Jeremy Vine hosts the weekly round up of audience feedback on recent BBC television programmes.
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Good afternoon, and welcome to Points Of View.
What a busy week inside the BBC.
Budgets slashed, whole departments moved -
you will tell us if it shows on screen.
Now, can a presenter ever be too excitable? Isn't it good to be keen?
Apparently not - Zoe Ball has taken over from Claudia Winkleman,
she of the excitable nature and long fringe, on Strictly - It Takes Two.
And there is a resounding cry of "Calm down, dear!" from some.
However, Zoe has dancing experience.
Yes, unlike some of my other colleagues on Radio 2, she can move.
And that, you tell us, helps with pertinent questions -
which are better than impertinent ones.
SHIRLEY BASSEY: # Get this party started! #
So, I think all things considered Zoe is getting a "Se-ven!" so far.
Now on to Strictly's Saturday night dance partner Merlin,
which waltzed back onto our screens last week.
That'll be 50p, please.
We know where we wish to go.
Was it? Wouldn't it be great if it was?
We THINK it is actually a groat, or something similar,
and not the howler you'd so hoped for.
We would be hard-pressed to beat the Merlin lager cans of yesteryear,
but we'll give it a go this series.
Remember, do report your howlers via the website:
But what of the rest of Merlin's return?
Sounds as if plenty of the Doctor Who crowd have been successfully
weaned across to Merlin, until they get their Christmas fix.
But actually, they're not entirely happy.
The decision to drop Doctor Who Confidential,
BBC Three's sneak behind the scenes,
has caused a cry of outrage from behind the sofa.
I would like to put in a plea to the BBC not to axe
Doctor Who Confidential.
It's been a very important programme for both myself
and my 11-year-old son, because it's given such a terrific insight for him
into what goes on in a production of this sort.
Yes, other dimensions are very important for anyone
with knowledge of the good Doctor, so why don't we head to ours,
BBC Three - to see what they are saying about all this.
Now, you won't have to put up with a disembodied voice
when BBC Three comes up in the future - I hope -
because the controller Zai Bennett will be here on the show in person,
and do make a note of that Doctor Who Confidential annoyance,
because we need as many like that as we can, to put to him.
Now, Bang Goes The Theory.
This BBC One pop science show has come in for stick in the past
for dumbing down, and we're back with excitable presenting -
on this programme, they make Zoe Ball look like a librarian.
However, much praise for this week's episode on nuclear power.
My hunch is it's going to be less than car crashes...
You're quite right, it is less than car crashes.
-I think this is going to be a surprise to you.
So, that is "tick, VG" for them, then.
But just before you reach for the gold stars, Theory team, wait -
because there is another queue of viewers who would like a word.
There are some serious charges about misuse of statistics there,
and we're speaking to the commissioner of BBC science programmes,
Kim Shillinglaw, in our interview special in a couple of weeks' time.
We'll certainly put those points to her,
and any others you would care to fire our way.
Sticking with statistics, our viewer Sue Johnson
has been keeping score of Who Do You Think You Are?
and is wondering who exactly the programme makers think THEY are,
by following so few celebrities from ethnic minorities.
MUSIC: Theme from "Who Do You Think You Are?"
I'm a real fan of Who Do You Think You Are?
and I think some previous series have been very interesting.
I'm saddened by this series, because I think this programme
could represent that very rich mix of people that live in Britain,
and not just feature, as it has done this season,
just white, mainly male, mainly middle-class,
mainly middle-aged people.
Sue has a point, of course -
but how do the makers arrive at their chosen subjects?
Certainly in the past, there's been some interesting people featured -
Julia Sawalha, whose father was a well-known actor
who came from the Middle East, and had got a fascinating background.
Instead of answering your question,
she asks us if you want to drink some goat milk...
And I just feel that those people in this society
are not necessarily...would not consider themselves to be white,
they would consider themselves to be other races,
and I think that should be reflected.
I think the thing that hurt me most of all was
George getting his four-year-old son
giving him the money to buy slaves from him.
That's just awful.
It is so far removed from me
in every way possible.
This series has featured some interesting people -
but it's about the programme,
I think, being lazy, and not selecting
from a broader pool of people
that make up the society and the population of Britain.
Possibly the most famous TV excavation into someone's past -
with historic consequences - was when David Frost got Richard Nixon
to admit to and apologise for the Watergate affair.
And as it is 40 years since the scandal was uncovered,
BBC Two devoted four hours of programming to the issue on Sunday night.
This is the climactic moment when you stay silent.
I just can't stand seeing somebody else cry. And that ended it for me.
And then I blurted it out,
and I said, "I'm sorry."
To add "gate" to the end of a word has become common parlance
for suggesting there is a scandal or conspiracy involved.
And as it is 40 years since Watergate,
theoretically there's a whole generation, if not two,
of people who may not fully understand the connection.
So, viewer Michael Walsh thinks the habit should be dropped.
Dear Points Of View, don't you think the suffix "gate" is overworked,
obsolete and unintelligible to the majority of people born after 1972?
Now we have Hackgate. The Wikipedia lists 132 usages of "gate".
I doubt these are considered uses of the suffix. I find it irritating
because I listen to the BBC to avoid sloppy or sensation journalism.
So, BBC, please stop using the suffix "gate".
Thank you for that. What was the most recent one? Catgate, was it?
If Michael gets his way, all the gates will go.
Will we need a replacement word, though? Now, who's for a sing-song?
Not Songs Of Praise, by all accounts.
Or, at least, not the rousing, traditional hymn-singing
the Sunday night stalwart is famed for.
We've touched on this issue before -
long-term fans of the show being disgruntled
that it's focusing more on celebrities than congregations,
and pop songs instead of Psalms.
Last week's 50th birthday show appears to have confirmed
that the modern Songs Of Praise has strayed a long way from its roots.
They're getting rowdy in the pews.
Editor David Taviner, please make your way to the lectern,
and speak to us.
Let me reassure viewers
that hymn singing and inspirational songs, sacred music, worship songs,
are the absolute backbone of Songs Of Praise,
and always will be.
It began for us in 1961 and, in that programme, 50 years ago,
Heather Harper - a leading soprano of her day - sang in the programme.
She was a celebrity of the time, if you like.
So, in some respects, times haven't changed that much.
And another form of singing is causing consternation
amongst younger viewers.
# It's the end of a lovely day
# The time has come to say good night
# To say sleep tight till the morning light... #
We very much liked the older version of the CBeebies tune, didn't we?
What we liked about it was it was very calming.
We used to watch it at the end of the day,
and they'd switch off the lights and then it was time to go to bed.
But now it's gone all a bit funked-up.
UPBEAT: # The time has come... #
Yeah, preferred the older one.
I used to think it was like a classic of children's television
because I just thought the presenters
were just so tender and lovely in the old version.
# Now it's time to say good night
# At the end of a lovely day. #
# We've had so much fun today
# Tomorrow's just a dream away... #
'Spot the difference? Little Mo and his mum and dad certainly have.
'And Dad is an expert.'
HE PLAYS THE TUNE
And so on.
So this is the new version, and you'll find it's a fifth higher,
which is actually half an octave higher than the original.
PLAYS NEW VERSION
# La, dah-dah-dah, ya dah dah... # It's more operatic.
It feels actually as if I'm having to force it out.
Whereas the original version, that's the pitch that you'd choose
because it's very gentle.
So, what have CBeebies got to say for themselves?
Result - you asked, they listened and I think we should bring you
first air play of the new musical arrangement when we get it!
At risk of disturbing the slumber you've now drifted into,
I would just like to say, you can write to us.
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