Richard Pierce

Richard Pierce – author, poet, painter

Life, Politics


The day before yesterday was the end of an era. It was the last ever Stephen Bumfrey show on BBC Radio Norfolk. I was fortunate enough to be asked to sit in the studio with SB for the entire first three hours of the 4-hour show. An honour and privilege, as I’ve said on my socials already. In a nutshell, I’ve kept being invited to go on the shows for the last 11 years, the first one being shortly after Dead Men came out in 2012. It’s been one of the best things ever to happen to me in my life and I’ve made some really good friends because of it. So I wrote SB a poem and read it out (you’ll find it at about 2 hours and 57 minutes).

for Stephen Bumfrey

We could have had
Another 100 years of programming
Because you always brought out
The best words in me.

Someone warned me that Radioland
Was full of brigands and pretenders
Who would ambush anyone
And mis-shape their phrases.

It wasn’t like that at all.

The first time I sat in your studio
Your warm voice thawed me.
And it seemed strange to be able
To be real behind a microphone.

I thought, even then, I was too old
To make new friends, much less
Real ones, like you, and some of
Those who shared this space.

That was what your radio did for me.

And all the words,
And all the phrases,
And all the songs sung
By other voices
Came from you.

So now, let’s start again.

R 15/08/2023 09:40

For the sake of completeness, let me just repeat what I’ve said on Radio Stradbroke for the last few months – the end of the show is because of the short-sighted decision by the powers that be at the top of the BBC to consolidate local radio stations and make a lot of presenters, producers and other staff redundant. From 5th September, as far as I’m aware, BBC Radio Norfolk afternoon shows from 14:00 will be switched to regional (so at least 3 counties – Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex); that’s not local radio anymore. It also means that local BBC Introducing opportunities will be reduced by having merged regions, a blow for up-and-coming and indie artists. An outrageous decision which will further weaken the BBC’s reputation. In my view, the direct result of Brexit and the Tory government’s policy of turning the BBC into a state propaganda broadcaster. Please keep supporting the BBC and vote the Tories out at the next election so that the BBC can once again become the great cultural institution it was.

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