6 Music protest attracts more

The latest protest against the proposed closure of BBC 6 Music took place on Saturday outside Broadcasting House in London.

Estimates are that the crowd, numbering around 1,000, was even larger than at the previous protest held in March this year.

The good-natured audience showed their enthusiastic support for speeches from a number of high profile guest speakers including 6 Music presenters Liz Kershaw, Cerys Matthews, Andrew Collins and Richard Herring, Shaun Keaveny and Matt Everitt, along with Liberal Democrat peer Lord Clement-Jones, and comedian Ed Byrne. The event was compered by another 6 Music presenter Jon Holmes.

There were also musical interludes from The Brute Chorus and One Man and his Beard, as well as the arrival of the world’s first Bhangra Flashmob, to support 6 Music’s sister station The Asian Network, which is also threatened with closure.

As the crowd stood outside the imposing Broadcasting House building, many speakers referred to the ‘Reithian values’ of educating, informing and entertaining, on which the BBC was founded. Several speakers also quoted Phil Jupitus, whose accusation that the closure of 6 Music would be “an act of cultural vandalism” has become a watchword for the Save BBC 6 Music campaign.

Georgina Rodgers, co-founder of the Save BBC 6 Music organising committee, said: “We believe that our responses to the BBC Trust Consultation, our complaints to the BBC, and our public protests have put forward a compelling counter-argument to the BBC Management. We have provided hard evidence that, rather than being a station that can be sidelined, 6 Music is a shining example of the ‘quality and distinctiveness’ that the BBC is aspiring to with its Strategic Review. We are now hoping that the BBC Trust will make sure that the BBC listens to the voice of the public, which has spoken loudly and clearly.”

The protest marks the end of the BBC Trust Consultation on the 25th May. A petition to save 6 Music and Asian Network with more than 63,000 names was handed into the Trust at the same time.

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