Big changes are afoot - some of them with immediate effect - on The Nightshift.

Tomorrow morning’s Christmas Eve special is another chance to hear some of the repartee between Lawrence and me during our many On Your Doorstep conversations. After that programme, however, the Nightshift format will alter radically.

This is at least partly because I have decided to accept an offer of voluntary redundancy made to me by the BBC. The redundancy - precipitated by budgetary cuts which all BBC local radio stations are having to make - will take effect from the end of January 2009 but the changes to The Nightshift are to be introduced now.

From Christmas Day onwards, there will be no more Nightshifts of the sort that have become familiar since August 2007. Instead, BBC Radio Newcastle will broadcast back-to-back music all night, every night, from 0100.

The ‘live’ half-hour of the Monday to Friday programmes will remain, however, and I will continue to present it as normal until the end of January.

I know that this news may be unwelcome to many of you, and that this is in many ways an inappropriate time of year to impart it. Naturally, I will have more to say on the subject as the next few days and weeks pass. In the meantime, please ‘count to ten’ (as it were) before putting pen to paper (or finger to keyboard) and try to temper any first reaction you may have with a little discretion, understanding, tact and restraint.


Your friend.....Ian

Post comments on this blog or contact me in any one (or more) of these ways....
text 07786 200954 (while the programme is on-air)
call (between about 0545 and 0630 Monday to Friday) 0191 232 6565
Ian Robinson, The Nightshift, BBC Radio Newcastle, Spital Tongues, Newcastle-upon-Tyne NE99 1RN

Please bear in mind that the views expressed in this blog are my own and NOT the views of the BBC.


Maureen said...

So sorry Ian. I'll take your advice and show a little restraint. I'll be back when I've calmed down ...

Sid said...

This is going to be one Christmas to remember for all the wrong reasons, yet if the truth be known Ian, it wasn't a big surprise.
As you say the bbc is cutting back in a big way on its regional programs, and all of the other local stations already broadcast nonstop music after 0100.
I hope the redundancy offer is a generous one, but I can't see that being the case.
Please don't write yourself off at this point, you are a man of great talent, and that is something the world is short of at the moment.
I shall leave it to others to explode in their own well meaning way.
From now on its "onwards and upwards" that doesn't sound too bad does it?

Vivienne said...

Hi Ian,

I'm really sad to hear your news, but as Sid said, we aren't surprised. The Nightshift is never advertised by other presenters, except immediately before it starts. Those of us who have written in to request te Nightshift is put on 'Listen Again' were told there wasn't the funding to do so, yet virtually all the other shows are available on 'Listen Again.' It sounds as though this cut has been planned for some time.

All I can say is that it's very short-sighted of the Beeb to axe the Nightshift. After all you have a growing International audience, who like Inga appreciated finding a station which showed some initiative, and didn't play back to back music.

Your departure will be a very sad loss to us all, but I understand that you wish to take advantage of the redundancy offer. After all I did the same, and retired six months before my 60th birthday. I bought a new car with my redundancy money. Perhaps you will have more time to pursue your 60/60Project?

Before you accept the redundancy offer make sure it's worth your while. Once you leave you may not be allowed to return at a future date.

If there's anyhing you wish us to do to save the Nightshift (with or without you) please let us know.

Whatever happened to the Christmas get-together idea? Perhaps we can still arrange something in the New Year?

Loz said...

Hi all,

Hi Ian,

It's a sad time as we all loved (not just enjoyed) the new Nightshift programme, but events, as Ian has explained, have moved away from such a fine show which is a great disappointment.

I can't deny the fact that my eyes have been a little moist (good word that Ian ;-) lol) due to the show's demise but we must all move on.

Since forcing my way in (foot jammed in the studio door lol) to the show in a small way 6 months ago, Ian and the show have given me an opportunity to to experience something I have dreamed over for years - being part of a professional radio show in both production, writing, and presenting and it's been the hightlight of my life to date - I loved every single second bar non - even my ghastly Italian pronunciations.

