People have been moaning about Jo Coburn’s new show, Politics Live. They think it’s become too much like “Loose Women” particularly because one episode had an all-female line-up. In fact, I think it’s ok. I quite like it.
When Al Jazeera English was accessible to us, it did occur to me that despite its obvious bias, they at least allowed debates to go into a certain amount of depth. Or if not depth, then length.
The BBC Newsroom seems to be terrified of giving any single subject time to develop. It's as if they’re afraid that the attention-deficient listener (as they see us) will switch over and be lost forever.
So at least Politics Live seems prepared to let the conversation take its course. I hope they don’t squash that. The worst thing that might happen, what with all these ‘women’ given such prominence, is that it will just morph into Victoria Derbyshire territory. Please, no. Can you imagine Jo Coburn listening sympathetically, head slightly to one side, as someone sadly recounts their tragic tale of woe? Perish the thought.
I don’t think Elizabeth Glinka is on top of the role yet but she’ll probably settle in. I don’t like the tone of her voice. Maybe that’s it. There’s something about (particularly women’s) voices that can grate. I have to say I don’t like the timbre of Martha Kearney’s voice, and Mishal Husain’s has a hard edge to it that can sound harsh and scrapey. Maybe it’s my tinny old radio. D’you know whose voice sounded rather good when he did a stint on Today? Kamal Ahmed. He slotted in as if he’s been doing it all his life. I’m only talking about the way he sounded so don’t get excited. Another thing that’s ridiculous is that (usually American) thing they call throat fry.
On the whole, I don’t think having women on the radio just for the sake of it is a particularly desirable thing.