Saturday, November 27, 2010

Does Mr Robey listen to the show?

In reply to the official response from the BBC we have even more reason to keep this show alive. There are many flaws in his email. See below.

"BBC London 94.9 is a speech-based service for London with news, sport, information and conversation at the core of our BBC local service commitment."
  • Does AWIL not include speech? Most of the second hour is conversations with guests. 
  • Is education and culture not part of the core of the BBC local service commitment?

"More than 90 per cent of our output each week is speech-led, with six hours each morning and five hours each evening devoted to all-speech news, debate and sport."
  • Do we need MORE speech, sport and debate shows when they are already well catered for across the whole BBC?
"The overwhelming majority of our listeners tune to BBC London 94.9 for news, information and conversation."
  • Of course Mr Robey if you do not supply music for them to listen to then they are going to be tuning into listen to news, information and conversation.
  • And does AWIL not give news (about local artists & events across London) information (about the different cultures of London) and conversation (with the many guests each and every week)?
  • With the listener figures quite high and supposedly rising are you not doing a disservice to the many listeners who tune in to listen to this show specifically?
"We also have speech-led programmes which cover London's culture, entertainment and music, notably Robert Elms, Danny Baker and Gary Crowley who are renowned for their knowledge of music and London music in particular."
  • From our knowledge the presenters above do not cover the many of the issues/areas that DJ Ritu's AWIL covers. 
  • Is DJ Ritu not renowned?
  • Does DJ Ritu not have a very good knowledge of London and does she not reach out to Londoners?
  • Oh and where are the women in the list above?
"DJ Ritu's programme will be replaced by a programme presented by two London Asian presenters, Sunny and Shay Grewel, who will cover the diversity of life in London, including its music. This programme will reflect our remit for London."
  • Sunny & Shay are the young couple from Channel 4’a reality tv doc ‘The Family’.
  • Our licence fee is going towards training them when we already have very well trained and more than qualified presenter. We are sure they are nice people but are they really presenters even after they have been trained? And what extra element will they bring to the station that isn’t already on the menu? More celeb gossip?
  • Saturday nights at BBC London will become:  Sunny & Shay, Nikki Bedi, Ray Khan – is this an Asian Network takeover?
  • Previous schedule was: Gary Crowley, DJ Ritu, Jonathan Lampon, Ray Khan. 
  • And before that: Gary, Ritu, Jazzy B, Dotun Adebayo.
  • In which way is BBC London diverse especially on a Saturday night?
  • And why hasn’t another slot been created for AWIL?
  • Is the BBC dumbing down?
"Music will continue to be part of our programme output; our music will continue to be drawn from a wide range of genres and cultures; our presenters already reflect the vast range of music in London. However, we believe it is vital to make those programmes as accessible as possible and our programmes and choices reflect that."
  • Accessible to whom?
  • 52% of London’s community is ethnic – HOW are any of the other shows going to cater for many/all of them in the way DJ Ritu’s AWIL does?
  • How is the BBC fulfilling its remit?
"World music is just one aspect of cultural life in London and is already well catered for by the BBC through programmes on Radio 3 and the World Service."
  • Mark Coles 29mins show on BBC World Service is going to be cut from March 2011
  • Radio 3 World Music programmes DO NOT cater for a London audience.
  • Radio 3 programmes are pre recorded many weeks in advance. They cannot respond to the needs to a local audience
  • Has there ever been a London artist featured on any of the Radio 3 shows?
  • Where on the BBC will London based artists go to get their music/art/event publicised?
  • AWIL is the ONLY two hour show across the whole of the BBC which plays world music interspersed with conversations with guests.
"I know as a supporter of Ritu's programme you are disappointed that it is to end, but I hope that you will take the opportunity to enjoy the BBC's other world music programmes which I list below."
  • This is not just about DJ Ritu, it’s the principle. The BBC brand has helped untold London based artists get a foot in the door by raising their profile.
  • Its not just about world music. AWIL is educational, by teaching world history, culture, traditions, values and issues. Londoners have come to understand more about the world at large and their neighbours through this show.
  • This show is about bringing the communities of London together and understanding each other through sharing and enjoying each other’s music.
  • Just 18 months before the Olympics come to London – the only show that caters for a truly diverse audience is being cut. How does this fit in with the Chairmans speech?

It’s about keeping a slot there at the BBC station for London and the station fulfilling it’s remit. This is the ONLY FM station in London with a world music show, and therefore, it is required to continue to do so.
Please respond to David Robey with your opinions as to their decision to cut the show!


  1. I think this is crudely about ratings rather than quality,and possibly about cost per hour if some of thee musicians need to be paid. I doubt that the incoming presenters are as likely to have community interests at heart since they've been brought in from Reality tv culture. The links You make with Olympic themes is very pertinent too. Andy, Sudbury

  2. Well said! It's clear Mr Robey doesn't listen to the show nor does he get the diversity of London. As a British Turkish Cypriot the only UK radio show where my ethnic culture is represented is A World in London (AWIL).

    No wonder so many ethnic kids are starting up pirate radios - there really is no where else for them to hear the music of their ethnic roots!