The best of them all was having Ian Whitehead in for the James Renforth Doorstep with Ian (our leader) graciously letting me have free reign- even of the desk controls - in an event I'll never forget.

IAN.... THANK YOU several million times... and even in these days of cash-strapped radio stations, I geninely would dive headlong into a career in radio now more than ever..... I feel so at home in a studio... it's a place where magic is made - and you Ian have made so much of it for us over the years, from your Local History spots with Paul, to the Who Knows Wins Quiz and the Tipsy one herself through the Blue Bus exploits and latterly the Nightshift.

The hole you will leave on the airways of the North East will be a massive one (no that's no reference to your fleshy bits - or even Colin Montgomery's---- or mine :-)). The North East always holds our regions sons who broadcast to us in rightly precious high esteem and we need local chaps for local radio....(strewth I really am filling up) local chaps with character and a vibrant intelligence... and you have it all - just no audible outlet anymore.

I'm a natural late night listener, and for the first time in my life the new-look Nightshirt filled a gaping chasm - it gave me meaningful and thought-provoking radio of which I'd never heard before and fear may not for a long while to come now, but it filled the void we nightshifters needed and for that I again thank you Ian for providing.

Briefly with regard to the Christmas Eve show that's playing now -- I take it there's been a change of plan within the management as it's 100% music - not as planned and previewed by your Blog 116 posting, which is a shame as I'd been looking forward to catching up with memories of doorsteps past- but that's life ain't it...and I guess as much a surprise to you Ian as us who are listening in.

Anyhow all the very, very best to you Ian for the future, and thanks again all those multi-mllion times for giving us a great show to listen to and be proud to be a part of and also for allowing me to ramble on-air ....thanks.


Indeed .... your friend....

Lawrence (who will be hounding you for a pint here or there - so beware lol ;-)

x (and not many blokes get kisses on the bottom from me I can tell you - as the Tipsy Duchess once slurred)

Alison said...

I am so sorry to hear that you will not be doing the show. I have to thank you so much for all the help and support you have given to me as an Artist and I hope that you will continue to broadcast as you give so much entertainment and your knowledge particularly of this region is so great. I hope you will keep in touch.

Kind regards

Sid said...

To an absent friend...Merry Christmas Gilly.

Maureen said...

Sid, you're a mind reader! I've just put the computer on to leave a message for Gilly. I wonder how she's taking this latest piece of news? I'm sure that she'll be as sad as the rest of us. We're thinking of you Gilly. I'm sure I'm speaking for Hildie too. Have a lovely Christmas and a happy New Year.
Hildie is hoping to have access to a computer on Christmas day. So I'm sure that she'll catch up then if anyone wants to leave a message for her.

Vivienne said...

Merry Christmas folks!

I hope you and your families have a wonderful day and that Santa is good to you!

Lots of love,

Vivienne xxx

Sid said...

Merry Christmas everyone, I hope you all have a good time, wherever you may be.
A few words from Ian would be welcome I'm sure.

Sid said...

Well,well well, the pre-recorded show with Jonathan Miles and Sue Sweeney failed to start after the news at 1 o'clock. You know what, I think it serves the bbc jolly well right. Ian could have been live, done a much better job than those two and the bbc would have avoided the embarrassment of being a third rate broadcasting station.
They did eventually get it started at 13:35, by which time my sides were aching with merriment.
Thankyou Santa.

Maureen said...

Wonderful, Sid and so say all of us!
I voted with my tuning dial and enjoyed a lovely mix of Christmas music on t'other side!

Vivienne said...

Hi Folks,

I've just found your comments Sid and Maureen, and agree completely. Radio Newcastle will soon lose all it's listeners if managers/ producers treat their audience with such shoddy workmanship and total disrespect and indifference. Who in their right mind on Christmas Day will forgive the total loss of a Christmas show for 35 mins as being an acceptable level of service. I expect nothing but the best from the BBC. I'm disgusted, and had I been at home waiting for the show to begin, instead of having lunch with my family, I would have been devastated. Folks living on their own waiting to hear Sue & Jonathan will have felt cheated.