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Mark Radcliffe replaces Mike Harding-Radio 2 Folk

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Dave Hanson 19 Oct 12 - 07:01 AM
Howard Jones 19 Oct 12 - 06:58 AM
GUEST,Perceived Purist 19 Oct 12 - 06:39 AM
greg stephens 19 Oct 12 - 06:34 AM
Bernard 19 Oct 12 - 06:23 AM
Lizzie Cornish 1 19 Oct 12 - 06:20 AM
GUEST,raymond greenoaken 19 Oct 12 - 06:10 AM
GUEST,Graham, Nuneaton 19 Oct 12 - 05:29 AM
Will Fly 19 Oct 12 - 05:29 AM
GUEST,Noddy 19 Oct 12 - 05:18 AM
GUEST 19 Oct 12 - 04:10 AM
GUEST 19 Oct 12 - 03:34 AM
Geoff the Duck 19 Oct 12 - 03:24 AM
GUEST,Roger Knowles 19 Oct 12 - 02:06 AM
GUEST,Tunesmith 19 Oct 12 - 02:02 AM
GUEST,Folk Yarn 18 Oct 12 - 05:45 PM
Lizzie Cornish 1 18 Oct 12 - 05:14 PM
Howard Jones 18 Oct 12 - 05:02 PM
John MacKenzie 18 Oct 12 - 05:01 PM
GUEST 18 Oct 12 - 05:00 PM
GUEST,Dave G 18 Oct 12 - 04:59 PM
GUEST 18 Oct 12 - 04:56 PM
Lizzie Cornish 1 18 Oct 12 - 04:52 PM
Lizzie Cornish 1 18 Oct 12 - 04:46 PM
GUEST 18 Oct 12 - 04:05 PM
Will Fly 18 Oct 12 - 03:55 PM
Will Fly 18 Oct 12 - 03:54 PM
Howard Jones 18 Oct 12 - 03:50 PM
John MacKenzie 18 Oct 12 - 03:47 PM
Will Fly 18 Oct 12 - 03:42 PM
GUEST 18 Oct 12 - 03:40 PM
John MacKenzie 18 Oct 12 - 03:28 PM
Will Fly 18 Oct 12 - 03:05 PM
John MacKenzie 18 Oct 12 - 03:00 PM
Will Fly 18 Oct 12 - 02:58 PM
GUEST,Lizzie Cornish 18 Oct 12 - 02:56 PM
Will Fly 18 Oct 12 - 02:42 PM
GUEST,Lizzie Cornish 18 Oct 12 - 02:34 PM
GUEST,Lizzie Cornish 18 Oct 12 - 02:31 PM
GUEST,Blandiver 18 Oct 12 - 02:01 PM
Will Fly 18 Oct 12 - 01:58 PM
John MacKenzie 18 Oct 12 - 01:03 PM
GUEST,soothsayer 18 Oct 12 - 12:58 PM
greg stephens 18 Oct 12 - 12:56 PM
GUEST,Blandiver 18 Oct 12 - 12:29 PM
John MacKenzie 18 Oct 12 - 12:00 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 18 Oct 12 - 11:54 AM
GUEST 18 Oct 12 - 11:42 AM
Will Fly 18 Oct 12 - 11:42 AM
Spleen Cringe 18 Oct 12 - 11:39 AM
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Subject: RE: Mark Radcliffe replaces Mike Harding-Radio 2 Folk
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 19 Oct 12 - 07:01 AM

I think the BBC has a general dislike of traditional music, what started out as Folk On 2 has been gradually watered down over the years since Jim Lloyd retired and now with Mark Radcliffe at the helm the process will carry on until it's just another middle of the road pop programme with an occaisional ' folk type ' [ Mumfords et al ] song thrown in then that will be that, no specialist folk music programmes on BBC Radio 2 it's a sad day, yet the BBC justify a whole channel devoted to classical music and another one to pop music, it defies logic, or does it ? the knobheads at the top must assume that everyone wants to listen to the same music as they do.

On RTE Radio 1 you can hear traditional music throughout the day, all day, plus the Irish music programmes they broadcast, why does the BBC hate it so much ?

