The presenter introduces listeners' letters, phone calls, emails or tweets. It is a conduit for enraged listeners to enunciate their outrage or for enraptured listeners to express their praise for specific BBC radio programmes, and covers the output of other BBC national stations, such as Radio 1, as well as that of Radio 4. On occasion, the comments have less to do with content than with the media by which programmes may be broadcast; for instance, the iPlayer.
Producers of radio programmes are often invited for a polite question and answer session with Roger Bolton. However, not all of them agree to take part.
The programme, which runs for just under half an hour, is normally broadcast on Fridays at 16.30 and repeated on the following Sunday at 20.02. The 34 programmes a year (the series is off air in the summer) have been produced since October 2010 by Whistledown Productions in London. Whistledown took over from City Broadcasting, which had made Feedback since November 2006. Before that, Testbed Productions had produced the programme for twelve years.
Originally a 15-minute programme, Feedback began on 1 April 1979, replacing an earlier similar programme called Disgusted, Tunbridge Wells. Amongst its first presenters were Colin Semper, a former head of Religious Broadcasting, and Susan Marling. Mary Whitehouse, a regular critic of BBC programming policy, was a temporary presenter in the mid 1980s. For many years in the 1980s and 1990s it was fronted by Chris Dunkley, at that time television critic for the Financial Times (he was always introduced as "Chris Dunkley of the Financial Times", with the intention of reinforcing his independence from BBC management). Roger Bolton became the current regular presenter in April 1999.