Jeremy Vine on the ‘wisdom of listeners’ and effective use of a bicycle horn
- Credit: Archant
When I call him, Jeremy Vine is getting on his bicycle. He is returning from the Chelsea Flower Show - where he’s been doing a piece for his Radio 2 lunchtime show - to BBC Broadcasting House near Oxford Circus.
“Sidmouth. I love it so much,” he says. “It’s like being in an Agatha Christie.”
He’s a regular visitor. His father-in-law lives at Tipton St John. And next week Jeremy will be speaking at Kennaway House. as part of the Meet the Author series.
Our conversation is interspersed with him occasionally hooting his horn at traffic that comes too close – Chelsea Embankment, Parliament Square…
When he posted pictures online from his head cam (he wears one back and front) two years ago the ensuing altercation ended up with the motorist being jailed for threatening and abusive behaviour (she was already on a suspended sentence).
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He recognises cycling is divisive but cycles because it’s the best way to get around the city. London may be dangerous but at least it’s flat. Unlike Devon.
“I try to cycle but it’s really difficult with the hills and I really have struggled, short of bringing down a motorised one, I don’t know,” he says.
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His new book is called What I Learnt. It’s written for an era of the unexpected: Trump, Brexit, Corbyn and Leicester City. “All the things you didn’t expect, happening at once.”
He adds: “It’s essentially about the joy of listener wisdom. The story has moved to the audience. The audience are bossing it.”
Like the listener who called in and said the only way to sort out Brexit was to send in the SAS.
“If you want to know about large families you speak to a mother of five, you don’t talk to a university professor.”
He’s quick fire, entertaining and constantly hopping around different subjects.
But as for his own views on Brexit or anything else political he says his BBC role prevents him expressing any.
“It’s a small price to pay for doing the best job in the world,” he adds.
He’s not quiet about bad driving though. I leave him honking his horn again. This time at a bus.
If you want to see him he’s at Kennaway House on Thursday, May 31, at 7pm. Tickets are £13 (including a glass of wine).