'Specialist Music' On BBC Local Radio Campaigns News 13th March 2011

All the latest news, info, rumour, gossip, comment and more concerning the Save DJ Ritu's A World in London show on BBC London and Save' Folkwaves' on BBC Radio Derby campaigns! And now also incorporating the Save BBC Local Radio campaign!

The Best Bits First...

To cheer everybody up, DJ Ritu has produced another fabulous installment of A World in London on Mixcloud! For those not familiar with this show and DJ Ritu, A World in London is the best world music show to have graced British airwaves until it was axed by BBC London, with the last show having gone out on 1st January this year. This is the second cloudcast of cut-down new shows, the first having become available on March 4th. (See also last week's page.) Anything from world beat to folk - oh yes, no fear of the f-word here! - DJ Ritu has it all and then some!

A World In London/DJ Ritu: March 11th 2011 Cloudcast - A World In London for the best new global sounds! And it's even embedded at right for your listening pleasure and convenience.

You can also check it out via DJ Ritu's web site, which you should also visit for world music charts, gig guides, the latest 'Hot Tracks' and so much more!

For your convenience, here is a track list of this week's show. You can also buy tracks/albums by going to the Mixcloud page and clicking on the 'buy' link next to each track!

Aurelio Martinez - Ereba
Yaqueline Castellanos - Cambias
Nana - Silent Scream Under The Moonlight
Lila Downs - La Cumbia Del Mole
Asjda Pekken - Atla Karinja
Hanan - Besma
Le Cor De La Plana - Nau Gojatas
Opa Cupa - Neelia
Bbk - Mado Mado
Mariza - Fado Vianinha
Watcha Clan - Viens, Viens
Ara Dinkjian - Urfa Divan




A World In London/Dj Ritu March 11th 2011 by Djritu on Mixcloud





Logo - DJ Ritu

DJ Ritu and A World in London are back! At least, in a temporary Cloudcast form until BBC London 94.9 can be made to see the grave error of their ways.

To find out how you too can help in making the BBC see sense and how you can join the campaign please see further down this page. The campaign to have DJ Ritu's A World in London reinstated is about much more than this though - it's about saving BBC Local Radio as we know it!

Folkwaves Campaign Logo






AWiL Campaign Logo







Save BBC Local Radio Logo






...And The (Not So) Shocking Bits!

A long while back I already commented that the cancellations of quality programmes such as Mick Peat & Lester Simpson's Folkwaves on BBC East Midlands (and their several other 'specialist music' shows) and DJ Ritu's A World in London seemed to point to a larger agenda, that of the BBC ridding itself of what it undoubtedly sees as an encumbrance and irritation - BBC Local Radio.

Everybody in the AWiL and Folkwaves campaigns has, I'm sure, been aware of this possibility for quite some time. Well, just because we're paranoid doesn't mean they're not really out to get us:

During last week, the story finally broke that one of BBC management's proposals up 'for consideration' is for BBC Local Radio to be reduced to breakfast and drivetime programming only, with local stations carrying BBC Radio 5 Live the rest of the time! This would undoubtedly spell the demise of BBC Local Radio, and it surely would be only a matter of time until the breakfast and drivetime programmes went the way of all local programmes, leaving R5L FM.

More on this can also be found in last Thursday's Guardian.

Trevor Dann, one-time head of BBC London and BBC Radio 1 and now a professor of radio at Lincoln University as well as a consultant and independent producer, last week gave an interview to David Jackson on BBC Radio Nottingham on this subject which was most illuminating indeed. Hugh Slaney of the Folkwaves campaign took the trouble to produce a transcript of this interview, which he posted on the FW Discussion Board on Facebook.

The proposal to reduce BBC Local Radio to breakfast and drivetime programming only is supposed to be one of the options being considered in the BBC's cost-cutting efforts. However, as a 'cost-cutting' exercise, this makes very little sense indeed. The 'fixed costs' such as maintaining the studios would remain, especially since local radio stations share their facilities with television. The other costs of running BBC Local Radio full time represent little more than a drop in the ocean of the £400 million-plus savings that the BBC is seeking.

Ironically, high quality, popular programmes like the axed AWiL, Folkwaves and others were probably some of if not the cheapest produced programming around, with quite laughable presenters' fees and the actual production handled by the presenters as well.

