BBC Worldwide CEO Tim Davie, The state of Welsh media, The BBC loses The Voice  

Sherlock, Doctor Who and Dad's Army fans in the UK can buy and download episodes of their favourite programmes - as well as many other "lost gems from the BBC archive" - after the broadcaster launched a new online service: the BBC Store. The site features around 7,000 hours worth of content with more to come over the next year. BBC Worldwide - the commercial arm of the BBC - is behind Store. Steve speaks to CEO Tim Davie about the revenue Store will bring in, and asks him how important exploiting commercial opportunities like this is in securing the BBC's future. Wales is facing a media "market failure" that will leave the nation with a deficit of reliable information, according to a report by the Institute of Welsh Affairs. Cutbacks in spending on broadcast programmes made for Wales, falling numbers of trained newspaper journalists and a weak commercial radio sector present a "major challenge" for the nation, it says. Steve speaks to report author Ruth McElroy and Professor Ian Hargreaves from Cardiff University about the current state of the media in Wales. The BBC has revealed it's lost the singing show 'The Voice' to a rival broadcaster. It said on Saturday that the fifth series on BBC 1, which begins in January, will be the last. It's thought ITV has won the format - although it still hasn't confirmed this. So, what will this mean for the BBC, and for ITV? Steve asks Stephen Price from Broadcast what impact the change will have on ratings, and speaks to former BBC entertainment commissioner Jane Lush about how the BBC's future Saturday night schedule might look. Producer: Katy Takatsuki.

Charlotte Moore, Turkish press crackdown, Concern about BBC independence  

We hear from the new Controller of BBC TV Channels (BBC 1,2 and 4) and iPlayer Charlotte Moore about her vision for the future. She also gives her response to claims (from Culture Secretary John Whittingdale and a recent report from consultants Oliver & Ohlbaum and Oxera Consulting), that BBC TV has become less distinctive. We hear from Sevgi Akarcesme, Editor in Chief of Today's Zaman about the Turkish state takeover of the anti-government newspaper for which she works, and from the BBC's Turkey correspondent Mark Lowen on the context of this crackdown on press freedom. A recent report by Sir David Clementi into the governance and regulation of the BBC recommended that the government appoint about half of a reformed future BBC's operational board. The Director General of the BBC, Lord Hall, said this recommendation could undermine the BBC's independence from government. So where should the balance lie between BBC freedom from government influence and the public's ability, via the democratically elected government, to have a say in how the BBC licence fee is spent? We hear from "the insider's insider" Tim Suter. He's been a BBC TV executive,worked for the broadcasting regulator Ofcom, is on the board of the Press Recognition Panel, advised the House of Lords Communications Select Committee and is one of the leaders of the European Broadcasting Union's project for developing a vision for European Public Service Broadcasting.

BBC savings strategy  

The BBC has announced its proposals for "Delivering Quality First", a strategy to cut twenty percent of the BBC's spending over the next five years. No BBC channels will be scrapped but there are concerns that the savings could overstretch resources and erode the quality of BBC programmes. Steve Hewlett hears about the decisions from the BBC's director of policy and strategy, John Tate. The BBC's proposals include big cuts to local radio and reductions in budgets for network radio although Radio 4 will be protected more than others. Radio critic Gillian Reynolds explains why she fears the cuts to BBC radio are worse than they seem. The Daily Mail's editor in chief Paul Dacre has addressed the Leveson Inquiry into phone hacking, calling for continued self regulation of a press which he said is "vastly better behaved" now than it was when he started working in journalism. The Guardian's media correspondent Dan Sabbagh, who was at the seminar, picks out some of Paul Dacre's main suggestions. According to a report commissioned by the BBC executive, the corporation pays fees of about £10 million a year to Sky to carry BBC channels. The report says this is an unusual set-up as, in many countries, the opposite is true and satellite broadcasters pay terrestrial channels for their programmes. In the light of the recent budget cuts, John Tate tells Steve Hewlett the BBC should stop the payments to Sky and spend the money on local radio and BBC Four instead. Sky says the payments are a fair and proportionate contribution towards its running costs. The producer is Simon Tillotson.

