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Friday, October 31, 2008

I know you've been wondering what I think about Manuelgate

I like Paul Gambaccini but he does reach for the extra colour before it's called for, likening Lesley Douglas to Achilles on Five Live this morning. What he has to say is broadly very true: that only presenters who "drive the desk" have the radio professional's approach to their work or awareness of their responsibilities to their audience.

Somewhere in Brand and Ross's minds must have been the thought that somebody else would save them from themselves by cutting the controversial bits out, as they would undoutedly have done in a pre-recorded TV programme. Nobody did.

I've talked to a bunch of people in radio this week, in the BBC and elsewhere. Their view boils down to this: if you hire people like Brand you must at least try to produce them. If you can't control them because you're 25 and this is your first job, you pass it up the line to somebody who can. If you're going to use the word "fuck" in a pre-recorded item on any BBC service it has to be signed off by a senior executive. That's literally "signed off".

All the stuff about the Daily Mail, Mosley, how much Ross is paid, how many people complained, the effect on the licence fee, the eventual fate of "edgy comedy" and all the rest is just a distraction., no matter which side of the argument you're coming from.