Episode 14 Points of View


Episode 14

Jeremy Vine hosts the weekly round up of audience feedback on BBC TV.


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Transcript


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Good afternoon and welcome to Points Of View.

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At some point in this programme,

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I may disappear and then come back again.

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Well, if MasterChef can do it, so can I!

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MasterChef's magic centres on the celebrity contestant Linda Lusardi

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who was knocked out of the competition last week

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and then miraculously reappeared,

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much to the confusion of legions of fans.

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Oh, honestly, Eric, it is quite simple.

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Having invested in celebrities,

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MasterChef is getting the most for its money

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by making daytime episodes as well

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in much the same way as Strictly Come Dancing - It Takes Two

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except the MasterCheffers are mostly whisking instead of twirling.

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The main weekend show makes use of this extra filming

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showing clips of what's been happening during the week,

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only they focus on action round the hotplate and not the high lifts.

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But unlike Strictly, the elimination occurs in the daytime,

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so if you watch everything, it is possible

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to have witnessed the departure of a failed celebrity chef in the day

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only to spot them once more slaving over a hot cooker on Friday night.

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This is why Linda, who was voted out on Thursday,

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didn't appear on the early afternoon episode on Friday,

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but did then appear in the evening programme

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and the Saturday catch-up episode.

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And one more thing - the celebrities are grouped together in rounds

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and once one round is over, you won't see even those still in

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until the finals at the end.

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So it might mean value for money for MasterChef,

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but we can see where the confusion arises.

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Another big daytime show, Escape To The Country,

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could do with chasing value for money as well,

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according to some viewers, or possibly

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stop transmitting altogether during the current housing crisis.

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A pool. Wow!

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You get hidden extras in this house.

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I didn't want just a view.

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This is proper leisure house. I'm liking it.

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Do you like a pool? Some people are scared off by pools.

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-This is a beautiful pool, I think.

-Our nephews would love it.

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You'd be so popular!

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No, that doesn't really look like your average urban two-bed terrace.

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Can Escape To The Country escape the criticism?

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Do they have to deploy the media buzz-word "aspirational" to do so?

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Across any series, we do have quite a wide spread of house prices

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from around £200,000 upwards.

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These house prices are set by the contributors,

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and it is one of many factors that we look at when we cast the shows.

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However, on future series, we will be keeping an eye on the housing market.

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Even in the current climate, research shows us that people come to view Escape To The Country

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for lots of different reasons. Some like to look at the beautiful homes

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and countryside or learn about rural life,

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so the programme still has a place.

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Well, she didn't say "aspirational", but I think she meant it.

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Now, stand by your beds!

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There's been an upsurge of interest in the armed forces across the BBC.

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Someone at the top clearly likes a man in uniform,

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or in the case of Casualty, a female army medic.

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Here's a roll call of current military output.

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The latest recruit to Saturday night accident & emergency is

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Major Sam Nicholls, a former army doctor.

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On BBC3, Young Soldiers has been following new army recruits

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from sign-up and training camp

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through to active duty in Afghanistan.

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And on BBC4 the Regimental Stories season has documentaries on

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the Forces and aired a fly-on-the-wall look

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at Sandhurst at the famous officer training college.

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So is the BBC's current military mania passing muster with viewers?

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Entry to Sandhurst relies on passing a very rigorous interview.

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The kind of interview you see happening

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all the time in the BBC's current affairs programmes.

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But when does a rigorous interview turn into an aggressive one?

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And are those still welcome or painfully out of fashion?

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Do you know how they died? Friendly fire, that's how!

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I'm interviewing you cos you were involved.

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-Which one would you like me to answer?

-It's not whether you want to be in or out of Europe.

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I want you to say whether you think there should be a referendum!

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So you don't trust the voters to give their opinion?

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-No, that's...

-Well that is the question.

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-So...

-Is printing money a solution, is it or isn't it?

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Look, you signed up to this report, can you please tell us

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what you meant by talking about the provision

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of culturally appropriate accommodation. What is it?!

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Jeremy Paxman's dry, acerbic interview style has seen him

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rise to near national treasuredom.

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But some viewers think his recent performances on Newsnight have overstepped the mark.

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It's terribly frightening listening to that idiot in Brussels.

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Er, Mr Idiot in Brussels, would you like to respond?

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-Yes or no?!

-The question of...

-Should we have joined the euro as you advocated, yes or no?

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-If...

-The question I asked was if you still think it'd be a good thing to have joined the euro!

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Yes or no?!