Lord Patten, BBC diversity, Robert Peston  

The former Chairman of the BBC Trust, Lord Patten, says that the independence of the BBC is at risk from parts of the government. Lord Patten, also the former Chairman of the Conservative Party, tells The Media Show that the Culture Secretary John Whittingdale is part of a "juvenile ideological fringe who, if given half a chance, will do the BBC real damage." We hear Lord Patten's own proposals for reforming BBC governance while safeguarding its freedom from political interference. When Robert Peston moved from the BBC to ITV amidst much fanfare, he said it was the chance to front his own politics programme that swung the deal. That programme finally gets under way this Sunday morning. We hear from "Pesto" what to expect and how he's been coping out of the limelight so far. The BBC has announced new diversity targets for ethnic minorities, women and LGBT people. But why, despite repeated campaigns, has it been so difficult for the BBC to live up to its diversity aspirations? And is the current picture on diversity quite as rosy as the BBC suggests? The BBC's Head of Diversity, Inclusion and Succession, Tunde Ogungbesan has been in the job almost a year. We hear from him and from critic of BBC diversity efforts David Lammy MP. Presenter: Steve Hewlett. Producer: Paul Waters.

Paris Attacks Coverage  

On Friday 13th November, Paris became the site of Western Europe's deadliest terrorist attack in over ten years. From the immediate aftermath of the attacks through to the end of the weekend and into this week, the story received heavy coverage across all BBC Radio networks, with BBC Radio 5 Live dedicating a whole day to rolling news about Paris on Saturday. It was a major story, but was BBC Radio's response proportionate? We hear your reaction. As the fight over Britain's membership of the EU intensifies, the upcoming referendum has become ripe territory for BBC Radio 4's satirists. When last Friday's The Now Show took a comedic look at the subject, some listeners were deeply unhappy with what they perceived as a 'staying in' bias. Should the BBC be scrutinising its output for bias already? And is it possible to have truly balanced comedy? Roger Bolton speaks to the BBC's Chief Adviser on Politics, Ric Bailey. This time last year, BBC Radio 5 Live's schedule was overhauled. Three of its biggest presenters, Shelagh Fogerty, Richard Bacon and Victoria Derbyshire, left and, as a consequence or not, so did 10% of the listenership. How has 5 Live fared since? Roger speaks to the network's controller Jonathan Wall to discuss ratings, sports rights and the booming sister station 5 Live Sports Extra. Last week, a brand new DAB station called BBC Music Jazz burst into existence, offering listeners music by all the greats from Gershwin to Gillespie. BBC Music Jazz was a pop up station - a temporary digital channel created in collaboration with Jazz FM. And listeners loved it. We look back at the brief and smoking life of BBC Music's first Jazz pop up. Producer: Katherine Godfrey. A Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4.

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BBC on Sir Cliff coverage; Press Gazette joins IPSO; Who is Rona Fairhead?  

Rona Fairhead, the former FT Group chief executive, has been announced as the Government's preferred choice as BBC Trust chair. Her nomination comes at a challenging time for the BBC, in the run up to Charter renewal and concerns over governance. Steve hears from John Gapper, former colleague, and Associate Editor of the Financial Times, about what she could bring to the role; former Culture Secretary, Tessa Jowell MP, who introduced the BBC Trust as a system of governance, and Phil Harding, former BBC news editor and Controller of Editorial Policy, about what her appointment may mean for the Trust, and the BBC. The BBC and South Yorkshire Police appeared before MPs yesterday, regarding the search of Sir Cliff Richard's home in Berkshire. The police and the BBC cooperated with each other, which ended in the BBC having cameras and a helicopter at the singer's home when the police turned up to raid it. Hundreds of people complained about the footage. However, Chairman of the Commons Home Affairs Committee, Keith Vaz said the BBC had behaved, 'perfectly properly'. Steve Hewlett is joined by the BBC's head of newsgathering, Jonathan Munro, to discuss the operational decisions the organisation made. The Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) will replace the Press Complaints Commission next week. The majority of the UK's national press has elected to be subject to its regulation. The Press Gazette is the latest to sign up, and it's understood that a decision will be made by the Guardian shortly. However, there's still concern that ISPO is not independent enough. Executive Director of Hacked Off Joan Smith, Press Gazette editor Dominic Ponsford, and former Guardian editor and Observer columnist Peter Preston, join Steve. Producer: Katy Takatsuki.

111: The Official Unofficial Podcast of Tumble on BBC One Episode 2  

 This week Jessica and Emma Bailey recap episode two of the BBC’s new show Tumble. We consider these important topics:

What time to arrive at the BBC One studio if you want to be in the live studio audience for Tumble. Would the American post-Olympic tour benefit from hiring the Tumble creators? The tear-jerking, beauty of the “Butterfly” performance by Beth Tweddle featuring some of our favorite junior elite gymnasts from the British squad. Which gymnasts (hint, Simone Biles) should wear Lucy Mecklenburgh’s green leotard from this week’s show? We speculate on the veracity of the incompetence demonstrated by the celebrities during their practices. Does Sarah Harding have poor cardio or is she just unaware that her mouth is hanging open throughout her performance? Claudia Fragapane gave great advice and the English champions from the commonwealth games Was the romance storyline between Kristin Allen and Bobby Lockwood, just a ruse to throw us off of the H Watkins and John Partridge, romance? Natalia Ilienko shed tears after the show. Determine that everything in life should come down to a “Vault Off” Nastia’s triceps and gorgeous arm muscles. Alex cuts off Louis Smith and Jessica is enraged! Is the quality of this show greatly improved because of the variety of professionals from different gymnastics disciplines — acrobatics, circus, artistic etc. Two contestants were members of the Royal Ballet - not normal humans, these are super athletes. We predict Amelle will be the last woman standing.

Jenny Pinches blog on Tumble. Danusia Francis has been blogging about Tumble on her blog as well. Check out all of Emma's nerdtastic adventures in gymnastics fandom at MoominWhiskey Meets.

Find a gymnastics program in the US on Jessica's website

Find the gymnastics program that's right for you with a video introduction to all of the different disciplines of the sport.

LeoCards, iconic leotard postcards and posters by Meg here.

Find out more about BBC One's Tumble on the official website. Watch full episodes on the BBC One YouTube Channel. If you are outside of the UK and want to watch Tumble on BBC One, you can use here or FreeTVCafe.nehere.  Use at your own risk. There are a ton of play buttons that will automatically download crap onto your computer. Be extremely careful not to click on an advertisement. Less risky is using a VPN like Zenmate or GetUsVPN.


108: The Commonwealth Games 102: Classic Episode with Louis Smith 107: Acro World Champions Kristin Allen & Michael Rodrigues 106: Biles and Ross Dominate the 2014 US Secret Classic 82: Cottbus, English Championships & Danusia Francis finally gets a 10 on beam! Episode 22: Beth Tweddle 99: Princess Catherine Lyons and Coach Rochelle Douglas Episode 20: Jenni Pinches

The green Egyptian scarab leotard Lucy Mecklenburgh wore on episode two of Tumble on BBC One.


Watch this week's playlist on YouTube here.


The crisis at the BBC - special one-hour edition  

The BBC management was already in trouble over the way it struggled to handle revelations about Jimmy Savile. It was then thrown into chaos when Newsnight broadcast a child abuse survivor's story, pointing at a senior Conservative politician, that turned out to be completely false. It was a failure of the BBC's most prized possession - its journalism. The new Director General resigned and the Chairman of the BBC Trust Lord Patten is in danger of following him out of the door. So how did the BBC get it so wrong? What is the future of investigative journalism at the BBC and elsewhere? And who - or what - next for the top job? Joining Steve Hewlett for an hour long Media Show special are Richard Tait a former member of the BBC's board of governors and more recently a member of the Trust, Sian Kevill former Editor of Newsnight,Editor , Richard Peel, a former Controller of Communications for BBC News for 10 years up until 1998, veteran investigative journalist John Ware, Tim Suter of Perspective Consulting but formerly of Ofcom, the DCMS and at one time a senior BBC executive. Professor Stewart Purvis whose past roles have included: Partner for Content and Standards at Ofcom, Chief Executive and Editor in Chief at ITN. Claire Enders of Enders Analysis and Richard Sambrook -the one-time director of BBC news who lost his job as a result of the last major crisis to hit BBC News - the Hutton Enquiry and after a stint running the world service is now head of journalism at Cardiff University. The producer is Simon Tillotson.

