8 NOVEMBER 2003, Page 42

Judgment of Donovan

From Paul Donovan Sir: Your splendid critic Michael Vestey (Radio, 1 November) has unfortunately been led astray by one of those anonymous informants who plague us all. He says he bumped into a member of the Broadcasting Press Guild who told him why Radio Four's Broadcasting House had been judged programme of the year: 'It's their turn. They haven't had anything before.'

As chairman of the judges, I can only yearn for things to be that simple and to bring to an end the tiresome process of voting slips and nominations. Broadcasting House was in fact one of three shows to emerge from the first round, along with The News Quiz and The Sunday Format. The last had to be disqualified after we discovered that it did not actually go out in 2002. Broadcasting House — whose editor, incidentally, is Richard and not Roger Clark — subsequently won by only two points and, for what it is worth, I myself did not vote for it. Such is democracy. Other programmes that received votes were Composer of the Week, Little Britain, Unreliable Evidence and The Archers.

If we really did want to honour those who have had nothing before, then it is odd that we have never given anything to Radio Five Live, Virgin and Talksport, and nodded in the direction of Radio One, Radio Two and Classic FM on only one occasion each.

Paul Donovan

Radio judging panel chairman, Broadcasting Press Guild, London W4