Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Judi Judi Judi

Judi Spiers is a presenter not noticeably riddled with self-doubt; "People love me and trust me", she told the Western Morning News in 2011, in a piece headlined "I was airbrushed out of daytime tv history".

From the end of this week 62-year-old Judi (Rose Bruford School of Speech & Drama) loses the mid-morning slot on Radio Devon she's had for ten years. The self-styled Devon Maid, born in Plymouth, will temporarily be replaced by Richard Green, who hosts weekend shows on the station, and a vintage chart show so local that it's carried on BBC Radio Bristol, BBC Somerset, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Devon, Jersey and Guernsey.

She's apparently been offered some tv work by the region, but is not happy. Is the change to do with ratings, money, or something else ? Will she go quietly ? Local papers scent an issue and a campaign. Simon Bates replaced local boy Matt Woodley in the breakfast slot last year; Matt is now styled as the show's Executive Producer, which is a grand title not often used in BBC local radio. Bates' arrival shaved an hour off Judi's slot (and presumably something off her fee), but has seen the total audience for the station move back above 200,000.

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