David Harvey BBC Cambridgeshire’s Managing Editor on Scheduling and Presenters

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire10:22 Thursday 10th February 2011
Andy Harper Show BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

ANDY HARPER: I’m delighted to welcome our Managing Editor, David Harvey, who is going to talk about a couple of things that he needs to talk about, but also to answer some of your questions as well. David, good morning.
DAVID HARVEY: Good morning Andy.
ANDY HARPER: Now I think the best thing to do is to start by you telling people a little bit about your background. Because it has to be said that when these posts are advertised, all sorts of people apply, very often with very little experience in local radio. They may be national radio or television or whatever. But in your case, local radio is in your blood isn’t it?
DAVID HARVEY: Yes, very much so. I’ve been involved in local radio really all my working life. Started off as a presenter, and have presented programmes like this one here, a mid-morning show full of topical discussion and entertaining. I’ve presented Breakfast shows, I’ve presented Drivetime shows, and lunchtime shows and music shows. I always say to the people that I’m working with, I’ve made all the mistakes that anyone can make in broadcasting. So if I have to tick somebody off, it’s through having been ticked off myself by bosses in the past, for playing music that I shouldn’t do, and saying things that I shouldn’t do. But yes. Local radio, very much in my blood. And I’m passionate about local radio. I’m passionate about what it should do for the audience, how it can connect with the community, and really the value and the role that it plays within a county like Cambridgeshire.
ANDY HARPER: So I suppose it would be fair to say that your experience has been in what we would call the heart of the country, either in the Midlands, or South Yorkshire. Coming here, have you noticed any differences?
DAVID HARVEY: The honest answer is, I suppose, no. I think the audience for local radio has an awful number of similarities across wherever you work in the country. There tends to be, if you look at the breakdown of your audience, it tends to be that the people that listen for longer, and have the time to listen for longer, are slightly older. The younger generation tend to dip in for bits of local radio that they’re really interested in. It may be news bulletins, it may be sports bulletins, it could be the travel updates, it could be for certain specialisms that you do within your output. But by and large, if you go to a publicity event with your local radio hat on, you tend to be asked similar questions about certain presenters, about why you do certain things at certain times, about why you can’t do certain things at certain times, why X would like you to do a particular sort of music genre, and Y would like you to do a different sort of music genre. And I think that what I tend to find is that an audience that listens to BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, as an audience that listens to BBC Radio Derby for example, which is where I started my career, care passionately about the presenters. They care passionately about the output. And if you try and mess around with it, as a manager, without good reason, then you can get into all sorts of trouble.
ANDY HARPER: (LAUGHS) Well we’ll talk about reasons a little bit later on. But there were certain nettles really, which had to be grasped. It wasn’t a case of just leaving things ticking over as they had been. For one thing, we had only just moved into this new building when you started. And that of course meant that change was inevitable in so many ways. And one of the nettles that you had to grasp really was this whole business of BBC Radio Cambridgeshire’s Trustline. Because it had been a much-loved institution, and when I joined the station it was all-important. Not just the auction, although that did dominate the later part of the year. But so many functions were carried out, raising money for Trustline. But really something there had to change, didn’t it? So perhaps it would be good if you explained really what’s happened and what’s going to happen.
