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Preview: BBC Audio & Music | Radio 4 | PM

BBC Audio & Music | Radio 4 | PM

The blog for the evening news and current affairs programme presented by Eddie Mair.

Last Build Date: Fri, 02 Mar 2012 17:15:36 +0000

Copyright: Copyright 2012

Leap for PM Update

Fri, 02 Mar 2012 17:15:36 +0000

On Wednesday, PM asked listeners to do something special to mark the leap day.

Paddy O'Connell helped listener and charity fundraiser June Bowden, who is blind, take her "Leap for PM", riding a tandem bike for the first time. Watch the video here.

For users of Facebook, photos from Wednesday's Leap have been added to Radio 4's page.

Leap for PM Update

Fri, 02 Mar 2012 17:15:36 +0000

On Wednesday, PM asked listeners to do something special to mark the leap day.

Paddy O'Connell helped listener and charity fundraiser June Bowden, who is blind, take her "Leap for PM", riding a tandem bike for the first time. Watch the video here.

For users of Facebook, photos from Wednesday's Leap have been added to Radio 4's page.

Leap for PM Update

Fri, 02 Mar 2012 17:15:36 +0000

On Wednesday, PM asked listeners to do something special to mark the leap day.

Paddy O'Connell helped listener and charity fundraiser June Bowden, who is blind, take her "Leap for PM", riding a tandem bike for the first time. Watch the video here.

For users of Facebook, photos from Wednesday's Leap have been added to Radio 4's page.

Leap for PM Update

Fri, 02 Mar 2012 17:15:36 +0000

On Wednesday, PM asked listeners to do something special to mark the leap day.

Paddy O'Connell helped listener and charity fundraiser June Bowden, who is blind, take her "Leap for PM", riding a tandem bike for the first time. Watch the video here.

For users of Facebook, photos from Wednesday's Leap have been added to Radio 4's page.

The leaps listeners made

Thu, 01 Mar 2012 16:56:42 +0000

Wednesday was a very special day, a Leap Day. Like Oliver Reed in his heyday, it comes round only once every four years.

PM wondered whether we could use the special day as an opportunity. We asked listeners whether they'd be prepared to take advantage of this extra day - use it as an excuse to do something different.

But did anyone actually take the leap?

Fritha Ellis-Proughten went to the dentist for root canal treatment. She says: "It went very well and I am now contemplating the abundance of crunchy food items I have been missing out on for the past three months."

Ruth Martin went to Iceland to try and catch a glimpse of the northern lights. "We went out at 9pm; drove out of Reykjavik for about an hour; and stood in the snowy cold for two periods of about 45 minutes without success."

Sue Lloyd went to the theatre in Stratford: "I saw The Heresy of Love at the Swan Theatre, Stratford, as planned."

Polly Ernest was going to be recovering in hospital from donating a kidney to her husband, Roger: "Unfortunately, the powers that be decided to cancel the operation as there was still a shadow of doubt over Roger's health. I was admitted on Sunday via A+E with acute shoulder and neck pains and have spent the last three days flat on my back. Talk about the best laid plans."

Ted White went to Buckingham Palace to be invested an MBE: "I had a wonderful time... the Prince of Wales was doing the investing!"

Simon Ridley and nine other campanologists rang the bells in Tewkesbury Abby for an hour: "1346 musical changes of Yorkshire Surprise Maximus performed in 54 minutes on Tewkesbury Abbey bells, leaping tonight for PM. Ringing was fair to start, quality rising, good at finish."

Yvonne spent the day geocaching as she won't be able to log a geocache on this date for four years: "We found our planned geocache at Lepe. We had made our first travel bug called 'Leap for PM' and we will now be able to track its progress as it goes from cache to cache across the world."

Liz Turner, now 61, rekindled her hula hooping hobby: "I have just had my hula-hooping session with Jodhi - the teacher kindly provided by PM - and what larks we had!"

Irene Nicholson met up with someone she hadn't seen in decades: "I have had a lovely day with my friend, Teresa, who has come over from Australia after 42 years. We are going to Paris on the 12th March to celebrate our 60th birthdays!"

Clare Fowler went to Buckingham Palace to be invested a CBE: "What an extraordinary privilege. HRH Prince of Wales officiated and spoke to each of the 87 recipients."

Ceri Lamberton made a leap with her year six class: "All of the children in the class took their leap. They used the extra hours during the day on the 29th February to do something that would make a difference either to their own lives or to the people around them."

Ross McDonald told his colleagues that he is gay and has been with his partner for 17 years: "Over the course of the morning a number of colleagues came to me and thanked me with admiration for my honesty. I even managed to use 'we' instead of 'I' when talking about plans for the weekend."

Jill Sandford sent an olive branch to a friend she thought she may have offended: "I made the hard phone call today and apologised to my friend Anne, asking her to let me know if she is OK and to make contact. Feels great to have done it. Now I wait."

Unemployment Week on PM

Fri, 17 Feb 2012 14:16:56 +0000


Colin, who's 64 and lives in Bridgend, South Wales, has been job searching since 2009.

On PM this week, we've heard from a range of different people who all face the same problem: they're unemployed.

