Live from Machynlleth: not BBC 5 Live Drive’s finest hour

I enjoy listening to BBC Radio 5 Live on my daily commute. I like the lively presentation style of Breakfast with Nicky Campbell and Rachel Burden, and Drive with Peter Allen and Aasmah Mir. But Drive had a seriously off day today.

I switched on for the 6pm news. The show led on the distressing disappearance of five year old April Jones in Machynlleth, mid Wales. Almost every presenter and reporter (with the honourable exception of Peter Allen) mispronounced the town’s name. The most regular versions were ‘Mahynlleth’ and ‘Makunleth’. Now I accept Machynlleth isn’t the easiest name for English (or Scottish in the case of Aasmah Mir) people, but you’d have thought they’d have made an effort.

It got worse. Drive moved on to discuss Ed Milliband’s speech to Labour’s annual conference. We heard various people including Neil Kinnock telling the show what they thought of the speech. But they didn’t play a single clip of the actual speech. Not a word. Perhaps people who tuned in an hour earlier got to hear Milliband? Hardly a reason to treat the opposition leader’s most important speech of the year in such a cavalier fashion.

I hope they do better tomorrow.