What a disgrace the BBC has become.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Mark Radcliffe replaces Mike Harding-Radio 2 Folk
From: Howard Jones
Date: 19 Oct 12 - 06:58 AM

Will, I agree with what you say up to a point, but I think it does matter. Of course it's not a measure of the music whether or not it's played on radio. However I remember that when I was a youngster Folk on 2 was hugely influential in my exploration of folk music. It was essential listening. I'm afraid the same can't be said for the current programme, and I fear the situation will only get worse.

I really don't see how minority interests such as folk music can be brought into the mainstream. If they were attractive to the general audience they wouldn't be minority listening. The only way to make them mainstream is to ignore the more difficult stuff and just play music which is already close to mainstream tastes. It may be very fine music, but it rules out a lot of other very fine music. The insistence on moving even further towards the "mainstream" can only result in an even blander programme. The more challenging music which doesn't even appeal to all folk fans, let alone a general audience, will seldom be heard.

If the BBC purports to support these types of music (not just folk), it should at least do it properly. An hour a week isn't really too much to ask. Whether Radio 2 is now an appropriate home for it is another question entirely.


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Subject: RE: Mark Radcliffe replaces Mike Harding-Radio 2 Folk
From: GUEST,Perceived Purist
Date: 19 Oct 12 - 06:39 AM

One of the postings stated that the appointment would upset the purists.

Most of the "purists" I know did not listen to the "Mike Harding Show" so it is not going to change things.


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Subject: RE: Mark Radcliffe replaces Mike Harding-Radio 2 Folk
From: greg stephens
Date: 19 Oct 12 - 06:34 AM

raymond greenoaken makes an extremely valid point that I havent heard pointed out before on this topic. Couldn't agree more. Both Tony Capstick and Mike Harding were performers of huge humour and enthusiasm, plus great background knowledge and experience. Mike Harding stage shows would make you wet yourself, and I remember many moments of uncontrollable hilarity with Tony Capstick. But these qualities, to be brutally honest, did not successfully come out in Folkweave or Mike's current folk show.The problem does not lie with the presenters, it lies with the inability of the power structures of the BBC and/or Smooth Operations to come up with a scintillating format that actually uses the talent they have got.It's emphatically not the fault of the music that potentially could be played, or the potential presenters. The problems were, and will be, structural.


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Subject: RE: Mark Radcliffe replaces Mike Harding-Radio 2 Folk
From: Bernard
Date: 19 Oct 12 - 06:23 AM

In my experience, the Beeb only criticise you when someting goes a little wrong, and don't praise when praise is due.

Ali O'Brien and I used to broadcast on BBC GMR, and were chastised in no uncertain terms when we inadvertently 'crashed the news jingle' - which means we were still speaking when it kicked in.

The only person who ever praised us for our hours of excellent material - interviews, variety of CD tracks and live material - was Mike Shaft, who was instrumental in employing Ali in the first place.

We now broadcast on Oldham Community Radio, which is far friendlier! For example, whilst our pre-recorded Christmas Special was being broadcast, the Station Boss sent us both a text to say how much he and his wife were enjoying the show!

Just for the record, Oldham Community Radio is available online and has listeners around the world. So we're not a 'poor cousin' to the Beeb. Oh, and our 'Listen Again' goes back rather more than a week...!


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Subject: RE: Mark Radcliffe replaces Mike Harding-Radio 2 Folk
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 19 Oct 12 - 06:20 AM

UK Folk Music statement on Mike and the BBC


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Subject: RE: Mark Radcliffe replaces Mike Harding-Radio 2 Folk
From: GUEST,raymond greenoaken
Date: 19 Oct 12 - 06:10 AM

Heard on the radio yesterday: "Dave Jones [manager of Sheffield Wednesday] will be talking about his future, and that will be coming up very shortly..."

One thing about the future: from a certain angle it looks very like the past. Back in the 70s, "Genial" Jim Lloyd was eased out of his Folk On Two slot and replaced by a programme called Folkweave, presented by Tony Capstick. This was the same Tony Capstick who was one of the most fluent and hilarious performers on the folk scene at the time, but for some reason he became stiff, tentative and mirthless whenever he sat in the Folkweave chair.

