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October 7, 2011 / mintcustard

Local radio for local people.

Living where I do you’d expect me to be a bastion of the home counties. If I were older you would think I’d favour a Jaeger twin set and stout sensible shoes. However, if you cut a slice through me you’d find Thames water coursing through my veins, my very life’s blood.  I am a Londoner.

Imagine my horror this morning when I heard that BBC London has to make a 25% cut and the programmes that are the best of the best are the ones facing the axe. Danny Baker is a genius. He is one of the very few things my teenager and I agree on. We inhabit the treehouse together and I am grateful for it. I have come to see she too has a very quirky sense of humour and for a brief time each day both she and I smile, smirk, giggle and sometimes guffaw as one.

My girls will also indulge my need to listen to Robert Elms. They know not to change the station when he is on. As a south Londoner my fear of crossing the river has lessened as I discover more about “the north”. I still don’t think I could live there but I’m far more willing to visit!

Local radio has championed local people. I am, and never will be, Nigella or Delia. My profile will never be raised by fronting a  TV show. I truly do have a face for radio. It was a delight then to discuss my first book, School dinners, with Robert on his show. Educated in London and fed by school dinnerladies the memories I had were common to many and Robert’s show gave me the chance to share my feelings and very importantly hear that others agreed. I did also feed him some butterscotch tart which isn’t perhaps the easiest thing to eat on the radio. Sorry Robert.

I don’t watch much T.V. For a start I have two teenagers so control of the remote is always a moot point. I also grew up in a house where the spoken work was valued highly. I can work with the radio on, cook, and if I have to clean.

London is a magnificent city, diverse and diverting. Despite the fact that I am middle aged, white and middle class I can hear the opinions of each and every type of Londoner there might be. I think I am fair and unbiased but often my ideas are challenged by the opinions I hear and the reasons why people feel the way they do. THIS IS A GOOD THING!

There will. I am sure, be people all over the land who are as horrified as I am that local radio is to be tampered with. Don’t do it BBC.

There are as many ways of becoming a Londoner as there are Londoners themselves. London infects us and unites us. We ARE different, and our local radio must reflect this!

One final word from my girls. They have just got up and one asked what the radio discussion was about. When I explained they both said “No!” Be careful BBC radio bosses, if the teenagers can be brought out of their stupor to protest you may have a real fight on your hands.




Leave a Comment
  1. Sarah, Maison Cupcake / Oct 7 2011 12:08 pm

    Hear hear, I totally agree. I feel like part of me has died inside hearing what they want to do to this amazing station.

  2. david / Oct 7 2011 12:27 pm

    I agree, these cuts will tear at the heart of the community

  3. cathy / Oct 7 2011 9:55 pm

    totally agree, am really upset as i am addicted to Robert Elms!

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