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Radcliffe questions Salford move

Veteran BBC radio presenter Mark Radcliffe has raised concerns about the decision to move BBC Radio 5 Live out of London, and said the move to Media City at Salford Quays near Manchester would radically change the station's character.

Speaking at today's Radio Academy Production 08 conference in London, Radcliffe raised the question of how a rolling news network will operate outside of the capital.

"I'm a big champion of the north," he said. "But it seems to be an interesting choice to put a rolling news network that needs a constant stream of guests and politicians… it's an interesting move to put that in Manchester."

He added: "I'm not against that. As arguments about the licence fee and funding carry on, I think the more the BBC can do to reflect differerent parts of the UK has got to be a good thing. It would definitely change the character of FiveLive and [pause] improve it enormously when it gets to Manchester."

Radcliffe presents his Radio 2 show with Stuart Maconie from Manchester, and persuaded Radio 1 management that his short-lived breakfast show in 1997 should also come from the city.

"They said: 'You've got to come to London'. It was portrayed as this big battle, but really we [Radcliffe and Marc Riley] just tried to get out of doing it. They offered this money and we said we want twice that, which was absolutely stupid. They said yes, and we said, oh bollocks."

He added: "Since then no one's ever really asked me [to present from London]."

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