We've also heard from a number of not for profit organisations that are there to help people in the same situation - here's where to find them:

The Age and Employment Network
The Age and Employment Network (TAEN) works to promote an effective labour market that serves the needs of people in mid and later life, employers and the economy.

Tomorrow's People
Tomorrow's People change the lives of some of society's most excluded and marginalised people through work. We connect jobseekers, employers and government programmes in order to make sure local labour markets work efficiently.

Next Step
Next Step is a publicly funded service, helping adults get the advice they need for future skills, careers, work and life choices.

The Prince's Trust
The Prince's Trust work with 13 to 30-year-olds who have struggled at school, have been in care, are long-term unemployed or have been in trouble with the law. They give practical and financial support, developing key workplace skills such as confidence and motivation


Ben, who's 25 and lives in Wootton Bassett, has been job searching since 2008.

iPM: Depression and suicide support

Sat, 14 Jan 2012 05:30:06 +0000

On iPM this week, a listener told us about his experience of depression as part of an interview about gun licensing.

Below are a list of organisations which offer support for people with depression.

Samaritans provides confidential non-judgemental emotional support, 24 hours a day for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those which could lead to suicide. Phone: 08457 90 90 90 (24 hours a day)

HOPELineUK, provided by the organisation PAPYRUS, is a specialist telephone helpline service staffed by trained professionals who can give support, practical advice and information to children, teenagers and young people up to the age of 35 who are worried about themselves, and to anyone who is concerned about a young person. They will listen in confidence and try to help you deal with your own suicidal thoughts or cope with someone else who may be feeling this way.
Helpline: 0800 068 41 41 (Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm; 7pm to 10pm; weekends 2pm to 5pm).

Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide exists to meet the needs and break the isolation of those bereaved by the suicide of a close relative or friend. Phone: 0844 561 6855 (9am to 9pm every day)

SANE is a UK-wide charity set up to improve the quality of life for people affected by mental illness, including depression.
It aims to provide care and emotional support for people with mental health problems, their families and carers as well as information for other organisations and the public. Phone: 0845 767 8000 (6pm to 11pm)

Mind campaigns for the rights of people with mental health problems covering England and Wales. The Mind Infoline provides information on a range of topics including types of mental distress, where to get help, drug and alternative treatments and advocacy. They are also able to provide details of local help and support. Phone: 0300 123 3393 (9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday)

Become a computer programmer!

Mon, 28 Nov 2011 16:10:29 +0000

On the programme tonight Bill Thompson suggests we can all do this. Give it a try. Here's what he sent us:

This is the code:

Copy the text from BEGIN to END (but not the BEGIN and END) into a text editor like Notepad

Save it to a file named prog.htm (NOT .txt)

Load it into your web browser

Click the button

You're a programmer...

iPM New Year Honour award

Mon, 21 Nov 2011 16:30:10 +0000

Is there someone in your life who deserves an honour?

The great and the good will be recognised in the Queen's New Year Honours list. At iPM, we'd like to recognise some of Britain's unsung individuals, people who aren't usually in the limelight. And we'd like you to nominate them.

Maybe you know someone who has done something quite extraordinary or you may just think they deserve some recognition. It may be someone who lives next door, a friend, a member of your family or someone you work with. The thing you admire them for could be quirky or unusual, we don't mind, but please tell us why you think they should receive an honour.

Is there a prize?
No, don't be daft, but we will make a fuss of nominees. The winner will be featured in our first programme of 2012 and we'll feature other nominees on the programme throughout December.

How do I nominate someone?
You can email us - and please put HONOUR in the subject line. Or write to us at

iPM New Year Honour
Room G601
BBC Television Centre
London W12 7RJ

Last entries
You have until midnight on Sunday 11 December to send us your nomination.

Read our terms and conditions. Any queries, comments or if you want run something past us, just drop us a line

