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New app launched to block out Radio 4’s ‘Thought for the Day’

New app launched to block out Radio 4’s ‘Thought for the Day’

The National Secular Society is today launching a new app that will allow Radio 4 listeners to avoid ‘Thought for the Day’ when listening to the BBC’s ‘Today’ programme.

The application will enable listeners to pre-select alternative content during the religious slot – their favourite music, a podcast or simply another radio station, which will then revert back to the “Today” programme when “Thought for the Day” is finished.

The app was developed in response to “Today” listeners complaining about the exclusive nature of “Thought for the Day”, which restricts contributions only to religious voices.

The National Secular Society has long called for the BBC to remove the bias by opening up “Thought for the Day” to non-religious voices or by scrapping the slot entirely.

Terry Sanderson, the National Secular Society’s president, said:

This new app lets you get on with listening to Radio 4’s flagship news programme without the intrusion of ‘Thought for the Day’. I imagine that it will be very popular with a huge majority of Radio 4 listeners, both religious and non-religious, who resent tuning into a current affairs programme and suddenly finding a sermon being foisted upon them.

Until now listeners have avoided this slot by taking the opportunity to visit the bathroom, or by drowning out the sound doing other activities, such as putting the kettle on, but now everyone can screen out unwanted religious propaganda while trying to keep up with current affairs without missing anything important.

The new app will be available to download on Android phones as well as the latest-generation Apple devices. Developers say they are already working on an update to the app that will enable users to tune out Radio 2’s “Pause for Thought”.

16 responses to “New app launched to block out Radio 4’s ‘Thought for the Day’”

  1. Lucy1 says:

    There would be many other programmes I might want such an app for……

    Funnily enough, the TfTD this morning was relatively god free. It was about dying, and described the final hours of someone who was human and loving. I may have missed the godly punchline, but I don’t think so.

    Btw. Nicely done!!!

  2. Broga says:

    I’ve blocked it out already. Enough was enough. The daily dose of irritation just seemed so unnecessary I switch channels or take the dog out. The dog also seems more bouncy since he has stopped having to listen.

  3. barriejohn says:

    I’ve got an app that blocks out Chris Evans completely – it’s called the Off Switch!

  4. Bob says:

    I notice that you have a picture of “Rabbi” Sacks. This reminded me of a conversation I had with a fella last year. I stressed to him that non-believers in Christ as the Son of God are going to Hell, and he was aghast! “You mean to say that Rabbi sacks, a good man, is going to Hell?”. “Yes”, I replied.

    If he had gone to the plods with a complaint I would have been nicked for racism.

  5. Angela_K says:

    Irritating though TFTD may be, my partner and I often have a good laugh about it or find the mindless drivel coincides with having to use the hair-dryer.

    Bob, Mr Sacks could well say the same of you going to your imaginary hell as you may be worshipping the wrong god.

  6. Ivan says:

    I for one am very regular and like to empty my bowels at that time.

    At times of constipation, Tim Stanley is a fine laxative.

  7. Barty says:

    I cannot watch most of the programmes on TV. Exceptions are HIGNFY and a few current affairs programmes. Even science documentaries a falling into the unwatchable category now … dumbed down … intrusive music(?) … and too much footage of Jim al Kalili and Brian Cox walking about various landscapes. As for the radio … bit better. BBC R4 Today is a must and I have to say that TFTD is OK by me because the pious drivellings only serve to further undermine the already precarious footings of the faiths. Sometimes the content makes me hoot with derisive laughter.

  8. Barty says:

    And the TFTD App is an April Fool.

  9. Trevor blake says:

    After many years of being a steady commenter here and having essays published in the print and online Freethinker, I want to announce – today – that I have abandoned atheism and am now a Muslim. I wish the blessings of Allah for each and every one of you on this day, today.

  10. AgentCormac says:

    @Bob
    Why do you insist on embarrassing yourself by posting such utter bollocks?

  11. AgentCormac says:

    Would it be April 1st by any chance, Mr Blake?!

  12. Broga says:

    Me too, Trevor. I have been convinced of the inerrant truth of the word of God in his Holy Book and I am now a convinced Christian.

  13. Trevor blake says:

    April fools indeed!

    I said I was a Muslim. If I was lying, that is mocking Islam. If I was telling the truth and say now that I renounce Islam, that is heresy. Either way I hope I can finally earn my fatwah.

  14. Barry Duke says:

    I thought I ‘d been pranked just 10 minutes ago when someone called Tomi Beara sent me an offer of a book he (or she) has spent four years writing. It’s called Jesus Loves Muslims and runs to 575 pages.

    I replied: “I assume from the title that this is a satirical book, given that Jesus (if he ever existed) is 2,000 years dead, and is therefore incapable of loving anyone. Please correct me if I am wrong (about the book being humorous). On second thoughts, is your email an April Fool’s prank?”

    Back came this answer: “No, really – love proves God exists, as there are no atoms/particles of love or biological chemical output for ‘love your enemy’ Matt 5. It is impossible to love your enemy in bio-physiology because the sympathetic (fight/flight) nervous response prohibits it.

    “Anyways, no big deal, just thought you might want to read it – as you know the Islamic world will not listen to your argument that there is no God, but they will listen to a presentation of love for them all.”

    My response: “Well, good luck with your book, Tomi. You’ll need it as Muslims react with extreme hostility to gestures of love couched in Christian terms.”

    I Googled “Jesus Loves Muslims” but could not find the book. Nor could I find Tomi Beara.

    Some days it’s hard to keep a handle on one’s sanity when one’s sitting in the Freethinker editor’s chair.

  15. Cali Ron says:

    Keep a firm grip on your tiller Barry, a stiff upper lip and have a stiff drink. Your resolve is much appreciated.