Congratulations to LBC and Nick Farrari for bagging a weekly phone in slot with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg. And may I also congratulate Mr Clegg for his very courageous decision.
For LBC, this is clearly an amazing coup - and I speak not only as a political journalist, but as a former talk radio genre manager, editor and once upon a time, producer.
For 'London's Biggest Conversation', the slot will deliver bags of publicity, hours of content and further cement their already excellent reputation in Westminster and in the media more generally.
For Mr Clegg, this partnership is a bit of a mixed bag - a little like the coalition itself perhaps. Yes, it will certainly give him a great deal of contact with the public and exposure in the media. I predict that each week, some story or another will come from his time behind the mic. If he's ill one day - which frankly can happen to any of us, he'll be branded a coward by some, and when he mis-speaks, which again, I suppose any of us can, he'll hear about it more than he does even now.
That's why, in true Yes Minister / Yes Prime Minister terms, this decision is indeed "a ver courageous" one. But who among us in the real world wants to knock the Deputy Prime Minister for that?
The weekly phone-ins will give Nick Clegg personally, and the government more generally a greater sense of accessibility and more of a grounding in people's views. Ok, the vast majority of those views will be London centric. that's the elephant in the room, but LBC is increasingly listened to online and on digital platforms all over the place - and again, I predict the geographical spread, and listener reach (the latter being a rajar, audience monitoring reference) will grow.
It's brave - some might say stupid, but I for one pat Nick Clegg on the back, and congratulate LBC for getting him drunk enough to agree to it in the first place :).
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