Spool forward twenty years or so, and there's "Genial" Jim Lloyd again being eased out of his Folk On Two slot and replaced by a programme called The Mike Harding Show, presented by...you know the rest. At the time, MH had earned himself a well-deserved reputation as being one of the most fluent and hilarious performers on the folk scene, but his weekly bulletins from the cowshed over the past fifteen years have been, with grisly regularity, stiff, tentative and mirthless.

So my prediction is — Mark Radcliffe? A mere stalking horse. Expect within the year the glorious return of "Genial" Jim, 95 but still firing on all cylinders.


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Subject: RE: Mark Radcliffe replaces Mike Harding-Radio 2 Folk
From: GUEST,Graham, Nuneaton
Date: 19 Oct 12 - 05:29 AM

I hope all of us who are upset by this change are writing to the BBC !   Bob Shennan's the ma Radio 2 controller who sacked Mike.    Also, I hope all the Folk Club and Festival organisers who Mike has supported and publicised will write.....and especially the many musicians, young and old who Mike has had on his programme. Time to take action !


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Subject: RE: Mark Radcliffe replaces Mike Harding-Radio 2 Folk
From: Will Fly
Date: 19 Oct 12 - 05:29 AM

(GUEST(s) - if you could add a consistent little handle to your posts, then we'd be able to distinguish comments from GUEST from comments from GUEST.) :-)

There seem to be several distinct but interlinked themes about the topic:

1. Whether the show should change or not after 15 years.
2. Whether Mike Harding should or should not go.
3. Whether Mark Radcliffe should or not should be chosen as presenter.
4. Whether Mark Radcliffe or anyone else should have accepted the role of presenter.
5. Whether any presenter would be anything other than a front for a pre-selected playlist.
6. Whether "folk" should or should not be brought into the mainstream.

There may be others - like: should anything, anywhere ever change! The only one that has any passing interest for me is no. 6 on my list.

For the life of me I can't see whether it matters that the music that we like (whatever that music is, not just folk) should be "in the mainstream" or not, or "brought to a wider audience" or "given more exposure in the media". Are we in thrall to radio and TV? Is the only measure of the greatness of music the number of people who listen to it, or the number of times it's played on the radio? I have dozens of different musical interests - 18,000 tracks on my iPod at the current count - and many of my favourites will never be heard on the airwaves from one decade to the next. Rina Ketty singing "Berceuse du Reve Bleu" - the Holy Modal Rounders blasting through "The Year of Jubilo" - Jean Sablon singing "Le Fiacre". Why should I care about that "lack of exposure" - and how on earth could it possibly detract from the music itself?

I will say this: an unrelieved diet of folk music, or any other music for that matter, on radio and TV would be boring. Variety is the spice, etc... but there's also the "Off" switch.


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Subject: RE: Mark Radcliffe replaces Mike Harding-Radio 2 Folk
From: GUEST,Noddy
Date: 19 Oct 12 - 05:18 AM

Should have been replaced long long ago.


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Subject: RE: Mark Radcliffe replaces Mike Harding-Radio 2 Folk
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Oct 12 - 04:10 AM

I've really tried to like Cerys Matthews show, even to the point of waking up early on Sundays on purpose, but I just find her squeaky airhead persona too annoying. It's lovely to hear somebody in the throes of enthusiastic discovery of folk and world music, but she needs a producer who knows their stuff and can stop her making so many terrible errors, as a balance. Reminds me of a Mike Harding show where he played a track by American singer songwriter Shawn Colvin and then said something about "a cracking track from the talented Mister Colvin". And it's pre-recorded. And they didn't even notice to do a re-take or blooper edit. He so obviously hadn't even bothered to listen to the track the producers were dropping in. So Mark Radcliff can't be any worse, just a different set of mistakes.


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Subject: RE: Mark Radcliffe replaces Mike Harding-Radio 2 Folk
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Oct 12 - 03:34 AM

"I think back to the days of people like Mike Raven, Alexis Korner, Charlie Gillett, Humph, John Peel, Mark Lamarr - people you felt had some personal input to their shows - with fondness. We shan't see their like again."

