Radio 4's forum for comments, queries, criticisms and congratulations

Radio 4's forum for comments, queries, criticisms and congratulations
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Radio 4's forum for comments, queries, criticisms and congratulations





Roger Bolton travels to Dane Court School in Broadstairs, Kent for a programme edited by listener and teacher Ben Forward. Under Ben’s guidance Roger explores young people’s listening habits and discusses what the BBC needs to do to attract a younger audience. Also, Roger meets the BBC’s Deputy Political Editor, John Pienaar, outside the Houses of Parliament to talk about another tumultuous week in Westminster. In the face of fierce debate about the BBC’s impartiality, John answers listener...


Up All Night

This week, Roger Bolton hears from listeners concerned that the BBC gives too much time to so-called Think Tanks - without disclosing their political leanings or how they're funded. Should Think Tanks be obliged to reveal their sources of funding before being allowed on air? Continuing our late night listening theme, Dotun Adebayo, presenter of BBC 5 Live’s ‘Up All Night’, shares some moving experiences he’s had on the show, and reveals a rather unlikely source of company in the wee small...


Checking Reality Check

This week Roger Bolton explores the role of the BBC’s Reality Check correspondent following a series of heated Brexit debates on Today and PM. He turns to a professor of journalism, Justin Lewis, for some impartial guidance on this most incendiary of subjects. In part two of Roger’s interview with James Purnell, he asks the BBC’s Director of Radio and Education to respond to criticism from older listeners who feel shunned by the Corporation. BBC Radio Sheffield is on the hunt for new local...


The licence fee for over-75s

How should licence fees for the over-75s be funded? Roger Bolton talks to James Purnell, one of the most powerful men in BBC radio, as the Corporation launches a public consultation. Roger also meets Baroness Warsi at the House of Lords. Frustrated by stereotypes of Muslim women, her recent BBC Radio 4 programme How to be a Muslim Woman has set out to change the conversation. As the BBC’s Grenfell Tower Inquiry podcast marks its 100th edition, we hear from listeners and its editor, Jasper...


Brexit, BBC Sounds and 'University Unchallenged'

Roger Bolton talks to Katya Adler about covering Brexit, and hears listener views on BBC Sounds, University Unchallenged and the conclusion of Home Front. It’s been a busy news week for those keeping track of Brexit, with the news moving almost too fast to follow. But what's it like for the reporters tasked with explaining it? Roger Bolton speaks to the BBC’s Europe editor, Katya Adler about the past week at the coalface. The BBC Radio 4 documentary University Unchallenged asked if...


Listeners' verdicts on BBC Sounds

Roger Bolton with audience comment on BBC radio. The new BBC Sounds app launched last week. Designed to eventually replace iPlayer Radio, its primary aim is to get young people listening to BBC content. So what do listeners make of it? Roger hears their views and talks to media consultant and podcast expert Matt Deegan. Living with the Empire, a recent BBC Radio 4 series, examined the legacy of the British Empire, looking for its traces in the UKs monuments, people and contested memories. It...


The Launch of BBC Sounds

Roger Bolton takes up concerns over presenter changes at Radio 2 and he investigates the BBC’s new push for younger listeners with the launch of the BBC Sounds app aimed at the "headphone generation". How will it affect loyal live radio listeners? The BBC's Director of Radio and Music, Bob Shennan, answers the questions. He shares his regrets about Simon Mayo leaving Radio 2 and is frank about the effect of listener reaction to the stations new drivetime programme on co-presenter Jo Whiley....


Behind the scenes at The World at One

Roger Bolton goes behind the scenes at The World at One and hears listener reaction to Simon Mayo’s upcoming departure from BBC Radio 2. After only a few months on air, the BBC Radio 2 Drivetime show presented by Simon Mayo and Jo Whiley is set to end, following Simon Mayo's decision to leave the station altogether. Listeners give their views and radio critic Gillian Reynolds reflects on this latest high profile presenter departure. Earlier this year, Sarah Montague swapped jobs with fellow...



After a week that saw Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab hurry to Brussels for talks, the BBC’s Brussels reporter Adam Fleming talks to Roger Bolton. He shares his personal insights into the challenges of covering breaking news on Brexit. The BBC Radio 4 series ‘The Anatomy of Loneliness’ came to a close this week. It explored the results of the BBC’s Loneliness Experiment, an online survey conducted in collaboration with Wellcome Collection. Roger talks to series presenter Claudia Hammond and...


The BBC’s climate change coverage under the spotlight, Radio 4’s Intrigue: The Ratline

News editor for BBC News and Current Affairs James Stephenson joins Roger Bolton to discuss how BBC Radio should be covering man-made climate change. As new presenters are announced on Radios 2 and 4, listeners react to the choices. And podcast fans love Intrigue: The Ratline but can it work as well for a radio audience? Members of staff are being encouraged to enrol on a course detailing the BBC’s approach to climate change coverage and an editorial policy note distributed last month stated...