  3. BBC want to ghettoise "World Music" hence people have to set up pirate stations. Also axing the show is nothing to do with ratings - according to sources AWIL has really good rating which are increasing quarter upon quarter. Also the show is VERY economical - Unlike the world music programmes mentioned by Mr Robey - Ritu does not have a producer to work with and has to produce the show herself. She has to do all her own promotion & marketing for the show. So considering all of this AWIL is VERY cost efficient and excellent value for money. How much money will be spent training these two newbies? And how much are they going to be paid? Celeb rates?

  4. Oh and it needs to be said that the musicians do not get paid. Not even the A-listers. They dont even get their travel expenses covered unlike the artists that are presented on R3. So do we think AWIL is value for money??

  5. Thanks for publishing reasoned and persuasive responses to Mr. Robey's frankly unconvincing statements. As a musician who has appeared on Ritu's show - which is THE ONLY show on the BBC that would have invited us because the music that we play does not fit into any of the easy categories...pop, indie, urban, i can say that DJ Ritu has supported us more than any other radio DJ and that possibility would disappear if AWIL is axed. YES, selfish in a way, but it is also the way that I get to hear about new music/artists that get no other coverage on mainstream radio. Very disappointed. Thanks for destroying BBC London. Why not take Robert and Danny off while you're at it!! Boring!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Dj Ritu presents a fantastic show full of diverse and stimulating music which is not available anywhere else . She is also a wonderful interviewer and communicator and puts all her guests at ease. how much more CHAT do we need on a radio station bearing in mind that the 2 nd half of this programme is mainly interviews.
    Having read mr. Robey's statements ,sounds to me as though he deems Ritu's audience to be a bit on the old side and therefore not able to provide a large enough ready made audience.

  7. The thing about A World in London is that is is bigger than who presents it - it is a vital thing in itself - an irreplaceable window for artists both mainstream (in the world music context - many of whom are actually main mainstream as well) and bubbling up/unsigned - re airplay, gigs and opportunities to play live/be interviewed for all the world to hear and especially London, for venues who are announced, for labels from large ones to self run, for aficcionadoes (how do you spell that!!!) and for the casual listener - for as well as the industry the listeners will be very short changed. And it is not enough for us to have a whiff of world music every now and again on Cerys Matthews or Gideon Coe's shows - it's the critical mass we enjoy and need - in context and alongside a wide variety of related music.
    Of course 'our' presenter IS a very important factor too - Ritu has extended the reach of the show with an amazing array of music from many sources drawing on her deep knowledge and love of all music and her many contacts - not only because of where she is (and must stay) on BBC London, but also from her own research and links.She also speaks from authority and takes her role very seriously making sure as much as possible gets played, not sticking to personal favourites. She also represents London - and UK - based artists (as my company WOM@TT does with fervour) far afield - in fact the BBC actually paid for her to represent the station and London at the major international expo WOMEX in Denmark only last month! And she is the only UK representative on the influential European World Music Charts. In addition the age group listening is actually very diverse with many young listeners as well as the seemingly obvious demographic ....Hey I'll stop now. Do I feel strongly? !!!

  8. My reply:


    Many thanks for the copy and paste reply sent out to everyone. I am disappointed that it couldn't have been personal and addressing my points - especially since you collect rather a healthy sum from my for my TV license.

    1. DJ Ritu’s programme will be replaced by a programme presented by two London Asian presenters, Sunny and Shay Grewel, who will cover the diversity of life

    A: You do know that now all "Asians" are not the same, yes? Simply replacing one for another (or two) doesn't really cut it. This is about the wonderful show and guests. AWIL is something worthy of being saved.
    Also, don't the Grewel's live in Windsor. Is that technically in London with an SL postcode? Actually, I have an asian friend who lives in Glasgow. I think she'd be awesome for any other "slots of colour" that open up. Let me know?

    2. BBC London 94.9 is a speech-based service

    A: Yes, I know. I also know that DJ Ritu has a significant portion of her show devoted to interviews. Thus, the argument is a peculiar one.

    DJ Ritu’s programme will be replaced by a programme presented by two London Asian presenters, Sunny and Shay Grewel, who will cover the diversity of life in London, including its music.

    A: Errr. Hang on. So they will cover diversity - like DJ Ritu. And chat - like DJ Ritu. And DJ Ritu? *thinks* Am I missing something? They do what she does but her show's getting replaced? So, you are swapping one thing for something else but with two people?
    Is this a monetary decision? As I understood it, DJ Ritu's guests don't get paid and she pretty much runs the show on her own? Am I correct? (NB: this is a question so a copy and paste reply isn't okay. Aren't I a rascal! :)

    we’ve registered your comments on our audience log
    A: How many complaints did you have against A World In London? Also, how many complaints have you had asking for the show not to be cancelled?

    It ensures that your points, and all other comments we receive, are circulated and considered across the BBC

    A: Now, if we can only get you to answer our emails personally then we'd be getting somewhere. Remember, "we get too many emails to answer..." only works when you don't get all of that lovely TV license. If you do not have the staff to reply then I suggest a restructuring.

    I look forward to receiving your response to my above comments and questions.