BBC Radio 6 Music – New Trail

Wow this has got to be the most exciting news today. The BBC have produced a new trail for BBC 6 Music. Well that’s terrific. The complaint a few years ago was that 6 Music wasn’t being given the publicity it deserved. Well, now that’s it has been ‘saved’ by us, its audience, and it’s going from strength to strength, does it really need these glossy adverts?

I was alerted to it by a tweet from Lauren Laverne, which is why I have chosen this link:
BBC Radio 6 Music – Lauren Laverne

I have no idea how much these things cost. But it does make me wonder how much spare cash there is sloshing around the BBC. One  day, they have to save money by running down all the local radio stations. Hence, we no longer have Danny Baker on BBC London, for example. Then this ‘cross-promotional’ budget seems to be a bottomles pit of our licence money.

And not only trails. I read the other day that following Mark Thompson’s ‘Delivering Quality First’ initiative, the number of ‘executives’ and ‘managers’ on six-figure salaries has increased rather than  gone down as was, I believe, intended.

Well, that’s my rant for the day. I’ll be back with something more positive later.

Meanwhile, I trust you like the new trail.

The latest news

I’ll be going through the listings soon to plan my Christmas-time radio listening. I do know that Tour de France and Olympic Time Trial Champion (not to mention Sports Personality of 2012) Bradley Wiggins will be on 6 Music with Paul Weller.

Danny Baker is the new Elaine Paige. Yes, together with Baylen Leonard, the Candyman will be playing music from the shows on Radio 2, sometime over Christmas.

Mike Harding’s final show on Radio 2 will be broadcast on December 26. But then, just a few days later, he’ll be producing a weekly one-hour long podcast online – there’s not much information as I write, but I anticipate this will be very similar to his RAdio 2 show: music, chats and gig lists. But no trails. And no news. Might as well bookmark the site.

And finally for now, it was announced today that in the new year, Jon Holmes will be presenting the Breakfast Show on Xfm.

Here’s the full story.

That’s it for now: I thought I’d drop in and see how the old blog’s holding up, I’ve been away for a while.

 

Save the Treehouse – continued

Danny Baker’s BBC London show axed, shock, horror (part 2).

Well, who knew this 2 hours of radio would be so… interesting … to the rest of the world. Yes, world. For a while on Twitter, apparently, ‘Danny Baker’ was trending worldwide. Along with ‘Christmas.Blimus.

But the news made it to Radio 4’s PM programme two days running, catch the shows here:
Thursday 1st November from about 55min10sec.
Friday 2nd November from about 43min00sec.

The latter is a very short extract from David Robey’s appearance on Vanessa Feltz’s morning show on BBC London. The whole half hour segment can be heard here:
Vaness Feltz on BBC London from about 2hr26min00sec.

David Robey is the Managing Editor of BBC London 94.9. After all these years, he still has the knack of talking down to the listeners but not listening to what they’re actually saying. And he seems proud of the fact that he doesn’t talk to Danny Baker himself, he speaks to Danny’s agent.

And on the Today programme, the lads had a jolly good laugh at the goings-on. Not sure Justin Webb entirely understood what was happening, to be honest.
The Today programme from about 2hr24min00sec.

As ever, these programmes are available on the iPlayer for 7 days after broadcast.

Here’s a fascinating discussion on DigitalSpy.

Not convinced by this Independent article which takes the story in a different direction.

Daily Record.

How NPR reported the furore, some say contretemps, some say brouhaha.

I’ll miss the afternoon show, that’s for sure. But he was back on air this morning as usual, BBC Radio 5 Live.

Save The Treehouse!

Just when you think the BBC would want all the good publicity it can garner (in view of the Jimmy Savile mess)…

And remember Mark Thompson’s famous initiative, “Delivering Quality First”?

Well, guess what the BBC has gone and done now.

As Danny Baker tweeted this morning:

So. Just been told the BBC London Show – the Treehouse – is to be shut down after all. Saves BBC money apparently. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrYJMkr_I8s

You don’t need to watch that YouTube video, of course, it’s the Zane Lowe TV Promo for his BBC Radio 1 show. One bugbear is that while the BBC claim to be saving money, they’ll waste millions of pounds on tails and promos such as this.

If only GLR had been given some publicity, back in the day. If only BBC 6 Music had been given a decent marketing budget. Then maybe beither would have been threatened with closure, due to audiences being too small.

