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FFS Radio 4 - The Today Programme

(46 Posts)
MrFirthsDate Fri 24-Mar-17 08:51:28

Finally had enough, had to switch off this morning and will probably not return. I am so sick and tired of the guests being harried and bullied by the presenters. Today alone there was the Scottish Minister for Health invited on to talk about IVF plans in Scotland, who wasn't allowed to get a word in edgeways while the interviewer fired off topic questions at her. This was followed by a British MP who was "trying" to talk about the atrocities in London last Wednesday but was constantly interrupted. What is the point of having guests on the show if they aren't given space to say anything/

This is happening morning after morning and I'm starting to think I would learn more if I just read the Daily Fail!

Anyone else noticied this?

YesILikeItToo Fri 24-Mar-17 08:54:10

It's already passed away here, DH used to say he enjoyed shouting at the radio in the morning as he tried to get going, but we just don't need it anymore. It was an intergenerational habit passed to me by my parents, although I'd have stopped before him probably.

mrsrhodgilbert Fri 24-Mar-17 08:54:54

I think some of the presenters like the sound of their own voices rather too much . I sometimes wonder why the interviewee doesn't just stop talking in a pointed way until they are given a chance.

cowgirlsareforever Fri 24-Mar-17 08:56:06

I agree. It's all about the presenters. They seem to have one interviewing style, obnoxious. They achieve very little by treating their interviewees this way and do the topics that need discussing no justice whatsoever.

Londonjam Fri 24-Mar-17 09:00:13

I listen every morning - also habit inherited by my parents.

Yes they are very interrupty aren't they. I hadn't really thought about it too much. That will probably annoy me now!

Sweepingchange Fri 24-Mar-17 09:03:58

I think the Today programme has become stuffy and self important and some of the presenters take themselves far too seriously. Can't stand John Humphreys for example! Politicians must be held to account but it can be done in a way that is intelligent and respectful and is not all about the interviewer.

On a serious note, I honestly think the media have a lot to answer for as to why there are decreasing numbers of decent politicians (or Presidents for that matter). We don't want fawning obsequience but the Europeans manage generally to get a better balance with probing questions and intelligent debate; ie they are not always seeking the populist headline.

I switched temporarily to radio Five but not too keen on that either!

mrsrhodgilbert Fri 24-Mar-17 09:04:23

The other annoying thing is that often the questions are so long, as the presenter has to show that he/she actually knows the answer already to prove their intelligence that the interviewee often has nothing left to answer. Short and succinct questions please and then listen.

buggerthebotox Fri 24-Mar-17 09:06:19

I disagree, on the whole. I think interviewers should be robust and probing, especially on a serious news programme. Rude? Maybe, a bit, but these interviewees are presumably selected carefully and should be able to handle a bit of rough and tumble, even if to say "do you mind if I finish"?
in a sharp voice now and again.

MrFirthsDate Fri 24-Mar-17 09:07:34

Not just me then grin. We like to listen to the news in the mornings, but don't want lots of adverts or music (I like music, just not at 6.30am), so any pointers to what would be a good station to switch to? We are in the Birmingham area.

buggerthebotox Fri 24-Mar-17 09:07:53

I agree with the long questions, though. Unnecessary.

EnormousTiger Fri 24-Mar-17 09:08:28

I didn't hear it today but I think it's one of the best programmes on actually.

MrFirthsDate Fri 24-Mar-17 09:10:20

buggerthebotox I agree interviewers need to be robust and probing, but they don't need to be rude or use the set up interview to go off topic on to something else. I'm not saying that the "something else" they drag in isn't of interest, often it is, but there is a finite time available so the guest should be allowed to use it for the subject intended.

VivienneWestwoodsKnickers Fri 24-Mar-17 09:11:41

I don't agree. They tend to be cutting across the nonsense political rhetoric and stuck records responses of the politicians.

I've had to turn the radio off a few times I'll admit, for reasons you've described, but more often than not I'm cackling at the interviewee but getting their own way.

They only have a few minutes at the most to interview these people, so I can understand them rushing the repetitive politicians and quite like hearing some of them get their arses handed to them.

It's still a million times better than listening to R2 Jeremy Vine. Now he really does make me switch the radio off.