Yet, these low-cost, low-maintenance shows were replaced with much more expensive shows of low or even zero quality and virtually no relevance to a local audience! I'm sure even the psychic poodles of BBC East Midlands' Richard Spurr Show (which replaced Folkwaves and three other 'specialist music' shows) wouldn't get out of bed for just a bowl of dog food. Nor, I suspect, would their owner. (I wouldn't throw any sticks in her presence, incidentally...)

In view of what has come to light in the past week, one can only conclude that my suspicions that these replacement shows were nothing but a cynical exercise in deliberate 'audience shrinking' designed to pave the way for the BBC to rid itself of local radio sadly were right on the button.

Thus, Folkwaves listeners (and those of the three other axed shows) in the East Midlands - and indeed far beyond - have, in effect, been told to go forth and multiply by the BBC. Or they could always choose to have their intelligence insulted and be bored to distraction by the oh-so-popular three-hour, five days a week Richard Spurr Show. A show evidently so popular that, despite innumerable appeals during the show, it is apparently unable to attract any phone-in callers.

A World in London listeners of BBC London 94.9 and far beyond as well were shown equal contempt by Aunty. Instead of two wonderful hours with DJ Ritu, there are now two excruciatingly inane hours with the equally inane presenters of The Sunny And Shay Show on a Saturday night. Sunny and Shay! Yes, the Grewalsters! They of so-called reality TV show The Family. It's all too exciting by far! And they even seem to bring most of their family or families with them, at least by phone or pre-recorded talk.

If not for Mom or Dad Mr. and Mrs. Grewal would have practically no-one to talk to over the phone, The Sunny &

Shay Show attracts even less listeners than The Richard Spurr Show and likewise can't really attract any callers. The Facebook page for Sunny and Shay on the BBC (it also includes their show on the BBC Asian Network) has attracted pathetically few 'Likers' even after several months!

Only one radio show with a Facebook page seems to have fewer 'Likers' - after nearly six months, Mike Gerber's internet radio show Jewish Jazz has managed to garner a whole seventeen! (That show is a whole story in itself, and you can read about it here if you're so inclined.)

You can find out a little about just how mind-numbingly awful The Sunny & Shay Show is a little further on, from an almost 'blow-by-sickening-blow' account of my most recent listening experience of it from last Saturday, March 5th. Be warned though, this programme is sufficient to severely insult any demi-wit's intelligence and to threaten or damage mental health. I decline all and any liability - blame the BBC!

A number of other 'specialist music' - especially it would seem folk - shows have been terminated by BBC Local Radio over the past year. A very popular show on BBC East, Skues on Sundays featuring popular presenter Keith Skues, had it's first two hours chopped off, leaving only the tail end two hours in a late night slot from 11pm to 1am. The SOS Skues on Sundays campaign hopes to set this to rights.

A New Species Is Born!

Last week's news however, has given rise to a whole new breed of animal at last. The campaign to Save BBC Local Radio! There are both a Facebook Page and a Facebook Group, and both are already 'high traffic' and attracting support at an amazing rate. People finally are waking up to Aunty's evil schemes!

In the Save' Folkwaves' on BBC Radio Derby and the Save DJ Ritu's A World in London show on BBC London campaigns we have long been aware that we were fighting for far more than merely the restorations of these excellent shows, but rather also for the preservation of diversity in programming and 'specialist music' programming itself, and ultimately for the preservation of BBC Local Radio as we know it.

It is good to see the Save BBC Local Radio campaign and more and more people taking up the fight. To reflect this change to the broader picture of campaigning for BBC Local Radio, this page will be renamed 'Specialist Music' And BBC Local Radio Campaigns News from the next issue.

I sincerely hope that everybody supporting one or two of the campaigns will support all the others in solidarity. If you haven't joined any of these campaigns yet and have any interest at all in diversity, 'specialist music' programming or BBC Local Radio, please join NOW! Every single voice counts.

By standing together in solidarity, one campaign can reinforce the others. Ultimately, the causes are as one. By helping to get programmes like DJ Ritu's A World in London and Folkwaves restored to their rightful places on BBC Local Radio, you help preserve BBC Local Radio itself. By helping to save BBC Local Radio, you help ensure the return of shows such as Folkwaves and A World in London.

You can find out more about the campaigns and how to support them here:

Save DJ Ritu's A World in London show on BBC London (Facebook)
Save AWiL Blog (on blogspot.com)
twitter.com/saveawil (twitter)
There also is a Save AWiL Online Petition - please sign this now if you haven't already done so!