DAVID HARVEY: Yes. And first, apologies that it’s taken so long for me to actually come on the show and talk about this. But because Trustline was a charity, there were certain legal issues that we had to deal with, and it meant we couldn’t talk about those issues until we’d actually dealt with them. To put it into context, I have been involved in projects like Trustline. Obviously Trustline wasn’t happening when I arrived here, so I have never seen it in the BBC Radio Cambridgeshire version. But I was involved in presenting projects like Money Mountain, which was one of the big East Midlands charity events, very similar to Trustline. And I’ve brought the gavel down on many a lot, over the years, and worked with the volunteers who make all of these events possible. And a number of things have come together to make it very difficult for us to do Trustline in the form that existed previously. There’s been a number of changes within the BBC, about how we can actually promote and put together projects like this, in terms of making sure that all is fair and open, in terms of the different charities that are actually going to benefit. On top of that, the rules about volunteering wihin the BBC, so it’s not as easy as it used to be, just to bring in a team of people and let them wander around the building at will. There are various procedures that have been brought in around BBC editorial guidelines, about how we actually focus on certain charity appeals, in relation to the appeals that we do get involved with on a regular basis, like Children in Need, and Comic Relief, and Sport Relief. On top of that, as you mentioned, there’s the practicalities around this new building, user access for the public, the storage of lots, and also how we administer the Trustees as well. It’s an ongoing process that involves a considerable amount of time that I haven’t got, and the rest of my management team haven’t got, in actually making sure that from a charity point of view, Trustline is run legally and proper. I’d like to put on record here my huge thanks to Jan Reynolds, who is someone that has taken on a huge amount of this burden, over many many years. But as I’ll come on to later, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire has had to change, for financial and editorial reasons, which has meant that the focus of what we do has also had to change, which also impacts on how we can do Trustline. So we’ve taken the decision that we are going to rest Trustline, it obviously hasn’t run for a couple of years, and bring the charity to a close. Now that is not to say that BBC Radio Cambridgeshire will not be doing charity appeals of some nature in the future. What I want to do is to come back with something that is going to be even bigger, and even more successful, than things that we have done in the past. And looking at the way Trustline had been going in recent years, despite the best efforts of everybody, and superb efforts from everybody, putting in an awful lot of time and energy, the sum totals were getting smaller and smaller. So what I’d like to do is to bring something back, that will raise potentially six figure sums, in the next possibly twelve months. Which could be something that the entire county gets behind, and will support, something that is going to make a difference to the lives of everybody in Cambridgeshire. Now around that Andy, we had a small amount of money that was left over, around about £2000, which we had an extraordinary meeting of the Trustees to actually decide how we’re going to spend that money. And we wanted to pick from groups which had already applied for money, otherwise we would have had to start up a whole new round of grant applications to find new recipients, which would have been a whole new round of paperwork. So the groups that have been chosen, with the support of the Trustees, are all modest groups, run by volunteers to improve the lives of others. And they’ve not been professionally run organisations, such as those who’ve benefitted from monies in the past, such as Cambridgeshire Runway. So the groups who will be receiving the final cheques of around about £305 each, they don’t know this yet, so the cheques will be dropping through their doors in the next few days, hopefully a pleasant surprise for them, are the Bluntisham Lunch Club, The Thriplow Friendship Jubilee Club, St Andrews over-60s, Chalklands Friendship Club, Old Dogsthorpe Residents Association, The Triangle DayCare Club, and the Cambridge Pensioners’ Fellowship. They’ll all be receiving cheques of around about £300 in the next few days.
ANDY HARPER: Which is good news for them, but I was on the committee that used to allocate the money. We used to meet each April, a group of us. And the point that always hit home to me was that we were helping really small groups, very often who had very little money, and they only wanted a couple of hundred pounds to pay for a trip, or they wanted to replace their cutlery. The needy if you like, the same sorts of people who we’re talking about being hit by local government cutbacks. So they will be the people who, I suppose, ultimately will miss out, unless we look at the way we allocate money in the future.
DAVID HARVEY: Yes. I think there’s two things there. One, that there are existing BBC appeals out there like Children in Need and Sport relief and Comic Relief, that are designed to appeal to smaller groups. But also, I think that BBC Radio Cambridgeshire needs to look at its relationship with groups like that. We obviously have quite a large database, through groups that have come forward in the past to be involved in Trustline, on how these groups work, and who runs them, and who are the main contacts. They’re clearly part of what you might call the Big Society, if we want to be very topical about that now. And I think that we as a radio station ought to forge closer contacts with those groups, and look more closely at the work they’re doing. And I would like to think that while we may not be able to write out a cheuqe from BBC Radio Cambridgeshire and hand it to them, in the future, directly through an appeal like Trustline, we can give them the oxygen of publicity, which could be arguably even more valuable in terms of their future output, and in what they’re able to do. I think we do that anyway on a day to day basis, but I think actually we can perhaps do more. I’ve been talking to Jeremy Sallis for example, on the Cambridgeshire Breakfast Show, about a series we can run, looking at, if you like, the Cambridgeshire Big Society, which would include many of those groups.
