Yesterday, as I was getting up, BBC 6 Music news reported that their were plans to shut down 6 Music, The Asian Network and some of the web pages. This is to invest hundreds of millions in to public service programming. According to the director general, these plans still need to be looked at.
In my opinion, the BBC is a bit of a strange beast. Their website is great, especially the iPlayer. The programming leaves a lot to be desired, as it continues the ratings battle with ITV regurgitating the same old shite. Another series of strictly come dancing, another hospital drama, buying another series of Heroes. What ever happened to the drama and comedy shows that you had to watch. Boys from the Black Stuff, Blackeyes, The Buddha of Suburbia, Our Friends in the North, The Fast Show, The Lakes, Catterick, Edge of Darkness, State of Play. The latter two recently becoming Hollywood blockbusters.
Then look at the music output of the past, John Peel, Annie Nightingale, Jools Holland, Bob Harris, Mark and Lard to name a few, which is an insult to the many I haven’t mentioned. The BBC, in my past, has brought new music, comedy and drama to me, inspiring and shaping peoples lives through television and music.
With the exception of Life on Mars/Ashes to Ashes to ashes, the BBC has done very little of note in the past few years. The one Jewel in the Crown for me, as an adult, is 6 Music.
I started listening at work when the FM radio started playing up, the same time Mark and Lard buggered off. I used to love listening to Phil Jupitus, Gideon Coe, Vic Mcglynn and Andrew Collins. They turned me on to music old and new, in the same way John Peel did. Lift to Experience, The Deers, Local Natives, Linton Kwesi Johnson, the list goes on and on and on and on…
DJ’s changed, and with the exception of George Lamb (who I have nothing against, he just wasn’t right and it seemed his show was a vehicle for him rather than the station), carried on the ethic of John Peel, playing an eclectic mix of music. I’ve carried on listening and quite often make a note of something new I’ve discovered thanks the the station. I’ve won prizes, I’ve had shout outs, and even won the Duffer prize (badge still in post!). To lose Six Music would be losing one of the only decent things the BBC has left. I would seriously consider not paying the license fee any more. In 2007 they published a charter to “inform, educate and entertain”. As far as I’m concerned 6Music is the only BBC property which does all three, to pull the plug on the station would be foolish.