News Presenter Lorraine Kelly (third right) stands with 'Dagenham Women' members of the former machinists plant at Ford Motor Company in Dagenham

They got up from their sewing machines and walked out on strike more than forty years ago, but today the Dagenham women machinists who fought for equal pay were awarded the ‘Good Housekeeping’ Women of the Year Outstanding Achievement Award.

Echoes of the Moor's last sigh

the week in radio

Gay newspaper to change its lifestyle

THE Pink Paper, the only national weekly gay newspaper, is having a facelift to transform it from worthy political campaigner to trendy all-round magazine. But before the new-look mag has even hit the streets, the change is causing controversy.

Radio: A marriage of twisted minds

The week on radio

MacKenzie teams up with Murdoch again for radio venture

KELVIN MACKENZIE, the infamous former Sun editor, has teamed up with his old proprietor, Rupert Murdoch, in his bid for the commercial radio station, Talk Radio.

RADIO: Dogger? Fisher? The Louise Woodward trial?

Last weekend I had a surreal experience late at night with R4. I switched on as the mantra of the shipping forecast was being recited, but questioningly, sadly, like a roll-call of the dead: "Dogger? Fisher? German Bight?" and - how creepy - no further information about those romantic sea-areas was vouchsafed: they were listed and left, unweathered. Then, with no warning, came brisk advice about administering medicine to a pet: mix it with butter and put it on the animal's nose. Just as I was thinking suppose it's a goldfish, another voice described a winter trip on the outside of a coach, to spend Christmas at a family mansion. Then there was some Chopin.

The hotel janitor in Tunisia who didn't have us in stitches

Lorraine Kelly's old passport dates back to 1980 when she was a reporter on a local Scottish newspaper and won a holiday for two in Rio. She says: "I was doing this story about the British Heart Foundation and decided to raise funds for them. I had discos and jumble sales, but I also roller-skated from the heart of East Kilbride to the heart of Midlothian and took some pensioners to the seaside. There was a prize of a week in Rio for the person who raised money in the most ridiculous ways. I took my mum and it was great. The only thing I was uneasy about was that from one side of our hotel you could see the Copacabana beach where the girls were stunning and there was a lot of money. On the other side there were poor folk living under corrugated iron. I couldn't really get my head round that."

Radio: Tony, John and Paddy: get thee to a nunnery

One of his batty listeners wrote to Terry Wogan asking where to get a pair of these election earrings everyone is talking about. Such ornaments might sell, but you can't help thinking that election earplugs would do better. On the radio, the principal soapbox is Today (R4). It is consistently contentious, whatever the season, but in what is known as the run-up to an election it becomes a parody of itself. Incidentally, there is absolutely no running involved, unless it be on the spot. Every little issue is masticated aggres- sively for hours until, attenuated like very old chewing gum, a tiny blob of worthless matter has been stretched to grey, brittle, tasteless transparency.

Do Americans understand irony? Let's have a heated debate!

Even Roy and Horace couldn't save Mrs Merton in Las Vegas. By Andy Harries

The Best Of: Hype Alert

Anna Friel, Liam Gallagher Vic Reeves and Anthea Turner are among the nominees for this year's Spectacle Wearer of the Year Award, to be presented on Tuesday. Past winners, who demonstrated the "positive aspects of wearing spectacles", have included Lorraine Kelly and Sir Cliff. The Jarvis Cocker campaign starts here

MEDIAFREAK

THE BYTES THAT BITE

High on Heartbreak Hill with a happy ending

Sport on TV

The politicians take over the asylum

Nicholas Timmins examines whether the Government's new approach to care for the seriously mentally ill will work

GMTV wins reprieve after improvement in services: Better news coverage helps station described by watchdog as 'poor' escape fine. Rhys Williams reports

GMTV has avoided a possible pounds 2m fine and the shortening of its 10- year broadcasting licence after the Independent Television Commission found yesterday that it had made a 'demonstrable improvement' in its services.

Media: Switching on, off and over

IN ITS first six months, GMTV lost pounds 268 every minute it was on the air. Advertisers wondered about a station whose younger viewers were fleeing in droves to Channel 4's The Big Breakfast. Whatever costs are cut, ITV's early- morning company cannot be healthy until audiences rise.
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