Lord Puttnam on BBC White Paper, Women on air, BBC online cuts  

The BBC has announced it's scaling back and closing a range of online services - including BBC Food and Newsbeat websites - in order to save £15m. The proposed closure of the BBC Food website quickly drew widespread criticism and an online petition against the move raised over 100,000 signatures in one day. James Harding, Director of BBC News & Current Affairs, joins Steve Hewlett to explain the changes. David Puttnam, whose credits include the Oscar-winning Chariots of Fire, has spent the last few months fronting an alternative inquiry into the future of public service broadcasting. Its aim is to look at the 'nature, purpose and role of public service television today and in the future' and the findings will be published at the end of June. Lord Puttnam has been opposed to any suggestion that the government BBC Charter White Paper could reduce the size and scope of BBC. So, with the proposals now published, what does he make of them? He shares his concerns over governance and thoughts on Ofcom's new involvement with Steve Hewlett. New research shows the BBC News at Ten features the fewest number of women experts compared to other news programmes, booking nearly 4 men for every woman - just a 3% improvement compared to May 2014. It's part of findings from City University, which periodically reviews the numbers of women featured on air. This year's research has shown some improvements; ITV News at Ten, despite being similar to the BBC in terms of male/female ratio, has managed to increase its female representation by 27%. So what is the picture of gender equality across news outlets, and why is it so hard to get women on air? Steve Hewlett discusses with report author Prof. Lis Howell. Producer: Katy Takatsuki.

BBC's annual report, Chris Bryant on the 'BBC under siege', Alan Whicker award.  

The BBC's Director-General Lord Hall has said it is up to licence fee payers to determine the size and shape of the BBC. It's Annual Report, out yesterday, shows how spending and staff numbers rose, despite cost cutting at the corporation. The Chairman of the BBC Rona Fairhead also said there are likely to be further cuts in "scope," prompting speculation that services would be cut. Steve Hewlett talks to Professor Lis Howell, Director of Broadcasting at City University, and the BBC's former Head of Strategy Mark Oliver, about the health of the BBC, where savings may be made, and how the corporation is positioning itself ahead of Charter renewal. The Shadow Culture Secretary has warned that speculative government plans to scale back the BBC would see it becoming a 'national irrelevance by 2027'. Chris Bryant used a major speech last night to say the 'BBC is under siege' from the government, ahead of a Green Paper on the future of the corporation out on Thursday. Steve Hewlett talks to Chris Bryant about his role as 'critical friend', why he thinks it's important the BBC remains culturally significant, and what he would do to improve the organisation. The presenter and documentary-maker Alan Whicker was best known for Whicker's World, a combination of travelogue and social commentary. In one of the longest running series in British television history he featured a range of people from despots, jet setters to eccentrics. A new foundation set up in his name has launched three documentary filmmaker awards - one for first time documentary makers over 50. Jane Ray, Consultation Artistic Director of the Whicker's World Foundation talks to Steve about the awards, and his style of documentary making.


Roger Bolton looks at the battle for control of language. More than 120 MPs have written a letter to the BBC's Director General calling for an end to use of the name "Islamic State" in news reporting. David Cameron is among those calling for a change of terminology, saying that many Muslims recoil from the name. Radio 4 and World Service listeners tell us what they think the BBC should call the group and consider whether a change in terminology would weaken Islamic State, or weaken the BBC's impartiality. There are also concerns about the terminology used by the BBC when reporting immigration. Roger investigates whether listeners' concerns are about inaccuracy or the potential for stoking animosity. The biggest job in BBC Radio Comedy - the host of The News Quiz - has gone to Miles Jupp. But what do our listeners think of the new appointment, and can Miles fill Sandi Toksvig's tiny shoes? Miles is a household name for Radio 4 listeners but BBC Radio is also on the lookout for new talent with the 2015 BBC Radio New Comedy Awards. Roger speaks to Marcus Brigstocke and Angela Barnes to find out what it takes to make it in the world of radio comedy. And why, why, why, did Tom Jones' song Delilah offend one of Feedback's listeners? Roger speaks with Jeff Smith, Head of Music at BBC Radio 2 and 6 Music, to find out how the BBC approaches older songs covering potentially controversial themes. Producer: Katherine Godfrey A Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4.

