Musical chaos at the BBC

Musical chaos at the BBC


norman lebrecht

June 05, 2009

The Today programme, a live breakfast serial of political hard talk and cultural whimsy, flirts daily with on-air disaster but rarely comes unstuck as it did this morning with an item about 80 young composers seeking inspiration from paintings at the National Gallery.

Two of the composers, Rachel Lockwood and Benjamin Vaughn, were in studio with artist Ganya Pelham, but the music we heard was by a different composer and, as the presenter politely covered up, the item unravelled at about twice the speed of Gordon Brown’s Cabinet.

More than an hour after transmission, no-one on the Today team had dared to clear the item for podcast. See/hear for yourselves. Maybe they were cleaning it up before upload.

Normally at the BBC, someone in the production team gets carpeted after cock-ups. But this was such an entertaining island of fallibility in a sea of political and economic gloom, such a triumph for humanity over the gritted teeth inteviews of sinking politicians, that I would recommend instant promotion for the guilty parties. Up to Cabinet level.


  • I offered to do the job of proof-listener for any future articles requiring music clips, but I’m not expecting a call any time soon.

  • Joe Nichols says:

    Now, come on. It wasn’t at all that bad. A little bit of hyperbole that the program became “unstuck” and “unravelled” or an “on-air disaster”.