After Lord Blunkett and Libby Purves, now BBC veteran and Moral Maze host Michael Buerk is joining the chorus of concern about Radio 4's turn towards 'woke'. The Times quotes comments he makes in the Radio Times:
“It survives, even prospers, despite the temper of the times,” Buerk, 75, said of The Moral Maze. “In the wider world — and in some parts of the BBC — more and more is being put off limits, things that cannot be said. Freedom of speech is seriously under threat.”
However, the presenter said that show does feel this strain and he admitted that the programme was a “bit less abrasive” than it used to be.
Buerk praised the BBC for sticking with the programme, however, even if he sometimes worries about “how long that will last”.
He claimed that Radio 4’s “yearning to connect with yoof” and “increasingly woke” editorial choices put it at odds with listeners.
He said: “Half the audience may feel like drowning themselves in their cornflakes after a typical Today programme, but touch one hair of Nick Robinson’s head (yes, all right, but you know what I mean) and the world would fall in.”
The BBC gives a typical 'BBC' response:
We’re proud of the huge range of quality programming, which is as rigorous and curious as it has ever been, that caters for and represents a wider range of listeners.
I think there will be many who think, 'No it isn't, and no it doesn't'.
Update: The Daily Telegraph is also reporting this and adds Michael Buerk's word “voguish” to his description of Radio 4's “increasingly woke-sounding board”.