Episode 12 Points of View


Episode 12

Jeremy Vine hosts the weekly round up of audience feedback on recent BBC television programmes.


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Transcript


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Good afternoon, and welcome to Points Of View.

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What a busy week inside the BBC.

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Budgets slashed, whole departments moved -

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you will tell us if it shows on screen.

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Now, can a presenter ever be too excitable? Isn't it good to be keen?

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Apparently not - Zoe Ball has taken over from Claudia Winkleman,

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she of the excitable nature and long fringe, on Strictly - It Takes Two.

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And there is a resounding cry of "Calm down, dear!" from some.

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However, Zoe has dancing experience.

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Yes, unlike some of my other colleagues on Radio 2, she can move.

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And that, you tell us, helps with pertinent questions -

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which are better than impertinent ones.

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SHIRLEY BASSEY: # Get this party started! #

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So, I think all things considered Zoe is getting a "Se-ven!" so far.

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Now on to Strictly's Saturday night dance partner Merlin,

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which waltzed back onto our screens last week.

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That'll be 50p, please.

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We know where we wish to go.

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Was it? Wouldn't it be great if it was?

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We THINK it is actually a groat, or something similar,

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and not the howler you'd so hoped for.

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We would be hard-pressed to beat the Merlin lager cans of yesteryear,

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but we'll give it a go this series.

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Remember, do report your howlers via the website:

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But what of the rest of Merlin's return?

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Sounds as if plenty of the Doctor Who crowd have been successfully

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weaned across to Merlin, until they get their Christmas fix.

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But actually, they're not entirely happy.

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The decision to drop Doctor Who Confidential,

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BBC Three's sneak behind the scenes,

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has caused a cry of outrage from behind the sofa.

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I would like to put in a plea to the BBC not to axe

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Doctor Who Confidential.

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It's been a very important programme for both myself

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and my 11-year-old son, because it's given such a terrific insight for him

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into what goes on in a production of this sort.

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Yes, other dimensions are very important for anyone

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with knowledge of the good Doctor, so why don't we head to ours,

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BBC Three - to see what they are saying about all this.

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Now, you won't have to put up with a disembodied voice

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when BBC Three comes up in the future - I hope -

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because the controller Zai Bennett will be here on the show in person,

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and do make a note of that Doctor Who Confidential annoyance,

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because we need as many like that as we can, to put to him.

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Now, Bang Goes The Theory.

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This BBC One pop science show has come in for stick in the past

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for dumbing down, and we're back with excitable presenting -

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on this programme, they make Zoe Ball look like a librarian.

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However, much praise for this week's episode on nuclear power.

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My hunch is it's going to be less than car crashes...

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You're quite right, it is less than car crashes.

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-I think this is going to be a surprise to you.

-Wow, OK...

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So, that is "tick, VG" for them, then.

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But just before you reach for the gold stars, Theory team, wait -

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because there is another queue of viewers who would like a word.

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There are some serious charges about misuse of statistics there,

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and we're speaking to the commissioner of BBC science programmes,

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Kim Shillinglaw, in our interview special in a couple of weeks' time.

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We'll certainly put those points to her,

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and any others you would care to fire our way.

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Sticking with statistics, our viewer Sue Johnson

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has been keeping score of Who Do You Think You Are?

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and is wondering who exactly the programme makers think THEY are,

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by following so few celebrities from ethnic minorities.

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MUSIC: Theme from "Who Do You Think You Are?"

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I'm a real fan of Who Do You Think You Are?

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and I think some previous series have been very interesting.

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I'm saddened by this series, because I think this programme

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could represent that very rich mix of people that live in Britain,

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and not just feature, as it has done this season,

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just white, mainly male, mainly middle-class,

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mainly middle-aged people.

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Sue has a point, of course -

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but how do the makers arrive at their chosen subjects?

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Certainly in the past, there's been some interesting people featured -

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Julia Sawalha, whose father was a well-known actor

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who came from the Middle East, and had got a fascinating background.

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Instead of answering your question,

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she asks us if you want to drink some goat milk...

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-JULIA LAUGHS

-Ahhh! Nice(!)

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And I just feel that those people in this society

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are not necessarily...would not consider themselves to be white,

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they would consider themselves to be other races,

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and I think that should be reflected.

