15 MAY 1941, Page 14

"MR. F. P. AND MR. B. B."

Sm,—In his article "Mr. F. P. and Mr. B. B." your contributor, Mr. E. L. Woodward, touched very briefly on a matter of peculiar interest to thousands of radio-listeners. They are all dreadfully aware of those trying moments preceding the time-signals before the 6 o'clock and the midnight News. He refers to that underworld of croons and wails that assail you at 11.55 p.m.; and describes as Peter Panism at its worst the evocation "Good-night to children everywhere," which is the 5.59 p.m. prelude to the 6 o'clock Bulletin. Both seem if anything to be under-statements. Many people believe the latter exceeds in anguish the pre-midnight croons and wails. The pious pseudo-religious gaff is nauseating. The matter and delivery seem reminiscent of the old-style actor addressing some flower-like, slowly dying Angel Child, instead of that healthy young rascal, the normal child. Frequent references to sin to that rosy community about to be tucked away in blankets at 6.5 p.m. are as misguided and irritating as those impromptu avuncular prayers ; and even the artistic use of tremolo does not redeem these emotional performances.

Finally, as Mr. Woodward very properly points out, "Tens of thousands of English-speaking children—not to mention hundreds of thousands of other children—are just getting up at 5.59 p.m. Greenwich time. Millions of others are fast asleep, or, again, are nowhere near bedtime and would object strongly to being hustled off to bed by Uncle- X or Auntie Y of the B.B.C." This should dispose finally of that silly and gratuitous "everywhere."—Yours, &c.,