This week has seen widely diverse criticism of aspects of BBC radio and television. When I read them , I am reminded of Sybil Fawlty telling Basil “You never get it right, do you. You’re either crawling all over them, licking their boots, or spitting poison at them like some benzedrine puff adder…”
Firstly a report from a member of the BBC Trust has suggested that Radio 4 needs to become less white, middle class and London centric. Why?? Many listeners of the 10 million or so that tune in probably don’t fit that profile.
Radio 4 is a rock, a thread running through all our lives. It gives us, amongst many others, The Today Programme, Gardeners Question Time, excellent dramas and great comedy that has developed some fantastic talent. I even listen to the Archers occasionally if only to smirk at some of the names – Kenton, Shula…(never been the same since Walter Gabriel died). Radio 4 is warm and comforting , it’s programming feels like the list in Rupert Brooke’s The Great Lover – familar and loved. The BBC’s predominantly white, educated, liberal and probably guilt-ridden management do enough to accommodate other tastes with Yoof TV ( BBC 3 ) Radio 1 , Asian Network, World Service and thousands of other programmes aimed at minorities.
One mans view of this I would completely concur with can be found here , and in it he says:
Thankfully there is no such thing as apartheid in this country. People of whatever hue and whatever background are free to go wherever they please – even the countryside! –and are equally free to tune their radios and listen to whatever station they desire.
Condemning Radio 4 for principally reflecting the core audience demographic of middle England is like denigrating Africa for having too many black people. Absurd, deeply misguided and, quite frankly, risible
Now big it up and a shout out to John Humphrys, Nuff respect!
Secondly the new children’s cartoon Rastamouse is in the news because of a flurry of complaints that the show is racist and stereotypes black people. Others complain that the Jamaican patois dialogue could be picked up by their children and influence the way they speak.It appears that many of the complaints have originated from the Mumsnet forums ( where middle class white mums congregate whilst they take time off from their BBC jobs to have bay-bees…perhaps).
Well I ( and I ) for one cannot see how such a likkel ting as dat eek-a-mouse is going to influence the way anyone uses the language. Pon my soul, mon, dem labba mouts are not going to make I change mi writin stylee. Mi naa waan fi do it. Aks yerself, mon – it only a rodent ting, everyting irie. Ras-ta-far-I !! Check ya later, mi bredren.