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Wednesday, 24 October 2012

BBC Radio 4 Afternoon Drama

In Britain we have a complex relationship with our national broadcaster. We love to snipe and we’re incredibly quick to point out its failings. At the moment the BBC is being battered in Westminster by people who only a few months ago were being berated for their own corruption.

Let’s not forget that we have a service that is envied throughout the world. It is still putting out top quality programmes. Television takes the majority of the license fee, but its poor relation, radio, is still producing outstanding results.

If you have a while, make yourself a pot of tea and cut a few slices of lemon drizzle cake and listen to this.

What love sounds like

29 comments:

  1. The pictures are just so much better on the wireless - don't you think?

    I'm a fan of BBC radio, my enthusiasm is magnified several-fold whenever I return from one of my trips to the USA. It's then that I realise what a superb broacasting service we have.

    The BBC does have it's faults, but it's streets ahead of anything the rest of the world has to offer - and I regularly listen to broadcasts from all over the world.

    I could very easily keep banging on about the BBC, BBC Radio in particular, but you would get bored.

    The Beeb is the envy of the world. Nuff said.

    JJ

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    1. Hi JJ
      :-)
      However, as soon as "Woman's Hour" comes on, I switch the damn thing off. What on earth was the BBC thinking???

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    2. Alan - you've got to get over this powerful women thing... Jenny Murray IS the BBC.
      And only 95% of us are witches.

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    3. "That woman" and her strident shouty guests drive me insane! They all talk over the top of each other in shrill shouty voices.
      You could be right about the 95% though.
      You're one of the other 5%, dear thing.
      xx

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  2. In a free market they should not be allowed. Publishing side has a economic advantage and I am for breaking the BBC up and selling it off. Also why does the poor pay for it as much as the rich? Answer is they have to. Not fair. If a broadcaster wants to share free content why should all have to fund the BBC to watch others free content live.? Unfair in all ways.

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    1. Taking that argument to the absurd, should the poor pay less for their sugar? It's a luxury too.

      I think the license fee is incredibly good value for the money.

      I suppose you could chuck out your telly?

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  3. Point is if others give free content why do we have to fund the BBC to watch it. Choice is not allowed with it and the licence fee. Choice, not you have to.

    Sugar is bad for you btw :)

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    1. With the Beeb we can watch uninterrupted programmes without those adverts every thirteen minutes trying to flog us things that nobody wants. You are paying to watch commercial stations: Paying with your time.

      And it could be said that watching telly is very bad for you too, you ol' couch potato, you!
      :-)

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    2. It's like democracy, the Beeb; imperfect but better than the alternatives. I'm not keen on the way 5Live seems to want to compete with Talksport, when distancing itself would be a much better (and quieter) opt6ion but, on balance, there's still more that I like than dislike.

      Some of the music stuff on BBCs 3 and 4 is excellent and, with iPlayer, you can watch it when it suits. They should have saved the money they spend on Sports Personality of The Year though and used it to up their bid for The Ashes.

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    3. I agree with Alan, Martin.

      I think your argument misses some key points.

      1. Oh aye...cable TV is the epitome of quality television, and it's great value for money. Not! Some good shows, but you have to pay for it. Be it cash, PPV or bloody adverts every 10mins.

      2. With reference to the above, you're usually left with a load of crap to watch and better still repeats - often of shows produced by the BBC funnily enough. Or at least for most cable channels.

      3. The BBC license fee offers FANTASTIC value for money. The TV channels are usually average to excellent, the news content is world renowned, the radio service is top drawer, the diversity in it's programming can't be beaten by ANY of the commercial channels - AND...the BBC's online services are world renowned too.

      I for one am an admirer of the BBC and all it should stand for (albeit they are not faultless as has rightly been pointed out), and would rather pay them £150 a year than the extortianate stinking pile of useless crap "marketed as choice" "lots of channels" you get with Sky or Virgin etc etc

      Incidentally, some of my favourite cable channels feature mostly BBC content on repeat - ironic eh? ;)
      I don't begrudge the BBC either for making a profit out of some of it's products. eg Top Gear, Dr Who etc. The profits go back into the BBC which consequently helps them maintain a great value for money license fee, wouldn't you agree?

      Cause for Sky etc I know where that profit would go. They're own pockets or towards big rights buyouts that make a given even or subject exclusivity to them and consequently charge more to the customer.

