Monday, 26 July 2010

End of "Called to Order"

The last in the Radio Wales series was broadcast last Friday evening and repeated first thing Saturday. It is available on "Listen Again"  for a few days more, but one would hope for a more permanent record of what has been one of the best topical political discussion programmes anywhere, not just in Wales. It allowed Welsh politicians - AMs, MPs and MEPs - the freedom to express themselves unspun, in a (usually) convivial atmosphere, knowing that the programme's moderator would not take unfair advantage of a deviation from the party line. That tone was set by the impeccably independent Patrick Hannan who initiated the programme with its producer Mark Palmer nine years ago. Adrian Masters took over on Hannan's premature and still-lamented death last October and, to my mind, maintained the spirit of the programme while being distinctively himself.

As in previous years, when the politicians took their holidays and "Called to Order" its summer break, there is a human interest story filling the slot. (This coming Friday it is about the racing driver Tom Pryce.) Will there be a permanent replacement when the parliaments return in the autumn? Perhaps we'll have "The ll Files" back at a more convenient time. Rather that than a predictable party knockabout, of which there are too many examples on radio and TV already.

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