Select Committee on BBC Charter Review Minutes of Evidence

Supplementary evidence from BBC Northern Ireland


  Anna Carragher, the Controller of BBC Northern Ireland, thought Members might find it helpful swiftly to have the further information requested concerning the local Thought For The Day.

  This programme is broadcast twice daily on BBC Radio Ulster at 0655 and 0755. The talks on Monday and Friday are live, those from Tuesday to Thursday, pre-recorded.

  Thought for the Day is intended as a reflection on all sorts of issues and topics in everyday life which may comfort, challenge, amuse or strengthen some of the listeners or simply leave them with the reaction "I never thought of that before".

  Contributors to the programme are chosen, not on the basis that they represent a particular denomination or faith or a non-denominational or secular interest group, but because it is considered they have something useful or important to say and that they can say it in an engaging and accessible way.

  However, the great majority of the contributors would come from a faith background and given the religious make up of Northern Ireland, the majority of these would be Christian. However, in the course of a year, there would be a small number—perhaps 3 or 4—who would not necessarily be religious believers. They are chosen on the basis of what has been stated above, not because they may be humanists, atheists or agnostics.

  Care is taken that nothing will be said which would gratuitously offend the beliefs of religious people, just as equal care is taken that nothing will be said by "religious" speakers that would gratuitously offend unbelievers.

30 November 2005

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