ANDY HARPER: Well that would answer Anne’s question, because Anne from Chesterton called to say what has happened about Trustline? Well Anne, now you know. .. Maria and Jane have called to say what happened to Helen West’s show. And then this email came from one of our regular listener’s Malc. He says, could you ask David why, after seventeen local years to Radio Cambridgeshire, he saw fit to do away with Helen West’s Country Show on Sundays. The show had a great following, many listeners, sadly missed. Putting Christopher South in place of her at mid-day was a great mistake. So, Helen West. I know it was something you had to anguish over. So what was the thinking there?
DAVID HARVEY: OK. Let me put this into a little bit of context with regard to BBC Radio Cambridgeshire itself, and the future, if you like. Because I need our audience to be aware obviously that their licence fee obviously pays for BBC Radio Cambridgeshire. And we. the BBC, are facing some difficult decisions about how the BBC spends that licence fee money. Because that licence fee isn’t going to go up in the future. That’s the agreement that has been made with the Government. The BBC as a whole has taken decisions about how money can be allocated in the future, and about the future shape of the BBC. And bearing all that in mind, it means that, at the moment, centrally, the big managers in London, if you like, are talking about how savings can be made in certain areas of the BBC, which could amount to around about 20% over four or five years. And I’m sure people, if they’ve read the newspapers, will have seen stories about cuts to the World Service for example. And there are various areas of the BBC where some cutbacks are being made already. Now I am given a certain amount of money each year to spend on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire. We have to work to certain budgets. And we also have to make sure that BBC Radio Cambridgeshire is fit for purpose, if you like, to serve the local community really really well, in terms of strong journalism at key times. I don’t know at this stage how future cutbacks financially may hit us. We may, I hope, not be hit very hard. We may be hit quite hard. If we have to find a 20% saving, that will be difficult. And so, to put the Helen West story into some sort of context, I’m having to make some quite difficult judgments about how we spend our money, and how we do certain things. I hate making changes. I genuinely do. And I’ll say that to all the people that are contacting me about Helen West. I would be crazy to make change for change’s sake. And making the change around Helen has been the hardest decision I’ve had to make since I’ve been here. If everything was fine and rosy in the garden, and I had lots of money to spend, and there was no pressure to develop things in different directions, I would not have made that change. I’ll make that quite clear now. I still get on with Helen. She’s not waiting outside to stab me in the back. And I would hope that Helen will still play a part on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire in the future. I would like her to come back and do some shows. And we will see how things go. I genuinely do believe in listening to the audience, looking at what the audience want us to do, where the audiences are pulling us, in certain directions. And if it turns out that the Steve Cherelle Show isn’t working, and there’s no audience there for it, then yes, I will look again. I will hold my hands up and say to people, look, OK, we got it wrong. In this case, looking at Helen’s audience figures over a number of years, they had fallen away significantly. They have though, in all honesty, picked up in the last few months, as her run was coming to an end. So that is something that I need to bear in mind. We also need to consider how we do specialist music. There are a number of country music shows in the East of England that were all broadcasting around a similar editorial patch. They were .. obviously Helen would talk about Cambridgeshire, but she’d talk about things beyond Cambridgeshire as well. Some of the other country shows in the East would talk about their specific county, but would also talk about Cambridgeshire as well. So looking at it from an economical point of view, we have specialist music shows in the East, and we tend to broadcast them for the whole of the East of England, Ian Gray’s Soul Show, for example. So in order to try and save some money, we talked about trying to do one country show for the East. Why did we go for Steve Cherelle rather than Helen West is the obvious next question. That’s more complex. Between ourselves and Essex and BBC Radio Norfolk, BBC Radio Suffolk and BBC Three Counties Radio, the other stations in the East, we all make some programming that the other stations use. And Essex produce quite a lot of our content on a Sunday afternoon and Sunday evening. We, Sue Marchant for example, produce quite a lot of content that goes out between seven and ten, Monday to Friday, Richard Spendlove on a Saturday night. In order to get the cost balanced, it made economic sense for Essex to take on the show that we were going to put there between four and six. At the same time as all that, Catherine Carr was no longer going to do the Sunday morning show. That was