Tom Ravenscroft, Cerys Mathews, Jarvis Cocker, Huey Morgan, Marc Riley, Gideon Coe all have personal input into their shows - you can hear it. In fact, Will, I suspect you'd enjoy Cerys Mathews' show: she's a big fan of acoustic blues, gospel and related music.


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Subject: RE: Mark Radcliffe replaces Mike Harding-Radio 2 Folk
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 19 Oct 12 - 03:24 AM

These days, I tend to only hear Radio 2 when I am driving. Moving kids around on evenings means that I heard bits of Mike Harding and Bob Harris. It always seemed that i heard better Folk stuff on the Thursday Country show than on Wednesday.
The impression I always got from the MH show was that is a performer wasn't a youngish female, an American, or Martin Simpson, there was little chance of hearing anything from them.
I used to like Folkweave, especially the bits recorded at actual Folk Club gigs.
Quack!
GtD.


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Subject: RE: Mark Radcliffe replaces Mike Harding-Radio 2 Folk
From: GUEST,Roger Knowles
Date: 19 Oct 12 - 02:06 AM

As a lover of both folk & country music, I was appalled by the BBC choice to appoint Bob Harris to MC the country show years ago. I do not listen to it much nowadaysdue to the material chosen by him.
I fear it will be the same with Radcliffe, what I saw from the Cambridge festival did not impress me at all. He doesn't seem to know his subject.
Mike Harding, I'll miss you.


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Subject: RE: Mark Radcliffe replaces Mike Harding-Radio 2 Folk
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 19 Oct 12 - 02:02 AM

Talking about Andy Kershaw, a number of years ago - on a TV show - he made a smart-arsed comment about Hank Williams, and, as a result,
I've never listened to his shows or read his columns since.


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Subject: RE: Mark Radcliffe replaces Mike Harding-Radio 2 Folk
From: GUEST,Folk Yarn
Date: 18 Oct 12 - 05:45 PM

His show was shite and the next show will be shite


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Subject: RE: Mark Radcliffe replaces Mike Harding-Radio 2 Folk
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 18 Oct 12 - 05:14 PM

Me too, John! :0)

Andy Kershaw's Facebook page


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Subject: RE: Mark Radcliffe replaces Mike Harding
From: Howard Jones
Date: 18 Oct 12 - 05:02 PM

The BBC Trust is currently carrying out a public consultation on its "Purpose Remits". It might be appropriate to ask how the BBC's stated intention "to incorporate folk music more seamlessly into our mainstream programmes" meets its objectives of "covering a wide range of cultural activities", "stimulating creativity and cultural excellence" and "representing the UK, its nations, regions and communities".


The consultation can be found here:

BBC Trust consultations


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Subject: RE: Mark Radcliffe replaces Mike Harding-Radio 2 Folk
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 18 Oct 12 - 05:01 PM

I'd like to keep the waistline I had 50 years ago


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Subject: RE: Mark Radcliffe replaces Mike Harding-Radio 2 Folk
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Oct 12 - 05:00 PM

Realistically, the BBC never gives way to petitions to reinstate people as it would mean them admitting they were wrong. As per Andy Kershaw himself, Folkwaves, A World In London and numerous others down the years. Actually, Kershaw would have been a better replacement for Harding if he had to be replaced - its ridiculous that somebody who has won so many Sony Awards is unemployed. And he's a northerner which seems to be part of the job description.


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Subject: RE: Mark Radcliffe replaces Mike Harding
From: GUEST,Dave G
Date: 18 Oct 12 - 04:59 PM

Mike Harding took over this programme when it was dying on its feet and turned it round with HIS excellent choice of music. He has played a major role in developing the careers of several of our finest (Kate R, Seth L, Cara D, Unthanks etc.) and, 15 years on, is still doing an excellent job in the one hour a week that we have for a dedicated folk music programme on national radio. I have nothing against Mark Radcliffe, himself a performer of songs with the Family Mahone. My worry is the direction the show moves in. Are we likely to see a move to more mainstream ideas of folk (Mumford and Sons, Fleet Foxes etc)?