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I think the thing that hurt me most of all was

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George getting his four-year-old son

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giving him the money to buy slaves from him.

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That's just awful.

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It is so far removed from me

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in every way possible.

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This series has featured some interesting people -

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but it's about the programme,

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I think, being lazy, and not selecting

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from a broader pool of people

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that make up the society and the population of Britain.

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Possibly the most famous TV excavation into someone's past -

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with historic consequences - was when David Frost got Richard Nixon

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to admit to and apologise for the Watergate affair.

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And as it is 40 years since the scandal was uncovered,

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BBC Two devoted four hours of programming to the issue on Sunday night.

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This is the climactic moment when you stay silent.

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I just can't stand seeing somebody else cry. And that ended it for me.

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And then I blurted it out,

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and I said, "I'm sorry."

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To add "gate" to the end of a word has become common parlance

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for suggesting there is a scandal or conspiracy involved.

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And as it is 40 years since Watergate,

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theoretically there's a whole generation, if not two,

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of people who may not fully understand the connection.

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So, viewer Michael Walsh thinks the habit should be dropped.

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Dear Points Of View, don't you think the suffix "gate" is overworked,

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obsolete and unintelligible to the majority of people born after 1972?

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Now we have Hackgate. The Wikipedia lists 132 usages of "gate".

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I doubt these are considered uses of the suffix. I find it irritating

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because I listen to the BBC to avoid sloppy or sensation journalism.

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So, BBC, please stop using the suffix "gate".

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Thank you for that. What was the most recent one? Catgate, was it?

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If Michael gets his way, all the gates will go.

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Will we need a replacement word, though? Now, who's for a sing-song?

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Not Songs Of Praise, by all accounts.

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Or, at least, not the rousing, traditional hymn-singing

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the Sunday night stalwart is famed for.

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We've touched on this issue before -

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long-term fans of the show being disgruntled

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that it's focusing more on celebrities than congregations,

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and pop songs instead of Psalms.

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Last week's 50th birthday show appears to have confirmed

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that the modern Songs Of Praise has strayed a long way from its roots.

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They're getting rowdy in the pews.

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Editor David Taviner, please make your way to the lectern,

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and speak to us.

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Let me reassure viewers

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that hymn singing and inspirational songs, sacred music, worship songs,

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are the absolute backbone of Songs Of Praise,

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and always will be.

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It began for us in 1961 and, in that programme, 50 years ago,

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Heather Harper - a leading soprano of her day - sang in the programme.

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She was a celebrity of the time, if you like.

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So, in some respects, times haven't changed that much.

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And another form of singing is causing consternation

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amongst younger viewers.

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# It's the end of a lovely day

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# The time has come to say good night

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# To say sleep tight till the morning light... #

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We very much liked the older version of the CBeebies tune, didn't we?

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What we liked about it was it was very calming.

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We used to watch it at the end of the day,

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and they'd switch off the lights and then it was time to go to bed.

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But now it's gone all a bit funked-up.

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UPBEAT: # The time has come... #

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Yeah, preferred the older one.

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I used to think it was like a classic of children's television

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because I just thought the presenters

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were just so tender and lovely in the old version.

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# Now it's time to say good night

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# At the end of a lovely day. #

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# We've had so much fun today

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# Tomorrow's just a dream away... #

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'Spot the difference? Little Mo and his mum and dad certainly have.

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'And Dad is an expert.'

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HE PLAYS THE TUNE

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And so on.

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So this is the new version, and you'll find it's a fifth higher,

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which is actually half an octave higher than the original.

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PLAYS NEW VERSION

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# La, dah-dah-dah, ya dah dah... # It's more operatic.

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It feels actually as if I'm having to force it out.

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Whereas the original version, that's the pitch that you'd choose

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because it's very gentle.

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So, what have CBeebies got to say for themselves?

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Result - you asked, they listened and I think we should bring you

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first air play of the new musical arrangement when we get it!

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Good night!

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At risk of disturbing the slumber you've now drifted into,

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I would just like to say, you can write to us.

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You're also more than welcome to e-mail.

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Or jump onto the message board - it's always lively.

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And you can phone us.

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The number is charged as a local-rate call from a landline.

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Goodbye.

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E-mail [email protected]

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