Now, I am a fan of BBC Radio 4, the Today Programme wakes me up every morning. So when I heard that Gwyneth Williams, the Controller of BBC Radio 4, planned to cut the number of short stories aired from three a week to one a week, I was not the only dismayed personage. The great and the good have been up in arms and protesting – Joanna Lumley said “There should be as many stories read aloud on Radio 4 as there are fish in the sea. Don’t cut them down or send them to a backwater; they belong in the heart of the listeners’ menu.” Miriam Margoyles described the decision as “irresponsible and foolish” and Stephen Fry said “Please reconsider. I know budgets are tight, but there are very few things the BBC does better.” Other high-profile supporters of the petition included Ian Rankin, AS Byatt, Sarah Waters and Kate Atkinson
Well, the BBC have reconsidered. There are going to be two weekly slots for short stories on Radio 4 and readings on Radio 4 Extra. It is not clear whether this will be for new short stories or just for short stories that already exist by known authors.
So to all of us 5,500+ who signed the petition a big thank you. If you would like to sign the petition follow this link – Short Story Petition