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Subject: RE: Mark Radcliffe replaces Mike Harding
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Oct 12 - 04:56 PM

For fuck's sake, should we keep evevything in the world the same forever?


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Subject: RE: Mark Radcliffe replaces Mike Harding
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 18 Oct 12 - 04:52 PM

From Andy Kershaw's page.....

Petition to Reinstate Mike Harding - Please sign and share....


FB Photolink of Mike and this story to share - From Andy Kershaw


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Subject: RE: Mark Radcliffe replaces Mike Harding
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 18 Oct 12 - 04:46 PM

One of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard, which unlocked so very much of my Dad for me, for my Dad, like Mike's (whom he never got to meet) was an RAF Navigator...

Mike's Dad never made it back...

Mike Harding - 'Bomber's Moon'

I fully agree with Andy Kershaw!


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Subject: RE: Mark Radcliffe replaces Mike Harding
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Oct 12 - 04:05 PM

From Andy Kershaw (on Facebook)

This is a disgraceful and completely unnecessary decision. Mike has built up this fine show, and its audience, from nothing. He is an excellent broadcaster, a true enthusiast, and he knows his stuff. To drop him is a kick in the teeth for Mike - and his loyal listeners. I would have hoped Mark Radcliffe - an outstanding broadcaster himself, a nice guy, but not a noted folk music enthusiast - had the integrity, solidarity, principle and moral backbone to refuse to replace Mike - who didn't need replacing. Alas, it seems not.

He's got a lot of support.


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Subject: RE: Mark Radcliffe replaces Mike Harding
From: Will Fly
Date: 18 Oct 12 - 03:55 PM

(That last post was for John> :-)


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Subject: RE: Mark Radcliffe replaces Mike Harding
From: Will Fly
Date: 18 Oct 12 - 03:54 PM

Ah - got you. Well, who knows...

In my Beeb days, most broadcasters/presenters were not classed as "permanent" staff, but were employed on a regular, renewable contractual basis which meant that they could work elsewhere as they chose and therefore earn money outside the BBC. "Permanent" staff like myself couldn't do this - and our contract stipulated that everything that we did - such as writing a book - was the exclusive property of the Corporation, even if it had no connection whatsoever with the Corporation! So, in those days, DJs could do work for the BBC but also freelance outside its walls. Whether such free arrangements exist for Smooth Ops contracted people I haven't the faintest idea.


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Subject: RE: Mark Radcliffe replaces Mike Harding
From: Howard Jones
Date: 18 Oct 12 - 03:50 PM

The report on the BBC's own news website says their aim is "to incorporate folk music more seamlessly into our mainstream programmes".

They clearly don't understand that the reason minority areas of music need their own shows is precisely because they don't fit into their mainstream programmes. Or that the point of having a public service broadcaster is to cover those areas which otherwise would not get covered.


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Subject: RE: Mark Radcliffe replaces Mike Harding
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 18 Oct 12 - 03:47 PM

I was thinking more that he might jeapordise his present job, if he refused, and find himself in the wilderness.


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Subject: RE: Mark Radcliffe replaces Mike Harding
From: Will Fly
Date: 18 Oct 12 - 03:42 PM

John - I really know nothing of Mark Radcliffe's broadcasting - never heard him. I know very little about Smooth Ops other than that they are contracted to produce programmes for the BBC. And I rarely listen to folk on the radio or TV for that matter because the little I've heard bears small relation to much of the music that I play and enjoy "live". I've listened to Mike Harding's show perhaps half a dozen times over the last 15 years and can take it or leave it.

My point was in response to Lizzie's view that Radcliffe should not have accepted the job of replacing Harding because of the way that (we assume) Harding was treated. And the only point I made - and would still make - is that the world of music/theatre/broadcasting and its ilk doesn't work like that. Radcliffe's refusal of the job on 'ethical' principles - even supposing he knew of the way that Harding was treated (and we don't know that) - probably wouldn't have made a hap'orth of difference to the initial decision to not renew Harding's contract.