a decision she’s taken. And so I had to come up with a new Sunday morning format, and our Sunday morning figures have not always been as successful as we’d want them to be. So we talked about coming up with a new family show, which has made a very good start with Mark Rumble presenting it between nine and twelve. And because we wanted that to be a contained show, with family entertainment, and having a radio car getting out and about into the county, and a little more high-profile for BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, that meant also that we had to look at how we did the gardening, which has traditionally been done between eleven and twelve. I still wanted to do the gardening, but then I had to think, OK, if it’s not going between eleven and twelve, where do we put it? We put that twelve to one. At the same time, because we’d be going to share a programme with Essex and the other Eastern counties, the Steve Cherelle Show was set in concrete as going out at four o’clock. That meant I had to do something with the Chris South Show, which was very successful, and gets some very good audience, so therefore that’s why I put Chris into the slot that Helen was vacating, if you like. So that’s a fairly long, complicated answer. But I hope it gives people a little bit of an insight into the fact that it’s not just a case of me sitting there going, I don’t like Helen, I’m going to take her off. I like Helen a lot. I can see there’s an awful lot of love for her, and I would still like her to be part of BBC Radio Cambridgeshire in some form in the future.
ANDY HARPER: Well that was a jigsaw puzzle that had to be solved. And I suppose the afternoons was another one. This one says, what’s going on with the chopping up of weekday afternoon schedules? What was the rationale for starting afternoons at mid-day, effectively stopping them at three o’clock, then having some thing which feels like an afterthought from three until five? As a listener, it makes for a very chopped up afternoon, and it is not a smooth transition to tea-time with Andy Burrows. So what was the thinking when it came to afternoons?
DAVID HARVEY: That’s interesting and that’s one I’m going to have to look at carefully, watch carefully. There are a few reasons again behind that. One involving your show, which we’ve talked about. I wanted you to have a little bit more time to expand the content in your programme, and to do that I wanted to give you a little bit more time in the afternoons to a) talk with your producer Mark about how the shape of the programme goes, and also to allow you to get out and to meet the public, and to record more content with the public, which I think is something that we’re successfully doing. It was a behind the scenes reason for doing it. Again it’s another one of those complicated knock-on effect type answers. But, one of the things I’m having to do is to try and improve our journalism at Breakfast time, and to try and make sure that our range of content, our range of stories, the amount of journalists that can work to our Breakfast shows, is strong. Because that’s traditionally where we get our biggest audience. So when I arrived here, our Breakfast shows weren’t bringing in the audience that we’d like them to bring in. So with the limited resources that we have, I’ve had to try and move people around behind the scenes. And one of the ways to create another journalist to work to our Breakfast shows was by releasing somebody who was working in the afternoon to the Drivetime programme. In doing that, that meant that Andy Burrows, presenting Drivetime, had actually to take sole control of putting that programme together himself, which he does very very well. It’s a tough job. To ask him to do that and to start Drivetime at four o’clock, and it to be a three hour show, was very very difficult, in terms of his workload. And we also had to try and create a more condensed version of Drivetime. So Andy starting at five o’clock makes sense in terms of how he was able to put the programme together. That of course meant that we had a potential extra programme to create, both in terms of trying to bring your show into a tidier twelve o’clock finish, allow you to do more in the afternoon. Sue Dougan from twelve to three was the obvious knock-on effect for that. And in creating a three five show there. And in doing that, we’ve put Richard Spendlove there for a little while, to see  how it goes. Richard gets tremendous audience figures on a Saturday evening. And he also appeals to an older demographic, the older listener, which we talked about earlier, which has always supported BBC Radio Cambridgeshire very very well. And clearly, looking at the way our audience responds to our output, the older generation have time to enjoy Richard at that particular time of the day. That’s certainly the feedback I’ve had. So that also made some sense in trying to create a window for Richard in that particular part of our output. But I’ll look closely at the figures. We’ll see how it goes. And certainly, early impressions are that it’s working, and it’s working well. BBC Radio Cambridgeshire’s audience figures in the last six months suggest that we’re now one of the fastest growing BBC local radio stations in the country. And our audience figures are increasing, which is great.