Anyway, back to Danny Baker. he broadcasts on BBC London 94.9, Monday to Friday, 3pm-5pm. No idea what the audience figures are, but it is without doubt one of the most creative shows on radio at the moment. And, I’m sure, one of the cheapest. I don’t think they’ll be saving much money. But I’m not an accountant, I don’t run the BBC.

Following on from the Candyman’s initial tweet, the following ones appeared:

Danny Baker: Also. I am being “inducted” into The Radio Hall Of Fame next week. Big honour. BBC salutes by cutting five sixths of my shows. #IronyNotLost

Yes, next week, the Radio Festival takes place in Salford, and one of the highlights will be the induction of Danny Baker into the Hall of Fame. So of course it makes sense to axe the show this week. It remnds me of a few years ago when Jonathan Coleman won a Gold Sony Award for the Heart FM Breakfast show – and he was sacked the following week.

Danny Baker: BBC asked me not to say anything just yet about axing best show on British Radio. Why? Because it’s embarrassing? Because they’ll look bad?

Yes: once again, BBC’s management look bad. Why, it was only a short while ago I was writing in a similar vein about Mike Harding.

Ross Noble: How can the BBC axe our greatest radio talent @prodnose show.after recent events they should be celebrating what they do well.


Stephen Fry:
Next week @prodnose is inducted into Radio Academy Hall of fame. Not surprising, he’s the best. Today the BBC are axing his show. Dickwits.


Gideon Coe:
There are quite a few wonderful things on the radio and several of them are presented by, or indeed influenced by, @prodnose

Yes, I know: Danny Baker’s not everyone’s cup of tea. There’ll be people out there dancing around their living rooms at the news. But my theory is, if you don’t likea radio (or TV) show, then just don’t listen. There’s plenty to choose from. Too much, in my opinion. But it’s a sad day when one of my personal favourites disappears.

So, obviously, as I write this, I’m listening to what may be the last programme. the first record: Radio Ga Ga.

Irving Welsh: @stephenfry @prodnose Outrageous. They have their heads up their arses. Next thing they’ll be harbouring necrophiliacs. #vivadannyb

Rob Brydon: Glad that BBC are axing @prodnose Danny Baker’s daily radio show. I’ve had it up to here with his wit, warmth and originality.

Apparently Amy and Baylen are paid £50 for each show. As Danny said: the BBC probably paid Jimmy Savile more in 6 months than his radio partners have earned in the last ten years.

Keith Waterhouse: @prodnose: there is an old English expression to sum up the ludicrous #EndOfTreehouse… the expression.. Oh yes.. It’s Bollocks!..

Well, I’m sure there’ll be another Campaign to Save Something from the Mindless Morons that pass for Managers at the BBC, so keep an eye on the internet.

But most importantly, listen to and enjoy the show while you can.

Read this in the Telegraph.

This is what the BBC itself says.

This is from The Guardian.

BBC News – Record ratings for digital radio stations

Here’s the news article straight from the horse’s mouth:
BBC News – Record ratings for digital radio stations.

But in summary, BBC 6 Music, the Asian Network and Radio 4 Extra have all gained more listeners during the last three months.

Absolute Radio has the highest proportion of listeners tuning in via digital means rather than analogue, FM.

In London, Capital Radio beat RAdio 1 at breakfast time. Chris Moyles’s final quarter saw a continuing decline in his audience.

Overall, it appears that radio continues to attract more listeners and for longer periods each week.

I’ve never been asked but I know my listening habits are well above average. As I’ve said before, there is literally not enough time for me to listen to everything I want to. Yes, I still find time to watch TV, but that is seldom as satisfying. Homeland is great, though, very intense.

But given the time constraints, I’m afarid I didn’t even try to listen to Radio 2’s collection of Beatles programmes broadcast during October. As big a Beatles fan as I am, after all this time, i think I’d rather listen to their music than listen to even more people talking about them and their stories and their influences.

Last weekend’s Bob Harris show was brilliant, from my point of view. He played records by so many of my favourites: Frank Zappa, The Shadows, Steely Dan, Ruarri Joseph, Sam Cook, Tasmin Archer, John Lee Hooker, not to mention studio guests Robert Cray and Martin Stephenson. Here’s the playlist. Never let it be said that Bob Harris doesn’t play folk music! As I write, there is a day and a half to listen to the programme on the iPlayer.

 

Mike Harding ‘leaves’ Radio 2

Another day, another incomprehensible decision made by BBC bosses. It was announced two days ago that Mike Harding has been asked to leave his weekly folk programme on Radio 2, and that the slot will be taken over by Mark Radcliffe.

Well, I’ve got nothing against Mark Radcliffe, I quite like his presentation style and I appreciate his knowledge of and enthusiasm for music.