As I don't listen to radio folk output, I honestly don't have a view of how the the programme in question might change for the "better" or "worse" - a view which could only be subjective at best.


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Subject: RE: Mark Radcliffe replaces Mike Harding
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Oct 12 - 03:40 PM

"If Mike was told what to play, then I think that is a disgrace!"

Here is the story I was told. After Jim Lloyd's retirement and the Ralph McTell stop-gap, BBC Radio 2 head Jim Moyer called the "great and good" of the folk world, the festival organisers, media etc, into Broadcasting House for a lunch at which the replacement for Folk On 2 would be announced. When one of the SmoothOps people said the presenter would be Mike Harding, there was general dismay. One of the festival organisers blurted out "But what the f*** does Mike Harding know about the folk scene?" as, back then, he'd pretty much vanished from it after his hit single. "It doesn't matter," replied the SmoothOps person, "we'll be telling him what to play."

Its the same people who'll be telling Mark Ratcliffe what to play, I imagine. So nothing to worry about there.


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Subject: RE: Mark Radcliffe replaces Mike Harding
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 18 Oct 12 - 03:28 PM

Remember he already works for Smooth Ops too.


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Subject: RE: Mark Radcliffe replaces Mike Harding
From: Will Fly
Date: 18 Oct 12 - 03:05 PM

John - I'm not in a position to pronounce on why a broadcaster like Mark R would or wouldn't take up a job offered to him. That's up to him and it may or may not be an advancement. But to suggest that he shouldn't take a job because of the circumstances of the replacement of his predecessor is not how the real world works.

My view - and I don't even listen to the damn programme - is simply to see what a hand he makes of it. As others have said, give the man a chance.


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Subject: RE: Mark Radcliffe replaces Mike Harding
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 18 Oct 12 - 03:00 PM

"Advance his career"? Sorry Will but MH is a "niche broadcaster" and Radcliffe doesn't fall into that category. SO; if he thinks this will adavnce his carrer, then Folk on Two, is in for an enormous change of direction,.


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Subject: RE: Mark Radcliffe replaces Mike Harding
From: Will Fly
Date: 18 Oct 12 - 02:58 PM

These hoo-hahs about actors/actresses/presenters being replaced crop up over and over again in broadcasting. Does anyone recall another such when Ellis Powell was replaced by Jessie Matthews as Gwen Dale in "Mrs. Dale's Diary"? It's an instructive analogy. "Mrs. Dale" started in 1948 and, in 1962 (14 years later), it was decided that the programme needed change - so it was renamed "The Dales", got a new theme tune by Ron Grainer and, in 1963, Ellis Powell was sacked with a fairly large controversy! Sounds familiar?

It caused such a hoo-had, in fact, that a play was written based broadly around it - "The Killing of Sister George". I remember the day that "The Dales" series finally came to an end - in April 1969 - and walking into the BBC Club bar in the Langham to see Jessie Matthews in her mink stole being feted by the Good and Gorgeous...


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Subject: RE: Mark Radcliffe replaces Mike Harding
From: GUEST,Lizzie Cornish
Date: 18 Oct 12 - 02:56 PM

At what point does someone stand up and say "No, this is wrong!" ?

Never?

You don't treat someone who's worked for you for so very long like this...

If Smooth Ops were also in on it they too should hang their heads in shame...particularly as John Leonard is a friend of Mike's....

I'm sick of shitty people treading on others to advance their careers or stay in with 'the BBC Boys' whilst saying how 'cherished' someone is to them...

Personally, as I'm sure you know, I've NO respect for Smooths Ops or the BBC after their behaviour towards me, but I was of no significance in their working day. Mike had worked for them, WITH them, for many many years and as such he should at the very least have been treated in a decent manner, with him being informed first and then Mark going to him to see if it was OK...

But hey, that's just lil' ol' me..


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Subject: RE: Mark Radcliffe replaces Mike Harding
From: Will Fly
Date: 18 Oct 12 - 02:42 PM

Unfortunately, Lizzie, if you work in a medium like broadcasting - where you're essentially a freelancer - such decisions, which affect your own future in the medium, are not easily made.