Is A Point of View the place for Brexit? And behind the scenes of Research and Development

Roger Bolton is joined by A Point of View editor Richard Vadon to discuss the programme's Brexit editions. Also, PM listeners bid a fond farewell to Eddie Mair and review his temporary replacement, and we go behind the scenes at BBC Research and Development to see how the department is reinventing radio for a younger audience. Author Michael Morpurgo's recent episode of A Point of View divided listeners. He took a heavily critical stance of Brexit, titling the edition Think Again and making...


Foreign News in Extraordinary Times

Three of the BBC's leading foreign correspondents discuss reporting foreign news in extraordinary times - with Roger Bolton. Jon Sopel is the BBC's North America Editor, Lyse Doucet is Chief International Correspondent and Steve Rosenberg is the Moscow correspondent. They answer listeners' questions and talk about the unique challenges of their roles - from reporting amid the Syrian Civil War to being called an "enemy of the people" by the President of the United States. Producer: Will Yates...


Why are listeners leaving Today behind? And the Radio 1 interview that never aired.

Roger Bolton asks why Today is losing listeners and hears views on the Radio 1 interview that never aired. Natalie Haynes talks about finding hilarity in antiquity. The latest set of RAJAR radio listening figures were released this week. There was a big fall in the number of people tuning in to Radio 4's Today. We hear from disgruntled listeners about why they've stopped listening and former Editor of Today and Controller of 5Live, Roger Mosey, discusses whether the corporation should be...


Michael Howard and Ed Miliband, Evan Davis's 'Sweet Reason', 'Where's the F in News'

Roger Bolton shares listener reaction with Michael Howard and Ed Miliband, Evan Davis discusses Sweet Reason and there's audience comment on Where's the F in News? Are debates on the radio too angry? Has everyone stopped listening and just become determined to get their own view across? Evan Davis's new programme Sweet Reason is designed to be an alternative to adversarialism. But, when it made its debut, it still had some Feedback listeners shouting at the radio. Evan joins Roger to talk...


Cliff Richard vs the BBC, Brexit coverage, Accents in politics

Roger Bolton hears listener views on the Sir Cliff Richard verdict and finds out about the new wave of World Service podcasts. BBC News executive James Stephenson discusses the corporation's Brexit coverage and Chris Mason talks about accents in politics. This week, a legal ruling awarded Sir Cliff Richard £210,000 in damages against the BBC with the judge saying some of the news coverage of a police raid on Sir Cliff's home infringed his privacy rights in a "serious" and "somewhat...


1Xtra music row, the Proms launch, the Infinite Monkey Cage at 100

Roger Bolton talks to Brian Cox as The Infinite Monkey Cage reaches its century, discusses the Proms with director David Pickard and airs controversy over the music played on 1Xtra. The documentary Spitting Blades aired on BBC Radio 4, but the complaints in the Feedback inbox were about BBC Radio 1Xtra. During the programme, presenter Simeon Moore, also known as the rapper Zimbo, considered whether some rap music could be helping to glamorise gang violence and raised questions about music...


Sarah Sands, Eddie Mair leaves PM, Ed 'Death Metal' Miliband returns

Editor Sarah Sands joins Roger Bolton to discuss online criticism of the Today programme, PM listeners bid goodbye to Eddie Mair and Radio 2 explains why Ed "Death Metal" Miliband is returning to the network, this time alongside Michael Howard. Today has been coming under fire on social media, in the press and in the Feedback inbox. Some listeners and outside critics are decrying what they see as unbalanced news coverage, a lack of hard facts on big issues and overly aggressive interviews...


BBC Sounds, Reith Lectures, 'Gove in Government'

Roger Bolton with first reactions to the new BBC Sounds app. Also, Reith lecturer Margaret MacMillan reflects on her task and Mary Ann Sieghart discusses her documentary Gove in Government. Michael Gove is not just a favourite target for satirists, he has also long been one of the most controversial ministers in government. A new documentary, presented by his former Times colleague Mary Ann Sieghart, examined him not in terms of what his policies have accomplished, but by considering his...


Covering Corbyn, My Dream Dinner Party, News for Millennials

Roger Bolton hears listener views and asks if the BBC is biased against Jeremy Corbyn. The Labour leader is the subject of a new series on Radio 4, The Long March of Corbyn's Labour. Political journalist Steve Richards, who presented the first episode, discusses how to report on a polarising figure fairly. The BBC's Head of News, Fran Unsworth, has stressed the need for the BBC to attract - and keep - a younger audience for its news programmes. Radio 1 and 1Xtra's Newsbeat is at the...


Drivetime Radio 2, Grenfell Inquiry Podcast, Brexit Vote

Roger Bolton returns with a new series, answering your comments, complaints and queries about BBC radio. BBC Radio 2 is the most popular radio station in the UK with around 15.6 million listeners a week and the Simon Mayo Drivetime show was one of its success stories with a weekly audience of nearly 6 million. But last month the programme was relaunched, with Jo Whiley joining Simon as co-presenter. Many listeners were outraged at the decision and have been bombarding social media and the...