At last, a chance of some BBC feedback

Dear Chris Dunkley,

I hope you don't mind my writing to you openly like this, but the last time I wrote to you at Feedback you never got my letter.

Feedback is the splendid Radio 4 programme on which you, Chris Dunkley, allow radio listeners to fulminate at each other and at the BBC (and sometimes shower praise). (Sorry if this sounds a bit like Sue Lawley ... "So, Chris Dunkley, what's your next record ...?")

Occasionally, when enough complaints accumulate, you will wheel in a bigwig to defend the BBC (and sometimes admit blame). It would be nice to think that Feedback also caused the BBC to think again sometimes, though I don't remember this ever happening.

Now, though I love the BBC dearly, I am maddened by some of its decisions, and I am above all maddened by the way Jazz Notes has been shifted to a remote ghetto.

This programme goes out most weekdays and presents half an hour of excellent music, reviews and interviews. Unfortunately, although it used to go out at a reasonable time, it now goes out at 12.30am on Radio 3, when most people including me are unconscious. Although Nicholas Kenyon, Radio 3's boss, has never admitted this, the only reason for choosing this time must be to lose listeners so that he can turn round later and say, "I'm afraid jazz listening figures are going down, so it's hardly worth broadcasting as much as we do." No other reasons bear scrutiny.

I had been toying with the idea of writing to Feedback about this when a stroke of luck gave me a good reason to do so. I had managed to tape an edition of Jazz Notes to listen to later, a solo concert by the wonderful Scottish pianist Dave Newton, as I remember. I listened to it and found a curious thing. Somewhere in the middle of his pianistics, a voice suddenly broke in announcing that a great new record was coming right up ...! Not part of the Dave Newton recital, I realised, but Radio 2 being broadcast by mistake on the Radio 3 frequency. It only lasted 10 seconds or so, but still, it was a cock-up by any standards.

And I had it on tape. So I smugly sent the tape off to Feedback, saying that if Radio 3 was going to put out jazz at a time when only burglars and foxes were listening, they might at least try to broadcast it properly - or didn't they think it mattered if nobody but burglars and foxes were listening? I wrapped it up safely, marked it Feedback at PO Box 2100 in central London and sent if off.

Six weeks later I had the tape sent back to me by the Royal Mail saying that there was no such PO box number. This was plainly ridiculous. So now I had another letter to write, a letter of protest to the Royal Mail, complaining that they did not deliver my letters of protest to other people.

After a lot of head-scratching, the Royal Mail told me that there was a now defunct PO Box 2100 out in east London somewhere, and my package had probably been rerouted there and then rerouted back to me. It was, they said, a case of human error. They were very sorry, but too bad.

I was very sorry too. I had missed my chance. I am now sorry every week that I don't write to Feedback. I was even sorrier this week, because there were some things on Feedback that I liked a lot. I liked the man who wrote in and said that until the Today programme gave up its addiction to fake confrontations, it would be unlistenable. I liked the way BBC representative Ian Gardhouse rose to listeners' complaints that Darius Guppy shouldn't have been allowed on Midweek with a magnificent address on free speech (without actually saying that Radio 4 listeners can be a prissy, namby-pamby lot sometimes).

And I liked the woman who objected to a BBC announcer saying The Mall as if it rhymed with "all".

What I didn't like was when you, Chris Dunkley, commented that it was odd that Mall was the only word in English ending "-all" which didn't rhyme with "all". I didn't like this because it set me off trying to prove you wrong.

This sort of thing can waste hours. You know how you say to yourself, "There must be another word not rhyming with "all"! And you go crazy trying to think of one. I've been going crazy trying to think of one. Fall, stall, thrall, gall, wall ...

In fact, I had given up when my wife said to me: "I think today I shall ..."

"That's it!" I cried. "Shall!"

"What about `shall'?" she said.

"Doesn't rhyme with `all'!"

"No," she said. "It doesn't. So ...?"

"So I have something to write to Feedback about."

" How about `shall'? And why is Jazz Notes on so late?"

I would have written using a stamp and envelope, but that doesn't seem to work, so I hope you don't mind me writing like this.

Yours etc.

Sport
The giant banner displayed by Legia Warsaw supporters last night
football
News
i100(and it's got nothing to do with the Great British Bake Off)
News
news
Sport
footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
News
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
people
Arts and Entertainment
Tulisa as a judge on the X Factor in 2012
tvLouis Walsh confirms star's return
Life and Style
fashionClothes shop opens on Bill Clinton Boulevard in Pristina
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
News
i100
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Junior Analyst - Graduate - 6 Month fixed term contract

£17000 - £20000 Per Annum Bonus, Life Insurance + Other Benefits: Clearwater P...

Project Manager - Pensions

£32000 - £38000 Per Annum Bonus, Life Insurance + Other Benefits: Clearwater P...

Project Coordinator - Cisco Partner - £110 p/d

£110 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Project Coordinator (SC Cleared), Cisco Go...

KYC Analyst, Birmingham - £200-£250 p/d

£200 - £250 per day + competitive: Orgtel: KYC Analyst, Key Banking Client, Bi...

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone