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Category Archives: Ken Livingstone

2012 Beckons

Coming up on Radio 4 next week … the history of the humble park bench. And because there are lots of park benches in London, it’ll include an interview with former London Mayor Ken Livingstone.

Following that, on Cbeebies, a programme about the letter “L”. “London” starts with the letter “L”, and so there’ll be a piece from former London Mayor Ken Livingstone.

Yes, I’ve exaggerated to make a point, but you do you get the picture? There must be some media-studies intern at the Beeb tasked solely with finding excuses to get old Ken on the air.

On the PM programme this evening, there was a package on the forthcoming Gordon Brown shows the world how it’s done expo G20 summit, and the number of protests that are planned to coincide with the event. So, was there an interview with someone from the police? No, too obvious. The Mayor of the last city that hosted the G20 (Washington D.C.), for that international perspective? You must be joking: Justin Webb’s busy, so we would have to have an American on (old habits die hard). Maybe a two way discussion between one of the soap-dodgers and, say, a right wing commentator? No, too much chance of some wacky and unacceptable views being aired (you know, like scepticism about man made climate change, or something in support of capitalism).

Nope, the obvious choice of interviewee was, of course, “someone who has been involved in preparations for security for summits before” … former London Mayor Ken Livingstone.

I wonder how many other commercial radio presenters (Livingstone hosts his own show on LBC) get so much airtime on the BBC? Nick Ferrari gets on Steve Wright’s Radio 2 show once in a blue moon … and that’s pretty much it.

Of course, our Ken has never hidden the fact he wants to return to City Hall (and not just to sit in the public gallery nursing his carrier bag). His brothers under the skin at the BBC are clearly on board with the project.