iPM New Year Honour terms and conditions

Mon, 21 Nov 2011 16:15:14 +0000

Our New Years Honour award for 2011. If you'd like to nominate someone, you can find out more in this blog post. Any queries, drop us a line 1. In order to nominate someone, you must be a UK resident (including Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) and not be a BBC employee, employee of any of its affiliates, close relative of any such employees or connected to the award directly or through a close relative. 2. Any UK resident (incl. Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) aged 10 and above is eligible to be nominated, except BBC employees, employees of any of its affiliates, close relatives of any such employees or those connected to the award directly or through a close relative. Proof of age, identity and eligibility may be requested. You will be required to provide evidence of the nominee's permission. For nominees under 16, evidence of their parent/guardian consent will be required. The nominee will be told that you were the person nominating him/her. 3. Nominations can be made by: (i) emailing the programme or; (ii) sending a postal entry to iPM Honours, iPM, Room G601, BBC TV Centre, London W12 7RJ. The closing time for receipt of entries is 00:01 on 12th December 2011. No entries received after that time will be considered. Nominations cannot be acknowledged or returned. Full details of opening and closing times will be given on air. 4. You will be required to provide evidence of the nominee's permission to take part in any post-award publicity. The winner will be expected to allow the use of their names for publicity purposes as may be required. For entrants/winners under 18 years of age, parent or guardian's consent may be required. 5. As this is mostly an award for fun, ie. there is no prize, there is a wide criteria to qualify for nomination. The nominee should deserve recognition for some aspect of their life which is extraordinary or deserves to be given attention. The award should not be referred to in any way that could suggest endorsement by the BBC (including Radio 4) or as a way of promoting any commercial venture or any other cause that could bring the BBC into disrepute. 6. The BBC may contact both the nominator and nominee to verify facts and/or events and whether the relevant consents have been obtained. This should not be interpreted as anything other than an information gathering exercise. 7. The BBC team will select a winner based on the above criteria. 8. The winner will be notified within seven days of the close of the nominations by post or telephone or email. The winner will also be announced on 31st December 2011 on iPM. 9. The BBC's decision as to the winner is final. No correspondence relating to the award will be entered. 10. The winners will receive the iPM New Years Honour Award, which consists purely of such mention. There are no prizes, no cash alternative and the award cannot be sold or transferred in any circumstances. 11. The BBC reserves the right to: (i) vary the opening times of the awards; (ii) disqualify any nominee who breaches the rules or has acted fraudulently in any way; and (iii) cancel the awards, at any stage, if in its opinion it is deemed necessary or if circumstances arise outside its control. 12. The BBC, its sub-contractors, subsidiaries and/or agencies cannot accept any responsibility whatsoever for any technical failure or malfunction or any other problem which may result in any nomination not properly registered. 13. The BBC will only use personal details for the purposes of administering this award and will not publish or provide them to anyone without permission. You can read more about the BBC Privacy Policy on: 14. The promoter of the awards is the British Broadcasting Corporation and these terms and conditions are subject to the laws of England and[...]

Understanding our Euro figure: by PM listener Gavin Knoesen

Thu, 27 Oct 2011 12:44:56 +0000

Last night on PM I read out an email from listener Steve Andrews:

"Eddie. Curious fact. When the foreign exchange values are read out every day, no matter how the currencies have been performing the euro is always worth 87p. Why is this?"

Gavin Knoesen heard that and sent us this:

"As a currency trader I would like to send Eddie a chart to explain the listeners observation - with both technical and fundamental reasoning."

And he did:


Chart 1


Chart 2


Chart 3

"When quoting a currency it is always relative to another. Think of an arm-wrestle when both participants are of similar strength there is not much movement up or down. This is the case with the Euro versus Sterling as fiscal concerns surrounding both economies mean that they are of similar strength relative to one another.

I have included charts of both the Euro and Sterling versus the Swiss Franc, to illustrate that relative to a stronger currency namely the Swiss Franc which is widely viewed as a safe haven currency in times of uncertainty such as we are in, both the Euro and Sterling are weak. Thus weak currency versus weak currency results in sideways directionless price behaviour.

Chart 1 EURGBP as labelled

1) This currency had a previous "ceiling" at 82.00 as indicated.

2) Once this area is overcome it is normal behaviour for the market to retest the previous "ceiling" which then becomes a "floor" or support.

3) For the larger part of the past three years price has oscillated between point 3,4,5 (red highlighted area) and 1,2 (the green highlighted area) the midpoint of this range is ultimately 87.00 (indicated by the solid purple line and shaded area). You can see that the apex of the triangle in which the pair is trading is also equal to the 87 to 87.50 area.

4) The yellow lines show the possible price movements however technically the market remains poised for a move higher i.e. Euro to gain strength over Sterling. This does not equate to the Euro necessarily gets stronger but rather a weakness in Sterling.

The blue line labelled as the 200 Day Exponential Moving Average is a closely watched by institutional traders and hedge funds for long term direction. In this case as price is above this average the assumption is that Sterling will in fact weaken against the Euro in the coming year."

Thank you, Gavin.


Thu, 27 Oct 2011 10:59:28 +0000

Tonight on PM, Alan Power, head gardener at the National Trust's gardens at Stourhead in Wiltshire, returns.

Here is a link to a specially commissioned slideshow.

Child Abduction

Tue, 06 Sep 2011 14:54:59 +0000

On PM this evening Clive Coleman our legal correspondent is reporting on the increase in the number of children abducted by one of their parents. Courts around the world are having to make Solomon-like decisions on returning children to the parent 'left-behind' , sometimes after years of separation. But what are the long term effects of child abduction? The first detailed research project into the subject in Europe is about to start but will its results help courts to make better decisions?

If anyone has experience of child abduction and would like to be part of Professor Marilyn Freeman's research project, here are her contact details:

Dr. Marilyn Freeman,
Professor of Family Law,
Centre for Family Law and Practice,
London Metropolitan University,
16, Goulston Street,
London, E1 7TP.

Is it more difficult for children to play in the street than when you were young?

Wed, 03 Aug 2011 12:07:47 +0000

Tonight in PM, John Sudworth reports from Bristol where street party legislation has been used to create safe places for children to play. You can read more here.





A debt ceiling for Westminster?

Wed, 03 Aug 2011 12:02:20 +0000

We might talk tonight about the suggestion floated in today's Daily Telegraph.