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Radio 4 performs short story U-turn

28th July 2011

A week after Radio 4 announced it was cutting the number of short stories broadcast each week, the station has apparently performed a U-turn after coming under pressure from a number of authors and broadcasters.

Famous Radio 4 listeners Stephen Fry and Joanna Lumley added their support to a campaign launched by short story writer Susie Maguire last week, to persuade the station to reverse its decision to reduce the number of short stories aired each week from three to one.

Fry urged the corporation to reconsider, claiming 'there are very few things the BBC does better', while Lumley said short stories 'belong in the heart of the listeners' menu'.

Now it appears Radio 4 has relented, at least partially, by promising to broadcast a minimum of two short stories each week.

Nicola Solomon, general secretary of the Society of Authors, told the Guardian she is pleased with the U-turn but said it does not go far enough.

'There are several questions that still need to be asked. Will they all be brand new writing, or are they stories that already exist? Friday and Sunday means there will be no midweek stories, and that is still an enormous loss,' she added.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for Radio 4 said the decision was not a U-turn, claiming the original announcement was made before the 'finer details' of the schedule change had been finalised.

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