October 22, 2014

"Cut BBC Local Radio" says Noel Edmonds

In the on-going coverage of Noel Edmonds wanting to buy the BBC, the former Radio 1 presenter says he would cut local radio if he had his way.

Talking on BBC Radio 5 live after his comments yesterday about buying the BBC under “Project Reith”, Noel told Richard Bacon he would re-think the way the BBC does local radio.

He would turn the BBC into a CIC, a not-for-profit company, introduce adverts and start product placement.

“The BBC spent £48m serving the dying Welsh language, and why should you pay for BBC Radio Devon when you live in Newcastle”, he said.

“The funding has to reflect the world that we’re moving into.”

Richard Bacon asked: “Are you saying for this place (the BBC) to work, and for it not to waste money, that you would put adverts in, you would cut the Welsh language service, parts of the World Service and you would cut local radio?”

Noel replied: “Yes, broadly, I’m saying that certainly in the case of local radio that could be handled in a totally different way.” Does that mean you’ll get rid of it?, Richard asked. Noel never replied.

The BBC is “sleepwalking to destruction”, Noel said as he explained his hope to buy the corporation along with a consortium of investors.

He said only an injection of outside influence could make the broadcaster “relevant to the internet age” and admitted that he did not presently pay for it via the licence fee as he uses catch-up services online.

Noel made no mention of cutting services such as Radio 1, where he found fame in the 1970s.

Posted on Tuesday, March 18th, 2014 at 5:29 pm by .

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  • BBC Bob

    Your story is very misleading. Noel told Bacon that BBC Local Radio would be done in a “totally different way”. That’s very different to how you’ve written it up.

    • David

      Noel clearly says he would cut BBC local radio, from what I heard.

      • Radio Listener

        Cut doesn’t mean close. I think it needs to be CUT.

        • Josh, Russia

          Would I be offered a limited choice to pick with myself onto an uninhabitated island, I’d heavily consider BBC locals, one package.

  • James Martin

    He said “Cut” – not “do away with altogether.” I think Noel has a great vision here. The BBC is a very wasteful, highly bureaucratic and grossly inefficient machine. I think Charles Allen made some very good points in his recent interview, inviting the BBC into Global Radio to see how things are done in Leicester Square. The impression I get is that large sections of the BBC are heavily over-manned with a lot of people running around doing very little compared to the more streamlined workflow in the commercial sector. Certainly I don’t see why BBC Local Radio could not be regionally networked outside of breakfast and drive. It’s also, ultimately, going to have to change as the current generation get older because at the moment a lot of it sounds very out of touch. A generation bought up on the GWR format and latterly the likes of Capital and Heart are not going to touch lengthy interviews about gardening and incontinence pads with a barge pole. Interestingly, I didn’t realise BBC Introducing was a local radio thing until they announced this year’s Eurovision entry (who’s been found through the strand.) If it’s discovering artists making the music people like Molly Smitten-Downes are making – well, surely that’s more in the remit of Radio 1?

    • yorksradiolistener

      @James Martin:
      Surely BBC Radio needs a shake-up at all levels; maybe give Radio 1 a sort of “Today’s Best Mix”-style playlist, drop the specialist shows – yes, that means binning such shows as Nick Grimshaw (maybe get the likes of Ditchy on Breakfast, or, perhaps, Wes Stakes who’s on Viking FM to do the show; Paul is a good solid jock), BBC Introducing with Jen and Ally, Dan and Phil, Matt Edmondson, Phil & Alice etc. and have shows more like what you hear across the UTV Network.
      UTV stations sound a lot better than Global or BBC’s output; I listen to The Pulse regularly enough, and it’s better sounding than Capital!

      As for BBC local radio, well, it could work better if they did things like a personality-driven breakfast, no-repeat music workday 10am-3pm, drive 3-7pm, and networked 7pm-6am (perhaps with the likes of someone like Chris Marsden on evenings and a networked late show with Graham Torrington or Greg James from Radio 1 possibly?)`

      Some food for thought anyhow.

    • Great vision?!?!

      the same 300 songs over and over, almost no local news, nine nauseating months of Who’s on Heart. Great vision? Sounds like a visit to an opticians is in order.

  • Radio Listener

    He talks a lot of sense does Mr Edmonds. Do we really need 40 stations having discussions on gardening, cystitis or the weather at the same time? Keep breakfast, keep drive, keep sport. Have local news on the hour. That’s all it needs to be and can be done easily from hired offices as opposed to studio buildings that are no longer needed or fit for purpose.

  • Radio Listener

    And outside those peak times, have BBC Radio England.