ANDY BURROWS: Your explanation there really about how you reorganise a day would answer Jane’s question, who simply said, why did Andy Gall have to go?
DAVID HARVEY: I suppose yes, it does come back to trying to make sure we’ve got the resources available at Breakfast time. Andy was a freelance presenter, which meant that he had a contract with us . The same applied to Antonia Brickell, because people have asked that question as well .. had a contract with us. That contract came to an end. I had to try and find some more money, so that we could improve our journalism earlier in the day, and put more reporters towards our Breakfast output. And this programme as well. Because I want to be able to improve the range of journalism that Andy, you can work with, and your producer Mark can work with as well. Also, Jeremy Sallis and Paul Stainton, our Breakfast presenters, clearly from the audience feedback I was receiving, very popular. And people wanted more of them. And they wanted to hear them doing a wider range of content. So extending their shows by an hour, and allowing them to start at six o’clock, also ties in with really instructions that we’re given as well from the BBC Trust, who advise me on what I can do with this BBC local radio station. And one of the things that I am told that the BBC Trust want us to do, the people that effectively run the BBC, is more distinctive local journalism, and higher production values. And the only way I can do that is to try and invest in what we do earlier in the day.
ANDY HARPER: And that will answer Sue’s question, she says, while you’re discussing programming, what was the reason behind getting rid of Andy Gall? He is a great radio presenter, and we miss him. Well Sue. That was the explanation. A lot of it was down to finance.
(BREAK-TRAVEL)
ANDY HARPER: Ben D. Athlete. Thank you for your text. I’m going to add to this one. He says why isn’t Paul Stainton on for longer? Because three hours is plenty. (THEY LAUGH) Thank you, Ben D.Athlete. (THEY LAUGH) I think I know who that came from. Now, this comes from Mark, who is a regular listener. And he says, why after all this time are Radio Cambridgeshire still not allowed to hold competitions with prizes? The programmes that were at the centre of these scandals seem to have resumed giving prizes. Why is it different for local radio?
DAVID HARVEY: Shall we have a mystery noise competition on the Andy Harper show? Would you like that? (THEY LAUGH)
ANDY HARPER: I think, to be fair, some of us don’t miss that.
DAVID HARVEY: It’s an interesting one. We can bring competitions back to BBC Radio Cambridgeshire. It’s not as easy as it used to be in the early days of BBC local radio when I was involved. You used to just be able to at a whim start a competition, and give away a prize. These days I have to do a considerable amount of paperwork, and it has to go all the way to the top, if you like, to be approved. I think there is a possibility that we would bring back a competition in some form in the near future. I wonder whether or not perhaps the Tony Gillham show, on a Saturday morning, Jane Smith’s show, Saturday breakfast, possibly Mark Rumble’s Sunday morning show. If we can find the right prizes, and I think I would want to be giving away money-can’t-buy, very special prizes. And if we can come up with the right format that I think is really going to engage the listener, I wouldn’t rule it out.
ANDY HARPER: We used to give away CDs of Gilbert O’Sullivan that made us a laughing-stock. People would say, how many more Gilbert O’Sullivan Cds? So I think it’s a very good point you make. But if we’re just going to give away something, for the sake of having a competition, it’s pointless. But if we’ve got something good to give away, then it becomes more valuable.
