'Specialist Music' On BBC Local Radio Campaigns News 17th February 2011

All the latest news, info, rumour, gossip, comment and more concerning the Save DJ Ritu's A World in London show on BBC London and Save' Folkwaves' on BBC Radio Derby campaigns!

First, some really good news for a change with regard to DJ Ritu's A World in London. If you have been suffering from severe withdrawal symptoms - and who hasn't! - you can now enjoy a repeat of the excellent second half of the show broadcast on 4th December 2010 with the excellent special on Iranian popular music with the equally excellent Fari Bradley as DJ Ritu's studio guest, in the form of a Mixcloud Cloudcast. For your convenience, this cloudcast is embedded at right!

Ahh - isn't it good to hear the mellifluous tones of DJ Ritu's voice and her fabulous show again! And, temporarily, a new show via cloudcast will be coming up soon DJ Ritu informed everybody on the Save AWiL Facebook page!

Dj Ritu/A World In London. Part 2, Dec 4th 2010 by Djritu on Mixcloud

Not only, but also...!

Also, join DJ Ritu, Jamie Renton and many more for this great event - Club Attitude on the Decks - A World in London Special 16th March 2011.

The time - 16th March · 7.30 - 11pm. The place - The Wilmington Arms, 69 Rosebery Avenue, Clerkenwell, London EC1R 4RL, Tel: 020 7837 1384, email wilmingtonpubATgmail.com. Admission Free!

Featuring Movimientos DJs (Movimientos / Global Local), DJ Ritu (BBC Radio London / Kuch Kuch), Stella Obe (Factory Foundation Recordings, Massive Attack Tour DJ), Jamie Renton (Chilli Fried), Xtreme Link - Live! (The WildBunch).

And The Bad News...

Yes, the pretenders Sunny & Shay continue in AWiL's slot, for the time being anyway. The only explanation for this must be that the BBC is deliberately trying to shrink the audience for BBC Local Radio so that they may rid themselves of this 'encumbrance' altogether. It's the only explanation that makes sense, given the utterly ridiculous nature of The Sunny & Shay Show and its wannabe presenters.

This suspicion is only reinforced by information received from reliable sources at the Beeb. After five weeks of the so-called show, listening figures are nothing short of pathetic and hardly any callers apart from maybe a handful of hardened, sad Grewals fans.

By way of an aside, Mrs. G. - brainy as ever - came out with this witty and incredibly clever observation: 'We are the first programme on BBC London to play commercial Asian music.' Ah yes, dream on Mrs. G. and don't overtax what functional neurones you might possess. Do not let reality intrude on that strange little world you seem to live in.

Nikki Bedi - who follows this sad pair on Saturday nights - receives even fewer calls. Saturday evenings on BBC London 94.9 'attract' very few listeners now and would seem to have become a wasteland of the airwaves. Is this sad, or what? Is there a whiff of virtual broadcasting suicide beginning to pervade our (BBC Local Radio) airwaves?

The picture certainly doesn't look much brighter when one looks at the complete shambles of a show, The Richard Spurr Show, that has replaced Mick Peat and Lester Simpson's Folkwaves and other 'specialist music' shows weekday evenings on BBC East Midlands, running a full three hours from 7 to 10pm. Despite protestations to the contrary by BBC Radio Derby's Stuart Thomas, listening figures for the new show are low, according to reliable sources.

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There clearly is something very rotten in the state of Denmark, or rather, BBC Local Radio. To BBC Local Radio, or not to BBC Local Radio, that may well be the question... It is only to be hoped that it may yet be possible to prevent it travelling to the undiscovered country, from whose bourne no local radio broadcasting returns. (Apologies to The Bard.)

Things That Go Bump In The Night, And Little Green Folks From Other Planets

Busy though I was last Saturday the 12th, curiosity got the better - or worse? - of me and I kept half of half an ear on The Sunny & Shay Show after all while doing more pleasant chores, missing the first fifteen minutes or so. Perverse as it may seem, I was glad indeed to have switched on and to not have missed this hilarious 'entertainment!' Yes, I even gladly suffered getting my half of half an ear getting clogged up with some amazingly renk poop! Renk though it was, it was also very funny and bizarre and could almost have come straight out of a cheap imitation Goon Show.

Almost three-quarters of the two-hour Grewal Horror Show was entirely taken up with material for the head cases. You know, the fruit-and-nut variety. Spooks, ghosts, things going bump in the night, psychic dogs (I kid ye not!), alien encounters ('I was abducted by aliens and anally probed' stuff!) and the like. You really couldn't make this stuff up. What laughs!

