Call Clegg – radio review

But seriously, Mr Clegg, what do you think you're achieving in your dreary, cliche-ridden half-hour talk-in?

• Call Clegg

"If I was as successful as Sir Alex, I would have been prime minister a long time ago … the total 1000% dedication of him to his job and his club really shone through." So said Nick Clegg, showing off his kneejerk sense for a cliche, trying to relate to Nick Ferrari's listeners on LBC this week. Call Clegg has been on the air for exactly four months now. Quite what the deputy prime minister has achieved in his weekly 30 minute slot is moot – or, at least, best left to the political pundits. Ferrari's success, however, is trickier territory altogether.

For one, he savages Clegg with depressing regularity. There is no friendliness or warmth to the way the pair communicate; the Lib Dem leader becomes little more than an automated bot, spewing empty rhetoric ("We have to work with the mess that the Labour government left us with immigration, with the banking sector"; "I would strongly recommend that people wear helmets when they cycle" and so on) and Ferrari goads him, a sneering bully rather than the devil's advocate you suspect was part of their original deal.

For LBC's producers, I'm sure this is considered the "quality stuff" talk radio is made of: snarling, hard-nosed, cheapshot punditry that gets the switchboard buzzing and radio reviewers irate within three minutes of airing. But it just translates to dumb, ugly noise – too predictable to be must-hear, too hateful and alpha-male, surely, to attract a wider audience. Naturally, the show is up for the Best news and current affairs programme award at the Sony awards on Monday. (Which, for what it's worth, I really hope File on 4 scoops.)

On the subject of the Sony awards, it's equally predictable and frustrating when you consider the nominations an overview of what British radio currently looks like. To summarise: there are eight female broadcasters considered as talents worth nominating for this year's awards. (Nine if you include 10-year-old York City fan Mary Holmes, nominated for a sports documentary on BBC York.) No big deal, just less than a third of the nominations received by male presenters.


Nosheen Iqbal

The GuardianTramp

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