Hi Feedback,

I wonder if you could report on the reasons for the recent direction of Three Breakfast. It seems to be drifting towards ever increasing levels of triviality - if I want disc jockeys and chat with music I could listen to Radio 2, and if I want propaganda news and speculation there is Radio 4.

I used to listen to the Today programme on 4, but a couple of years ago switched to 3 Breakfast for a much better start to the day - however recent changes are really undermining its value and destroying the distinctive character of the station.


Three specific issues have come to a head with the recent shift to a 6:30am start (incidentally what was the point of that; it was quite nice to start breakfast with the last bit of Through The Night - made one feel like one had got up in good time to start the day)

Firstly the insidious increase in the "news" content. As a refugee from the appalling Today programme it was barely tolerable having to have a short bulletin every half hour, but now not only has the news bulletin been extended in length but the presenters are being asked to read out a brief summary themselves every quarter of an hour. If I want news I know where to get it - Radio 4 - please can Radio 3 stop following the herd and move back towards being a (conventional) news free zone.

I don't mind the presenters reading out odd bits of music news from the papers - at least I know I'm getting something I couldn't get elsewhere on the radio, but there is really no need to indulge the fetish for speculation and reading out press releases which passes for news elsewhere on the beeb.

Secondly the quantity of chat seems to have massively increased - incessant exhortations to 'contact us' by various means and the reading out of texts, emails and even phone calls from listeners. Yesterday we were treated to a listener's text message announcing that the sun had risen over Bishops Stortford - what on earth was the point of reading that. Why should I be interested in a phone call with some random person (or worse still some 'celebrity') about their favourite bit of music. Just get on with playing some music and let us discover things for ourselves. One of the joys of Three Breakfast is the occasional music you hear which sends one scurrying to explore a new artist or composer. There is really no need to turn the presenters in to disc jockeys - if they want to do that can't you find them a slot on Radio 2.

Thirdly I would have thought that it is in the nature of the Breakfast show that much of your audience, particularly early on, is listening on their way to work and are unlikely to be able to listen to the radio again during the day. There are few things more irritating than endless promotions for programmes that are on later in the day when we can't listen anyway. Even worse the cross promotions for shows on other stations, or even other media.

For me the ideal Three Breakfast would use the presenters to introduce the music, sometimes giving it a context from events like a composer's birthday or a concert they went to last night or a current event, occasionally interspersing bits of musical news that wouldn't be covered elsewhere, and after each piece saying what it was we just heard. Forget the misguided attempts to "engage" the audience, forget the news that we can get elsewhere, just concentrate on what you do best and makes you distinctive.

By and large the presenters are very good and do a good job, but I have the impression that they are being told to do things that they know are wrong for the station, please give us back Radio 3. The alternative is to simply put my own music collection on 'random shuffle' for an hour in the morning - but then I would miss the opportunity to discover new treasures.

For a really radical fresh approach why not simply abolish all news bulletins on Radio 3, and all "interaction" with the audience on air.