Save' Folkwaves' on BBC Radio Derby (Facebook)
Save Folwaves Forum (on Save Folkwaves web site; the rest of the site is currently still under construction)

SOS Skues on Sundays (Facebook)

Save-BBC-local-radio (Facebook Page)
Save BBC Local Radio (Facebook Group)
twitter.com/savebbclocal (twitter)

SAVE BBC RADIO SUFFOLK (Facebook Group)

Please join the fight and help save all these excellent shows and BBC Local Radio itself! Remember, it's your BBC! Make sure the Beeb knows it!

The case for all of these campaigns and their importance cannot be overstated. Together, we can prevail. Together, we shall prevail. Remember, the future of BBC Local Radio is at stake!

'The listeners, united, shall never be defeated!'

DJ Ritu's A World in London, Mick & Lester's Folkwaves and the other shows axed in an act of cultural vandalism will return where they belong, and BBC Local Radio will remain local as long as we all stand together!


And Finally...

Last Saturday, March 5th, curiosity got the worse of me and I decided, after a break of two Saturdays, to keep half an ear - I didn't want to risk getting both ears full of the smelly brown stuff - on 'that show,' while getting on with other things.

It's not as if I wasn't depressed enough already. It was the night of the greatest, most spectacular musical show on earth, the Trinidad & Tobago National Panorama Finals at the Queen's Park Savannah in Port of Spain, an all-night orgy of steel pan music, and I wasn't there. And as any hardened pan lover would tell you, not being at Panorama is just about the worst tabanca (something depressing, sad) you could ever suffer.

So, did I really need this, The Sunny And Shay Show on BBC London? Well, who needs it, period. But I was curious to see if there had been any changes in the presenters and to the show.

The short version. There had been. The Shiny & Sh**e Show definitely had changed. It had got worse - more boring than ever. Makes The Richard Spurr Show on BBC East Midlands look good and almost interesting.

The longer version. You really don't want to go there. You have been warned. Don't blame me if it makes you want to barf like a member of the Griffin family or suddenly makes you contemplate taking up jumping off tall buildings without a parachute.

The Radio Show To End All Radio Shows

'Join Sunny and Shay as they talk about the rich diversity of life in London,' the blurb says. Fat chance, say I, if the first six shows that I endured - and reported upon - were anything to go by. Let's see if this is any different, shall we?

The Grewal's start opening their gobs, usual inane and badly presented verbal excreta. 'Let us know what you are doing this Saturday night,' Mr. G - Sunny - pleads with the couple of handfuls of listeners. Wow, what an intelligent question! Well, I answer in my mind, for a start I'm (half) listening to two twits (was that the right vowel there?) and their lousy excuse for a radio show when I should be getting ready to go to 'de big yard' - the Queen's Park Savannah in Port of Spain - for Panorama finals! Grrr! Greatest musical show on this planet - pan all night long, a bowl of pelau (a Trinidadian dish a bit like biriyani - rice, pigeon peas, salt and/or fresh meat, the heat and gorgeous flavour of Scotch bonnet peppers - the hottest of all chillis - aahh! Yummmy!) at the ready, together with flasks of strong black coffee and the best rum on this earth! (And gorgeous chicks as flagwomen and banner bearers for the pansides - steel orchestras - to watch, too!)

And I'm missing out on all that and instead put up with Mr. and Mrs. G. Too sad.

Ah well, the G's are spouting off about what's on the show tonight. First hour is going to be a special on care homes (wish they could be confined to one!), and then all sorts of gawd-awful manure, no doubt... Hmm, sounds like we're in for yet another 'Asian Network' show! Cue music.

Cue phone. Mine, that is. A friend keeps me distracted for some ten, maybe fifteen minutes. Bliss.

S & S are still yakking away. No ordinary yaks, those two, they're yuckety yakkety yaks. Something about India, as usual? Yep. Oh yeah, I forget, London's in India, isn't it? Or is it the other way round? Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against India, great country, great culture, great cuisines (there are a multitude of them, actually), can even still just about read devnagari script I think. But on a show for Londoners on BBC London, I'd really like to hear about something other than just Indian or Indian-oriented subjects, just once in a while.

Sunny boy seems to think that 75 is really old? Oh yeah? Like, totally decrepid I suppose? Got news for you, Sunny boy. Just about any 75 year (and more) old's still 18 to 20-something inside! Most of us past our twenties still tend to see ourselves like that and feel and think the same we did then. More or less. We might look, and hopefully sometimes act, a little more mature... Anyway, wait till you get there yourself, if you should be lucky enough to make it, idjit.