DAVID HARVEY: Yes. For example, some BBC local radio stations are giving away, or have given away, season tickets for the football team. So I’m not sure how big a draw Cambridge United season tickets may be at the moment. But yes, Cambridge United, Peterborough United, Histon, we may be able to work with organisations like that. Like you say, if it’s a special prize. Can I say, quickly just going back to the subject of Andy Gall, for example, because I think there’s some people think that I take people away into a little dark room and club them over the head and drag them out of the building. We still get on very well. And Andy is going to be standing in for Paul Stainton on the Peterborough Breakfast Show in a few weeks time. Antonia Brickell, she still works for us as well, and often is covering behind Sue Marchant. So we are still on speaking terms.
ANDY HARPER: Good point. Philip says, if you have to save money, and you say you do, why two Breakfast shows? Now this is historical, but sort of briefly, back over the point. Why two Breakfast shows?
DAVID HARVEY: That’s a very good question. And it’s one that I’m sure that I will be asked in the future. Why do we have two Breakfast shows for this part of the world? I would argue that we have a different audience in Peterborough to Cambridge, in terms of how those cities operate at key times, in terms of their news agenda. So, there is an awful lot, as we know, going on in Peterborough. There’s an awful lot going on in Cambridge. To reflect those communities as best as we possibly can, you would argue that actually we should have more of a split service. We should have a Peterborough service all the time. We should have a Cambridge service all the time. So you could take it the other way and say, actually, to a certain extent why do you only do it at Breakfast time, and not do it later in the day? If resources were no object, I would be very much arguing for a cese of saying, we should be doing more for Peterborough, separately, and more for Cambridge, separately. However, it’s also good to look at the county as a whole, which this programme does extremely well. And the people in the South of the county should be aware of the issues that affect the people in the North of the county. What we’re finding at the moment, and vice versa, what we’re finding at the moment with the cuts, which is clearly one of the big stories that is going to be around for many years to come, it impacts on everybody, and there are lessons that can be learned from the North to the South and vice versa. But I want to do more audience research. It’s still very early days for me here, and I’ve yet really to get a sense of what the people who listen to the Jeremy Sallis Breakfast show make of that, in relation to what the people who listen to the Paul Stainton Breakfast show make of that. Because I think if you do dip in between the two shows, they are quite different in style.
ANDY HARPER: Indeed. Yes. And on that very point, really, when will Peterborough Breakfast be on iPlayer? I live in the South of the county, with occasional forays to Peterborough, when I catch Paul Stainton, who is a very different beast to Jeremy Sallis, but an award-winning beast nevertheless. I would have thought that if it was a matter of resources, then the station would like to profit from its only award-winning show at the moment. Well let’s not heap too much praise on him. (THEY LAUGH) But going back to the iPlayer. What is the situation?
DAVID HARVEY: Well we should say Paul Stainton is an award-winning broadcaster. In the last few months, basically, he was given the accolade of best local radio broadcaster in the country, which is absolutely fantastic, and I’m very proud of Paul. And when Paul actually grabbed his award, on the stage in Derby, he was presented with that award by the Director General of the BBC, Mark Thompson. And he asked Mark Thompson that very same question, why is the Peterborough Breakfast Show not on the iPlayer? It’s a question that I have also been asking as well, and I would like it to be on the iPlayer very much. It is a long complicated technical answer, to do with wires and cables, and how the BBC iPlayer system works. Far too complex for me to go into in detail here. But in answer to the person who was asking that question, I too would like it to be there. I’m working to try and make that happen. We’re talking about trying to create a Peterborough podcast, as an interim measure, which hopefully will happen sooner rather than later. There’s also going to be some changes in terms of the way that BBC local radio appears on the website, with the launch of something called the Radio Player, which will take all of the radio output, both commercially and from the BBC, and put it in one place. So that may also present us with an opportunity. But it’s something I’d like to happen.
ANDY HARPER: A bouquet from Gregor in Peterborough, who wants to say thank you for the in-depth local news and sport. Thank you Gregor. But this also is about news. It says, why is the weekend news coverage of Cambridgeshire so poor? The same could be said of the revamped website. It does seem that when Friday comes, proper news coverage and updates on the website have to wait until Monday. Other than that, all is good. Well that’s nice to know.