But I love Mike Harding’s show as it is, too. He has introduced me to so many musicians, singers, songwriters and other ‘folkies’ over the years. And it’s always a great feeling when he catches up with performers that I’d been following already, such as Seth Lakeman and Martha Tilston.

So why is he being moved on?

A Radio 2 spokeswoman said the change of presenter would bring a “fresh perspective” to folk and would allow more live broadcasts. I suppose the listeners were clamouring at the doors of Broadcasting House, just begging for a “fresh perspective” in the Folk and Roots programme. And why a different presenter would allow for more live broadcasts is such an obvious red herring, I suspect the spokeswoman in question will be sent away for re-training. I bet Mike would love the opportunity for more live broadcasts, if the production team, and the budgets, and the bureaucracy allow.

I first wrote about Mike is this blog back in March. That day’s blog posting has now received more responses than any other individual posting. Not scientific, I know, but I think it shows that there is a terrific amount of affection for and support for Mike and his show. Please go back, especially to read the comments from other readers.

I try not to be too negative in this corner of the internet, but I can’t hide my disappointment that the decision has been made. So here’s a positive thought: the replacement is Mark Radcliffe, a radio person. Bob Shennan could have chosen yet another boring ‘big name’, another turgid ‘celebrity’ from TV. Shennan (and his predecessor) certainly has form in that department.

So: Mike Harding’s Folk, Roots and Acoustic show has been on Radio 2 for 15 years. It is currently broadcast on Wednesday nights at 7pm. At present, his final show is set to be December 26. His listening audience is estimated to be about 750,000 – vastly increased over the 15 years.

On Facebook, Mike states that the Press Release makes it look as though he decided to go. Hundreds of messages of support were forthcoming there. Here is the offending Press Release from 17/10/12.

Naturally, we listeners want to do whatever we can to keep Mike’s show – and the campaign starts over there, on Facebook: Lighting the Landscape: save Mike Harding, he’s a national treasure. At the time of writing, there are 1093 members of this group. No: actually, I am number 1094. I’ve supported many campaigns and I like to think in my own small way, I helped save BBC 6 Music. So please do all you can to help spread the word! The Controller of Radio 2 and 6 Music is Bob Shennan. It was he who called Mike (apparently the first phone call made in all of 15 years) to break the news. Writing to him, to the BBC Trust, to Radio 4’s Feedback programme, who knows if we can force a re-think?

I suppose there’s a small chance that Radio 3 might take over Mike’s show… There is a precedent: they took one Andy Kershaw on board when his World Music show was finally squeezed out from Radio 1.

But whatever happens in the long term, let’s continue to enjoy Mike’s show on Radio 2. I’ll be keeping at least some of the programmes for posterity, and I’m sure I won’t be the only one!

How the news has been reported:

BBC News – Mike Harding ‘pushed’ from Radio 2 folk show.

The Guardian: Mike Harding hits out at Radio 2 boss.

The Independent: The Rochdale Cowboy bows out with guns blazing.

The Telegraph: Radio 2 axes Mike Harding from folk role.

And here are some other places of interest:

Mike’s Facebook page.

Mike Harding’s Radio 2 page.

Mike’s own website.

Le Tour de France

Well, on the whole, I prefer radio to TV. And I’m not much of a sports fan either. But these three weeks each year are a bit different chez Radio Top Soup.

The only sports event I choose to watch pretty much from start to finish every year is the Tour de France. Coverage on TV has increased over the years. I know, I could always have paid a subscription  to watch the event, but paying for any TV goes against the grain: there are higher financial priorities.

It used to be on Channel 4, and has now migrated to ITV4 but with the same group of commentators, Paul Sherwen, Phil Liggett, Chris Boardman and Gary Imlach.

At the time of writing, two British riders are leading the tour, Bradley wiggins and Chris Froome, both from the Sky team. World champion Mark Cavendish is also a member of this team. All three have so far won a stage of this year’s tour.

And a fourth British rider, David Millar, won today’s stage, the longest this year.

Congratulations to all of them. And good luck to Bradley and your sideburns, we hope you reatin the leader’s yellow jersey right up to Paris in 9 days time.

Coverage of the Tour is available on Radio 5 Live Sports Extra but i feel, in this case, radio commentary is a second best.

Given the amount of British succes this year, I’ve often had to leap across the room to turn the radio off as the news reader announces ‘the latest on the Tour de France’. If I haven’t yet watched, I don’t want to know how it ends!

Tour de France on ITV4.

The Offocial TdF site.