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Race and TV viewing, The BBC impact on the market, Should Ofcom replace the BBC Trust?  

The Secretary of State John Whittingdale has been sharing his views of the BBC at the Oxford Media Conference. We hear what he had to say about BBC distinctiveness and the impact the corporation has on the market and on its commercial competitors. The BBC's head of strategy and digital James Purnell then gives his verdict on the Secretary of State's vision so far. And Sir David Clementi has carried out a review of the governance and regulation of the BBC. Former chairman of the BBC Trust, Sir Michael Lyons discusses in details of his recommendations - in particular that the BBC Trust should be scrapped and a new unitary board created with oversight by the broadcasting regulator Ofcom. Plus reaction from Richard Tait - former BBC Governor and Trustee - and one time editor of Newsnight and editor in Chief at ITN and Professor Lis Howell - head of broadcasting at City University. And, new research suggests that ethnicity is a significant factor in the television programming people watch and that the top twenty most viewed shows are very different for an ethnic minority audience compared to the country at large. We hear from one of the report's authors.

Independent moves online, Editor-in-chief of Huffington Post UK, Genre-led divisions at the BBC  

After thirty years, the Independent and the Independent on Sunday are to end their print editions next month - although they'll continue online. In addition, sister paper i has been sold to Johnston Press for £24 million. The Independent was selling more than 400,000 copies a day at its peak in the late 1980s, but its current paid circulation is around 56,000. Steve Hewlett talks to two key decision makers involved in the change; Amol Rajan, Editor of The Independent and Steve Auckland, Group CEO of ESI Media, which owns all three titles. Today, we also hear from the Editor in Chief of the Huffington Post UK. The British incarnation of the online platform founded in the US in 2005 is now just one of legion 'digital native' content organisations, credited with playing a part in the demise of news in print. Today, Huffington Post UK will be guest edited by the Duchess of Cambridge. To discuss how this and other innovations might also raise the profile of the Huffington Post UK, Steve Hewlett is joined by Editor in Chief Stephen Hull. BBC 3 has this week become an online-only platform. It follows reports that BBC 3 might merge with Radio 1 to form a new 'BBC Youth' brand, and that the BBC Director General Tony Hall may soon announce plans for a corporation-wide restructuring into genre-led divisions, such as BBC Inform & BBC Entertain, rather than channels. Steve is joined by Lorraine Heggessey, former Controller of BBC 1 and Tim Suter, media consultant & founding partner in Ofcom, to discuss the pros and cons of reshaping BBC content in this way. Producer: Katy Takatsuki.


Roger Bolton explores religious broadcasting on radio. As the UK becomes more spiritually diverse and increasingly secular, how should the BBC approach religious news and worship? Since its birth in the 1920s, the Corporation has always produced religious content, with programmes focussed primarily on Christian worship during the early days. Ninety years later, the religious makeup of the country is far more diverse and complex, so is the BBC keeping up with the times when it comes to spiritual matters? We ask listeners whether they think religion still has a place on the BBC, and how a national broadcaster should reflect faith and worship across different religions. For some Feedback listeners, religious output is extremely important - for others, it is outdated and inappropriate. Roger discusses these views with Religious Affairs correspondent Caroline Wyatt, Editor for Religion and Ethics in BBC Regions, Ashley Peatfield, and Head of Radio for BBC Religion and Ethics, Christine Morgan. The subject of Religion is not just confined to specialist programming. Outside of people's personal worship, religion plays a significant role in social and political affairs both on the international and domestic stage. So how well does the BBC tackle religion when it comes to news and current affairs? Islam is the fastest growing religion in the UK, but while coverage and debate around the Islamic faith is fairly common on Radio 4, Muslim worship is rarely heard. So how well does wider BBC Radio serve its Muslim listeners? Feedback visits BBC Radio Sheffield, which runs Ramadan programmes during the Holy month. Producer: Karen Pirie A Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4.

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On this week's programme with Roger Bolton: the BBC's Moscow Correspondent Sarah Rainsford on reporting from Putin's Russia, the Trust's review of BBC music radio and Radio 4's Listeners' Elections. It's less than 50 days to go until this year's General Election and BBC Newsrooms are delving into the big issues of the economy and immigration. But now, Radio 4 wants to break down the election issues that matter most to its audience. The station is launching 'The Listener's Election'. It calls for listeners to submit stories that put the election campaigns into a more personal context. The BBC's Political Correspondent Chris Mason, who's behind the project, tells Roger how he hopes to reflect the UK's key concerns. Should Radio 1 and 1xtra be making moves towards including more speech in their output? Does Radio 2 need to vary its specialist music programming? And is Radio 3 starting to sound like Classic FM? These are some of the points raised in the BBC Trust's review of all six music stations. The findings of the review have now been published and Roger talks to BBC Trustee Nick Prettejohn about the review. The journalists' lobby group Reporters Without Borders ranks Russia at 152nd out of 176 countries in its Press Freedom Index and the Russian authorities seldom if ever talk to foreign press reporters, so how hard is it for the BBC's Russian correspondent to report accurately? Sarah Rainsford talks about the challenges of her job. And the BBC's School Report set a group of Sussex school children the challenge of turning a newspaper headline into a radio drama. We get a sneak preview of a Royal Pain in the Parkside which finds Prince Harry pursuing a new career - on a caravan site. Producer: Will Yates A Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4.

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Is anyone at the BBC listening? This week we'll be talking to John Humphrys about whether liberal bias at the BBC has put it out of step with public opinion, and whether anything is changing. And there's a tale of sabotage and sacrilege in a Lincolnshire abbey. In an interview with this week's Radio Times, John Humphrys admitted the BBC had, in the past, been wrong in its coverage of immigration and Europe. "We weren't sufficiently sceptical - that's the most accurate phrase - of the pro-European case. We bought into the European ideal". And he went on to say that the BBC has been "grotesquely over-managed". Roger Bolton asks John what has changed and whether BBC presenters should criticise their employer. Roger's also been brushing up his Welsh this week to speak to the Editor of Programmes for BBC Radio Cymru, Betsan Powys. Following a dispute with Welsh musicians and a fall in listener figures, BBC Radio Cymru, the only national Welsh language radio station, decided it needed to start listening to its audience. After months of conversations with listeners, Radio Cymru has re-launched with a dramatic shake-up to its schedules. Will it work? And will they still be listening now they've made the changes? And our quest to find the very first bells broadcast on the BBC takes us to a small town in the Midlands to hear a listeners' fascinating tale of a nefarious plot to foil the broadcasters. Producer: Will Yates A Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4.

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Scaremongering or top notch investigative journalism? We hear your views on the BBC's horsemeat coverage. Roger Bolton asks Sheila Dillon, food journalist and presenter of BBC Radio 4's Food Programme, and Jeremy Hayes, the editor of Farming Today and the Food Programme to address your questions and finds out about their approach to covering this complex story. Also in this week's Feedback, is it ok to make jokes about Jimmy Savile on the BBC anymore, whether they are new jokes or from the BBC archives? Last weekend, BBC Radio 4 Extra aired an impression of Jimmy Savile from the 1980s in an archive programme - twice. We find out how this happened and ask David Jordan, the BBC's Director of Editorial Policy and Standards, does the BBC censor the past? 7 million of us wake up to it on a weekly basis, so when the Today programme failed to appear last Monday, it's no wonder many Feedback listeners were thrown off kilter. As a result of industrial action, BBC Radio 4 replaced its usual news programmes like Today, The World at One and PM, with a selection of programmes including a 45 minute documentary about Pope Benedict XVI, re-runs of Soul Music and Loose Ends. We ask Radio 4's Head of Scheduling, Tony Pilgrim, how do you (temporarily) replace Humphrys and co.? And when is bad language ok? Well, according to our inbox, when it's in Radio 4's broadcast of V. by Tony Harrison. The swearword-laden poem received its first ever radio broadcast last Monday, 25 years after it caused a media storm when it was first broadcast on Channel 4. Plus.we have a listener story to warm the cockles. Producer: Kate Taylor A Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4.

