Monday, January 10, 2011

Are you missing A World in London?

Following the axing of A World in London, this weekend saw the new schedule bought in on the airwaves. In place of the long running programme, we were faced with two reality show personalities instead of the legendary DJ Ritu.

Now in the interests of fairness we at SaveAWIL HQ listened to the show to see what was going to be offered and what could possibly replace a show of such quality and real diversity. The schedule says "Join Sunny and Shay as they talk about the rich diversity of life in London". 

However, it very quickly became perfectly clear that this was the most unprofessional piece of radio broadcasting that it has ever been my misfortune to endure. Starting from the totally inane 'introduction' by the two 'presenters' things rapidly deteriorated further and further.

We soon discovered that these two presenters have no real connection with London with little or no understanding of the city and its diverse nature. They are from Windsor which if I am not mistaken is not even in London (its outside the M25!). Shay apparently used to work in the "City", they don't know where Hyde Park is and their favourite spot is the Eros Fountain in Picadilly Circus.

Even allowing for the fact that this was their first show and of course technical errors will happen - there was NO excuse for the content. The main topic of conversation was pregnancy and high heels and is not a topic of interest to most people. It didn’t even create controversial discussion and involved sexist commentary, I wont go into one of the other running topic of the evening here in case there are people with a sensitive nature reading (look here if you want an idea although you have been warned!) The guest they had in, producer Uzma Hasan talked about a film from last year - The Infidel, the chat subjects were very gossip/celebrity/glossy mag style with nothing of real intelligence. The only culture mentioned was Asian culture, with 2-3 not recent Bollywood/bhangra songs played with the rest mainstream western pop. As much as I love the Eurythmics I hardly think it fits into the BBC remit which incidentally is supposed to target ages 45+. 

Where has the rich diversity of this great city gone?
The BBC claims to be committed to diversity (undergoing big strategy review now) and it's just been announced that Director-General Mark Thompson will be the new chair of the Cultural Diversity Network. Axing AWIL is hardly a glowing reference for either BBC Radio London or Mr Thompson.
The comments on our facebook page say it all.

At a time when the BBC are making cuts across the board, more money is being invested in this kind of output. With a whole production team backing them (producer/production staff/rehearsals etc) how can the BBC get away with broadcasting and justifying the expense of such nonsense? DJ Ritu produced/researched and delivered the shows on her own without a production team and no marketing yet still delivered a high quality output with a huge listernship. If this show has to stay then why can a replacement slot not be found? Especially as the current schedule on a Sunday is 2 hours of "Vanessa's best bits from the week"

We have also had many complaints sent to the BBC forwarded to us and have also seen the NEW inadequate standard response from the station head David Robey:
“Thank you for your comments, but I believe Sunny and Shay's programme will reach a broad-based audience with cross-cultural interests.  Their first programme featured an historian talking about London landmarks, film producer Uzma Hasan talking about her film The Infidel and a discussion on well being in pregnancy. I believe this reflects life in London in an inclusive way.
David Robey
Managing Editor
BBC London 94.9
T: (Nicole Alcee) 020 7765 0231


Has he really listened to the show?

We need to maintain the pressure as the BBC expect us to just let this go. If you are missing a A World in London then continue to complain especially to the standard responses. Make sure you include copy in save . Send copies to and also sign the online petition… it takes a few minutes. 

Keep the pressure up, its the only way we can get AWIL reinstated.

No comments:

Post a Comment