MORE changes are planned on the unsettled airwaves of BBC Radio York. In a matter of months the station has been hit by strikes, redundancies, controversial schedule changes and a drop in listeners.

Now managing editor Matt Youdale has told staff of another round of programme changes, the Diary has learned.

In the staff newspaper Yorkie, forwarded to us (but not by someone from Radio York), he announced another new weekend line-up.

"Gunny's Game Show will end on December 24, as Gunny wants to leave us. Dougie Weake will stand in for a couple of week's before James Watt takes over the Saturday 12-2 show from Jan 14 with a new game show called Watt's The Answer?

"James is giving up his Sunday show. Anna Wallace will now move back to Sunday 9-12 from Jan 15, to develop a new programme which exploits the North Yorkshire connections across the world. Down To Earth will be broadcast at midday.

"Dare You Do It with Dougie and the gardening phone-in are both unchanged on Saturday mornings. The 9-12 presenter will be Kathryn Apanowicz."

This suggests that Matt's notorious revamp of the weekend schedule has been less than a triumph. Back in April he axed the popular Hurley Burley show, starring Mike Hurley and Sally Fairfax, from Saturdays, and replaced it with the Anna Wallace show which is soon to be pulled. She returns to nearly the same Sunday slot she occupied before the shake-up.

Also replaced in spring was Jonathan Cowap's Sunday phone-in, with Minster FM man James Watt moving in. Now Watty is off to a new slotty.

There is no explanation as to why Les Gunn, aka Gunny, wants to leave. His departure after two years with the station follows that of Radio York veteran and assistant editor David Dunning and weekend editor Alan Greveson, who took voluntary redundancy in October.

With the loss of key presenters, and three weekend schedules in nine months, listeners' loyalty is being sorely tested. The Diary hopes the station has a happier new year.

KING Kong hits cinemas tonight. It is supposed to look fabulous - but how does it sound? We ask the question because the last time the film was made, it had a score written by York's own John Barry.

The 1976 version of King Kong was memorable for two things. This line, delivered by Jeff Bridges: "There is a girl out there who might be running for her life from some gigantic turned-on ape."

And John Barry's music. On his website dedicated to Barry, James Ollinger sums it up like this: "Barry took the love story - the ape and Jessica Lange - seriously and wrote a great love theme. Surprising that something so bitter-sweet would come out of a giant-ape movie."

The new movie is scored by James Newton Howard. He is no slouch, having accrued five Academy Award nominations. But then, our John has already won five...

READERS continue to unburden their Christmas present nightmares. "My aunt used to have a knack of buying inappropriate or even just plain weird gifts," a York chap confesses. "The classic was one year when her pressie to Dad - an anti-hunting non-driver - was a leather driving licence holder decorated with Big Game Of The World.

"These days she mercifully tends to settle for book tokens."

More please.

Updated: 09:10 Friday, December 16, 2005