No-one lasts for ever - and rather than blame Mark Radcliffe for taking up a job which advances his career - if there was a "nasty little arrangement", then castigate Smooth Ops/BBC. Let's suppose that Mark Radcliffe had done, as you might see it, the "right thing" and refused the job. Would that have changed Smooth Ops' decision to release Mike Harding? I doubt it very much.

They wanted a change - they got a change. The manner of that change may be open to debate, as is obvious from this thread. But let's not be naive about the nature of the way that broadcasting operates and has always operated.


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Subject: RE: Mark Radcliffe replaces Mike Harding
From: GUEST,Lizzie Cornish
Date: 18 Oct 12 - 02:34 PM

Mark Radcliffe on Mike Harding (taken from above)
"I am also well aware of how loved and cherished Mike Harding is and it is daunting to be following in his footsteps. He is a friend and someone I respect enormously and I really want to pay tribute to the sterling job he's done on the Folk Show for so long. Thanks Mike, from all of us."


Well, in that case, Mark, you should have let Mike know what they were planning, then told the BBC where to stick their nasty little 'arrangement' done behind Mike Harding's back.


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Subject: RE: Mark Radcliffe replaces Mike Harding
From: GUEST,Lizzie Cornish
Date: 18 Oct 12 - 02:31 PM

John, from the link above:

>>>>BBC Radio 2 folk DJ Mike Harding hits out at boss after sacking

Veteran presenter to be replaced by Mark Radcliffe after 15 years presenting Folk Show


Mike Harding says controller Bob Shennan only rang him once and that was to sack him. Photograph: Jude Edginton/BBC
BBC Radio 2 presenter Mike Harding, who has been axed as presenter of the station's folk music show after 15 years, has hit out at its controller Bob Shennan, saying the only time he rang him was to sack him.


Harding will be replaced in the new year by another Radio 2 presenter, Mark Radcliffe, his first primetime show on Radio 2 since he switched to 6 Music last year.


"In 15 years I have built the programme from 70,000 listeners to 860,000 listeners. In all that time I have never had a single phone call from Radio 2 to say I was doing a good job even though I instituted things like the Folk Awards with my producer John [Leonard]. I built that show up over the years with a lot of hard work because it is music that is in my blood," Harding said.


"Last Tuesday I got the only phone call I have ever had from Radio 2 – from Bob Shennan – telling me he was pulling me from the programme. No reason was given beyond that they wanted to make it more 'live'. No other presenter was mentioned."


Harding, who currently pre-records the show, said he could have broadcast it live if requested. He will continue to present the Wednesday evening slot for the rest of the year, with his last show on Boxing Day.


"I will continue to do it with the professionalism that I have always done," said the singer and comedian who had his own show on BBC2.


Harding, who is also known as the "Rochdale Cowboy" after his 1975 chart hit, turns 68 later this month.


He said age should have nothing to do with presenting.


"Folk music spans the generations," he said. "Young people don't care how old I am as long as I know what I'm talking about. I'm a player, I'm a musician. It's my life."


Radcliffe, who currently presents a late-night show on Radio 2 alongside his afternoon 6 Music show, which he co-hosts with Stuart Maconie, said: "I can't say how thrilled and honoured I am to be doing this.


"I am also well aware of how loved and cherished Mike Harding is and it is daunting to be following in his footsteps. He is a friend and someone I respect enormously and I really want to pay tribute to the sterling job he's done on the Folk Show for so long. Thanks Mike, from all of us."


Shennan described Radcliffe as a "firm favourite with Radio 2 listeners [with] unrivalled broadcasting credentials and longstanding passion, knowledge and hands-on experience of folk music".


The Radio 2 and 6 Music controller added: "I'd like to thank Mike Harding, who has spent 15 years at the top of his game, delighting fans with his expertise and rooting out the very best folk music.


"On his watch, folk has enjoyed a huge surge in popularity and Mike has been key in supporting the genre and introducing Radio 2 listeners to a broad range of new artists. We very much hope to work with him again in the future." <<<


It would seem that Mike felt he was felt sacked, perhaps not 'there and then' but he was given just a few weeks to pack up and go, basically..


