A Welcome Voice

Louis Barfe

For some time now, i’ve had a rule. Never ever listen to LBC. Partly because I was stitched up a treat by the godawful Iain Dale when I went to plug one of my books on his show, and partly because it appears to have become a cordon insanitaire for the extreme right, with the ghastly Nigel Farage being given his own show.

Yes, they’ve got James O’Brien (weekdays, 10am-1pm), but as most of his highlights are shared virally online, i’ve felt no strong compulsion to break my rule. Also, he’s looked increasingly like a fig leaf over the toxicity of much of the output.

However, I fear that I will have to relax my boycott from September, now that Eddie Mair is leaving the BBC to join the commercial broadcaster. Mair’s statement on his departure was typical of the man’s humour:
‘I realise the BBC will close down without me and there will be a run on the pound, but I can’t stay in an organisation that refused to let me host Songs of Praise,’ he said. ‘I bought a jacket and everything.’

In contrast, the statement from LBC on him joining them contained a buttoned-up corporate quote from Mair that read nothing like he has ever said or would say. I hope this won’t be a reflection of his LBC show.

I must note some sad news from Norwich, as BBC local radio stations in the east of england are losing their Saturday night jazz show. Since Paul Barnes resigned over meagre pay and the lack of management appreciation a couple of months ago, the fort has been held admirably by Anna Perrott.

like Barnes, who is a saxophonist, Perrott is a jazz musician herself – playing trumpet in big bands – so she knows what she’s doing. A crying shame she is not being allowed to continue doing it.