Drop ‘Drivetime’ as radio show name, says cyclist Vine
Presenter says BBC should change programme’s title as it promotes addiction to driving in ‘post-car Britain’
JEREMY VINE has said the BBC should drop the name Drivetime from Radio 2 because it encourages driving in “postcar Britain”. The presenter and avid cyclist complained that the phrase was celebrating “a form of transport that kills 1,700 people a year”.
Mr Vine, who has been the victim of road rage, also said the nation’s “addiction” to cars was making people “fat and angry”.
In a tweet, Mr Vine said: “Drivetime on Radio 2 is being rebooted in 2019 with Sara Cox who will be BRILLIANT. However, I’d like to ask the BBC to stop calling it Drivetime.
“Our addiction to the motor vehicle has made our cities traffic sewers; made us asthmatic, fat and angry; and made our planet suffer. We shouldn’t be celebrating a form of transport that kills 1,700 people a year. The programme needs a different name for post-car Britain.”
He caveated his statement by adding it was “just my own view”.
Mr Vine, 53, who hosts a midday slot on Radio 2, simply titled Jeremy Vine, has been a vocal advocate for cyclists’ rights. In 2016 he became the victim of road rage as a driver threatened to knock him out and made a “gun” gesture at the presenter as he cycled home. The rant was seen by millions after Mr Vine captured the incident on his helmet camera and posted the footage online.
Last year, the driver involved, Shanique Syrena Pearson, 22, was jailed for nine months for driving without reasonable consideration to other road users and using threatening and abusive or insulting words or behaviour.
Mr Vine has previously spoken out about the dangers cyclists face in London, comparing biking through the capital to being a “fighter pilot”. “I always say goodbye to my wife in the morning in the manner of a Japanese fighter pilot in 1943. She’s never sure if I’m going to come back,” he said in an interview with Radio Times last month.
Earlier this year, Mr Vine also upbraided fellow broadcaster Jeremy Clarkson for describing cycling in the capital as “extremely dangerous”.
Responding to the former Top Gear host’s comment, Mr Vine said: “No, some people who drive cars are extremely dangerous. That is the issue.” Despite the dangers, Mr Vine is a keen proponent of cycling and backed campaigns to get more people to take up the pursuit.
“As a frequent cyclist myself, I would encourage everyone to consider the benefits of cycling as part of your everyday routine – it’s social, it’s healthy, it’s a great way to commute and it’s also fun,” said Mr Vine ahead of this year’s national Bike Week.
Yesterday, a spokesman for the BBC said “drivetime” was a “generic term”, not a title, and that the new Radio 2 show was due to be called Sara Cox.