The Today Programme is no stranger to unfortunate mis-pronunciations – as Jeremy Hunt found out to his cost.
Yesterday, they ran an interesting piece by Evan Davis exploring the unity or otherwise of the Labour Party, and asking what has happened to the hardline Labour Left. As part of the package, Evan interviewed the posterboy of the Angry Young Left, Owen Jones.
I’m sure Evan meant to introduce Owen as a “columnist”, but listening to the recording here, it does sound as though it came out slightly redder than that…
With today’s almighty row about secularism, atheism and religion, it seems like an opportune time to repost this article I wrote on why Richard Dawkins does atheism a gross dis-service by acting like a religious zealot.
Dawkins was on the Today Programme this morning, debating with Occupy-luvvy and former Chancellor of St Paul’s. With two of my least favourite public figures fighting against each other, it was a bit like the Iran/Iraq War, in that you rather wish they could both lose, but in the end it was wonderful to hear Fraser expose the absurdity of Dawkins’ illogical approach to attacking religious people. Listen here.
Ok, I’m coming out – I’m a fan of The Archers. Yes, the hurly burly of local scandal in rural Borsetshire conunes my Sunday mornings on a regular basis. To be honest, getting that off my chest makes me feel a while lot better.
One of the reasons I like it is that it’s a corner of the BBC which never makes me angry – unlike, say, Question Time which I’ve had to stop watching for the safety of my television screen.
But now it seems even The Archers is not a neutral zone. Last night’s episode had the characters discussing a local society dinner – which was a cue for a massive plug for John Humphrys’ lucrative after-dinner speaking service.
“Ooh, he’ll have a lot of interesting things to say,” one of them even waxed.
Isn’t against the BBC rules to advertise products or services? Or does that not count when giving a free editorial plug to one of their own staff?
Laughing on the radio is like laughing in church – you know you shouldn’t give in to the giggles, but that only makes it worse. Jim Naughtie had a brilliant one this morning, inadvertently turning Jeremy Hunt’s surname into a bad, bad word that makes David Cameron’s Twitter comment pale by comparison:
Perhaps the best thing about it was Naughtie’s desperate attempts to resist the giggles after dropping his bomb, before claiming it was a “coughing fit. Fans of the BBC’s old sitcom Coupling will know that this is known as the Giggle Loop.
My favourite attack of the Radio 4 Giggle Loop was suffered by Charlotte Green, when the bizarre sound of the oldest recording of a human voice clashed with a very sombre obituary: