The two hour programme broadcast between 9am and 11am is pre-recorded, however airs ‘as live’. The show fell foul of the beebs protocol by asking listeners to contact the programme for song dedications without explaining the requests wouldn’t be heard until a later date.
Although listeners were told they could contact the show “any time”, it was not made clear there was a cut-off point.
The show is interspersed with telephone recordings of listeners’ dedications to their loved ones and Steve Wright’s reading of dedications which have been sent in by letter or online. The BBC Trust believe that the series has not been clear enough about when dedications would air suggesting there was a lack of accuracy concerning the interactivity with Radio 2’s audience.
The trust state: “During the programme Steve Wright makes a “call to action” in which he invites listeners to phone or send in their dedications for use on the programme. The 6th November 2011 edition was preceded by a radio announcement saying that the programme had been pre-recorded and this prompted the complainant to write to BBC Audience Services.
“[One male] complained that listeners who are unaware that the programme is not transmitted live might spend time and money contacting the programme when there is no chance that their dedications will be used.”
Radio 2 responded to the complaint with a statement,
“Steve Wright’s Sunday Love Songs is always pre-recorded. It is usually recorded on a Friday morning. In terms of BBC radio, whether a programme is recorded or not, is not a compliance issue.”
In response to the issue the network’s Compliance Editor explained that Steve Wright would now make it clear that callers were leaving messages that might be used in future shows. He added that the message on the phone line had also been changed to ensure that listeners would know that by calling in and leaving a message there was no guarantee of being included in the programme.
Love Songs now make it clear that dedications need to be submitted before Thursdays for consideration of inclusion.
The governing body however add that Sunday Love Songs producers did not knowingly mislead listeners.
“Ah dear Steve Wright, I remember him in the 1980s on Radio 1, sadly” Says our showbiz expert Queenie, “Amazing really he’s still on air, isn’t it? I suppose it’s handy the beeb seem to have forgotten how homophobic he once was, with his far-from-sly digs after playing records by Boy George and so forth on their airwaves. And that appalling anti-gay record ‘Steve Wright and The Gay Cavalieros’. How they forget.”
[Reporter: Martha Kirkpatrick]