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’

The Daily Telegraph - - News - By Mike Wright and Amy Woody­att

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.

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