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Of course individual editors are responsible for these programmes,

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their presenters and their interviewing styles,

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but Stephen Mitchell handles big editorial issues for BBC News,

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so he is well-placed to notice changes.

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I expect our interviewers to get to the truth

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and to paint as clear a picture as possible on behalf of the audience

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and sometimes robustness works and sometimes you don't need to be

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robust and actually sometimes you have to step back a bit

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and let people have a bit more space.

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I certainly can't detect an overall increase in aggressiveness,

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robustness or anything like that.

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So what kind of training are interviewers

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and presenters receiving?

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There's no one standard training scheme that we would submit everyone to.

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Some people who are coming to the job new from perhaps being

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reporters or something are given some training.

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Some people need training in techniques that apply to specific programmes.

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And some people, the more experienced people have learnt through

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the university of life and that's their training.

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And I would encourage people, if they have anxieties or concerns about

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individual programmes or individual interviews, to contact the programmes.

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I can assure you that we do talk about these things all the time

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and those conversations always involve the presenters and the interviewers.

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Swings and roundabouts?

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So if we look at all of the BBC's output

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we will apparently see that the interviewing styles even out.

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Whichever way you look at petrol prices, I think most motorists

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would agree that they are very high at the moment,

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and Panorama aired an exclusive investigation

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into the organised crime that the high prices have now triggered,

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The Great Fuel Robbery.

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In the last two years, the cost of petrol

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and diesel has risen by around a third,

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and 60% of the price that we pay at the pump is tax.

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Such are the profits to be had from avoiding this duty, that there

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now exists a whole new level of organised crime.

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There is no end of depressing economic news.

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House prices, fuel prices, you name it.

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So how about a little light relief in the form of music or dancing?

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Well, not Strictly Come Dancing cos that apparently is

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more about celebrities than the arts, according to viewer

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David Ride who makes the case that the BBC has given up on the high ground.

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I thought that maybe a little prompt would be in order to try

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and get the BBC off this cultural bias track they seem to have.

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I would like to see, on the BBC, more regular

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performances of classical ballets, and grand operas and they could take

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the opportunity to screen some of the amateur productions that are on.

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First-quality amateur productions all round the country.

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I was watching a BBC news broadcast

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and they were very keen on reporting on a Gilbert and Sullivan

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festival that was held in Buxton in Derbyshire and how successful it was.

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I thought to myself,

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"When did the BBC last screen a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta?"

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And for those of you thinking, "Hang on a minute, there was

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"a very good Gilbert O'Sullivan documentary on BBC4 recently."

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We are not talking about the Irish crooner from the '70s,

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but the Victorian theatrical partnership of Gilbert AND Sullivan.

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SINGS LOW NOTES

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There is, out there, a young section of society who are missing out

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on these cultural opportunities.

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I attend the Salisbury Playhouse here on a regular basis

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and frequently a whole row will be taken up by a sixth form

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who are studying that particular production and I'm sure

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if such opportunities were given to them on BBC1 and channel 2,

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they would benefit and everybody else would benefit as well.

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Well, perhaps the schedule has spotted the shortfall as well,

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David, because next week on BBC4 alone they are celebrating a music hall week

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with 6½ hours of variety performances

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and backgrounders into theatre heritage.

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I hope that's to your taste.

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Now Formula One, and for once not the complaint that coverage

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skips channels mid-race or even that those spoilsports

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on news keep telling you the results before the highlights are broadcast.

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No, this is a completely different complaint.

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I've had it with Formula One tyre-babble.

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It's well-nigh impossible to get more than ten seconds without it.

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Let's switch some of the ghastly replay Muzak to drown out

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the rubber fetish, and enjoy the racing!

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Tyre-wear promises to be a big problem in the race today

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so that much of the midfield

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are saving their new tyres to give an advantage in the race.

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"Tyre-babble." That is a new word to add to the Points Of View lexicon.

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So less commentary chit-chat, more action.

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And that's all we've got time for this week. Next week I'll be putting your questions to

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the BBC's head of science and nature commissioning, Kim Shillinglaw.

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The Origins Of Us and Frozen Planet are two new science programmes

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on next week, off the top of my head,

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so we ought to let her know what you think of those.

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You can write to -

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E-mail us -

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Or hop on the message board and join discussions at -

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And you can phone us, of course.

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Calls are charged at a local rate from a BT landline.

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That's all for now, goodbye.

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Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

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E-mail [email protected]

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Jeremy Vine hosts the weekly round up of audience feedback on BBC TV.

Send comments in by email to [email protected]; by post to Points of View, BBC Mailbox, Birmingham B1 1AY; or telephone 0370 908 3199.


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