It’s nice to be noticed

A pleasant surprise to see this status on Twitter this morning from the BBC Radio 4 blog:

I’ve been doing weekly radio previews for a while now as part of the Turn off the TV section of our TV blog. Infuriatingly, this week’s has been, I think, one of the weakest: not helped by a computer crash yesterday corrupting my original draft of this week’s piece.

Still, if it brings in a few new readers it can only be a good thing. And compliments are rare, so I shall be savouring this one for a while.

Kevin Greening, RIP

When it comes to [Kevin Greening](’s sense of humour, one excerpt from his radio career will always stick in my mind. At the time, he was presenting the mid-morning show on [Xfm](, and a woman had emailed in to ask if the webcam was working. “She says, ‘When I click on the webcam icon, all I can see is a little pink square.’ … I think it’s working fine.”

Dry, subtle, not appreciated by everyone, but adored by those on his wavelength, Kev was a natural DJ who loved the medium with all his heart. I’d been a fan of his weekend shows on Radio 1, and when he popped up on Xfm in what (if memory serves) started off as holiday cover and just carried on until a new scheduler decided on a permanent presenter for the slot, I was really chuffed to have his humour permeate into my working day.

I entered a couple of competitions on his show — most notably winning a couple of VIP tickets to the Royal Premiere of _[Die Another Day]( — and from that started a series of correspondence that grew into laughs and drinks with a man who was as warm and intelligent in person as he was on air.

Sadly, after he moved first to an Xfm weekend slot and then to Smooth FM, and as I also changed jobs out of central London, we lost touch. And to hear now that he passed away this weekend is devastating.

See ya, Kev.

The BBC Governors are spastics

Does the headline of this post offend you? It should. It’s insulting not only to the subjects (the BBC Board of Governors), but to a whole section of the population. It’s an insult that was prevalent in the school playgrounds that I grew up in, but that’s no excuse. Quite rightly, if anybody bandied such an insult about on the BBC, they would find themselves in contravention of the Corporation’s guidelines on taste and decency in short order.

But now there’s another insult doing the rounds. It, too, has its etymological roots through associating a person or thing with a section of the community — and implying that, as a result, the subject of the insult is all the lesser for that.

This time, though, the BBC Governors have decided that, because it’s a term freely in use in school playgrounds, it’s perfectly acceptable for a Radio 1 DJ to use such a derogatory term.

That insult is “gay”.

Apparently, because schoolchildren now use “gay” to relate to anything substandard, it’s okay for Radio 1’s resident crap DJ, Chris Moyles, to use it too.

> The Committee noted that the word “gay”, in addition to being used to mean “homosexual” or “carefree”, was often now used to mean “lame” or “rubbish”. This is a widespread current usage of the word amongst young people. The Committee was familiar with hearing this word in this context.

The governors are well aware of why using “gay” as an insult is offensive; for some reason its ubiquity in this form excuses a racist, homophobic cunt (another offensive word, in common usage as an insult but with a very different meaning from its original one — does that make it okay, too?) like Moyles, who should be setting an example rather than following the rules of the playground.

* [BBC Appeals to the Governors Jan-Mar 2006]( (PDF)