Bunhill: Strange news

LISTENERS to London News Radio, the successor to the much-loved LBC, may already be tired of hearing that Reuters is the biggest news agency in the world with 15,000 correspondents worldwide ready to bring the news 'as it happens'. Apparently the ads for the station's owner are okay 'as long as they're factual', according to the Radio Authority.

But they may well be more worried by the quality of the news coverage. This has a distinct air of nature imitating art. Indeed, the Authority may well feel that LNR is nearer to Global Newslink TV, as portrayed in Drop The Dead Donkey than to a real news station.

The day after the launch, for reasons best known to itself, the station delayed for some hours the news that its rival, Richard Branson, had won a radio licence in London. Since then, it has regaled its audience within the M25 with regular weather forecasts for Scotland, France and Italy. And last week's funnies included the failure to get the name of the Guardian journalist who broke the latest cash-for-questions row (David Hencke, not Peter, as misreported in at least four bulletins). The station then interrupted live coverage of the sleaze debate from Westminster for a traffic report.