      So, aye....I'm a fan of the BBC LOL And the competition it brings to the UK market, on many levels is a good thing.

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    4. Amen to that, Terry! Well said, Sir!

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  4. Well said, Alan (your original post). How many times have I heard it said in the past few days that this is the worst crisis at the BBC for 50 years? We have similar crises several times a year in politics – and usually the sods responsible for them refuse to fall on their swords, they just step sideways into different jobs – Jeremy Hunt being a prime example, Andrew Mitchell being the exception. Mind you, Mitchell clung on by his fingernails for long enough.
    Alen McF

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    1. The thing is, this particular crisis happened almost fifty years ago, and the organisation is being slammed for what it was, not what it is now.

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  5. Alan I think the BBC is one of the greatest institutions we have. I am a lover of Radio 4, I am always pleased and somewhat amazed at the diversity and quality of the programmes that are produced each week that keeps me entertained both on my daily travels around the country at work and listening via my Ipod when at camp. What a wonderful channel BBC 4 is as well. My regular trips to the USA shows me that apart PBS, what quality we have in comparison to their commercial output. We must never allow a reduction in quality programming.

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    1. I totally agree, Mark.

      I do think that there is a distinct left wing bias in their output lately though... (or that could be me getting older and veering to the right, of course....)

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  6. "I suppose you could chuck out your telly?"

    That won't necessarily negate the need for a licence. To quote from the horse's mouth:

    "You need a valid TV Licence if you use TV receiving equipment to watch or record television programmes as they’re being shown on TV. ‘TV receiving equipment’ means any equipment which is used to watch or record television programmes as they're being shown on TV. This includes a TV, computer, mobile phone, games console, digital box, DVD/VHS recorder or any other device."

    Given the choice I'd always watch Beeb rather than Other, but I do find it annoying that if I only ever watched Other, never watched Beeb and had kit rendered incapable of receiving Beeb, I'd still need a licence (with or without a telly).

    Folk over 75 get a free licence. Is that ageism or respect?

    Stir for 15 minutes and leave to rise :-)

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    1. Sounds more like HMRC than the BBC....
      :-)

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    2. "Part 4 of the Communications Act 2003 ... empowers the BBC to make and amend the terms and conditions of a licence. It allows the government to make regulations to exempt or reduce the licence fee for certain persons in certain circumstances."

      Source: http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/about/legislation-and-policy-AB9/

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  7. I suspect that people who pay for advertising include the cost in the price they set for whatever it is they're advertising, so it's not free.
    BBC radio is free, though - no licence required. (You have to pay for the radio and the electricity, though) People with TVs pay for it for you. (this includes me by the way)

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    1. That's a very smart point, Mike.
      ITV isn't free is it? we are all paying for it through the shit that's advertised on telly!

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  8. More on concessions, from the mouth of the same horse:

    "A blind concession TV Licence costs £72.75 for colour and £24.50 for a black and white TV Licence."

    So, even if you couldn't ever see your telly, you'd pay about three times more for colour sound than you would for monochrome sound? That's hardly sensible.

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    1. That is incredible: Charging the blind three times more for something they can't see!
      You couldn't make it up, could you?
      :-)

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  9. Great play Alan. Very simple, devastating end.

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    1. It was a simple story, but told very well.
      :-)

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  10. I've only just caught up with this outpouring - thanks for promoting this wide ranging debate with a lot of good points made on both sides. The recent Shakespeare productions were worth all the licence fee on their own for me.

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    1. Speaking as one who was scarred by Miss Winterbottom forcing us a daily diet of Petruchios and Lucentios, sat at our desks with the characters read in monotone by different pupils each time, I have never recovered from my almost medical aversion to the Bard.
      "Must try harder" I suppose. It's been forty years and I still twitch at the thought of Shakespeare...

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  11. She should have fallen on her sword, or been stoned to death.

    My English teacher sought out all the rude but obscure bits and explained them to us - e.g "Where there's a will there's a way" - I'll leave you to research and interpret that one if you don't get it straight away.

    I hope this pasess your moderation!

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    1. :-)
      She was "Head of English" and we were the "top set" and so were doomed to do badly due to an incompetent teacher.
      Sad really, as I enjoy reading.

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