DAVID HARVEY: A really, really good point. It’s something that I am looking at. It’s again down to resources. If money was no object I’d have a whole team of journalists working across the weekend, as well as across the week. And Monday Breakfast show needs to reflect what has happened on a Saturday and a Sunday. We’ve started having a radio car reporter going out on a Sunday, Sophie Sulehria, who features into Mark Rumble’s show and also into Chris South’s gardening show. And Sophie is a reporter who is able to turn around some of the breaking stories, and also make them happen in terms of Monday’s output. So, the big fire last weekend, she was able to do some work around that for example. But if money was no object, yes, I would have more journalists working at the weekend. It’s something that I would like to do. But in order to do that, it’s back to that old scenario, how can I take from other parts of what we do, without upsetting too many people, in order to strengthen what we do there? If somebody gives me a big pot of money of course, then I won’t have to take from anything else.
ANDY HARPER: A couple of questions saying, why can’t the gardening hour be more in-depth gardening? The inference being that it’s a bit sort of magazine-y. It makes a mockery of gardening, because we want to just talk about gardens. So is that something which you might consider.
DAVID HARVEY: Yes. Chris South .. Catherine Carr was doing the programme before. Catherine would hold her hands up and say, she wasn’t a great gardener. She’s admit that. Chris South’s got 25 years of gardening experience. And so I would hope that people will notice a change there in terms of the depth and the quality. It’s a balancing act. We’ve got to appeal to the people that are just tuning in with very little gardening knowledge, and want the entertainment and a little bit of gardening fact. I’m on the side of those that want the exact detail. And we may not have got that balance right. A new show, and I would welcome more feedback, what people like and don’t like about it.
ANDY HARPER: Thank you. And I think it’s worth making the point at this stage that David does welcome your feedbacks. So if you ever want to contact him, then you can do so directly.
DAVID HARVEY: Probably cambs@bbc.co.uk is the best way then people can feed that through to me.
ANDY HARPER: So cambs@bbc.co.uk and we’d like to know what you think. And Adele, probably the last question now. But she says, why does Radio Cambridgeshire .. this comes up regularly I have to say .. why does Radio Cambridgeshire use an 0845 number. Why can’t we call you on a local number. Well I’ll let you explain, but it’s beyond our remit really isn’t it?
DAVID HARVEY: Yes. It’s one of those decisions that’s taken centrally. It’s a very good point. For example, I would like people to have a local phone number when they’ve got a travel flash that they want to give us, and make it easier for people to contact us. It’s something that I will look at. It’s a good point. I will feed that back up to my managers, because in the old days, when I started off on BBC local radio, certainly we just gave out a local number. And it does seem a little strange that we don’t give out a Cambridge standard code rather than an 0845. So I’ll look into that. It’s a good point.
ANDY HARPER: Thanks you to all of you who’ve been in touch. Because we have just about run out of time. George says, there’s too much talking about sport, which is something which does crop up regularly.
DAVID HARVEY: It gets very good audience figures. But I would agree, we’ve got to make sure we don’t let it swamp our output, certainly during daytime.
ANDY HARPER: And are the changes over for the time being? Or are there more in the pipeline? (LAUGHTER)
DAVID HARVEY: Well Andy, I’ve got something to tell you. (THEY LAUGH)
ANDY HARPER: No, no.
DAVID HARVEY: I’ve said to the team here behind the scenes, that I want now everything to settle down. We had to make those changes, as I’ve explained earlier. But now is a time for hopefully continuing to build our audience. As I said earlier, we’re now one of the best performing radio stations in the country, and I want to see that audience grow. So please, everybody, tell your friends about BBC Radio Cambridgeshire. Because we’re going to be hopefully a lot more visible in the next twelve months as well.
ANDY HARPER: The changes are over, is the right answer. David, thank you very much. And we’ll do this again.

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