LozzaChops101 Fri 24-Mar-17 09:12:27

I used to listen every morning but dumped it a few years ago in favour of music and my mornings are infinitely better for it wink Can't bear JH angry

scottishdiem Fri 24-Mar-17 09:20:08

Ach, gave up on that programme over a decade ago for this reason. Every person on the programme, regardless of political party affiliation or none, is over talked and under listened too. I even remember once the presented getting annoyed that two people (non-politicians) agreed with each other when he would have preferred to step in and talk over both at once.

Its a useful programme I suppose for a series of announcements (e.g. X party has stated Y, think tank report says this type of thing) but every person brought in to talk is basically treated like shite.

terrylene Fri 24-Mar-17 09:22:23

We migrated to Terry Wogan after waking up to a first hand account from someone whose village was raided, her husband and children killed and her baby killed in her arms.

We drifted back, but DH was fed up of the circular arguments, politicians that never answer the question, and got fed up of me yelling at the public service announcement on the woman who was transing her 3 year old, so we tried Chris Evans, but he is just way too shouty, and one morning it got too much.

So now we are on Classic FM, via 5live. Don't like it, but it is the least irritating option at the moment. I change to Today for the last 15 minutes when it is usually more fun.

NotRumpole Fri 24-Mar-17 09:26:52

After the caveat that I wasn't listening this morning, I completely disagree. No one goes on the Today programme for an easy ride, and I think they very rarely cross the line into being too combative. Usually they're just stopping politicians from ranting on with their own agenda.

Have to say I do love Eddie Marie's style of questioning on PM though - he always seems to get good results out of people without ever sounding sharp with them.

WhatWouldKeanuDo Fri 24-Mar-17 09:31:16

Left it a while ago too.

I've ended up on Classic FM too. It's not ideal.
Nicky and earnest Rachel on Five Live annoyed me too much.

AverysillyoldHector Fri 24-Mar-17 09:32:21

A friend of mine was on Today a while ago. She is a nurse and had written a paper which looked at early NHS intervention for people with alcohol problems. It was uncontroversial, and what you might call a 'good thing'. Despite all this, John Humphrys gave her a hard time with his combative questioning. Very odd.

terrylene Fri 24-Mar-17 09:34:18

My mother was on years ago for a charity she worked for. It was Brian Redhead. He was lovely with her (I could tell from her voice she was shit scared - hard to listen to).

Jmangel Fri 24-Mar-17 09:34:52

I switch John Humphreys off but quite like Sarah Montague.

GrumpyOldBag Fri 24-Mar-17 09:35:36

I thought Laura Kuenssberg pushed it too far with Amber Rudd yesterday - implying that the security services had fucked up because a terrorist managed to do what he did in London on Wednesday.

Really annoyed me - any rational person could see it would have been almost impossible to predict or prevent that attack. And then they kept replaying that soundbite on R4 throughout the day.

WormwoodScrubbed Fri 24-Mar-17 09:38:26

This is the same reason why I don't like Victoria Derbyshire, along with her strong right wing bias but that's the BBC all over, but back to the point she does constantly interrupt guests before giving them chance to answer her questions

grannytomine Fri 24-Mar-17 09:39:07

Radio 4 is getting a bit much, I used to love it. I couldn't believe it last week listing to You and Yours and the presenter started asking a guest about what he was wearing. He sounded a bit surprised but eventually described his shirt, trousers etc. She then started asking about his underwear and wanted to know the colour of his underpants. He sounded very uncomfortable and eventually said, "check" which I assumed meant multi coloured so he wasn't going to give a colour. She immediately made a crack about not being able to check as they weren't in the same studio. I thought if the presenter was a man and the guest was a woman he would have got the sack but apparently this was all OK.

Any recommendations for a good radio station to listen to?

opticaltrixie Fri 24-Mar-17 09:52:44

Sometimes I think the interviewers don't go far enough, for example when an interviewee is clearly stonewalling or answering a completely different question that is more in line with their own agenda.

'Media training' for people in public life has become very common. I'm sure the old hands at R4 can smell it a mile off but sometimes they can't be bothered. Yet, there are times when there is no other accountability apart from the Paxman treatment, and as the ordinary woman in the street I love it when I see/hear it.

grannytomine, No.

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