The question is: Having asked people, on his blog, to tell him what we want (what we really, really want), will head of BBC Radio Scotland, Jeff Zycinski, re-instate Lesley Riddoch as a presenter?
Because, of the 60 responses – at the last count, since he put the request up on Tuesday – at least half are appealing for a return of Riddoch. And also there are quite a few not sure if Gary Robertson is right for Good Morning Scotland.
Says Zycinski: “From time to time readers of this diary suggest programme ideas for BBC Radio Scotland. I’m aware that some of these ideas often seem to disappear into a bit of a black hole. That’s not deliberate, but it’s a consequence of our commissioning process which has to have a degree of formality about it so that independent production companies are treated as fairly as those submitting ideas from within the BBC. We can’t really commission too many programmes on an ad hoc basis, although it’s easier to incorporate a listener’s suggestion into an existing strand of programming.
“The formal commissioning round for BBC Radio Scotland will open next month and that’s when we make decisions about the programmes you’ll start to hear on our airwaves from April next year. We make those decisions based on audience research and, of course, the amount of money we have to spend.
“I’d like to invite listeners and diary readers to suggest the kind of programming you feel is missing from the airwaves. In a month or so I’ll be able to tell you if we’ve commissioned any programmes that fill that gap.
“Please don’t use this site to submit formal programme offers, but please do tell us what you, as a listener, would like to hear. A good many of our programme makers already read this page, but I’ll compile any comments and distribute them to all the teams.”
In reply, says, for instance, Stuart Mullen from Prestwick: “Please please please bring back Lesley Riddoch at lunchtime! There doesn’t seem to be any real programme for real issues any more …..Gary in the morning doesn’t cut it. In fact, less Fred (better now Alison is co-presenting) …..more Gary but mid-morning (with Lisa and Ian), Out of Doors – superb, Off the ball -superb, The Radio Cafe – hmmm …..I’ve tried the new format but have defected to Five Live.”
And Hugh, from Bathgate: “Why the hell did yez get rid o Lesley Riddoch? …..She ruffled a few feathers fae time tae time, but she has got a brain that works and a nose for bullshit …..poor Gary Robertson just has a nose that works …..I would like Lesley to be given a full hour to investigate just one subject (preferably of her ain choosing, but interrogating slippery politicians that are tied tae a chair wired tae a lie detector wid suit me) without interruption fae the ever more frequent “adverts” for what’s “coming up later”, etc.