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Head of BBC Studios, Top Gear, Geordie Shore  

The creation of the commercial production division of the BBC, BBC Studios, will lead to 100 per cent competition between in house and independent producers; BBC producers will be free to pitch to other broadcasters, and external producers can compete for more content on the BBC. Mark Linsey has recently been appointed as Director of BBC Studios. He talks to Steve Hewlett about how the new model will benefit the market, when tendering out will begin, and why he thinks it will mean better value for money for licence fee payers. More than a year after Jeremy Clarkson left Top Gear, the BBC's long-running motoring show is back. The first episode of the new series aired on Sunday and garnered 4.4 million viewers. Critics noted that this was below the audience achieved by the 2015 series but Chris Evans and the BBC were quick to point out that in terms of share, the re-launch surpassed the first episode of the previous series. Joining Steve to give their verdict on the post-Clarkson incarnation of Top Gear is Mark Wells, former Controller of Entertainment at ITV, and Quentin Letts, critic and sketch writer of The Daily Mail. Reality TV success Geordie Shore is celebrating its 5th birthday. With 12 seasons under its belt, it now has more than a million viewers and 16 million followers across social media, making it one of MTV's most successful programmes. Following a group of friends living together in Newcastle, it's known for showing drunken antics, rows and sex scenes, leading to controversy - it's been labelled by some as bordering on pornographic. Steve Hewlett talks to Kerry Taylor, Viacom's Senior Vice President of youth and music and an executive producer of Geordie Shore, about why the programme works so well on MTV. Producer: Katy Takatsuki.

Local Radio controversy, BBC World Service funding, New comedy double act The Pin  

Roger Bolton airs audience views on BBC radio output, including a controversy in local radio, new funding for the World Service, and the fresh comedy duo The Pin. Earlier this month, presenter Iain Lee hosted a controversial discussion about Christianity and LGBT rights on his BBC Three Counties radio breakfast show. The heated interviews divided listeners and Iain Lee has now left the station. Campaigns across social media, led by fans and LGBT rights groups, have since demanded Iain Lee's reinstatement, but to what extent should a BBC presenter be allowed to take sides in a debate? The Government has announced that it will provide the BBC World Service with an additional £85 million a year, as part of the National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review. In the review, the World Service is cited as a way to expand UK 'soft power' and will be required to spend the money expanding services in key global regions. While this additional funding is welcomed by many World Service listeners, others question whether the BBC is becoming an arm of British foreign policy. After ten years on air, Radio 4's Lives in a Landscape is coming to an end. Roger Bolton speaks to the Presenter Alan Dein to look back a decade of remarkable stories told by seemingly everyday people. And BBC Radio has been home to a long line of comedy double acts, from Morecambe and Wise to Mitchell and Webb. Following in that tradition is a new comedy duo called The Pin. Their debut Radio 4 series has just drawn to a close and was enjoyed by many listeners. Roger Bolton speaks to The Pin, aka Ben Ashenden and Alexander Owen, to talk double acts and radio influences. Producer: Katherine Godfrey A Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4.

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BBC Studios, Ad-blocking, Female tech journalists, The Voice  

The BBC's latest submission to the Government on the Charter Review consultation includes further detail on BBC Studios. The proposal removes the key guarantees and quotas for BBC in-house programmes but establishes BBC Studios as a separate entity, to maintain the BBC's tradition of programme making. To discuss the implications for the UK's independent TV production sector at large, Steve is joined by Cat Lewis, CEO of Nine Lives Media and Debbie Manners, MD Keo Films and former Chair of Pact Council. Axel Springer, the owner of the German tabloid Bild, has become the first major German publisher to insist that users of ad-blocking software either pay a monthly fee, or turn off the ad-blockers before viewing its content. Earlier this month, Apple launched its first operating system permitting users to download ad-blocking software from its app store. Media Editor of The Times, Beth Rigby, joins Steve. New research shows 20% of female technology journalists surveyed said they had disguised their gender, name or published anonymously, to avoid abuse. Catherine Adams, freelance journalist & senior lecturer in Communications at Nottingham Trent joins Steve to discuss the conclusions of her new research. And Holly Brockwell, Editor in Chief of Gadgette, a technology website aimed at women, talks about the sexist abuse she has experienced in the course of her work. The BBC have issued a statement denying that it has axed The Voice, saying: "We are in discussions about its future, but we won't get into a bidding war." Reports from The Daily Mirror had suggested the BBC had dropped the programme and that it could appear on ITV. The Guardian's Tara Conlan joins Steve to discuss the wrangling over this Saturday night talent show. Producer: Katy Takatsuki.

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