Lewisballs – a balanced fact-check of Paul Lewis’s pronouncements on BBC Radio 4’s Money Box programme

Paul Lewis is a national treasure.  A respected BBC broadcaster, the presenter of Saturday lunchtime’s BBC Radio 4’s Money Box has a following in the millions, acolytes who will not hear a bad word said against him.  I’m a fan too.  I’ve been an avid listener to Paul on Money Box for twenty years.  However, nobody’s perfect, not even Saint Paul of Money Box, and as the BBC does not allow an automatic right of reply to those who are only indirectly involved in an issue or feel strongly about it, I thought I’d set up this ‘review’ page for the blog section of our new website.  this up.  The format is simple:  Each week I’ll listen to Money Box and if anything is worthy of comment, I’ll comment, whether it’s positive or negative.  I’ll also post the link so you can make your own mind up.  If Paul wants to reply, I’ll post a link to his reply. 

As you might have guessed if you’re an afficionado of Private Eye magazine, Lewisballs is inspired by Private Eye’s Colemanballs column.  I doubt it will be as funny, but hey-ho, who knows?  I’m certainly not implying by the choice of title that Paul Lewis talks a load of balls.  Well, not most of the time anyway…

Now here’s my offer to Paul and any other journalist who features in this blog:

  1. We shall always give you a right of reply to our Lewisballs articles, guaranteed. Just write your reply on your own website and send us a link to it.  We’ll publish the link alongside our article.
  2. We shall be happy to debate anything with Paul on Money Box, given fair notice and subject to other commitments.  If we agree, we’ll say so.  If we disagree, we’ll say so.  We tell people what they need to hear, not just what they want to hear.

At the time of writing, the programmes to which I refer were still available online.  However, if they go offline and you’d like to hear them just email me at neil@wrpfs.com and I’ll send you a downloaded copy.

Here’s the list of episodes to date –

  • Lewisballs Edition 1, Lewisballs Edition 1, Money Box, Saturday 30th March 2019 (Repeated Sunday 31st).  Paul implies that any ‘advice’, regulated or not, should qualify for compensation.  He’s wrong and we explain why.
  • Lewisballs Edition 2, Money Box, Saturday 17th October (Repeated Sunday 18th).  Paul implies that life insurance companies unfairly refuse to pay claims.  He’s wrong and we explain why.

Despite naming this blog in his honour, we’re not targeting Paul.  Lewisballs will also correct any other financial fake news we come across in the course of our work.  Tell the truth in your reporting though, folks, and you’ve nothing to worry about!