'Specialist Music' On BBC Local Radio Campaigns News 22nd 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 - Again!
Once again DJ Ritu cheers us all up with another fabulous installment of A World in London Goes Solo 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 third AWiL, March 21st cloudcast of cut-down new shows, the first having become available on March 4th. (See also previous versions of this page.) Anything from world beat to folk - oh yes, no fear of the f-word here! to world jazz - DJ Ritu has it all and then some!
DJ Ritu / A World In London: March 21st 2011 Cloudcast - A World In London brings you 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!
1 Bbk - A Tata Shandiabana
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.
And this week, there's a full baker's dozen of fabulous tracks from around the globe to listen to! Including a beautiful traditional Ladino song from jazz bass maestro (of Chick Corea's 1990s band Origin fame) and singer Avishai Cohen. Ladino is a body of poetry and songs in the Judeo-Spanish or Judezmo language of the Sephardi or Spanish Jews. Still popular from North Africa to Turkey, these songs' lyrics (and poems) often go back to medieval times, although the tunes are of more recent, mainly Ottoman Turkish art music, origin. Avishai Cohen's (not to be confused with the jazz trumpeter of the same name!) new album Seven Seas, which this song comes from, is incidentally to die for!
To find out how you too can help in making the BBC see sense and help to have DJ Ritu's A World in London reinstated please see further down the page.
Wastage And The Cost Of Local Radio
According to their annual report, the total cost of BBC Local Radio in 2010 was a mere £116.3 million. A drop in the ocean of the BBC's total budget.
But interestingly, not far short of this amount, close on £80 million a year, was found by an internal BBC report to be wasted through poor staff management, The Guardian reported last week. To quote The Grauniad, 'The BBC is wasting nearly £80m a year through poor management of under-performing staff and erroneously paying a salary top-up to thousands of employees who do not qualify for it, an internal report has concluded.'
To put this into perspective, the amount wasted through poor staff management alone could nearly pay for BBC Local Radio!
Or to look at it another way, maybe the BBC might consider paying realistic fees to presenters of high quality programmes such as 'specialist music' shows who - before being given the chop - were generally paid what can only be described as a pittance.
One is left wondering how much, for instance, wannabe Z-list celebrities like Sunny and Shay Grewal are paid for their Sunny And Shay Show that has replaced the wonderful DJ Ritu's A World in London on BBC London 94.9. A show with a quality level that is well below the horizon (and, apparently, audience figures to match), of little or no relevance to London's multitude of communities other than perhaps an Asian one, and certainly in no way reflective of the rich diversity of life in London.
And a show whose presenters, said Sunny and Shay, display not one jot of talent, aptitude, or ability - nor have the slightest qualification - for the job they are attempting to perform and fail at so miserably. And who don't appear to have any connection with London other than now being employed by the BBC.
Likewise, one is left wondering how much a presenter - albeit, a professional one - like Richard Spurr, who presents the Richard Spurr Show five nights a week that has taken the place of the superb Folkwaves and three other 'specialist music' shows on BBC East Midlands, receives. And moreover, one has to wonder how much regular Monday studio guest Linda Lancashire (with her psychic poodles) is paid for her ghastly appearance and her imbecilic horoscopes. Goodness knows, one almost has to feel sympathy for Richard Spurrs who is trying his best with an essentially unworkable show that has next to no content of local or regional interest or relevance (and apparently next to no listeners as well, if perhaps a few more than BBC London's Grewals) and instead relies heavily on a diet of 'Golden Oldies' music.
Similarly, one has to wonder about the overall production cost of these new programmes compared to the programmes they replaced, which were essentially self-produced by the presenters.
All in all, perhaps another example of wastage at the BBC?
Not All Doom And Gloom
Word is spreading that the proposal to reduce BBC Local Radio to breakfast and drivetime programming only, with the rest of the time being given over to Radio 5 Live, first reported in last week's campaigns news, is just that - a proposal. And, staff inside BBC Local Radio up and down the country seem to be fairly certain, a proposal that won't go very far.
All the same, it is probably just as well for the Save BBC Local Radio campaigns to keep the pressure up, just to play safe. That the BBC cannot be trusted is perhaps better known to its audience than to its staff.
Support The Campaigns And Help Restore A World In London, Folkwaves And Other Shows And Maybe Even Save BBC Local Radio!
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)
SOS Skues on Sundays (Facebook)
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!
Even if, for now, the future of BBC Local Radio seems a little less threatened, that does not mean this situation could not change in the future. Falling audience figures certainly do not help.
To survive long term, BBC Local Radio needs high quality, popular shows like DJ Ritu's A World in London, Mick Peat and Lester Simpson's Folkwaves, and others. It needs diversity of programming. It needs to differentiate itself from all the undifferentiated pap that (for the most part) is commercial local radio, not emulate it as seems to be the current trend.
Most importantly of all, the BBC needs to be made aware of what its listeners really want (rather than what the BBC thinks its listeners should want!), and they need to be made aware that they have to listen to what people want. The BBC needs to learn that it's the licence fee payer's BBC, it's your BBC, not theirs!
For all these reasons, it is vital that you should support campaigns like the Save' Folkwaves' on BBC Radio Derby and Save DJ Ritu's A World in London show on BBC London campaign. And preferably any and all of the other campaigns as well! Solidarity is strength.
Finally, this week yet another excellent BBC radio show is coming to an end. Mark Cole's World of Music on BBC World Service will sadly be broadcast for the very last time. The longest-running world music show on BBC Radio, it was originally presented by the irrepressible Andy Kershaw and later by the one and only Charlie Gillett, who sadly passed away one year ago last week.
Both sorely missed, Charlie Gillett, and World of Music. RIP, World of Music.
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