Monthly Archives: March 2010

An open letter to the BBC

[Please forgive the mildly self-righteous tone of the below. Messing with the BBC bring out my inner Daily Mail reader]

To whom it may concern,

I grew up in a small town in North Yorkshire and listening to John Peel was one of the ways I could escape the hum-drum nature of my adolescence. Music for me was a window to another place. John always championed the little acts. Small bands with shoe-string budgets. Muscial genres I had never heard of (how many people know what Gabba-Gabba is? Or chip tune?). Every night was different. Imagine if for your entire life you ate only gruel and then someone gave you a banquet. How could you ever go back? Since the death of John Peel, 6 Music is the only aspect of the BBC to ever sustain his legacy. I get the same sense of playful quirkiness, of sheer unadulterated discovery from 6 Music that I did listening to his show. How can I ever go back to the weak gruel of chart music?

At its best the BBC champions risk. For example Jeremy Paxman asks questions that no one elses dares ask. David Attenborough goes in search of dangerous animals that no else dares film… and 6 Music plays music that no else dares to play.

The world is a richer place for the existence of 6 Music. You could cancel it. You could use the budget to create a brand new quiz show about dancing aimed at all the family and hosted by Adrian Chiles and Tess Daly. You could stop taking risks. But there’s already a place for that on ITV. The saddest thing is that you’d be killing a part of yourself – your ability to champion the underdog.