2 MARCH 1991, Page 24


Sir: How I agree with Paul Johnson (The media, 23 February) about the decline in the quality of the voices that go with the images on television (and in the vocal sounds of radio). Whatever one thinks of Auntie BBC, she used to set a standard of English delivery. There are still a few exponents left, for example Brian Perkins of Radio 4.

Apart the distracting regionalisms John- son mentions, there is a new and wide- spread (obviously catching) distortion, which every reader of this letter will have heard. I call it DDC: Dismal Downward Cadence. So many are guilty of it that one hesitates to name names. But how else can the written word convey the affliction? BBC Television's otherwise admirable Moscow man, Martin Sixsmith, is a suffer- er. Others abound, until by now good spoken English is the exception, not the rule. Nor is ITV any better.

Brian Crozier

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