Hmm. Self-obsessed as ever, those two wannabes. Oh, and now they have a phone guest. Someone running a care home, it seems. Indian care home - figures. This is the ersatz Asian Network, after all. Was featured in a documentary. Gawd how fashinating - yawwwn! Now they've added in a studio guest, the documentary maker apparently. Yawwwn! So interesting and reflective of the rich diversity of life in London, as usual... Really can't help yawning.

Hmm, the very idea of people of sub-continental descent putting their parents into a care home would have been totally unthinkable a generation ago. What's gone wrong?

The very idea of even the best care homes seems totally abhorrant here, sad, ghastly things. Sh**, I'd really sooner take up base jumping sans chute than rot in one of those! And in any case I'd never want to be just or mainly with people my own age group! No, nothing like a healthy mix of ages.

Oh, more music. Mainstream. Not catching what, lost in thought.

More care home waffle. And now Mum, Mrs. G's - what, again? Feck! And now Dad as well. Holy crap! More incessant waffle. I mean, who can possibly keep their attention on this.

Yet more waffle, now about what's coming up and what they'd like to gab about in the second hour. A Jacko track - really should have been Beat It!

Hooray! Traffic and news. A little light relief. First hour's done and endured.

The G's are back for the final grewaling hour. Damn!

'This is your Saturday evening?' Who are you kidding Sunny? There really isn't the space for phone-in callers on this show anyway, these two are far too much in love with the sound of their own voices. And their voices are not particularly suited to radio, especially hers - they're really more like silent movie material.

Waffle, giggles, waffle and more waffle. Yawwwn! Music - a desi track. Big surprise. Not. A jingle. More waffle.

Now they're waffling on about the pioneers of rock 'n' roll, and the Million Dollar Quartet and the show of the same name. Interesting subject, but Mr. & Mrs. G could bore anybody to death with anything, even the most interesting of subjects. No presenting skills whatsoever. No talent. Zilch. Not only are they boring as hell, but the show's now so boring it's really quite difficult to even engage in some urine extraction for a little light relief.

Now they're waffling on about dogs. (Doggie person, me.) Seems they have a German Shepherd and a - what?! A feckin' Yorkie. Fits - perfect handbag dog for Shay. As the missus says, Mrs. G seems like a typical 'shoes and handbags' bimbo. Or rather, gives them a bad name.

More music - 'Golden Oldie,' The Four Tops and Baby I Need Your Loving.

Followed by waffle about Pancake Tuesday. Yawwn. Well, if anybody, Mr. G certainly should know all about tossing pancakes...

They've got a couple of studio guests, talking about some charity pancake race for the London Air Ambulance. Yawn. Well, at least it's of London-specific interest, sort of, for a change. Yawn. Eventually they're also joined by the race organiser on the old dog. Then it's back to the studio guests for some more waffle and then they're gone.

Mrs. G is now begging for callers. Less than fifteen minutes to go now! Hooray! Some more music. Noah And The Whale - Life Goes On. I hope it does after this farce of a show.

Still more waffle - yawwwn - and then another phone guest, at the British Asian Sports Awards! Talking to some sports female? Yawwwwn. Sunny asking about Asians in sports - naturally. Hey, this is the Asian Network! Gosh this is fashinating. I'm sure I can see my toe nails growing. Boring gobsh**es!

Mo desi music. With a bit of luck should be long enough to prevent the Grewals waffling on any more. Damn, not quite. Feck off! Oh good. They're gone. What a relief!

Reflecting London's Rich Diversity?

So, there you have it. Is this the kind of programme that is inclusive of London's diverse communities? Does this to any degree reflect London's rich diversity? I guess that, judging by this programme, London doesn't have, for example, any African, West Indian, Arabic/Middle Eastern, Persian, Turkish or Greek or North African communities. And no Scottish, Welsh and Irish ones, and almost certainly no English community.

This show certainly paints a very strange picture of London. A London that I decidedly don't even recognise.

Enough is enough. I shall not choon in to BBC London again until DJ Ritu's A World in London is back in its rightful place and sub-standard programmes are removed from its schedules. The Sunny & Shay Show with its unprofessional presentation and production and irrelevant content is beyond the pail and beyond redemption. Up with which I shall not put!

Join the fight!

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