I am a 50-something child-free married English man living in Wales. I am self-employed, I work from home and have a passion for all kinds of popular music, so my main form of company during the day is Radio 2. I listen from 8am to 6pm most days and I love what they do, except for one thing: The Jeremy Vine Show.
In my opinion, Jeremy is a master of what he does. He turns the most insignificant story into something sensational that the tabloid press would be proud to publish. He contributes absolutely nothing to Radio 2 or life in general, other than filling two hours of airtime with verbal diarrhoea that does nothing other than to raise the blood pressure of his listeners. It would not be so bad if he actually championed a cause and tried to get something changed, but all he does is talk about it. He is too fond of the sound of his own voice and approaches each subject with his own pre-conceived biased views. He ignores and refutes any criticism of his show (we have exchanged many emails and he has even called me at home twice) claiming that if he were so bad he would not have so many listeners. I have it on good authority that he loses Radio 2 half a million listeners between Ken Bruce and Steve Wright.
I listen to his trail on Ken Bruce's show most days, and also check his BBC web page. I then compose an email that lists each of the four topics to be discussed that day and why they are irrelevant or of no interest to me. I always include my full name and telephone number should he or a member of his team wish to contact me. Very rarely I will get a personal reply from Jeremy himself, and I thank him for taking the time to communicate with me. We do not and cannot agree on what makes good lunchtime radio but I think we do have a mutual respect for each other's viewpoint.
I occasionally listen to a little of his show, but a finger is usually hovering above my radio ready to cut the power or switch to another station when it all gets too much. Listening for too long usually causes me to send a message to the BBC's complaints department about bias or some factual error.
My Jeremy Vine Show pet hates include:
- Jeremy's lack of research and knowledge about the topics he plans to discuss.
- Jeremy's broadcasting of speculative information when lacking actual facts.
- Jeremy's attempts to tell me - us! - what to think.
- Jeremy's obvious and pre-concieved bias on topics that are of interest to him.
- Jeremy's obvious "I'm getting bored now" attitude for topics that are of no interest to him.
- Jeremy's use of "talking heads" such as George Galloway, who seem to be dragged in to discuss all manner of topics of which they have no knowledge or interest.
- Jeremy's inability to control an in-studio discussion, which usually ends up as a free-for-all of people talking over the top of each other.
- Jeremy's inconsistency of topic geography. I have been told by the show's Programme Editor and the BBC Complaints Department that topics have to be worthy of national debate, but this policy goes conveniently out of the window whenever it suits. He is more likely to cover a non-news topic relating to the USA than a news story that relates to Northern Ireland or Wales, but a story that relates only to England (and then usually only to London and the South East) will be debated at length.
- Terry Walton's allotment: I am sure that Mr Walton is a fine horticulturalist but his Friday appearance on the JV Show reduces him to nothing more than a sound-effects man.
I know that some people do like his show. They are the ones who call in and finish their conversation with "Love the show Jeremy" or some other tosh. While I would accept that there is an audience for a show of this kind I remain resolute in my belief that it should not be on Radio 2 between 12pm and 2pm Monday to Friday. IF, and these are big IFs, he chose to discuss something that was of interest or relevance to me or IF there was the smallest chance that his discussions would actually change something then I would listen, but for week after week and month after month this just does not happen.
The question often asked of me is: "If you hate the programme so much, why don't you listen to something else?". My answer is: "I do". Digital station 6 Music have recently improved their coverage of this area, and this is now my radio station of choice for afternoon listening from 12 o'clock onwards.
The other question I am asked is: "If you hate the programme so much, why do you write about it?". My answer is that I want Jeremy to be fully aware that his discussion topics simply do not make radio to which I would listen. I feel that he needs to know that by trivialising Radio 2's only news-based programme he treats his listeners as idiots in a vain attempt to make it "entertaining". It would be fine if he talked about real news, but how many times do we need to hear another discussion on wheelie bins originating from a story culled from the Daily Mail?
I will post my messages to Jeremy here when I can mainly for my own benefit, but I hope that you, Dear Reader, find something of interest and possible amusement within them.