Anybody who thinks this is about sex, keep reading. It's not, but keep reading anyway - it might just make you happy. We're right in the middle of Happiness Week on BBC Radio 5 live...
Many lazy news teams this fortnight have stuck to their agenda that NWA are the anti-Christ because they called women bitches and hoes. I'm not a huge fan of men demeaning women, but now even women are taking possession of this slanguage and it's taking on a life of its own...
It's been a weird and wonderful experience having my book, Lady Worsley's Whim, now known by the name of the BBC drama, The Scandalous Lady W become television. What's stranger still is that our lust for a tale about the extreme sexual antics of an heiress, a Tory MP and an officer is just as unquenchable now as it was in 1780s.
It started a conversation with the Songs of Praise team about the faith of the people who built and use the Church in the camp, what is the Christian response to the migrant issue in Calais and would it be of interest to our audience. Songs of Praise is not only about Christian music, it also explores contemporary issues and modern themes from a Christian perspective. In churches up and down the country the subject is an important one. For centuries Christians have related to the vivid image of the Holy family becoming refugees themselves when Joseph, Mary and their baby son had to flee persecution from King Herod and escape to Egypt.
My brother got the talent. The only thing I was ever really good at was the high jump. But I truly, madly, deeply want to learn to dance. Desperately! Because I feel that would be a way of getting profoundly into the music, of letting it hold me. And also because every time I move my body, people start calling ambulances.
There is a deeper and more troubling context here. By sending the message to law-abiding Muslims that they are excluded from the simple privileges enjoyed by all other British people, we risk encouraging rather than suppressing extremism.
But vandalising the very concept of a public service broadcasting - with its mission to be creative, inclusive, intellectually curious and journalistically challenging - doesn't get you a smaller, leaner BBC. It gets you Rai - a still expensive, monolithic structure that is very much less than the sum of its parts.
It really is up to you. We know what the government wants. We know what the BBC's rivals want. The only people who can stop them are the people who use the BBC, and value it, day in and day out. That means you.
The BBC has many fans and many adversaries. Those who'd like to see it change include other media outlets, led by Sky and the Mail, and right-wing politicians who believe that Auntie is stuffed with Guardian-reading granola eaters (although it is always worth noting that some on the left see her as fundamentally reactionary).
The key argument seems to be that it these stations lack 'distinctiveness'. The shorthand we often hear - Radios 3 and 4 embody public service broadcasting whilst Radios 1 and 2 are easily replaced by commercial counterparts - is wrong. Take Radio 1. It informs, educates and entertains 10million young listeners a week. It offers daily news (up to six times more news per week than its commercial competitors), regular documentaries (rarely heard on commercial networks) and social action campaigns, highlighting issues like online bullying and teenage suicide. In fact, we estimate around 40% of Radio 1's daytime output is speech - twice as much as comparable commercial outlets.
You sit back in your armchair, pick up the television remote control and click the screen on. After a moment of warming up, the picture displays itself into your house, with the volume slightly too loud from the last time you were watching telly, and you hurriedly press the minus key to try and get the sound to pipe down a bit. It only works after you smack the batteries on the back and jab a little bit of life into them...
The whole point of the BBC is that politicians should only meddle with it on very rare occasions. Yes, it is accountable to the public through parliament, and yes the charter renewal process gives ministers a moment of great power over the Corporation. But we should remain worried about Whittingdale's self-confessed free market conservativeness.
The BBC does not belong to its staff. The BBC does not belong to the Government. The BBC belongs to the country. The public are our shareholders - they pay for us. So it is their voice that will matter most in this debate. And what the public wants is a continually better BBC. So that will be our test for any future proposals. Will audiences be even happier with what they get from us? Is the BBC still able to give them the best output in the world? Have we helped the creative industries grow? That, to me, is the real debate - and the only debate that really matters.
Dear George, I've had a chance to digest your new budget and it seems clear to me that you are the one politician who is in sympathy with me and my issues. I too have bitter enemies who I wish to undermine and destroy by any means necessary, regardless of the impact on anyone else. So here are my problems, George, maybe you can help me.
Last Sunday night, DISH Network viewers who pay monthly US$9.95 to watch weekly four back-to-back episodes were rudely alerted to the news that EastEnders would not be available.
Had the corporation kept BBC3 on television - where the audience can easily access it - it would have a stronger fighting chance. There is so much content the BBC produces but not all of it gets an evening television slot. Imagine a TV channel that repurposes the videos from Radio 1's Live Lounge, the extensive archive of live festival coverage, and productions by independent writers and producers... But what do I know?