Good morning, class. No talking at the back, please. I’d like to begin with another few moans.

I did a straw poll among my friends (only the finest of scientific and journalistic methods for this column, folks) about their biggest gripes.Top of the list: M&Sand the BBC–and their latest problems.

First up, M&S (and its 7,000 job losses) where the only items I buy now are plain, unobtrusive items like tights and, err, knickers. Anything that doesn’t scream“M&S”.

Their core clothing strength has always been their multiple sizes and lengths (attracting those who want short, medium or long). Something to fit everyone, and good quality items in classic styles that fit the less-than-perfect figure perfectly andBritish made, preferably.

M&S should stick to those core principles. Not try to please everyone all the time and frankly not succeeding in pleasing anyone at any time. M&S should be leading the way in producing British-made, non-fast fashion, good quality high street staples. If they cost a bit more, so be it. But they should be worth the price because they are timeless classics.

Currently, they’re making over-embellished tat and charging too much for it. No wonder customers are looking elsewhere.

As for the BBC, reports that the BBC’s main evening bulletins could be obsolete within a decade as more people turn to their phones and iPlayer for news comes as no surprise. Slowly damning itself into extinction, the BBC is politically-biased and rapidly losing out to others as regards quality, productivity and general coverage.

Much like M&S, the BBC spends too much time chasing an audience/customer who is not going to go there while taking traditional supporters for granted. Neither organisation has learned its lesson. Result: declining interest in what they have to offer.

Unlike the BBC, M&S doesn’t have the cash cow of a compulsory licence fee, however. But one thing’s certain: both institutions need to start thinking long and hard about how they’re simply going to survive in the 21st century.

Nora Johnson’s psychological crime thrillers ‘No Safe Place’, ‘Betrayal’, ‘TheGirl in the Woods’, ‘The Girl in the Red Dress’, ‘No Way Back’, ‘Landscape ofLies’, ‘Retribution’, ‘Soul Stealer’, ‘The De Clerambault Code’ (www.nora-johnson.net) available online as eBook (€0.99;£0.99), Apple Books, paperback& audiobook.All profits to Costa del Sol Cudeca cancer charity

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Nora Johnson

Novelist Nora Johnson offers insights on everything from current affairs to life in Spain, with humour and a keen eye for detail.