Campaign to save ‘Introducing In’ reaches London

2
1006

A delegation from the campaign to save the “Introducing In…” radio programme comes to London tomorrow [Monday].  Campaigners fighting to save the show will meet MPs, Ministers and Radio 1 executives and hand over the petition to the BBC Trust.

Biffy Clyro, Two Door Cinema Club and Frightened Rabbit, senior figures in the UK music industry and politicians are all backing the campaign to stop the BBC axing Radio 1’s Introducing shows in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

A delegation from the campaign to save the “Introducing In…” radio programme comes to London tomorrow [Monday].  Campaigners fighting to save the show will meet MPs, Ministers and Radio 1 executives and hand over the petition to the BBC Trust.

Biffy Clyro, Two Door Cinema Club and Frightened Rabbit, senior figures in the UK music industry and politicians are all backing the campaign to stop the BBC axing Radio 1’s Introducing shows in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

The BBC are proposing to replace the three programmes – presented respectively by Ally McCrae, Rory McConnell and Jen Long – with a single show that will go out UK-wide.

Campaigners from Scotland and Northern Ireland will travel to London for meetings with Culture Minister Ed Vaizey, BBC Radio 1 Controller Ben Cooper and BBC Trust Senior Strategy Adviser Stephen Callow, before delivering their petitions ahead of the closing date for the BBC consultation.

Both the Scottish and Northern Irish online petitions have already received more support per head of population than the successful UK-wide campaign to save BBC Radio 6 Music.

Former musician Pete Wishart MP who has arranged the meetings in London said:

“The campaign to save the Introducing shows has gained widespread support from artists, fans and supporters alike and it is now up to the BBC to respond positively to all backing it.

“The BBC cuts will hit disproportionately in Scotland and losing iconic and respected shows such as Introducing in Scotland will deprive aspiring artists of an opportunity to be heard and introduced in Scotland.”

Two Door Cinema Club’s Kevin Baird said:

“BBC Introducing in Northern Ireland and Rory McConnell were instrumental in the early stages of our career.

“As much as the internet can connect people from across the world, being from somewhere geographically cut off from the rest of the UK can be quite tough for a band.  The music industry cocoons itself in London and as much as they may try or claim, have no real grasp of the local scene in Northern Ireland.

“BBC Introducing in Northern Ireland discovered us before anyone else.  They gave us our first national radio play.  BBC Introducing is one of the last remaining radio shows that isn’t governed by personal connections and market research.  We shouldn’t value music based on the pennies and cronies pulling the strings behind the scenes.  The majority of Britain’s most successful artists weren’t engineered by an executive behind a desk.

“Without BBC Introducing I can’t see how the little guys, writing next year’s hits in their garage, will get the support and motivation from a ground roots level they need to spur them on to success.”

Frightened Rabbit’s Scott Hutchison said: “It would be a travesty if the show was cut from the BBC radio schedule in Scotland.  For over 10 years, it has been an invaluable and irreplaceable platform for new and established Scottish bands.  The show serves to breed an essential community within Scottish music and scrapping it would reinforce the popular fallacy that the industry does not exist outside London.”

Kilmarnock band Biffy Clyro said:

“We fully support the campaign and are very much against the axing of the show.  Introducing in Scotland is an incredible resource for Scottish bands, artists and the music-loving public and its scrapping would be a huge loss for us all.  We look forward to listening to the show for many years to come.”

Musicians’ Union General Secretary John Smith expressed concern at the plans to cut the shows in favour of a UK wide broadcast and added:

“This will inevitably result in fewer hours being dedicated to artists from these regions as the air time will have to be divided between Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and England.

“We therefore urge the trustees to reconsider and ensure that Radio 1 continues this crucial ‘nations’ format in order to give new and emerging talent the best possible chance of exposure.”

A spokesman for Scottish Music Industry Association said that the show’s value to Scottish artists and the Scottish music industry had been “extraordinary” and added:

“The proposals are to the detriment of UK music and therefore are at odds with the BBC’s first priority of Public Purpose: ‘Represent the different nations, regions and communities to the rest of the UK.’

“At a time when the challenges faced by the music industry are legion, the importance – if not the necessity – of supportive, regionally-focused programming like Introducing cannot be overstated and we vociferously advocate the show’s continuation.”

LINKS:
Scotland petition: http://www.petitionbuzz.com/petitions/introducingscotland
Scotland Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/savebbcintroducing
Northern Ireland petition: http://www.petitionbuzz.com/petitions/introducingni
Northern Ireland Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-BBC-Introducing-Northern-Ireland/157659674328281
Wales petition: http://www.petitionbuzz.com/petitions/r1introducingwales
Wales Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/SaveBBCR1IntroducingInWales