it realised that doesn't podcast providers simply lost and listeners time to annoy people no one was available from the BBC but they did provide us with this statement making a few radio programmes available on BBC sounds first for a month after they've been broadcast on Radio 4.

We want more people to use Aaron digital platform where they can easily find other brilliant BBC Radio and audio more people listening on their mobiles TVs and smart speakers.

We think this is vital to ensure UK contents arrives now and in future well, I'm glad to be joined by broadcasting consultant Matt do you think that is the reason why the BBC are doing this that they're trying to drive more people to their yeah, I think so, there's a couple of problems with the BBC One is with podcast.

Someone at the mercy of third-party Sheppey play Spotify and apple podcasts, you know the pipe in which a lot of listeners get the shows shows through these platforms.

We can have 10 to 5-years.

So you can understand why people are unhappy about it.

The problem.

Is that control these platforms if they want to make a change to how they show the founder if they had to the beginning of this kind of stuff that she won't be able to do much about it.

So it's keen to move as many people onto its own home platforms as possible.

So it has more control of that other thing that they want BBC sounds seen as being successful and service is also away of Jimmy people from one to the other two up their numbers as well.

They also saying they're taking the big tech Giants are routinely publishing their own content and have a global catalogue to promote so we can't rely on them to make it easier for people to find new things from the BBC that suggests to me that they think they've been badly treated in the past is there any evidence?

I think you can look at Spotify which one introduce playlists they used to feature a lot of playlists from individuals and companies and now pretty much all the playlist on that platform of their own ones and so they can control that discovery, so there's no evidence that like tomorrow.

It's going to change but past performance would suggest that those platforms do leading to what they call the original content over if you look at something like Spotify and in the promo spot so that when you open up the app and what it shows you there's a disproportionate number of their own titles in there and you expect that is there platform is there rules they control what they want for all providers including the BBC to get the awareness that they hope it comes to sounds they BBC can you know if you could you logged in and they can provide a better choice of a programs to match you but one of our regular podcast listener.

I really disappointed.

You are delaying publishing BBC

28 days I find the sounds up really poor compared to my podcast app.

Let me download an order podcast insure a simile for a long walk or journey, and I'm not be listening to your content such as a result the topical Radio 4 Friday night news quiz on sounds listeners for 28 days is just nuts.

I hope you do a u-turn on this decision is the BBC Sounds app lets good then some other I don't think it's less good.

I'm sure people like it or don't like it.

Just like you like and unlike other apps that a lot of negativity at the moment and apple podcasts and how they change so that thing on the internet when you're used to doing it one way when people change something or you're forced to change it you become unhappy about it pretty much mate other apps in the top 3 podcast apps alongside apple and Spotify this is used by large number of people.

It's probably not fully featured so yeah, if you're used to it now.

Does podcasts it's obviously a little bit more complicated than that because it does radio and other things but the challenges listen is also used to using different things that been a bit shocked by the fact that sing a change.

I made it a part of their lives using the thing that they use and I've been forced to do something else and absolutely relevant question for them to ask but I also say is yo we expect to see EastEnders on Netflix or Amazon yeah, we know it's on BBC iPlayer and I think it's annoying but I think the direction of travel for quite a lot of audio.

Is that you're going to use a couple of apps to get the things that you and I are we probably need to see the departures of people like Emily maitlis and Mr simple as being an example of the increased economic power of other people in digital world and the relative decreased power of the BBC so this isn't going to stop is it this cherry-picking of Talent either because there are more outlets for them to go to and the remote people with.

Absolutely in the old days yo BBC national networks.

They weren't many competitive radio networks two sections like this Radio 4 now because of digital radio and these companies can reach lots of people so make sense for them to hi Emily maitlis and Jon Sopel and other people in America Bekash deals people like Joe Rogan he's up to be in the news recently because they can distributes these programs to large numbers of people very easily and that pipe the BBC's all his own with broadcast changes in digital and that they're playing catch up to and the final piece of BBC statement said we appreciate any feedback and hopelessness do you use this as an opportunity to try out sounds and Discover and enjoy my brilliant BBC Radio so they appreciate any will it make any difference.

Do you think in this case the BBC has to go in the direction? It's going and virtually nothing will stop it.

I think clearly they know how many people listen to.

Do you like comedy and if that drops below 80% they Gonna notice that and have to make a decision about what they do but also they can see is when the people do you move across the sounds do they listen to me because there's more Discovery in sounds, so is there total listening.

Hi, so you're listening should do what they want to do to listen to their programs and if they think this isn't the right thing and they want to use sounds and they should stop assuming that mean they will see the numbers the great thing about digital is you can really track what everyone does and if the BBC finds that actually this camera.

Isn't working they have two reverse it won't be so it will depend on what the audience absolutely.

I don't say broadcasting consultants Madigan and that's it for this week.

Do let us know about the issues.

You would like us to address later in the series which are best to get the answers until next week.


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