Obviously, with ectoplasmic manifestations, pseudo-scientific crap, and little green people from Mars, the show did actually get a few head cases phoning in, so the two main head cases weren't quite so alone this time. Spoookaayyy!

Mr. G. during all this revealed himself even more than usual to appear what I would describe as the most neurotic character I have ever encountered, except that he isn't quite sophisticated enough. The missus obviously appears not far behind. The perfect subject matter for deluded, attention-seeking near-pond life.

Perhaps the show ought to be renamed as The Fruityloons Show? Last Saturday's installment put Ms. Linda Lancashire and her psychic pooches on The Richard Spurr Show clearly so far in the shade as to render them nearly invisible.

Come back the psychic poodles, all is forgiven! Well, nearly...

What remained of the S&S Show was taken up with a Bollywood actor guest and a Bollywood movie set in Southall, and Valentine's Day humbug.

All in all then, another show with a lot of London-specific interest, reflecting the rich diversity of life in London, and so very inclusive of London's diverse communities. Err... WHAT?

Folkwaves Campaign Logo

AWiL Campaign Logo

DJ Ritu Logo

Give Us Your F***ing Signatures And/Or Support NOW!

Slightly paraphrasing a popular myth there (Bob G. - Geldof, not the wannabe Grewals! - never used the infamous 'f-word' on that broadcast), but really, if you have not done so already, please join and support the Folkwaves and/or (preferably and!) AWiL campaigns now. It's not only the reinstatement of these superb programmes that's at stake, but 'specialist music' and diversity itself on BBC Local Radio, and quite possibly the very future of BBC Local Radio itself!

You can find out more about the campaigns and how to join/support them here:

Save' Folkwaves' on BBC Radio Derby on Facebook
Save DJ Ritu's A World in London show on BBC London on Facebook
Save AWiL Blog
AWiL On twitter
Save AWiL Online Petition

Please sign the online petition above if you haven't done so already. It's really simple and easy to register, and the whole procedure only takes a couple of minutes!

And of course you can also keep up with DJ Ritu on her own web site!

Coope, Boyes & Simpson

For all those missing Folkwaves and feeling a bit folk-deprived, embedded at right is Ralphie Jordan's recording of Coope, Boyes & Simpson at last week's Folk Awards (on the Simon Mayo Show on Radio 2) with Now is the Cool of the Day. Smashing, isn't it?

And In Other News...

A Bring Back Folkwaves Protest takes place outside BBC Nottingham, 7-9pm, Monday 28th February (the time Folkwaves went out) and where its replacement is produced, and where Stuart Thomas wielded his axe. There'll be protest songs, music, dancing and lots more. The campaign are inviting the media. Bring your voices and instruments. Be there if you can!

Meanwhile, showing that it can be done, BBC Radio Devon are holding a 24 hour folk music marathon starting at 2pm on Friday 19th February! For details of this charity marathon, see BBC Devon Programmes - Folk Relief. You can donate by calling 03030 400 400 at any time throughout this 24-hour broadcasting marathon.

On a related note to the AWiL and Folkwaves campaigns, BBC Local Radio listeners across the BBC East region are up in arms in protest on behalf of the 1000's of listeners who do not want the popular Keith Skues Sunday Show on BBC Local Radio across the East to be reduced to just 2 hours.

CBS Folk Awards Song by Eloise01

Keith Skues has already lost a popular Saturday show called Rock and Roll Heaven on BBC 3CR (3 Counties Radio, not Radio 3!), and since last October has been cut to just two hours from four, and has been given a dead of night slot of 11pm to 1am on BBC East. So please join SOS Skues on Sundays on Facebook and return Keith Skues to his 9pm-1am slot. The campaign also asks supporters to please also get in touch with the out-of-touch managing editors across the BBC East region to express their outrage. Some of these are: David Clayton at BBC Radio Norfolk; Peter Cook at BBC Radio Suffolk; Gerald Main at BBC Essex; plus Brett Spencer at BBC 3CR. For the other stations in the BBC East region, just address to the managing editor.

If you already are a supporter of the AWiL and/or Folkwaves campaigns, please consider supporting the SOS Skues on Sundays campaign in solidarity.

Unity is strength! Join the fight and stand together.

The cancer that is the axing (or curtailing) of popular shows on BBC Local Radio seems already more widespread than has been apparent thus far. It needs to be stopped, and fast!

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