I seldom listen to bbc r4 BH on Sunday mornings (ie ‘Broadcastig House’ programme at 0900) as I’m generally a r3 man but before ten this morning i tuned in and was staggered as not one of the assembled clever people could state the birdsong recording being played multiple times was Turdus merula … the blackbird!! Not one, not even the bossy sounding know all elder middle class woman that reeked of tweeds and sensible shoes!
Has none of these people walked in a park particularly at dusk, or heard birdsong from their own garden, or their grandparents garden, or the blackbird echoing along the street after sunset? Has none taken any notice of birdsong, apparently not. So can we fear that as we lose species and populations that these clever folk, loosely labelled the chattering classes will have no idea what they have lost?
I’m bloody annoyed at this actually the more I think about it.
A fortnight ago March 26th p.20 a Times article as mentioned a few posts back has a new Controller James Purnell that to save time / money interviewers are ordered not to read the books or publications of the people they have for interview! Purnell is keen to broadcast to a younger audience, including bbc r3 and 4 output. In the same article Michael Buerk complains of the excessive level of private education within the bbc, but surely i would think its never been any different. Its oversimplistic to grief at such a thing, what i’d rather have however is the best, the brightest, the educated. George Orwell / Eric Arthur Blair was an old Etonian, but then again he was an extraordinary person, enigmatic, highly inventive and original. He railed against convention and the accepted status and stratification of the classes.
But i do not want dumbed down r3 and r4 output, please reserve that for bbc r1 and 2 and whatever other stations.