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Subject: RE: Mark Radcliffe replaces Mike Harding
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 18 Oct 12 - 02:01 PM

BBC Radio 2 folk DJ Mike Harding hits out at boss after sacking


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Subject: RE: Mark Radcliffe replaces Mike Harding
From: Will Fly
Date: 18 Oct 12 - 01:58 PM

The pressure and competition from other broadcasters on the BBC - from many areas - is such that listener/viewer figures are more paramount in their thinking than ever before. With that in view, it seems more likely to me that contracts to independent programme makers (like Smooth Ops) will be awarded with an eye to the ratings that those programmes can bring in. This isn't rocket science, just the market dictating or influencing the action - and a totally different environment from the one in which the BBC operated, say, 20 years ago.

Smooth Ops are bound to have the question of ratings and listener figures in mind when creating their programmes - and 'tune' the programmes accordingly. How they tune them is, of course, open to speculation.


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Subject: RE: Mark Radcliffe replaces Mike Harding
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 18 Oct 12 - 01:03 PM

He who pays the piper, calls the tune


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Subject: RE: Mark Radcliffe replaces Mike Harding
From: GUEST,soothsayer
Date: 18 Oct 12 - 12:58 PM

not saying he had no input at all, but I have definintely heard that a lot of the playlist was dictated by the producers and there were things he didn't want to play, that he had to.


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Subject: RE: Mark Radcliffe replaces Mike Harding
From: greg stephens
Date: 18 Oct 12 - 12:56 PM

I've got a great idea. Have an hour a week programme on Radio 2 that plays records of folk music. just a thought? But unlikely to be implemented.


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Subject: RE: Mark Radcliffe replaces Mike Harding
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 18 Oct 12 - 12:29 PM

How much do input you honestly think Mike Harding had into his playlist?

When I asked if MH would play our album on his show he asked me to send him a copy, which I did. That he didn't play it I took in good grace & as a matter of personal taste - plenty of other stations did, from Bob's Folk Show to the Late Junction on Radio 3, so I'm in no way complaining here. Every respect for MH, it seems to me that he played pretty much what he liked to play which is exactly as it ought to be. And I doubt Sproaty Smith & Elle Osbourne are on any official play list, though I'd love to be told I was mistaken!


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Subject: RE: Mark Radcliffe replaces Mike Harding
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 18 Oct 12 - 12:00 PM

"Radio 2's folk show is produced for the BBC by independent production company Smooth Operations, which also produces Mark Radcliffe's other BBC radio ventures."


Says it all really!.


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Subject: RE: Mark Radcliffe replaces Mike Harding
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 18 Oct 12 - 11:54 AM

If Mike was told what to play, then I think that is a disgrace!
From what we know, John Peel was never told what to play, and so why would anyone presume to tell Mike Harding -with all his experience on the folk scene - what to play!
All this "dumbing down" by the BBC is very disappointing.
Mind you, the BBC have a long track record of drafting in people, who lack the correct credentials, to run shows
I do hope that Mike does now "reveal all" about the show.


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Subject: RE: Mark Radcliffe replaces Mike Harding
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Oct 12 - 11:42 AM

Ask yourself, who's decision was it to impose on the BBC
the employment ethics and practices of the ruthless corporate boardroom market place !!!???

Time for MH to step down ? maybe ???

But the slimey nature of his discarding is reprehensible.


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Subject: RE: Mark Radcliffe replaces Mike Harding
From: Will Fly
Date: 18 Oct 12 - 11:42 AM

I rarely listen to folk or blues or jazz on the BBC these days - it all seems so gutless. Even the name "Smooth Operations" seems smarmy and gloopy.

I think back to the days of people like Mike Raven, Alexis Korner, Charlie Gillett, Humph, John Peel, Mark Lamarr - people you felt had some personal input to their shows - with fondness. We shan't see their like again.


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Subject: RE: Mark Radcliffe replaces Mike Harding
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 18 Oct 12 - 11:39 AM

"I don't see how Radcliffe can push the R2 folk show too much further towards the mainstream, it's already pretty close."

That's true. I just think it could get even closer...

And I'd second your comments about Bob Meyer's album.


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