My week: RIchard Jackson

Monday, 11 June 2007

The Blair Hits Project gets under way. It’s a wheeze to find the best song of Tony Blair’s years at Number 10. Sadly, during a week of nominations via our blog, not a single listener went for a song by Blair’s own band Ugly Rumours. Maybe if he’s got time on his hands in the future, a reunion could be on the cards? It worked for Take That. Anyway, we’ve been sifting through hundreds of suggestions and recruited the Telegraph’s music columnist Neil McCormick to help us narrow them down to 10. We allow him a pick of his own – and he goes for The Libertines’ Can’t Stand Me Now. I hold out little hope for that winning favour with our listeners. Pete Doherty is always guaranteed a pretty hostile reaction on texts and emails when his latest mishap makes the news. The audience also gets cross about a plan to cull badgers.

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Bernard Manning died last night. While many in the media want to lambast him for being virtually any sort of ‘-ist’you could hope to mention, lots of people text saying how much they thought he was just a really funny guy. Frank Carson pays a glowing tribute to his friend and predicts a Mancunian funeral as big as that for Sir Matt Busby. Hmm. The top story on the programme is that the Government is about to announce that some prisoners would be released to ease overcrowding. ‘It’s not going to be a mass exodus’we are told, urging us to be cautious about a figure of 2,000 quoted in The Times. By the end of the day, it is clear the number is more likely to be 25,000. Back to the Iraq and Roll years… the listeners vote The Verve’s Bitter Sweet Symphony into the final on Friday.

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

A sad day as we break the news of the death of Rick Costello, who was a Five Live listener suffering from pancreatic cancer. He was angry that winter fuel payments were paid to everyone over 65 (including Mick Jagger), but not to terminally ill people who are forced to keep the heating on day and night because of their condition. He contacted Five Live because he wanted people to know that many people were having to rely on charity handouts to keep warm. We had followed him as he had meetings with politicians – and this morning we hear from all three main parties. A Labour minister expresses her sympathy, the Tories pledge that the issue is now high on the political agenda, and Sir Menzies Campbell said the Lib Dems are backing an Early Day Motion calling for a change in the rules. This morning we hear Rick’s last interview in which he spoke movingly and passionately about his situation. He felt let down by the Welfare State. ‘We were part of the golden generation,’he said. Rick’s determination and reasoned arguments won him many admirers, not least among the members of the programme team. Robbie Williams’s Angels makes the final of our competition.

Thursday, 14 June 2007

A strange morning for the former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. As we go on air it is announced he has been charged with corruption in his home country. Then it becomes clear that he has put in a formal takeover bid for Manchester City. By 8am we know the club has accepted the offer. When Dan Johnson from the Premier League appears on the programme to talk about a different issue we are able to ask him how the league made sure investors in clubs were fit and proper people. Another Five Live exclusive leads the programme – three women, whose daughters were murdered by men who had stalked them, tell us they want new measures to protect women in the future. The number of people voting for their favourite song from the Premier Collection continues to grow – this morning Arctic Monkeys and James Blunt fall by the wayside as Coldplay’s Fix You storms into the final.

Friday, 15 June 2007

A man in a pink suit comes into our studio and calls Tony Blair an ‘arsehole”. He owns an ‘erotic nightclub’and is campaigning against new anti-smoking laws – and has employed Cherie Blair to represent him. Fancy being a fly on the wall next time they speak? The listeners are highly amused – and particularly like his argument that the health of his dancers would be at risk as they’d have to go outside in the cold to have a fag. The papers are reporting that presenter Nicky Campbell is in line to present Crimewatch after Nick Ross. He’s already hatching a plan to take over all programmes with the word ‘Watch’in it. Watchdog is in the bag, and as well as Crimewatch, he could have a crack at Springwatch (Oddie’s not getting any younger) and Timewatch. Let’s hope Watch With Mother never returns. On air, Shelagh Fogarty, his co-presenter, spends the morning encouraging listeners to vote for Coldplay; Nicky flies the flag for Robbie Williams. Our listeners don’t like being told what to think and vote overwhelmingly to make Bitter Sweet Symphony the best song of the Blair years.

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