Radio review: Eddie Mair will be sorely missed

Nuala McCann

PM Radio 4

iPM My boss, me and the last word

Eddie Mair’s departure from PM is cause for mourning.

It’s been 31 years since he joined the BBC and he’ll miss the PM team and Tony Hall’s aftershave, he said with characteristic humour.

That gentle Scottish burr – he’s a true Celtic cousin – is a draw on its own. He is no Rottweiler but he’s no pussy cat either.

Mair gives his interviewees time to speak without interruption. They have their say ... even if they damn themselves in the saying. He asks direct, penetrating questions without flinching and sits back and waits for the reply.

He will be sorely missed for his candid interview style, his connection with his audience and not least for iPM, the show where listeners tell their stories. Some of the best stories on radio feature on iPM.

Take “My boss, me and the last word” a listener who emailed about a boss she once had.

She said that she sat in an office outside, he never spoke to her - maybe twice in six months - and he had a reputation for inappropriate relationships.

She had applied for a promotion and he asked for the interview to be held in a bar as it would be more informal. At the interview, he put his hand on her hand and she withdrew. He put his hand on hers again.

On the way out, he grabbed and lunged at her and she reported him. She was extremely stressed and uncomfortable at work. Eventually she left and he stayed.

But he found out where she had gone and he wrote to her asking her out.

Years later, she found herself sitting behind him at a theatrical performance and she confronted him. It felt very good.

Browse the iPM website or download the podcasts for true stories on what it is like to be stalked, the right to decide when to turn off a pacemaker and being a binge eater.

On iPM, the listeners set the agenda and the results can be riveting.

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