tbh antongould, i don't know pp well enough past, or present, to gain a proper over view, get the gist of how 'progress' has affected it. ideally, this requires frequent listening, over a longish period. i've listened a couple of times to pp, which is dependent on levels of interest in guests, same as 'did'.... i'm not that keen on how people tend to conduct themselves on beeb progs any more..... for starters, how exactly can passions be 'private' if they're coming out of your radio? so, potentially a bit bogus from the off - unless it's someone whose views you're really interested in as a person - rather than hoping to catch something 'private' from just about 'any body'! personally, i don't like the emphasis on what i perceive as phoney 'confessionals', or gaining a peek at something 'private' - it seems daft somehow. no one's really going to go on the radio and discuss a genuinely 'private' passion are they? the media in general revolves around these paradoxes, and therefore i just tend to drift off, not least as there are now so many choices and places to drift off too.
obviously, a quick measure is provided by listening to episodes of the same programme from different decades, if they're archived and available to compare and contrast. this emphasises formula popular in a given decade ....but perhaps it shouldn't be listeners doing this - it should be producers, production companies, and those who commission programmes surely? THEY are the problem - not the listeners, or details about listeners - which is how the beeb, a psb, excuses itself, the cheeky so and sos.